The Lagotto Romagnolo is a rare European breed originating from Romagna, Italy sometime between the late 1500s and early 1600s. Originally a water-retrieving dog for almost 3000 years, as the marshes were drained and reclaimed for farming, a decrease in the work opportunities for water-retrieving and hunting dogs like the Lagotto, eventually caused it to become more specialized as a truffle hunting dog. In fact, the Lagotto breed became the breed used by almost all truffle hunters. This Italian water dog's sharp eyesight and excellent tracking and searching abilities were refined during breeding over the last 100 years so that they are used exclusively for truffle searching now. Truffles are the fruiting part of an underground mushroom, highly prized by gourmet chefs.