About Montagna del Mare

Montagna del Mare, meaning "mountain and sea" in Italian, sits in the upper northwest part of beautiful Washington State. With views of Mt. Baker in the east and Bellingham Bay to the west, this is a great place to breed and raise dogs. Our goal is to properly breed and develop the Lagotto Romagnolo (pronounced lag-oh-toe roman-yolo) and share with others what a wonderful breed this is. While this breeding adventure began as a partnership of three committed women, life circumstances changed for two of them, and this is now a husband and wife partnership, and our commitment in breeding only quality animals is stronger than ever. Here is a little about us.


Therese is the one who started this love affair with the Lagotto. She has had dogs her whole life and has done several types of training with them, from general obedience, to agility and doggie free-style dancing and targeted training. With her Silky Terrier getting very old and slowing down, she knew the day would come when "Winston" would be gone and she would want a new dog in her life. She saw a photo of a Lagotto on a calendar and thinking she knew most breeds of dogs, was surprised she had never heard of the Lagotto Romagnolo. The research began and she found a breeder in the Netherlands that was very instrumental in her education. In June 2005, she welcomed Romakome's Lieto Guido into her life. He instantly was accepted by her 4 year old Schipperke and 2 year old Lab mix, who voluntarily took on the mother role, and still does. Knowing that he was a wonderful example of the breed, she began the process of taking him to training and handling classes. He quickly gained his IABCA International Championship, and to this day, is still a beautiful example of the breed.

In 2006, Therese became connected with more Lagotto owners through a Yahoo Group, and through this association, a small group formed and the Lagotto Club of America formed. Therese has been very active with this group since it began and is proud to be a member. It is the work of the Board and club members that have assisted the Lagotto Romagnolo to further advance here in the United States and the Lagotto Romagnolo have been allowed to show in AKC in the Miscellaneous Class since January 2013.

In her non-dog life, she works in education at a technical college managing several health-care programs and still teaches from time to time. She has spent many years as a volunteer firefighter and EMT, and sits on many other Boards and Commissions as her commitment towards her community.


Dan says his role in the breeding program is financial and emotional support, although he says that "tongue in cheek." Dan shares a love of animals and is the rock that helps move the program forward and is a great support system for Therese. Dan is also a lover of horses and helps a good friend with his draft horses at various events, from washing, feeding, harnessing and driving the teams. With plans to move to more acreage, Therese would not be surprised to see a new addition to our family some day; one that weighs a little more than a Lagotto.

While breeding is new to Dan, he is embracing all that it entails. Dan has a strong science and health background, from his early years as part of the Army medical corps in Viet Nam, to his employment in the oil industry both in operations, emergency response and safety, to volunteer firefighter, EMT and licensed practical nurse. The science and genetics side of the breeding is especially interesting to him, and his knowledge makes him a valuable partner.

On any given day, you might find Dan sitting on the couch with the dogs on his lap or at his feet, going on errands with his buddy Guido, or with shovel and pail in hand cleaning up the backyard, the dogs on his heals as though he might just have a little cookie in his pocket, just for them (and he usually does).

Montagna del Mare • Email • Ferndale, Washington USA • 360-384-3753