The Bergamasco Sheepdog is a muscular, heavy-boned herding dog with their large head and a thick tail that hangs down to the hock and curves slightly upward at the end. The entire dog is covered with an abundant coat that forms mats. This breed is compact in profile but just slightly longer than tall. Their characteristic feature is its unique coat, made up of three types of hair. The coat forms flock or loose mats, which cover the dog's body and legs and protect the dog from weather and predators. The hair on the head is typically long and hangs over the eyes.
Country of Origin: Italy
AKC Breed Popularity: Ranks 187 of 196
AKC Classification: Herding Group
UKC Classification: Herding dog
Exercise Requirements: >40 minutes/day
Height: Female: 22 inches; Male: 23.5 inches
Weight: Female: 57-71 lbs; Male: 70-84 lbs.
Physical traits: Muscular, Strong, Heavy-boned
Coat: Length: Long
Colors: Black, Grey, Silver
Overall Grooming Needs: Moderate
Personality traits/Temperament: Independent, Sociable, Intelligent
Energy Level: Very energetic
Tendency to Drool: Low
Tendency to Snore: Low
Tendency to Bark: Moderate
Tendency to Dig: Low
Social/Attention Needs: Moderate
Life Expectancy: 13-15 years
Bergamasco Sheepdogs a healthy breed. Many believe that the Bergamasco Sheepdog is still a powerful breed because it hasn’t been overbred. Like all breeds, there may be some health issues. Some dogs may be faced with these health challenges in their lives, but most Bergamascos are healthy dogs. Bergamaschi might be prone to some health conditions like hip dysplasia and bloat. Some dogs can develop itchy skin conditions where baths with a high-quality dog shampoo and conditioner is recommended. Flea control is also essential.
The Bergamasco Sheepdog needs high-quality dog food, whether commercially manufactured or home-prepared for maintaining their bodily function. Any diet should be appropriate to the dog’s stage (puppy, adult, or senior). Add a high-quality dog multivitamin to complete the nutritional circle. Some dogs are prone to getting overweight, which needs to be checked. Supply fresh water regularly to avoid digestive problems. Consult with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet.
Early socialization and puppy training classes are recommended for Bergamasco. Gently exposing the puppy to a wide variety of people, places, and situations will help him develop into a well-adjusted, well-mannered adult. This breed is a sociable, independent, and highly intelligent breed who possesses a deep desire to please his master. A Bergamasco who can be made to understand what is wanted of him, and why he should do it, will happily comply, if in his own way.
Bergamaschi do not require a ton of exercise. At least one good half hour to hour-long walk per day with a few good, active play sessions and shorter walks will fulfil their needs. Use paw balm daily to protect their feet. They bond closely with their owner. This exercise should come in the form of some sort of mutual activity rather than the dog being left alone in the backyard. This breed can compete in dog agility trials, obedience, showmanship, flyball, and tracking events. Herding instincts and trainability mean the dog can be trained to compete in herding trials.
The Bergamasco breed almost went extinct once during World War II when the need for shepherding dogs reduced due to a decrease in the production of wool. The breed was saved by an Italian breeder Dr. Maria Andreoli.
1. American Kennel Club. [accessed 2020 Nov 28]. https://www.akc.org/
2. Dog Breeds | Hill’s Pet. [accessed 2020 Nov 28]. https://www.hillspet.com/dog-care/breeds
3. List of Dog Breeds | Petfinder. [accessed 2020 Nov 28]. https://www.petfinder.com/dog-breeds/
4. All Dog Breeds - Complete List of Dog Profiles. [accessed 2020 Nov 28]. https://dogtime.com/dog-breeds/profiles
5. Dog Breeds | Types of Dogs | Purina. [accessed 2020 Nov 28]. https://www.purina.com/dogs/dog-breeds