Bergamasco

The Bergamasco dog is an ancient breed of shepherds. It is thought that the breed is thousands of years old. Originating in what is now called Iran, the dog was originally bred to work with their masters, tending to flocks of sheep. These nomadic people eventually settled in the Italian Alps where the dogs became known as the Bergamasco. What is most interesting about this breed's history is that, unlike other herding dogs that were taught to obey its master's every command; the Bergamasco was allowed to be independent and developed a true problem-solving ability. After World War II, the breed was in danger of extinction. Through the efforts of Dr. Maria Andreoli, the breed was saved from this doomed fate. Although it is not a popular breed in America, it does have a following and numbers are increasing due to successful breeding programs.

The Bergamasco is an ancient sheepdog of the Alpine region. It is a medium-sized dog that has a strong and powerful build. This breed's most distinctive features is its long, shaggy coat that forms mats or flocks. Their eyes and ears are completely covered by their abundant coat so it is important to check for ear and eye infections regularly. Their coat itself is low maintenance in terms of grooming and they do not shed often. However, their long coats tend to pick up dirt so they may have to be cleaned after. Personality: Bergamascos are peaceful, highly intelligent and brave dogs that form strong social bonds with people. They are also independent and stubborn and need to be handled with gentle authority. They are very affectionate towards children, as well as patient, gentle playmates. They require daily exercise and will do better in environments where they can roam the outdoors, but can make good apartment dogs if they are taken for long walks or get the chance to romp. Like most sheepdogs, they are protective and suspicious of strangers. They are friendly towards other dogs unless they feel threatened.

Bergamasco image
Life Span
13-15 years
Other Names
Bergamasco

Bergamasco Build Information

Size
Medium

The Bergamasco is an ancient sheepdog of the Alpine region. It is a medium-sized dog that has a strong and powerful build. This breed's most distinctive features is its long, shaggy coat that forms mats or flocks.

Their eyes and ears are completely covered by their abundant coat so it is important to check for ear and eye infections regularly.

Their coat itself is low maintenance in terms of grooming and they do not shed often. However, their long coats tend to pick up dirt so they may have to be cleaned after.

Behaviour and Personality

Activity Level
Kid Friendliness
Affection Level

Bergamascos are peaceful, highly intelligent and brave dogs that form strong social bonds with people. They are also independent and stubborn and need to be handled with gentle authority. They are very affectionate towards children, as well as patient, gentle playmates.

They require daily exercise and will do better in environments where they can roam the outdoors, but can make good apartment dogs if they are taken for long walks or get the chance to romp.

Like most sheepdogs, they are protective and suspicious of strangers. They are friendly towards other dogs unless they feel threatened.

Appearance

Shedding
None
Grooming
Low Maintenance

You wouldn't know it to look at the dog, but it does not require much grooming. Brushing is all but impossible, and few owners choose to clip their dogs. The breed has three distinct types of hair. Each of these hairs intertwine as the dog matures, forming woven plates. These plates can eventually grow so long that they touch the ground.

Once the unusual mats develop, it is not recommended to shave the dog.

Some owners do choose to clip the mats to four inches in length once each year. This is strictly a personal preference and is not required. The breed does not need to be bathed more than once a year.

Breed's Talents and Facts

Training
Moderately easy
  • Matting must be encouraged as the hair grows
  • This process begins when the puppy reaches maturity
  • The heavy mats occur in such a way that they do not pull at the skin
  • The dog is a tenacious one, but it is excellent with people
  • The intelligent breed is happiest when it is given a job to do
  • The Bergamasco is not known by any other names

Are you a Bergamasco Parent?

Make your dog famous and share your pictures with our community!

Upload a Pet Photo

Leave a review of this Breed

Is this information incomplete? Help us improve this dog breed profile, by submitting your information here.

Common Health Conditions in Bergamascos

There are few health problems that plague the breed. Like any larger dog, this one may be prone to hip and elbow dysplasia. It may also be prone to arthritis as it grows. The ears are covered by thick mats and moisture tends to accumulate. This may make the breed more prone to ear infections than dogs with pricked ears. Check your dog\'s ears weekly to spot redness and smell odor before infection sets in.

Bergamasco Pet Insurance

When adding a dog or cat to your family you want to make sure your pet is happy, healthy and protected. During its lifetime your pet is exposed to many illnesses and diseases and some breeds are affected by a congenital disease which is a condition existing at birth. At these moments when your pet is ill or maybe needs surgery, you want to be protected for the unexpected and high veterinarian costs.

Insure your Bergamasco

Learn more about pet insurance here to keep your pet healthy and request your FREE Quote now!

Are you Bergamasco Breeder?

We have the most complete database with over 10,000 dog breeders in the USA! We would love to be in contact with you because we get many requests on our website of pet owners looking for this breed. You can contact us here to join our dog breeders directory now! We can help you find homes for your Bergamasco puppies. Register as a Breeder!

Our website does not take any position with or against designer dog breeds or mixed breeds. We also stay neutral about the buying or adoption of pets. Our main goal is to keep users informed about the dog breeds and the multiple options they might have when getting a new pet.
Get a Quote!

Get A FREE, No Obligation Pet Health Insurance Quote within 5 Minutes