AKC Group: Miscellaneous

Bergamasco dogs are an ancient breed that developed from the shepherds and cattle dogs that spread from the Orient westward. These dogs were exchanged for sheep. After World War II, the demand for wool tapered off and Bergamascos almost went extinct. An Italian breeder stepped in and after 40 years of careful breeding, has developed numerous line of champion dogs.

Size: 22 to 26 inches tall, 55 to 85 pounds.

Color: Black or gray.

Life span: 13 to 15 years.

Health problems: Nothing major noted.

The Bergamasco is a heavy, muscular herding dog that has a large head. Its tail hangs down and curves upward slightly at the end. A Bergamasco has a unique coat — it has three layers of hair. The coat forms “cords” (hair strands woven together to create flat layers of hair). These cords cover the body and legs to protect the dog from the elements. The hair on their head is long and hangs down over their eyes.

Gentle and loyal, a Bergamasco is protective of their home and family. They tolerate dogs they don’t consider a threat or other pets they’ve been raised with. A Bergamasco is tolerant and patient with children. They do not tolerate strangers whatsoever; they’re very distrustful. Forever alert, attentive, dignified and sensible, this is what makes a Bergamasco.

Each coat cord needs to be separated and lightly brushed individually. Bathing is only done when it’s necessary. A Bergamasco takes a very long time to dry. A Bergamasco can think on its feet, no submitting here. They don’t tolerate harsh treatment. Train them with firmness and fairness. Socialization and obedience training is a good investment.


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