The Bergamasco Sheepdog is a very interesting breed that you can own right now if you want to.
The great thing about this type of dog is the fact that it’s a muscular shepherd dog with a very good, ancient pedigree.
As soon as you see it, you realize that the coat is this breed’s hallmark, and a very interesting part to say the least.
With that being said, these dogs have 3 different hair textures that differ quite a bit, and these flocks cover both the legs and body.
These dogs can have a soft, coarse, or wooly coat.
The Bergamasco Shepherd is a breed of large dogs that originated in the Alps of Italy.
These dogs also go by the names Bergamaschi, Bergamia, and Bergamasco Bergamaschi, they are popular for their signature coat of long and mattered hair.
It’s a muscular body underneath these mountain dogs are also adored for their excellent herding skills and their gentle personality.
The ancestors of the modern-day Bergamasco shepherds hail from the alpine town of Bergamo, near Milan, Italy.
However, the ancient origins of the Bergamaschi can be traced back to Persia almost 7000 years ago.
They’re believed to have been brought to Italy by their nomadic masters.
French authorities have also claimed that Bergamaschi actually descended from the Brickyard, an ancient Gallic hunter breed.
But Italians argue that if the breed originated in Persia, it would have arrived in Italy before the far west of France.
These intelligent dogs were bred as herding dogs suited for the cold and rocky Italian Alps, Bergamasco shepherds almost went extinct after the Second World War with the demand for wool went low, consequently, decreasing the need for shepherding dogs.
Thanks to Dr. Maria Andreoli, an Italian breeder, and scientist, the breed has a healthy population today, Bergamasco shepherds have been recognized by the American Kennel Club as a herding breed since 2015.
The character of The Bergamasco Sheepdog
This is the type of pet that’s very easy to train, loving, loyal, and also very intelligent.
They like being with people, but they also enjoy being alone, so it’s a unique combination of 2 worlds here, which is interesting.
They are watching over things or other people for you, so this is a very dedicated and loyal animal that everyone will love having around, that’s for sure.
They’re a stubborn breed.
They’re also very, very smart.
So you have to know that they are not a dog to say sit, stay calm and be there.
Like you can turn on and turn off their family dog.
They’re not absolutely a dog not to be kept in a crate.
They’re not dogs to be crated at all. They want to be with you. So you’re now their “sheep” or their “herd” or their whatever.
And their history is that they’ve always been with the shepherd and close to the shepherd.
And so now you’re their shepherd and you have to understand that they’re going to be with you.
Are They Good With Children?
They are good family dogs.
Bergamasco shepherds are known to form strong bonds with people they recognize as their families. They’re calm and almost intuitive to their owner’s emotions, they also won’t hesitate to show you their effects into cuddles.
And these guys are incredible companions to children as well.
Initial playtimes and introductions with small children must always be supervised as we always advocate, which with any breed is excellent advice.
Bergamasco shepherds get along fine with other dogs, especially with submissive ones.
These guys are perfect for a home with older kids who can play with them.
They’re used as therapy dogs. In addition to their smart nature, Bergamaschi are very patient. As a result, there is quite a popular breed to be used as therapy dogs for children as well as the elderly.
These dogs are also set to be hypoallergenic thanks to their matted fur that sheds very little therefore Bergamasco shepherds are ideal as therapy dogs to anyone except those who suffer from wool or lanolin allergy.
Coat Care of The Bergamasco Sheepdog
Since this pet has a very large coat, it’s easy to understand that coat care is not going to be simple. It certainly takes a bit of trial and error to manage everything properly.
With that in mind, the coat of an adult doesn’t need a lot of maintenance. When the wool and goat hairs appear, you must rip them into mats, which will take a bit of time. However, these will grow over the dog’s life.
Despite their intimidatingly long and matted fur Bergamaschi are easy to groom, that way it does not catch a load of debris and can easily be cleaned by running your fingers through their locks.
These guys can get away with bathing two to three times a year, but you must remember that they’re really can smell unpleasant if not dried properly.
We recommend not to use shampoo on your Bergamasco as it dissolves natural oils in its coat.
Their hair insulates their body against heat and cold.
Therefore Bergamaschi owners are advised not to cut their pup’s hair except areas around the mouth where food can get stuck.
These guys have long fur that can reach the ground after five or six years of growth.
Shepherds usually have fur covering their eyes to protect them from the snowstorms in the mountains. The thick and tough matted fur can be old to their ancestral herding lifestyle in the Alps fighting both the biting cold and the predators lurking around the sheep.
Bergamaschi have three types of hair: soft, coarse, and woolly, and they have a soft undercoat, they begin growing chorus and wooly hair after their first birthday.
Weight of The Bergamasco Sheepdog
You can expect the Bergamasco Sheepdog to be around 70 to 80 pounds, females will be around 57 to 70 pounds at most.
The health of The Bergamasco Sheepdog
This is a rather healthy breed for the most part. You do need to perform the standard tests and vet visits. But other than that, this is a pet that doesn’t need a huge amount of attention, which is great, to say the least.
It just makes things a whole lot easier.
The health of Bergamasco shepherds is a generally healthy breed of dogs as they haven’t been overbred unethically. The Bergamasco sheep Club of America mandates breeders to obtain hip clearances and dogs before breeding them.
Nevertheless, remember to take your Bergamaschi to the vet regularly so that symptoms of hip dysplasia, eye problems, and bloat can be detected and treated early on.
And always make sure to get your pup from a certified breeder or even better from a shelter.
And besides that, make sure to trim your puppy’s nails and clean their ears frequently. Remember to brush their teeth regularly with vet-recommended toothpaste.
Life Expectancy of The Bergamasco Sheepdog
Your Bergamasco Sheepdog can live anywhere from 13 to 15 years, sometimes a bit more if you take good care of them.
Price of The Bergamasco Sheepdog
The average price of a Bergamasco Sheepdog puppy is around $1000 to $1200. Of course, based on the purity of the breed and other factors, you will find yourself paying more.
But this would be the average price for this particular breed.
Exercise Requirements of The Bergamasco Sheepdog
This is not the type of dog that will require a lot of exercise during the day. A mutual activity like walking or running will do just fine.
These dogs do have quite a lot of energy, which is amazing considering their size.
They don’t need intense physical activity. Bergamasco shepherds are not as active as other dogs of the herding group, although a large space to run around as they please is a deal for these large dogs, they could do just as fine in an apartment with enough exercise.
An hour of running and playing can provide the physical exercise needed for your pup.
And you can keep your Bergamasco mentally busy with puzzle toys as well.
With that in mind, they love fetching a ball, romping on the open field, and so on.
The trainability of The Bergamasco Sheepdog
You will need to introduce Bergamasco Sheepdog to other dogs since he needs socialization. This is an intelligent breed, so they will enjoy the training process, even if it does take a little bit to prepare them properly.
They might not like training at first, but they get used to it, and that’s amazing. If it feels challenging at first, just stick to it!
Bergamaschi are highly intelligent dogs who are capable of independent decision-making and problem-solving. They can think and act for themselves, which makes them excel at herding with little to no human instructions.
Such traits make these dogs easy to train. Even for novice owners. Bergamasco shepherds tend to think of their owners as companions rather than leaders. Therefore, being loud to your Bergamasco Shepherd can cause them to avoid you.
Nonetheless, with positive reinforcement, these guys can be trained both as herding dogs and apartment dogs.
They could be a little stubborn
Their heritage as herding dogs gives them an independent streak which can be a little hard to handle that times the smart dogs are known to be persevering and headstrong.
Sometimes this can be overcome by earning the respect through positive training.
The more friendly you act towards your Shepherd, the more they’ll look up to you for guidance
Bergamasco shepherds are on high alert all the time because of their role in pastures or at home, and they have acute hearing, which helps them hear even the slightest noise around them.
As such Bergamaschi make good Watch Dogs while the Bergamasco shepherds can effectively detect and bark at approaching danger.
They’re not aggressive dogs. If your Bergamasco barks too frequently training them to differentiate danger from the regular analysis can help curb that.
This great video tells you what it’s like to own one of these fascinating dogs