Bergamasco Sheepdog

The Bergamasco Sheepdog is a muscular, heavy-boned herding dog with a large head and a thick tail. He is vigilant, determined, patient, intelligent.

Bergamasco Sheepdog
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Overall Status

Height 22 to 23.5 inches
Temperament Independent, Sociable, Intelligent
Weight 57 to 84 pounds
Life Expectancy 13 to 15 years
Coat Color Gray, Black, Fawn
Barking Level Medium

Quick Factors

Playfulness
Dog Friendly
Exercise Need
Grooming Needs
Strangers Friendly
Family Affectionate
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Daily Care

Grooming Tips Exercise Tips Feeding Tips Health Tips Trainability

The Bergamasco’s coat is unusual in having three different types of hair in it (referred to as dog hair, goat hair, and wool) that weld together and felt into mats. Trim the hair around the mouth and clean the dog’s face after meals to help reduce the odor.

A common misconception is that the coat should not be brushed, but once the coat is formed, nothing will change it. Brushing is necessary to remove dirt.

The Bergamasco can have as many baths as other dogs, but shampoo is not recommended because it dissolves natural oils in the coat.

The rest is basic care. Trim the nails as needed, usually every few weeks. Keep the ears clean and dry to prevent bacterial and yeast infections. Brush the teeth frequently with a vet-approved pet toothpaste for overall health and fresh breath.

As a working breed of dog, Bergamascos require a great deal of exercise and are unsuitable for owners that aren’t physically active.

They thrive when raised in large farms or vast properties where they can run about freely and exercise by themselves.

As a highly intelligent and independent breed, they also require ‘meaningful’ tasks with which to occupy themselves with.

Bergamasco Sheepdogs can be fed on a varied diet of kibble and high quality raw/canned foods. They should be fed twice a day, once in the morning and again in the evening. Puppies, however, can be fed three times a day.

Some dogs are prone to gettingoverweight, so watch your dog’s calorie consumption and weight level.Treatscan be an important aid in training, but giving too many can cause obesity.

Learn about whichhuman foodsare safe for dogs, and which are not. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet.Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.

Bergamascos are generally a healthy breed. Like all breeds, there may be some health issues. Some dogs may be faced with these health challenges in their lives, but the majority of Bergamascos are healthy dogs.

As with all breeds, earlysocializationand puppytraining classesare recommended.

Gently exposing the puppy to a wide variety of people, places, and situations will help him develop into a well-adjusted, well-mannered adult.

The Bergamasco is a sociable, highly intelligent breed who possesses a deep desire to please his master. The breed thinks independently, however, and often sees itself more as an equal partner than as a subordinate to the members of his family.

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.

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History

This is an Italian sheepherding breed who takes his name from his hometown, Bergamo (although he is also known in other parts of the country). He is similar to other central European sheepdog breeds, including the Puli which shares his heavily matted coat.

After World War II, the Bergamasco was in danger of disappearing because there was less work for herding dogs. Fortunately, an Italian breeder, Dr. Maria Andreoli, stepped in and led the effort to save the breed.

The Bergamasco has not yet achieved full recognition from the American Kennel Club but is biding his time in the Miscellaneous Class.

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Picture & Video

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