The Bergamasco is one of the most ancient breeds of sheepdogs and according to the AKC it has a history going back 7000 years. With such a long history, it is impossible to track down the proper ancestry, but it is believed, that they originated from the ancient sheepdogs used in Persia. Later, they migrated with the nomadic Persian shepherds to Europe.
This breed was widespread across the northern Alpine regions Italy. Large numbers could be found in the valleys of Bergamo regions, where sheep herders were needed the most. The breed is named after this Italian region.
The Bergamasco is just excellent sheepdog. They are intelligent and have great problem solving ability. Without the need for specific commands, the Bergamasco were able to learn how to herd and protect the sheep. The Bergamasco also tend to create close bond with its owner, the shepherd. The Bergamasco is a breed that is both – independent skilled herder and friendly eager to please companion.
Of course, the most distinctive feature and the breeds hallmark is the coat. The fur consists of three different textures and together they form the flocks, or mats, that are covering Bergamascos body and legs. The coat insulates them from extreme cold, but it also helps them to regulate body temperature in heat and thanks to it they can survive in harsh weather. You should never shave the coat. The Bergamasco can be typically found in black, merle, or gray, with grey patches of all possible shades from the softest of grey to a lighter shade of grey on to black. Believe it or not, the The Bergamasco's coat is considered to be non-shedding and hypoallergenic.
The Bergamasco has large and dark expressive eyes that are shielded by a fringe of hair that falls over their eyes. This breed also has extremely long upper eyelashes so that they can lift the hair falling from the forehead over the eyes.
Because of the coat, the Bergamasco looks bigger and heavier than it actually is. The average height is around 22 inches for females which is 56 cm and 24 inches for males which is 60 cm. Typical weight is between 57-84 pounds, which is 26-38 kgs. So as you can see, the Bergamasco is very athletic dog. Definitely not extremely heavy for its size.
7) Family dog
The Bergamasco is very social dog and it tends to create very strong bond with its owner. On the other hand, it is quite alert and suspicious dog around strangers. But even though, they do have a protective instict and make good guards, they should not be agressive without a reason. When they are around its family, its pack, than the Bergamasco is calm, patient and smart dog with high desire to please.
The Bergamasco is very smart and eager to please dog, which is why they get new commands very quickly, but they are still not total pushovers to train. It is because of their independent side., They just have a bit of a rebellious streak, which is why firm, consistent and patient trainer is needed to raise an obedient Bergamasco.
Just look at all the coat, it must be extremely hard to maintain it right? Well, quite the opposite, the Bergamascos coat is super low maintenance. Once the mats have been set in the fur, nothing will change them so there is no need to worry about messing your dog’s flock up. BTW, the flocking stage starts around eighth month of age. Just like with all dogs you should regularly check the dogs eyes, ears and nails and clip them or clean them if needed.
There is not enough data and information based on real scientific studies about the breeds health, but accordingly to some breeders and owners, the Bergamasco has a long lifespan, typically between 13-15 years and they can suffer from hip and elbow dysplasia. This is usually a very healthy breed.