Bergamasco Shepherd Dog

The Bergamasco Shepherd Dog is a breed of dog native to the Italian Alps. They are known for their thick, rustic coat that forms tufts on their body, giving them a unique appearance. They are dogs with a calm and protective personality.

General details

The Bergamasco is a medium to large sized dog that usually weighs between 26 and 38 kilos and measures between 58 and 62 centimeters at shoulder height. The average lifespan of a Bergamasco is 13 to 15 years. According to the Fédération Cynologique Internationale, it belongs to category 1, Sheepdogs and Cattle Dogs (except Swiss Cattle Dogs).

Breed history in brief

The Bergamasco Shepherd Dog is a breed of dog originating in the Italian Alps. They were originally bred as herding dogs and herd guardians in the mountains. They are very hardy and hard-working dogs, able to withstand extreme temperatures and difficult terrain. The breed developed from various types of herding dogs, such as the Pyrenean Mastiff and the Tatra Shepherd. Over the centuries, the Bergamasco has been an integral part of life in the Italian mountains, working closely with shepherds and their flocks. Today, the Bergamasco Shepherd Dog is used primarily as a companion and show dog, although it can also be an excellent working dog, especially in herding and search and rescue activities.

Breed characteristics

The Bergamasco Shepherd Dog has a robust and muscular body, with a large, broad head, dark eyes and medium-sized ears that hang on the sides of the head. Its back is straight, the legs are powerful and the tail is long and loose. Its coat is its most striking feature. It is a long, thick coat that covers all parts of the dog. Especially on the back of the body, the coat forms long matted tufts; on the back of the body, the hair is coarse and forms wavy ringlets, while the hair on the head is rather finer. It is composed of three layers of hair: an upper layer of long, woolly locks, a middle layer of shorter, coarser hair, and a lower layer of soft, woolly hair. Regarding colors, the coat can be any shade of gray, from very pale to matte black. It is a dog that shows high intelligence and alertness, although it is a patient dog with other animals and with people. As a sheepdog, it is a dog given to focus on the activity it is performing. Despite being a vigilant breed, it is rare for them to show aggressive behavior, and they are quiet and calm. However, they are barking dogs and it is recommended that they be taught to socialize from a young age.

Common health problems

Like all dog breeds, the Bergamasco Shepherd Dog is susceptible to certain health problems. Some of the most common health problems in the breed include volvulus-gastric dilatation, hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia.

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