- SIZE: 7
- GROOMING:: 6
- EXERCISE NEEDS: 7
- GOOD WITH DOGS: 6
- WATCHDOG: 9
- BREED: Bergamasco
- COLOR(S):Black or gray
Originating in Italy, Bergamascos are rare beyond the Italian borders and are growing rarer in their native land where herding needs are dwindling. Named for their northern Italy home region of Bergamo, this breed rose to fame as robust herding dogs capable of guarding flocks but came near extinction when fewer and fewer Italians required herding dogs. The Bergamasco ancestors spread out along the Alpine chain but, due to their unique coat, this breed of working dogs is recognizable anywhere. Resembling a large, dirty mop in both color and texture, Bergamascos are gray or black with light additions of fawn or white. Their flocked coat is not truly fur – it is considered hair making these dogs non-allergenic. Their coat naturally grows into long mats that turn eventually into twisted, rough “cords.” While their thick and distinctively layered coat gives the Bergamasco an imposing appearance, they tend to be peaceful in nature. This strong breed is solidly compact with a powerful build that matches their sound bravery to create the ideal herding dog.
These large dogs are docile and devoted to their families. Their protective herding tendencies will be focused toward their family as Bergamascos do not naturally trust strangers. They are loyal, strong and brave with a hardy build and intelligent mind.
With such a thick and unique coat, particular grooming is required. The cords of the Bergamasco should be separated by hand, lightly brushed and occasionally bathed.
The Bergamasco breed is generally very healthy as there are no known health problems.
This breed has a moderate activity level and will often exercise on their own outdoors. In addition, daily walks, the chance to herd sheep or play with kids will provide suitable exercise for the Bergamascos. Exercise should not be too harsh.
Bergamascos will respond well to consistent and firm training while harsh training is strongly discouraged. These dogs are not overly submissive but they will obey as a means to show affection.