Breed Organization United Kennel Club Website: http://www.ukcdogs.com Native Country Italy Other Names Bergamasco, Bergamese Shepherd, Bergamaschi, Bergamo Shepherd Dog, Bergamasco Sheepdog Life Expectancy Approximately 13-15 Years Litter Size Average 6-10 Puppies Breed Group Herding Group
Breed Appearance The breed's most distinctive feature is the
unusual felted coat, a normal and healthy characteristic of the
breed. The coat is characterized by three types of hair: a fine,
dense, oily undercoat, long harsher hairs similar to a goat's and a
top woolly outer-coat. The three types of hair weave together as the
dog gets older to form flat mats or flocks. The mats start from the
spine and go down the flanks, growing every year to reach the
ground. The color of the coat can be anything from an appearance of
gray or silver gray (in fact a merle) to a mixture of black to coal,
with brown shades also intermixed. These colors may have served as a
camouflage when working in the mountains. Bergamascos are born with
short, smooth fur, which slowly develops the characteristic mats as
the dog grows.
Breed Description Head: Large appearance. Capacious skull.
Pronounced superciliary arches. Marked stop. Fairly short, blunt
muzzle. Large nose. Ears: Soft, triangular drop ears. Thin leather Eyes: Large and oval. Brown color. Darkness of shade varies
with color of coat. Black rims. Long fall covering the eyes. Body: Square body outline. No dewlap on the neck. Full
brisket. Short, powerful loin. Straight, well-muscled back. Broad,
sloping, solid, well-muscled croup. Tail: Thick and strong at the base tapering toward the tip.
Covered in slightly wavy, shaggy hair. Hangs in the shape of a saber
when relaxed. Hair: Very long and wiry (goat hair) on the front portion of
the body. Corded over the rest of the body. Short, dense, soft
undercoat. Coat: Gray flecked with black, tan, or white. Uniform black
coat is acceptable, though uniform white is not. White spots
covering no more than 1/5 of the body are permitted. Size: Dog: 58 to 62 cm. (22.8-24 in).Bitch: 54 to 58 cm.
(21.2-22.8 in). Weight: Dog: 32 to 38 kg. (70.5-83.8 lb).Bitch: 26 to 32 kg.
History This ancient sheepdog spread throughout the
Alps region of Italy, but were most concentrated in the Bergamo area
where sheep farming was particularly developed. Some believe the
Bergamasco is descended from the Briard. Others hypothesize that the
Bergamasco came to Italy from Asia, stating that sheepdogs of this
type arrived in Western Europe during the Mongol invasions.
Behavior Alert, keen, and well-balanced, this dog has an
ideal personality for flock guarding. This breed's friendly
disposition, gentleness, and patience also make him an excellent
pet. His impressive size makes him a good guard dog. This often
stubborn dog requires early, firm training.
Health Health information for this breed is sparse.
Advice This is not a city dweller. He needs space and
a lot of exercise. Groom the coat by running your fingers through
the hairs to separate the cords.
Function Sheepdog, Guard Dog, Search-And-Rescue Dog
(avalanches, natural disasters), Pet.