Last Updated on November 6, 2022 by Pets Feed
One of the best shepherd dogs is the Bergamasco Shepherd. This dog is not fussy, not too energetic, but at the same time he is able to skillfully manage a large flock of sheep, the number of which exceeds a hundred.
A distinctive feature of the breed is their unique wool, consisting of tightly woven cords resembling dreadlocks.
|Breed name||Bergamasco Shepherd|
|Country of origin||Italy|
|Weight||32 – 38 kg|
|Height (at the withers)||58 – 62 cm|
|Life expectancy||12 – 15 years|
Bergamasco Shepherd photos
Characteristics of the Bergamasco Shepherd
The coat of the Bergamasco Shepherd is the most stunning feature of this breed. It is big, long, thick and hangs loosely in tangles.
This is a large, powerful, muscular dog with heavy bones. The growth of a mature male is 58-62 cm, females – 54-58 cm, adult males weigh 32-38 kg, females – 26-32 kg.
- Head: Small in relation to the body. The skull is equal in length to the muzzle. Black, moist nose.
- Jaws: Scissor bite. Large teeth, well-developed fangs. The grip is strong.
- Ears: Triangular, suspended.
- Eyes: Various shades of brown. Light colors are not allowed.
- Body: Strong, taut, with smooth lines. Looks great because of the voluminous coat. The thick tail tapers towards the end.
- Legs: Strong, long. Limb muscles are well developed. The claws are black.
- Coat: Special. Long, heavy, flat ropes cover the whole body. Color – all shades of gray. Requires careful care.
Character and behavior
The Bergamasco shepherd dogs have a great character: they are loyal, smart, brave, willing to work and have an excellent memory. Sheep breeders claim that these dogs have such a sense that they distinguish sheep in their flock by smell.
Bergamo shepherd dogs easily adapt to the most severe conditions of existence and to a very modest diet. Their innate stubbornness can be overwhelmed by an energetic and confident owner. The breed is not adapted to life in an apartment.
With minimal training, the Bergamo Shepherd Dog can become a watchdog, bodyguard, and even an assistant to firefighters and rescuers during an earthquake.
Nature endowed the breed with good health. Surprisingly, these shepherd dogs do not suffer from hereditary diseases.
Once a year, for the purpose of prevention, it is worth visiting a veterinary clinic with a Bergamasco, taking tests, and having an examination with a dentist.
Due to the thickness of the coat and dense long cords, diaper rash and skin diseases can occur on the skin. Such health problems occur in most cases due to improper care.
On average, a Bergamasco shepherd can live 12-15 years.
The coat of the dog is not the same in quality and length on different parts of the body. On the head, upper part of the neck and on the back to the waist, the hair is coarse, slightly wavy, of medium length and rather thick. The fore and hind limbs and the entire rear part of the body from the loins – thighs, croup, groin – are covered with softer hair, which twists into loose cords by the year.
The daily care of the Bergamasco shepherd dog is the care of the muzzle. After each feeding, it is advisable to wipe the mustache and beard with a damp cloth. If you do this constantly and carefully, the light coat will not turn brown and there will be no unpleasant odor.
If necessary (regularly, as they grow back), the paws are treated – with ordinary scissors they cut the hair between the pads. In addition, due to the increased overgrowth, for hygienic reasons, the hair around the anus and genitals is cut off.
The cords on the back of the torso are never combed or shortened. They are dismantled by hand and divided if they exceed 5 cm in diameter.
Particular attention should be paid to the areas behind the ears and under the elbows, where tangles quickly form, which must be disassembled by hand.
It takes about an hour of exercise a day, although this dog breed so full of energy has a lot of resistance and will gladly accept more exercise time if you can offer it. Remove any dirt from the fur when they come home.
Bergamasco shepherd Fun Facts
- Owners of flocks who have Bergamasco shepherd dogs claim that these dogs are able to distinguish other people’s sheep from their own, as each of its wards is known by smell.
- In a battle with a wolf, Bergamasco wins due to his “carapace” consisting of dreadlocks. The fangs of a predator cannot penetrate such a reliable defense.
- The coat of the Bergamasco shepherd resembles the hair of a Puli and a Komondor. Only in Bergamasco, the cords are flat and wide, are in the form of a fan, and the Hungarian Komondor and bullets have wool twisted into thin threads.
The distant ancestors of the modern Bergamasco shepherd lived in the Alps several millennia ago. There is a version that these dogs were brought into the indicated territory by itinerant merchants. The name of the breed is the Tibetan mastiff.
After some time, offspring appeared from crossing local dogs with imported mastiffs. Puppies were distinguished by endurance, rather big sizes, intelligence and working capacity. In the shepherd’s and security service they had no equal.
Based on this new species, the Bergamasco shepherd is bred. The center of the formation of the breed was Italy (Tuscany). At that time, in the northern part of Italy, cattle breeding was developed at the highest level.
The holdings of local farmers included large flocks of sheep, which were grazed by shepherds with the help of shepherd dogs.
Especially distinguished in terms of cattle breeding, the province of Bergamo. It is believed that it was here that the Bergamasco breed originated in the form in which we observe it now.
In honor of this province, the name of the new shepherd dogs appeared – the Bergamasco shepherd. Bergamo had the largest number of them, compared with other areas of the country.
In the modern world, the Bergamasco shepherd is used in its homeland for the most part as shepherds. In other countries, and in Italy too, these amazing animals are popular as companions, as pets, lifeguards and security guards.