American Canine Association

Breeds

Breed Name: Bergamasco


History

One of the oldest dog breeds dating back to the 1200s and originally bred for its use as a herding dog only, the Bergamasco is native to Italy. Believed to be of the Puli and Komodor bloodlines, this breed has a wicked talent for herding. Without the supervision of humans, this breed is able to track down cattle within the Alps of Italy and Switzerland, as well as bring back the herds of them to the farm owner all with just natural instincts. This characteristic is quite rare to find in any other breed. Today, the Bergamasco competes in many agility and obedience competitions around the world.

Appearance

With males typically weighing in much larger than females, males should weigh between 71-84 pounds while females should weigh between 57-70 pounds. Both measuring between 21-24 inches in height. The Bergamasco is a very unique looking breed due to their coat texture. Natural matted hair covers their body, starting at the spine on either side and feathering downwards from there in circle like mats. This unusual coat is available in black, brown, grey and white, as well as all shade variations of these colors. With a wedge shaped head that is barely visible underneath all of their hair, their muzzle forms directly into a scissor bite. Two almond shaped, black eyes are hidden under the excess hair that flows from the top of their head, while two large, pendant shaped ears fall along side of their face. Please note that typically the hair on their tail and head does not usually mat and instead is messy in appearance.

Temperament

Requiring as much early socialization as possible while young, the Bergamasco can be shy and questionable of strangers if not brought up properly. Wonderful with older children, elderly and generally other dogs and pets, this breed can be an asset to any family. The Bergamasco is a fantastic watch and guard dog, alerting you when someone has arrived as well as wanting to be the first at the door when that person approaches. Due to this breed being a natural herder, please note that without proper training, rules and boundaries taught while this breed is young, he or she may try herding those of its human family. Typically these habits develop when not enough physical and mental activity is provided daily, causing anxiety and disorder to the dog. A long daily walk as well as other physical activity is required for this breed. Please note that a proper hardness and leash, or fenced is yard is recommended so your Bergamasco doesn't get distracted or run off at any point in time. Generally this breed is very well balanced in personality, fair and easy to train. As always, positive reinforcement training methods are the only methods recommended for training this breed.

Grooming

This breed cannot be brushed daily due to the natural habits of their hair. Regular, professional grooming is highly recommended every 4-6 weeks or otherwise when advised by groomer. This breed cannot be bathed as a normal coated dog due to the knotting and matting in the coat. Special steps are required in order to dry these knots and mats out properly to avoid any skin and health issues from developing.

Special Notes

Please note that the Bergamasco is not a breed for everybody. This breed requires a farmland living situation only, with a lot of land to roam on safely. Please fully educate yourself about this breed prior to adding one to your family to ensure a life long commitment to your new addition. Do not add this breed to your family unless you are able to provide life long physical and financial care. All dogs originate from wolves (Canis Lupus). Each breed of dog was originally created by mixing different breeds together in an effort to bring forth certain characteristics. Once a breeder has created acceptable “breed characteristics” within their bloodline and these “breed characteristics” have shown to be reliably reproduced in the offspring for three (3) generations, the bloodline may be upgraded from the category of “foundation stock” to “pure-bred”. The same “pure-bred” breed standards vary from different continents, countries, territories, regions, breed clubs, and canine pure-breed registries depending on the goals of their breeders. Dog DNA testing companies can have accurate results for a specific bloodline of a small colony of dogs. However, there are tens of thousands of different bloodlines in the world which have not yet been tested for marker baseline results by Dog DNA testing companies as of 2017. For this reason Dog DNA testing companies do not guarantee the 100% accuracy of their breed lineage results and will also show different marker results for the same pure-bred breed in different continents, countries, territories, regions, breed clubs, and canine pure-breed registries depending on the goals of their breeders.

© 2017 American Canine Association, Inc.