Originating in Persia, the Bergamasco is an ancient shepherding breed. They were developed to be self-reliant and are extremely intelligent. The breed nearly became extinct after World War II, but was revived by Dr. Maria Andreoli, an Italian breeder and scientist. Bergamascos remain relatively rare, both in Italy and North America.
The most distinctive and unique feature of this breed is their coat. This dog breed is heavy-boned, muscular and strong. The breed is a true working breed that shows great commitment to any job they are given. They are of medium-size, physically strong and brave.
This dog breed is not advised for inexperienced or novice owners. They are loyal, gentle and highly protective of their family, home and territory. They get on well with dogs that they do not see as a threat and the pets they were raised with. The dogs are patient with children. This breed is cautious , distrustful and suspicious of strangers. The dog is always alert, focused, sensible and well-balanced.
This dog breed requires occasional brushing. The “cords” of the coat must be separated by hand and lightly brushed individually. Bathing should only be done when absolutely necessary as this dog takes an extremely long time to dry. This dog breed has no known health issues or concerns.
The Bergamasco’s coat consists of three different texture types: wool, goat and dog. These combine into felt like matting that cords and grows to reach the ground; wholly covering this breed like a curtain. The coat serves as protection from predators and weather conditions.
These dogs are independent and intelligent free-thinkers, who are never submissive. The Bergamasco was bred to solve problems on their own, and needs to understand the commands they are given. When the breed shows submissive behavior it is to display affection, rather than true submission. This breed does not respond well to harsh or heavy-handed training methods. Training must be done with respect, firmness, fairness and consistency.
This dog breed is best suited to colder climates. The Bergamasco is not suited to apartment or city dwelling. They do best in a country setting where they have room to roam and a job to do.