The Bergamasco Shepherd Dog
|26 - 38 Kg (approx)
|12 Years (approx)
Information below provided by
Elke Blasche, Mungadel Bermascos
Bergamascos are an ancient breed of herding dog which originated in Asia, probably the Himalayan region. Nomadic shepherds travelled from Persia across the Alps into Europe, accompanied by their shaggy dogs which were invaluable because of their exceptional efficiency in leading and guarding their precious flocks.
As the nomads began to settle in different countries, their Bergamascos settled with them, creating pockets of individualisation, and they have virtually remained the same through the centuries. In the Italian Alps, the dogs became the Bergamascos, the Oftscharka in Russia, the Puli and Komodor in Hungary, the Briard and Bouvier in France.
After WWII, as there were fewer shepherds, Bergamascos were less in demand, which led to their partial extinction. In the early 1960s, an Italian geneticist by the name of Maria Andreoli created the Dell Albera Linage and made it her life’swork to save the Bergamasco.
The Bergamasco was bred to guide and guard the herd, a task for which he shows exemplary disposition thanks to his vigilance, concentration and psychological balance. His learning faculty and determination, combined with moderation and patience, make him also an excellent guard and companion dog.
Strong, sound and brave, the Bergamasco is very intelligent, balanced and above all a peaceful dog, yet intimidating once aroused but non-aggressive. As he establishes a close relationship with man, the Bergamasco needs to be treated as a friend, never a follower as it does not submit, but obeys to demonstrate affection and will not do well under harsh commands.
Patient, tolerant, attentive and protective, the Bergmasco is also great with children and are also used as therapy dogs for handicapped children. Above all, an ideal life companion.
The breed’s most distinctive feature is the unusual felted coat which is a normal and healthy characteristic of the breed, Its coat is characterized by three types of hair which is abundant and forms mats or flocks.
The Bergamascos are born with short, smooth fur, which slowly develops the characteristic mats or flocks as the dog grows. These flocks start forming from about 12 months up to 2 years. The mats start from the spine and go down the flanks and will reach as low as the dog’s paws in adulthood.
The colour of the coat can be anything from gray or sliver gray to coal.