Bergamasco Sheepdog

Country of origin: Italy
Registries: AKC FSS, UKC
Occupation: Livestock
Size: 22 to 25 in tall; 60 to
85 lbs
Longevity: 12 to 14 years
Exercise: Moderate
Training: Easy; compliance is
Grooming: Long, corded coat

The Bergamasco should be a medium size dog, well proportioned and harmonious having a rustic appearance. It is a solidly compact dog with a strong, powerful build that gives it great resistance without taking away any of its agility and speed of movement. Males weigh 32–38 kilograms (71–84 lb) and females weigh 26–32 kilograms (57–71 lb). Their height is around 54–62 centimetres (21–24 in) and the life expectancy is 13-15 years.


The Bergamasco dog is a herding dog that migrated up and down through various regions. The origins of this dog’s predecessors are dated back thousands of years in the area of Iran. Eventually they travelled all around through mountainous regions and landed in the region of Italian Alps. These dogs stayed in Italy and thus where their origination fell near Bermasco.

The breed almost disappeared during the World War I era due to a supply and demand fall for shepherds and dogs with wool. With the help of a scientist by the name of Dr. Maria Andreoli, this breed was restored. She took it upon herself to baby this breed back to health and popularity. She did so by studying its genetics and then breeding consistently for 40 years.

The Bergamasco was accepted by the AKC in 2015.


The Bergamasco is known for its social and independent personality traits. They were bred to be independent and intelligent through the use of one on one herding. It was a more intimate relationship with fewer dogs and a single human. They needed to establish a bond together and soon after, they learned to be self-controlled and could figure things out on their own. This was great when the herders needed to work independently.

Outside of the herding duties, they are great family dogs. They form a bond with each person in the family and never feel as if they are alpha over them. They are very patient and deem themselves equals over their human counterparts.

They have the ability to somewhat predict if anything undesirable is going to happen. With their keen sense of hearing and the claims that they have somewhat of a psychic way of thinking that helps when an attack is imminent.


Bergamascos are unique in appearance because of their wild coat. Some may compare them to that of the famous Bob Marley, but trust me, it’s very handy that their hair is the way it is. Their hair has a striking likliness to dreads. It is thick and composed of three different types: goat hair, wooly hair, and dog hair. They are usually found in two colors, which are black and gray. Sometimes they can have black markings or patches.

Their coat is rough and very thick to protect them from elements in the regions they come from. The hair in their face is halted near their eyes by long eyelashes so that they can still see. The reason they are like this is to protect their eyes from the bright reflection of sunshine meeting the snow. The hair around their body and legs is loosely matted to protect from predators and other environmental factors.

They are large dogs weighing in at 50 lbs to 84 lbs, with males being significantly larger. Don’t be fooled, it isn’t fat despite the illusion their hair gives off. The only heavy thing about them are their bones. They are all muscle underneath their long locks of fur. They do not have the fat they are perceived to have because they are athletic dogs. They are typically 22 inches to 23.5 inches tall.


Despite what one would think about special grooming routines, it is fairly easy to maintain the coat of a Bergamasco. Once they reach their first birthday, it will be necessary to start the matting process by pulling apart their hairs. After they are a year old, there will be minimal grooming as they hardly shed and will not need to be brushed. They will require a maximum of three annual baths. Their nails will need to be clipped every so often to avoid cracking due to speedy growth.

Bergamascos love to play outside and have silly fun. They do not require a lot of exercise but should be exercised nonetheless when possible. They are energetic so it actually helps them.



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