Bergamasco Shepherd - Dog Breed Info, Temperament & Facts


The Bergamasco Shepherd is a unique dog breed known for their intelligence, independence, and herding skills. One of their most notable features is their felted coat, which has been a characteristic of the breed for over 2000 years. Originating in Persia, the shepherds who bred these dogs kept their origins a secret, likely because they wanted a guard dog that could protect them and the sheep without much guidance. The Bergamasco’s intelligence was evident as they were able to figure out the best herding techniques on their own. This breed has maintained its kind, wise, and proud nature throughout the years and is still used for herding and competing in dog competitions.

In addition to their herding abilities, Bergamasco dogs make excellent family pets and companions. They are known for their exceptional intelligence and are often chosen by individuals with allergies or those who prefer a dog that doesn’t shed excessively. Their unique felted coat also contributes to their appeal, as it requires minimal grooming and maintenance. Overall, the Bergamasco Shepherd is a special breed with a pure heart and remarkable qualities that continue to make them popular in various roles, from herding to being a beloved family pet.

Ahead, we look at Bergamasco Shepherd dog breed, its history, personality, pros and cons of owning an Bergamasco Shepherd, characteristics, and must-know facts. We will also examine how to care for this breed and more. Prepare for a tail-wagging adventure into the world of Bergamasco Shepherds!

Dog Breed Bergamasco Shepherd
Weight 57-71 lbs (average)
Height 21-23″ (average)
Location Persia
Ancestry sheepdogs, cattle dogs
Date of Origin ancient times
Group Herding
Life Expectancy
Family Canidae
Scientific Name Canis Lupus Familiaris

📖 Breed History

Because the Bergamasco is an ancient breed, its origins in Persia (now Iran) are not well-documented. The nomadic shepherds who brought the breed to Europe eventually settled in the Italian Alps, giving the breed its name from the region of Bergamo. Unlike other sheepdogs, the Bergamasco had a unique relationship with their owners. They didn’t require specific commands or cues to herd and protect sheep; they learned to do so in their own way. This made them intelligent companions for the shepherds, who appreciated their ability to think for themselves and problem solve. The Bergamasco’s intelligence makes them suitable for various roles, including as show dogs, working companions, and family pets.

Despite the breed’s exceptional qualities, the Bergamasco faced near-extinction after World War II. The decline in wool production during the Great Depression led to a reduced need for shepherding dogs. However, thanks to the dedication of Italian breeder Dr. Maria Andreoli, the breed was saved. Dr. Andreoli worked tirelessly to revive the breed and establish reliable bloodlines that would carry on for generations. As a result of her efforts, the Bergamasco breed has successfully been developed in the United States.

🐕 Bergamasco Shepherd Appearance

This dreadlocked coat, which serves as the Bergamasco’s signature feature, is made up of several different parts. The Bergamasco coat is created to defend it from all types of weather and provide sun protection. It is made of three distinct types of hair, including dog hair, goat hair, and wool. The fur is soft and somewhat curled when the animal is a puppy; dreadlocks are not present. However, the hair will eventually start to spread out and reach the flocking stage (which takes around 8 to 9 months). The soft undercoat, which acts as a waterproof layer, the goat hair, which are long strands that feel like a goat’s hair, and the woolly top coat, which is incredibly delicate to the touch, all start to mix at this time. When the thin top coat and the goat hair start to intertwine, flocking occurs. This will happen up to the age of two, after which it will merely keep growing till it touches the ground. Once flocking has started, the owner will need to help the pet ‘feel’ the coat by separating the strands; you can enlist the assistance of a groomer or the breeder for this task. A Bergamasco often comes in black, grey, or a silvery blend of all three hues. Their black eyes are covered by a hair fringe that hangs over their eyes. The purpose of this fringe is to protect their eyes from the sun’s harsh glare off the mountains’ snow while yet allowing them to see well.

👀 Eye Color Brown
🐽 Nose Color Black
🐕 Coat Color Black, Gray, Silver

Fun Fact:

🐶 Traits & Temperament of Bergamasco Shepherd

It’s a pleasure to have a Bergamasco sheepdog around the house. They have a kind, considerate disposition that is in no way aggressive. This specific breed could be a little shy of strangers and unfamiliar individuals, but once they get to know the person, there is absolutely no problem. Surprisingly for a herder, the Bergamasco is not a highly energetic dog and does not have any particular exercise requirements. They can be trained to some extent and are eager to please. It is crucial to keep in mind that the nomadic shepherds respected the Bergamasco’s inherent independence and did nothing to change it. Therefore, even though your Bergamasco will try to win your approval, he will probably want to go about in his own way. The Bergamasco could be the breed for you if you’re searching for a low-maintenance, sociable, hypoallergenic dog that gets along well with children and adults of all ages. Bergamascos frequently get hip dysplasia. To prevent exorbitant veterinarian care costs, get pet health insurance right now. Presented to you by Wag Pet Insurance! Pet owners may compare insurance packages from top providers like FIGO and Nationwide using Wellness. With only a few clicks, find your pet’s “pawfect” plan!

🤝 Are Bergamasco Shepherds Friendly or Aggressive?

🐩 Bergamasco Shepherd Care & Maintenance

While the complexity of the Bergamasco coat may appear intimidating to beginners, once the mats are in place, it isn’t that difficult to maintain. There is no need to brush, and bathing only needs to be done one to three times a year. There is no need to fear about ruining up your dog’s flock since once the mats are embedded in the hair, nothing can remove them. Avoid shaving or clipping your Bergamasco’s coat excessively short; when this is done, the flock takes a very long time to grow back, and the hair almost always grows back tangled and unkempt. The Bergamasco’s coat may be cut to 4 to 5 inches if you need to trim your dog’s coat or want a sportier appearance. This will guarantee that there is enough fur remaining for the coat to serve its purpose of shielding the dog from the elements and controlling body temperature.

🍖 Food: We recommend 3 cups daily, costing you about $1.50 – $1.90 daily, or approximately $39.00 – $52.00 a month.

🐾 Exercise:

This dog breed requires to be walked for roughly 5 miles per week, which equates to about 30 minutes of physical activity daily. This consistent moderate exercise regimen will help maintain their physical wellness and significantly contribute to their mental stimulation. Consciously setting aside this time for your furry friend can dramatically enhance their life quality, helping them stay energetic, healthy, and mentally alert.

Did you know:

❤️‍🩹 Bergamasco Shepherd Health & Issues

Some of the major concerns for Bergamasco Shepherd Dog Breed can be:

  • Usually A Very Healthy Breed

While minor concerns include:

  • Hip And Elbow Dysplasia

🤧 Important: Is Bergamasco Shepherd hypoallergenic? .

Bonus: Check out cool, creative, and funny names for Bergamasco Shepherd.

⚡ Bergamasco Shepherd Dog Breed Facts

What makes the Bergamasco Shepherd a great choice for families with young children?
The Bergamasco Shepherd is a great choice for families with young children because they have a gentle and attentive personality. They are not aggressive and are known to be good with kids of all ages.

Is the Bergamasco Shepherd breed considered a suitable breed for apartment living?
The Bergamasco Shepherd breed can be suitable for apartment living as they are not a very active breed and do not have specific exercise needs. However, it is important to provide them with regular exercise to keep them mentally and physically stimulated.

How much exercise does a Bergamasco Shepherd require compared to other breeds?
Compared to other breeds, the Bergamasco Shepherd requires less exercise. They are not a very active breed and do not have high exercise needs. However, they still benefit from regular walks and mental stimulation.

Is the Bergamasco Shepherd breed known for being good with other pets?
The Bergamasco Shepherd breed is generally good with other pets. However, like with any breed, early socialization and proper introductions are important to ensure positive interactions.

What are other low-maintenance dog breeds similar to the Bergamasco Shepherd?
Other low-maintenance dog breeds similar to the Bergamasco Shepherd include the Bichon Frise and the Portuguese Water Dog. These breeds also have hypoallergenic coats and are known for being friendly and low-shedding.

What are the common health issues that Bergamasco Shepherds are prone to?
Bergamasco Shepherds are prone to Hip Dysplasia, which is a common health issue in this breed. Regular vet check-ups and proper care can help manage this condition.

Are Bergamasco Shepherds known to be easy to train compared to other breeds?
Bergamasco Shepherds are known to be intelligent and independent, which can make them a bit more challenging to train compared to some other breeds. However, with patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement, they can be trained successfully.

Are Bergamasco Shepherds more prone to separation anxiety compared to other breeds?
Bergamasco Shepherds, like many other breeds, can be prone to separation anxiety. They are a loyal and people-oriented breed, so they may experience distress when left alone for long periods of time.

Are there any dog breeds similar to the Bergamasco Shepherd that are suitable for people with allergies?
Yes, there are other dog breeds similar to the Bergamasco Shepherd that are suitable for people with allergies. Some examples include the Poodle, the Portuguese Water Dog, and the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier.

What sizes of dogs similar to the Bergamasco Shepherd are best for individuals or families with limited space?
Smaller-sized dogs similar to the Bergamasco Shepherd, such as the Bichon Frise and the Cocker Spaniel, are best for individuals or families with limited space. These breeds are known for their adaptability to apartment living.

Is the Bergamasco Shepherd breed known to be good with children with special needs?
The Bergamasco Shepherd breed is generally good with children, including those with special needs. However, as with any interaction between dogs and children, supervision and teaching children how to properly interact with dogs is important.

How does the grooming and shedding needs of the Bergamasco Shepherd?
The grooming needs of the Bergamasco Shepherd are unique due to their felted coat. Once the mats have been set, no brushing is required, but bathing should occur around 1 to 3 times a year. Their coat can be trimmed to a sportier look but should not be shaved extremely short. Compared to other breeds, the Bergamasco Shepherd’s grooming needs are relatively low. They are also known for being hypoallergenic and low-shedding, making them a good choice for those with allergies.

We use reliable and publicly available data and resources such as AKC and American Canine Registry to ensure that Bergamasco Shepherd dog breed information is accurate and up to date. If you spot an error, please don’t hesitate to bring it to our attention.

Max Kozinskiy
Max Kozinskiy
Max Kozinskiy is a seasoned writer and an enthusiast of dog breed expertise. Having dedicated over 5 years to studying the intricacies of different dog breeds and their unique characteristics. His profound insights and love for our four-legged friends have made him an invaluable part of our team.


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