The Bergamasco Shepherd is a friendly dog breed known for its intelligence. Athletic and with a beautiful coat, it is a reliable and protective creature. Here’s all you need to know about this dog breed:
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Bergamasco Shepherd Appearance
The Bergamasco is a powerful, large breed that originates from north Italy. The coat of this breed is what makes it different from others, which is long and covers its eyes. This dog has feathered ears. It might not look strong, but this breed is very athletic.
The coat of the Bergamasco is made up of three hairs, called the dog hair (or undercoat), goat hair and a woolly outer coat. The undercoat is thick, short and slightly oily. This coating protects the skin of the dog. This breed is available in shades of black, silver and gray. The puppies are usually born dark and lighten with age.
The male dog stands at 23 and a half inches, whereas the female dog is 22 inches tall. The male dog weighs between 70 and 85 pounds, whereas the female dog weights between 60 and 70 pounds. At a younger age, this breed is very active.
Bergamasco Shepherd Grooming
As the dog turns a year old, the goat and wool hair start to appear. When this happens, the coat has to be ripped into mats, which can take a few hours but only need to be done once.
Grooming the Bergamasco doesn’t require a lot of effort. The Bergamasco doesn’t shed and doesn’t require brushing. Hence, this dog breed is a good choice for those who have allergies as they don’t shed.
Furthermore, it needs to be washed only once or twice a year. However, the nails of the Bergamasco have to be trimmed on a regular basis. This breed tends to take care of itself.
When it turns a year old, different textures of hair start to appear. Brushing is not required, and the Bergamasco’s natural state is appreciated. Attention to the coat is paid during the transitional period. During this period, the mats start to form which makes the breed look unattractive.
Bergamasco Shepherd Temperament
This dog breed is smart but not submissive. It likes to do things its own way and is an independent thinker. It divides its time among all family members rather than sticking to just one person. It is a loyal and protective animal that is suspicious of strangers. This breed has a reputation for being dominating, especially around other dogs. Overall, it is an affectionate creature that makes a perfect house dog.
The Bergamasco has a calm nature and isn’t destructive. It hardly barks and when it does, it’s when it senses danger. The patience it holds makes it a good pet that is gentle around children. This breed has good hearing as well and is quite alert. It is very protective but not aggressive.
Bergamasco Shepherd Training
The Bergamasco is a large dog that will need lots of exercise. Exercise will help it remain healthy and happy. It loves participating in outdoor activities and enjoying games such as fetch and Frisbee. This dog is best suited for energetic households as it loves long walks. Plus, its huge size doesn’t make it suitable to be kept in apartments.
Bergamasco is an obedient and bright dog that will establish a good bond with its owner. However, don’t expect it to follow your orders completely. This dog breed requires answers from you and wants to know why it is told to do a certain act. Once satisfied, it will get along with you just fine without misbehaving.
It isn’t a good idea to use harsh words or treatment to train this breed. Positive reinforcement is all that is required to make this dog obey you.
It is a quick learner and well-behaved. Exercise is a must to keep this breed happy or else will get bored.
Bergamasco Shepherd History
The roots of this dog breed have a link with the Middle East where it was a sheep herding dog. It used to help its owners move their flocks. Later, in search of greener pastures, these people moved toward the west with some settling in the Italian Alps. The dogs and flocks came with them. It was of great value to the people who realized its importance.
When it came to flock control, the Bergamasco was perfect. It was a courageous dog that protected the flocks. After World War II, the Bergamasco was almost extinct, but due to doctors, it continued to survive. A club in 1996 was formed by this breed’s name and it was in the 90s that this breed was imported to the US. To date, the breed is low in numbers but growing as breeding programs are being set up.
The Bergamasco was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1995 and serves as a therapy dog. The breed also competes in sporting events.
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