Thursday, December 14, 2017

Unique Dog Breeds: Spotlight on the Bergamasco

February 10, 2010 by  
Filed under Unique Dog Breeds


Bergamasco Sheepdog - courtesy of BergamascoUSA

Breed: Bergamasco Sheepdog

AKC: FSS Herding Group

Size: 22” – 24” inches high

Weight: 57-80 pounds




The Bergamasco breed is a dog with a unique twist on appearance.  Quite frankly Bob Marley’s dreadlocks would be extremely jealous of the coiffure sported by this rare breed!  So what is a Bergamasco and why the revolutionary hairdo?

The breed traces it’s origins back nearly 7,000 years to Persia; a hardy and vigorous dog tending and herding flocks of sheep in harsh mountain climates with their nomadic masters.  Some of these nomads settled in the Italian Alps and today that dog is known as the Bergamasco Shepherd Dog, Bergamaschi Herder, Italian Bergama Sheepdog and the Cane da pastore Bergamasco.

This medium size breed is highly intelligent, very social and able to develop independent close relationships with all members of a household.  They have very acute hearing and an almost sixth sense regarding their environment, predicting approaching visitors or violent behavior.  Underneath that lavish coat they are actually a trim, agile and athletic dog. 

Adult Bergamasco Sheepdog

Physical characteristics include long thin ears, a long tail, black nose and brown colored eyes.  Their upper eyelashes are extremely long which keeps the hair that falls from their forehead out of their eyes.  This curtain of hair from their forehead is to protect the eyes from snow blindness.


Bergamasco PuppyBut the most striking feature of the Bergamasco is it’s matted coat!  The coat is basically three kinds of hair; a short dense fine textured undercoat, a long straight “goat” hair rough in texture, and an outer “wooly” coat which combine to form felt like mats. Bergamasco puppies look nothing like adult dogs and sport a soft fluffy coat.  At a year old the coat is hand “ripped” into mats by the owner.  The mats will stay separated, eBergamascoTeenagers-courtesy of BergamascoUSAventually touching the ground by the age of 5 or 6 years.  The matted coat protects the dog from the cold and wet, allowing the Bergamasco to tolerate extended outdoor periods in harsh weather.  The coat coloring is usually grey to black.  Despite the look of being a high maintena nce coat little brushing is needed, bathing required 1 to 3 times a year.    


The breed is usually quite healthy with a life span of 13 – 15 years.


 Want mBook on the Bergamasco Dog Breedore information on the Bergamasco?  Order your copy of “Bergamasco (Comprehensive Owner’s Guide)“.  You can also visit the Bergamasco Sheepdog Club of America  for detailed information about the coat and the unique breed history.  To learn more about FSS visit the American Kennel Club


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25 Responses to “Unique Dog Breeds: Spotlight on the Bergamasco”
  1. Mary Campbell says:

    Wow! What a unique dog. But the coat does look like a lot of work despite what the web site you linked to says about the upkeep. Looking forward to seeing more unique dogs.

  2. Labady says:

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  3. Jameson says:

    Hello Labady,
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    Jameson P. Keagan

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  7. The Boys says:

    Hi William H.,
    Put me down for a pound on the hound! The boys and me checked in on your site, love the colors! Do you take dog biscuits?
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    Jameson, O’Riley and the Murphs

  8. Catherin K. says:

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  9. Jameson says:

    Catherin K.,
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  10. Kathlyn E. says:

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  11. Jameson says:

    Dear Kathlyn E.
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  12. Jettie C. says:

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  13. Jameson says:

    Hey there Jettie C.
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  14. Krogmann says:

    I really like your writing style, excellent information, thankyou for putting up : D.

  15. admin says:

    Dear Krogmann;
    Now that name is as unique as the Bergamasco name. Thanks for coming by.

  16. Carson G. says:

    One of these days I will make a blog like Unique Dog Breeds: Spotlight on the Bergamasco | doggies on board. I still have a way to go, and certainly don’t yet get the traffic you seem to get. If you find the time, please give me some feedback. as I know it needs a tune up. Nice site, sincerely, Carson G.

  17. admin says:

    Hi there Carson,
    Appreciate your comments, and the boys and me just hopped in on your site for a visit. It’s got a nice look, easy to navigate. Like all of us just keep pluggin away, tweek here and tweek there till you like the looks.
    Jameson, Oriley and Murphy

  18. Valentine Ripp says:

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  19. Jameson says:

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  20. Keaton S. says:

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  21. Jameson says:

    Glad you like the site Keaton. Having doggies on board can keep life interesting………

  22. Langford says:

    saludos desde peru.

    (translation: Greetings from Peru.)

  23. Jameson says:

    Hola Perú,
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    Jameson P. Keagan

    (Translation: Hello Peru, Any unique dog breeds down your way. Thanks for checking out our web site!)

  24. vlc m. says:

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  25. Jameson P. Keagan says:

    A shout out back at Vic!
    Hello there partner……them are mighty fine words and the boys want to thank ya’all for taking the time to say so.
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    I’ll be pounding my little doggies back on the typewriter now.
    Jameson P.

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