The Bergamasco is a mainland Europe herding/guarding breed there are very few in the UK and have a unique matted coat. At up to 25" and weighing up to 38kg they are a solid dog, powerfully made. An ancient breed, he probably arrived in Northern Italy where he has been worked for hundreds of years with nomadic herdsmen from Asia. Since World War II and growing industrialisation in the North of Italy where once great flocks of sheep grazed the Bergamasco has lost his role as a shepherd and his future lies with dedicated breeders.
As a guard and herder the Bergamsaco has an active, independent mind and does not respond readily to training; it is in his nature to be protective of the smaller members of the family and it is said by those who know him best that he has a wonderful affinity for children. The Bergamasco is highly protective of his family and very suspicious of strangers. In order to manage a strong breed with well-developed protective instincts it is essential that he is well-socialised as a puppy and his owner has a good understanding of him.
The Bergamasco has a tendency not to regard himself as dominated by a pack leader but more as a member of the family where his status is more of an equal; intelligent and cautious he makes an excellent guard and good family member for the right family. Not a dog for the novice owner.
Their coat is their most distinctive feature, which is warming in winter and cooling in summer, given a reasonably temperate climate. In his native Italy he would spend his winter on the plains with the flocks and drive them up to Alpine meadows during the summer so would not be exposed to excessive heat.
The coat has three types of hair; a short dense undercoat, a rough goat-like hair on the body and the woolly coat which forms the mats which grow throughout his life under floor-length. It is not corded like the Puli or Komondor but quite distinctly matted. The coat has a greasy feel and needs specialist care; the mats begin to form during late puppyhood and the breeder of your puppy will give you guidance on how to care for it. The colouring is grey in all its shades, black, isabella (fawn) and light fawn.
Click here to read the Bergamasco Breed Standard.
Bergamasco Breed Clubs
BERGAMASCO CLUB OF GREAT BRITAIN. Sec. Mr S Band. Tel No: 01344 884137
Bergamasco Rescue and Rehoming
Contact the Breed Club. They should be able to give you information about dogs requiring homes and procedures for re-homing; if you are in the unfortunate position of having to re-home your own Bergamasco, please go through breed rescue. They will not be judgmental and are best able to find the right permanent home for him.
Currently we have no breeders listed.
Puppies and dog breeders have moved to our newly re-designed Puppyfinder website where we have full page advertisements for puppies and the opportunity for breeders to have their own profile pages and blog. No designer breeds or puppy farmers, just breeders who care about their dogs as much as you do.
Ethical breeders are invited to register their kennel on Puppyfinder for just £10pa. This allows you to list litters, litters planned and stud dogs