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Bergamasco Dog Breed Profile

Bergamasco

General
Other Names
Cane de Pastore, Bergamasco, Bergamese Shepherd 
Dog Group Kennel Club
Pastoral 
Breed Classification
Bergamascos belong to the pastoral group and are long-time sheep-herding dogs. They are also used as guard dogs and are now being seen as companion dogs and in the show ring. 
Cost of Ownership
Average Food Cost
£7.50-10 per week
Feeding Requirements
Feeding costs are average for a dog of this size. 
Other Expenses
The cost of a puppy will range from £700 - £1000. 
Average Puppy Price
>£800 
Lifespan
9 - 15 years
On average Bergamascos will live between 11 to 13 years of age, but it is not unusual for them to live up to 16 years. 
Average Litter Size
The average number of puppies in a litter is between 6 - 10. 
General Physical Description
These medium-sized dogs are powerfully constructed and square in shape. Their most distinctive feature is their double coats, which are abundant and harsh and tend to form loose matts or strands from the top of their bodies downwards. The coats can be greasy to the touch. The front section of the coat is composed of rough, wiry hair, whilst the back portion is more of a woolly consistency.
Height Min Max
Bitch 56cm (22") 56cm (22")
Dog 60cm (24") 60cm (24")
Weight Min Max
Bitch 26kg (57lbs) 32kg (71lbs)
Dog 32kg (71lbs) 38kg (84lbs)
Size Category
Medium 
Weight Height Range
Bitches measure 56cms at the withers and weigh between 26 – 32kgs. Dogs measure 60cms at the withers and weigh between 32 – 38kgs. 
Ailments
This is a healthy breed with no inherited problems being known. 
Common Ailments
 
Susceptibility To Illness
Low 
Other
History
This type of dog has been known since antiquity. Unfortunately, there is little definitive information known about this breed’s origins. Bergamascos have very likely contributed to the Briards’, Polish Lowland Sheepdogs’ and Bouvier des Flandres’ breeding but their own composition remains rather obscure. It is thought that the Phoenicians, the ancient world-over traders, brought their ancestors to Italy in their bartering existence and that the breed progressed from there. It is assumed that the breed originally came from the Bergamo region near Milan.  
Intelligence
This is not a difficult breed to train, as they are intelligent dogs. They can be independent though, so consistency is important. Early socialisation as puppies is also important.< 
Show Characteristics
Bergamascos should have a broad skull with a rounded forehead and high-set ears which are triangular in shape. Their eyes should be oval, large, dark and chestnut in colour but that depends on the colour of the coat. The eye rims should be black and tight-fitting with long lashes to keep the hair back from their eyes. The neck should be strong and well-arched with no dewlap and densely coated joining back in a gentle slope to high set withers.The forelegs should be straight with strong bone and muscle and the hindquarters long and wide with a well-muscled upper thigh and fairly high set hocks. They should be straight when viewed from behind. The depth of the body should be half the height at the withers with a broad back and well-sprung ribs, straight topline and sloping croup. The feet should be oval with well-closed and arched toes. The tail should be strong at the root, tapering towards the tip.  
Country Of Origin
Italy 
Famous Examples
 
Records Held
 
Characteristics
Energy
Medium 
Overall Exercise
100 - 120 minutes per day.
This breed does require a reasonable amount of exercise with regular walks. However, if given a large, well-fenced area, they will take care of their own exercise needs. 
Distress if Left Alone
Medium 
Personal Protection
High 
Guard Dog Suitability
High 
Risk of Sheep Worrying
High 
Tendency to Bark
High 
Medium 
Level of Aggression
Low 
Compatibility With Other Animals
Medium 
Suitable For Children

High 

General Character And Temperament
This is a well-balanced, patient and calm breed, which loves to work. They are independent, alert and brave and bond very closely with the family. They have a tendency to protect the children in the household and make first class guard dogs. Provided they have been correctly socialised as puppies, they will get on with other dogs and household pets. They can be somewhat reserved with strangers. 
Grooming
Coat Length
Corded/Woolly 
Grooming Requirement
> Once a week 
Trimming
Occassional 
Requires Professional Groomer
 
Grooming
The coat does not need brushing or combing, particularly when young, as the flocks must form. This can happen from six months onwards. They should be split by hand down to the skin. Regular baths are essential and it does take up to two days to dry naturally. 
Colour
The coats can be solid grey or black, or with patches of any shade of grey through to black. White markings, isabella and light fawn are also seen. 
Shedding
Little 
Suffers From Allergies
 
Tendency to Cause Allergies
 

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