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Bergamo shepherd dog ( Bergamasco, cane de pastore bergamasco )
( Cane de pastore bergamasco, Bergamasco, Bergamaschi, Bergamese Shepherd)

Standard:FCI№ 194.

Belongs to the group:Sheepdog >> Shepherd dogs.


DESCRIPTION. A mobile, strong dog. Height at the withers 56-61 cm, weight 26-38 kg. The coat is plentiful, long, falling into ropes. Color - various shades of dark gray, including salt and pepper.

General form. The Bergamo Shepherd Dog is a strong dog of medium height, proportionately folded, square format, evenly coated with a thick and long wool, reminiscent of felt.

Movement. Lightweight, free, with a large capture of space.

Height at the withers. Males 58-62 cm, females 54-58 cm, male weight 32-38 kg, females 26-32 kg

Head. Elongated, equal to 4/10 of the height at the withers. The length of the forehead and face are the same. The skull is wide, slightly rounded. The occipital protuberance is pronounced. Scissor bite

Eyes. Large, dark in color.

The ears. High set, - light, hanging on the cartilage, small, triangular in shape.

Neck. Much shorter than the head, with a pronounced scruff.

Torso. The back is straight, the lower back is slightly convex, the croup is wide, slightly sloping. Chest in depth equal to half the height at the withers, roomy.

Paws Oval in shape, with well-arched fingers. The tail is saber.

Wool. This is the main feature of the breed: shaggy, as it grows, it is twisted into uniform cords or strayed into “cakes”, covering the entire dog with a continuous shell. On the body, the coat is rather coarse and greasy to the touch, reminiscent of a goat. Cords hanging from the back, depending on the age of the dog, can reach the ground. The hair on the head is shorter, but the locks cover the eyes, ears and face of the dog.

Color. Gray-gray solid or spotty-marble of various shades, black is permissible if it is matte, there may be reddish or isabella marks.

HISTORY. Another name is bergamasco.

According to some reports, the breed, known since ancient times, is related to eastern shepherd dogs and came to Northern Italy (Bergamo area) with wandering Phoenicians. A description of a similar (with wool huddled in rope) shepherd is found 2 thousand years ago by Roman writers. Such wool serves as a heat insulator, and also protects the dog from the teeth of a predator, characteristic of shepherds in the mountains of northern Italy.

CHARACTERISTIC. An ideal shepherd dog, hardy and quick-witted. It is famous for its unusual instinct.

Bergamasco (Bergamo Shepherd)

The Bergamo Shepherd (Cane de pastore bergamasco, Bergamasco, Bergamaschi, Bergamese shepherd) is one of the most unusual breeds of shepherd. The origin of it, like all breeds of shepherd dogs, cannot be precisely determined, but the basic hypotheses explaining the origin of the group of shepherds, which have already become generally accepted, can naturally be attributed to this breed.

Brief historical background:
Bergamo shepherd (Cane da pastore bergamasco) - an ancient Italian shepherd breed from the province Bergamo. The breed is widespread in the Italian Alps, mainly in the valleys where sheep breeding is developed: in the basin of the Po - Pye'monte and Lombardy rivers, where shepherds descend with flocks of sheep for the winter.

Their long shaggy coat amazes them, saying that these shepherd dogs have adapted to the harsh conditions in which they have to work. Unlike the shaggy wool of pulley and Komondor the bergamo dog has patches of smooth coatformed not always by themselves. At the age of nine months, all of the dog’s hair begins to fall off, but there should be undulation on the front of the hull (goat hair), as required by the standard, so the head, chest and scruff should be constantly combed. If the hair on the remaining parts of the body has fallen over the course of the year, it is trimmed according to a certain pattern in order to give the dogs the appropriate look.

In the future, the wool does not require special care, and also does not fade. Cosmas of wool in Bergamo dogs are located like a roof tile, so during rain they practically do not get wet.

Breed characteristics:
Thanks to attentiveness, understanding and poise, the breed is ideal for protecting sheep flocks. Friendliness, gentle character and patience allow her to become a wonderful domestic dog, and an impressive guardian guard. If you start training early, you don’t have to go over the stubbornness that is often characteristic of these shepherds.

Maintenance and care:
For urban conditions, the Bergamo shepherd is not suitable. Dogs need to move a lot, run in the open. Wool requires special care: it is necessary to disassemble it with your fingers so that it does not fall into lumps, but hangs with cords.

Shepherd dog, herd dog, guard dog, rescue dog, companion dog.

It looks very massive. The skull is wide, voluminous. The superciliary arches are well developed. Marked transition from forehead to muzzle. The muzzle itself is quite short. The nose is large.

Large, oval shaped. Hazel colors, their hue depends on the tone of the overall color. Around the eyes are black rims. Eyes hide long overhanging strands of wool.

The ears:
Triangular shape. Soft, hanging.

Square format. Without suspension on the neck. The chest is wide and deep. The back is straight, muscular. The loin is short, strong. The croup is wide, sloping, muscular.

The front ones are strong. Hind - with strong bones, muscular. Narrow hare paws. Arched fingers in a lump.

Thick and strong at the base, flat out by the end. A saber-shaped, in a calm state is lowered down. It is covered with slightly wavy shaggy hair.

On the front of the hull, the wool is very long and stiff, goat type, on the rest of it is twisted into cords. The undercoat is thick, soft.

Gray interspersed with black, fawn or white. Plain black (but not white) color and the presence of white spots, occupying no more than 1/5 of the body area, are allowed.

Height at the withers:
Males: 58 - 62cm. Bitches: 54 - 58 cm.

Males: 32 - 38 kg. Bitches: 26 - 32 kg.

Brief characteristics of the dog

  • Other possible names: Bergamo Shepherd Dog, Bergamasco, Bergamos Shepherd Dog, Cane da Pastore Bergam-asco, Bergamese Shepherd, Bergermaschi, Bergamasco Shepherd Dog.
  • Adult Growth: 56-60 cm.
  • Weight: 32-40 kg.
  • Characteristic color: all shades of gray. White and black are not allowed.
  • Wool Length: long, dense, with dense undercoat, rolled up in plaits.
  • Life span: an average of 12 to 15 years.
  • Advantages of the breed: loyal, smart, friendly, calm, hardy.
  • The complexity of the breed: lazy.
  • Average price: from $ 1000.

History of breed origin

Bergamo Shepherd Dog - a shepherd dog whose ancestors appeared in the Alps a few millennia ago. It is believed that their ancestors were Tibetan mastiffs, who got there with the merchants. These hardy large dogs naturally interbreed with local breeds.

Despite its thousand-year history, international dog breeders associations, including FCI, officially recognized the breed and published the standard only in 1992.

Purpose of the breed

Bergamasco is a born shepherds who alone can protect a flock of hundreds of sheep. Their body is covered with thick wool, which not only serves as a thermostat, but also helps to avoid deadly wolf attacks. These dogs are already at the genetic level accustomed to be close to the person and serve him faithful companion and protector.

Description of the character of the breed Bergamo Shepherd

The main quality of this breed is its unlimited devotion to man. By the nature of their activities, Bergamasco are used to following it on the heels, for months alone with the owner in the valleys of the Alps. You need to be prepared for the fact that this dog will become your second shadow. But they do it unobtrusively and will not be confused under your feet.

They clearly show their shepherd skills in relation to children, becoming for them an impeccable gentle and caring nanny. You can fearlessly entrust your baby to her and be completely sure that he is under reliable guardianship and protection. Bergamasco has the same attitude towards pets that live with them in the same house.

As for the house, such a dog will feel much better in a country estate than in the cramped walls of a city apartment.

These dogs are very friendly, balanced and calm. And to some extent, even lazy, despite their stamina and performance. They will not rush about during the walks in the park, and when playing with a ball or stick they will re-run only if there is good motivation for this as a treat or praise.

But bergamasco with great pleasure will keep you company during a leisurely walk, and the highest pleasure for them is just to lie down at the feet of the owner.
These dogs are very smart and have a good memory. They can be trained quite quickly with all the necessary commands.

How to choose a Bergamasco puppy

It is better to get a puppy of this breed. not before he turns three months oldsince Bergamasco babies need more time than many other breeds to mature physically and psychologically.

A considerable amount will have to be paid for the puppy, and to be sure of the cleanliness and normal condition of the pet, it is better to contact the kennel for a purchase. There you can meet the puppy's parents, as well as get a number of recommendations on its further maintenance and get support for a long time.

Puppy's health is determined according to the following indicators:

  • shiny, slightly wavy coat,
  • clean skin without irritation
  • clean, odorless ears
  • clear, not sour eyes
  • firm, confident gait, without limp,
  • soft stomach
  • pink, but not pale gums, which may indicate that the puppy has worms,
  • smooth, unobstructed breathing, which can mean heart problems.

Be sure to pay attention to in what conditions are dogs kept. If it is a clean and bright room, it means that the litter is treated accordingly.
Take a look at the puppy’s veterinary passport. There should be marks on vaccinations and anthelmintic prevention. And in the registration card (metric) the breed mark number should correspond to the data printed in the area of ​​the ear or groin.

Dog names

If you look at his metric when buying a puppy, you will see that a pedigree name has already been assigned and entered, which will always appear in the official documentation. But new owners do not always like it, and they give pets their home nickname.

Such a shaggy miracle, like bergamasco, I want to call something unusual, for example Leshiy, Zhurcha, Diger, Knop, Limba or Dietrich.
The main thing is that you like the name, and it is easy for the dog to perceive and remember it.

Care and maintenance

Oddly enough, but the dreadlocks informal bergamasco do not require special care. It’s better not to touch them at all, because if they get loose, they will turn into shapeless shreds that resemble tow. In this case, there will be only one way to put the dog in order - to cut it. By the way, sometimes owners who live in areas with a hot climate do this. As a rule, in such a dog, only the top of the head, covered with short hair, is combed.

Another important point in hair care is the treatment of fleas, ticks and other parasites.

You should regularly clean your pet’s ears and examine them for illnesses. And also periodically cut the claws, if the dog does not have time to grind them during walks. They can be uncomfortable and even pain when walking.

An ideal condition for keeping a bergamasco is a country house where the dog will feel freer than in the city. But, since she does not need active walks, this breed can also be suitable for an apartment. In this case, you should teach your pet to ask outside if necessary.

Bergamo shepherd hard to tolerate heat. But in the cold season, she feels excellent, thanks to a thick coat and dense undercoat. Therefore, in the summer you need to provide the dog with enough water and, if necessary, cut the hair. But you need to consider that by winter it will not grow to its previous length, and it may not be very comfortable for the dog in frosts.

Possible health problems

Fortunately, the Bergamo Shepherd no hereditary diseases. In rare cases, joint dysplasia can occur, but this is a problem for all large breeds. It is recommended to be vigilant in relation to the skin of bergamasco, as diaper rash can appear due to the thick, poorly ventilated coat.

Like other dogs, the Bergamo shepherd is prone to viral diseases. Protect your pet by timely vaccination. Worm prevention is also important for a dog.

About the nutrition of a puppy and an adult dog

Bergamasco is not picky about food and does not suffer from food allergies. But due to a sedentary lifestyle, they may develop obesity. Therefore, it is important to observe the feeding regimen and control the amount of food.

As a rule, puppies have four or five meals a day, and it is enough to feed an adult dog twice a day. Accordingly, the serving size will become larger with age. In the heat, as well as in bitches during estrus, appetite drops, up to a temporary refusal of food.

In this case, they try to feed early in the morning or in the evening, when the heat subsides. At such times, an adult dog sometimes just needs one feeding or it is worth reducing the size.

A dog’s normal diet is considered to be its content not less than 30% protein. This can be veal, beef, turkey or chicken, as well as offal and sea fish. The carbohydrate part should be cereals and vegetables. Sometimes you can give cottage cheese, unsweetened yogurt or kefir.

Bergamasco can also be fed with dry or canned food. But in this case, it must be of good quality and filled with essential vitamins and minerals.
For the correct formation of the spine and improve digestion, it is recommended to purchase a special, adjustable stand under bowls with food and water.

Training in brief

Bergamasco is fairly quick and easy to learn. But you need to start training from an early age. These dogs have a very good memory and, in addition to everything, they always try to please the owner.

Sometimes have to be patient, since the Bergamo shepherd is quite lazy by nature. If she does not execute the command the first time, then this does not mean at all that she did not understand it, perhaps you have poorly motivated her or she does not need it at the moment.

Bergamian shepherd dog very smart. Through time, you will receive a docile and understanding dog.

Advantages and disadvantages of the Bergamo shepherd breed

Balanced Bergamasco have a calm, even slightly phlegmatic temperament.They equally faithfully serve the whole family, from which only children are singled out. These dogs have a special attitude, full of tenderness and care.

Thanks to good hearing, they are even at a distance capable of "grazing" their owners, catching the slightest extraneous rustle.

Highly developed intelligence, excellent memory. and a constant desire to please a person is made of a Bergamasco obedient student, quickly perceiving information. But at the same time, these dogs do not forget about their independence and love of freedom.

Despite its far outstanding appearance, bergamasco do not require complicated care. They practically do not fade, as the fallen off wool immediately rolls into unusual plaits. And also there is no need for hours of exhausting walking.

Bergamasco will become your faithful companion, which, if necessary, will always be on your defense.

Alexander Ivanovich:

I was lucky for seven years to be the owner of this miracle of nature. The dog has not only an interesting appearance, which always attracts the surprised looks of passers-by. She also has a wonderful character.

The very calm and measured. And some people can envy her mind. I highly recommend choosing this breed. Especially families where there are little children.

As well as people of the same age as my wife and I. It is a pleasure to walk with our darling in the park. And she is well and helpful to us.

We have long dreamed of such a breed and during our next trip to Europe we acquired our shag. I just love it. Absolutely does not cause any trouble. I would say that this is a perfection dog.

Grazing everything and everyone. And he does it unobtrusively and quietly, like a shadow. And our kids just get bored of him. And it looks like he is from them too. If you decide to take it or not, then take it without thinking.