Bergamasco Shepherd: Dog Breed Profile

Bergamasco Shepherd

The Bergamo Shepherd is an almost perfect dog for families, whether large or small. It forms a close relationship with Its master, in whom it shows itself to be faithful and loyal. It loves the great outdoors and needs It to run and exercise.

In addition to an excellent character and a very easy upbringing, It’s endowed with iron health, without any disease to be deplored.

Other names: Berger Bergamasque, Cane da Pastore Bergamasco, Bergamasco Shepherd Dog

History of the breed

The Bergamo Shepherd is a very ancient breed since this dog was already used by shepherds in Roman times. Originally from the Bergamasque Alpine regions, specializing in the care and management of flocks of sheep, It has also distinguished Itself as a family dog. The breed almost died out after WWII, but an enthusiast, Dr. Maria Andreoli, has largely contributed to saving it by maintaining a quality breeding.

Today the Bergamo Shepherd is highly regarded as a companion, guard, therapy, and mountain rescue dog. However, it remains relatively unknown outside of Italy. The breed was definitively recognized by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) on February 23, 1956.

Physical features

  • Its hair:  abundant, long, covering all parts of the dog’s body, which can be very rough in texture (goat hair), especially on the rear part of the trunk. Characterized by wicks on all limbs.
  • Its color: all shades of uniform gray with or without gray spots. Shades, light fawn or single-colored black are allowed
  • Its head: well proportioned to the rest of the body. The length of the muzzle is equal to that of the skull. The forehead is broad and rounded, the stop is well adjusted, the lips thin, the jaws well developed and the cheeks little raised.
  • Its ears: triangular in shape, semi-drooping, set high, broad at their base, length between 6 and 5 Inches.
  • Its eyes: large, brown in color in accordance with the dress, displaying a look that is at once soft, peaceful, and attentive.
  • Its body: writable in a square. The withers are well extended, high and long, the back very straight and muscular, the croup broad and robust, the chest ample and well arched.
  • Its tail: set rather low, thick at its base and thinning towards its end, furnished with a slightly wavy woolly hair, carried as a saber at rest, animated as a whip when the dog is in action.

Behavior With Others

The Bergamo Shepherd is an intelligent, determined, and vigilant dog while displaying a level-headed and patient personality. Never fearful or aggressive, It possesses all the qualities that have allowed It to shine in Its favorite field: driving and herding herds.

As a family, It’s a pleasant companion for everyone, especially children.

It shows attachment to Its master and courageously watches over Its house. The Bergamo Shepherd can also be stubborn from time to time. It can be shy, and It’s never aggressive or fearful.


Despite Its small, strong head, the Bergamo Shepherd demonstrates a remarkable capacity for learning which facilitates Its education. It must be precocious, just like its socialization, and this, in order to temper its character.

The Bergamo Shepherd is not very difficult to train. You have to be firm,  strict but also gentle to not offend its sensitivity. It has great learning abilities. It’s  determined  to succeed and to please Its master

Living Conditions

The Bergamo Shepherd is primarily an outdoor dog and large spaces. It will be difficult for It to get used to a city lifestyle, especially in an apartment, if It’s not sufficiently stimulated through long and frequent outings.

It must then be constantly in the presence of Its master. What pleases It are the large expanses it can find in the mountains or in the countryside. It must be able to frolic, exercise, and breathe fresh air.

Health & Maintenance

The Bergamo Shepherd is a robust dog, which tolerates the cold remarkably well and does not suffer from any pathology specific to the breed. In addition, due to its origin and its very long coat, it supports the cold wonderfully.

The life expectancy of a Bergamo Shepherd is, on average, between 13 years and 15 years.

The Bergamo Shepherd is not affected by seasonal shedding, but its coat is constantly growing. Despite the coarse and abundant appearance of his coat, he is a dog that requires little maintenance.

This dog is neither to brush nor to groom. It just needs to be washed from time to time and dried slowly in the sun. No regular brushing must accompany the life of the Bergamasco Shepherd. It will be possible to check the condition of its ears or Its eyes, but simply for the form because It’s not subject to any infection.

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About Amanda

Passionate about animals, Amanda draws her expertise from her training as an educator, pet behaviorist as well as her extensive experience with animal owners. A specialist in dog and cat behavior, Amanda continues to learn about our four-legged companions by studying veterinary reference books but also university research sites (UCD, Utrecht, Cambridge, Cornell, etc..)

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