Are you a fan of furry breeds like Barbets or Affenpinschers? Then we are here to give you your new favorite furry companion—the Bergamasco Sheepdog dog breed!

These dogs are furry, super loyal, and fun to be around. In this five-minute read, you will find everything you need to know before adopting the Bergamasco Sheepdog. From their personality traits to their everyday needs- we’ve got you covered!

Overview

Height21-24 inches
Weight55-70 lbs
Life span13-15 years
Exercise needs30 minutes to 1 hour daily
TemperamentStubborn, Affectionate, Pleasers
GroomingLow maintenance
HypoallergenicYes
OriginItaly

Origin of the Bergamasco Sheepdog

Originated in Italy, the Bergamasco Sheepdog dog breed is famously known as “Cane da Pastore Bergamasco.” They have been on Earth since forever. To be precise—hundreds of years! Primarily, this breed was used as a herding and guarding dog. Their history also justifies their appearance of coarse corded dreadlocks, as it protected Bergamasco Sheepdogs from predator’s bites. 

Moreover, the Bergamasco Sheepdog dog breed spent years herding in the harsh terrains and evolved as per nature’s call. They were always loved by the locals and human herders, which hasn’t changed a bit in modern times either. 

Appearance of the Bergamasco Sheepdog

We know you want to know the MOST about their appearance. So, without further ado, let’s jump right into the details about the appearance of Bergamasco Sheepdogs!

1. Size and body

The Bergamasco Sheepdogs get as tall as 21-24 inches while weighing about 55-70 pounds. Females are generally smaller than males but possess the same features as any other Bergamasco Sheepdog. For their body type, they have a chubby face, so we can assume that they have a lot of body mass and muscles underneath their coat. Apart from their mouths and nose, there is barely any visible body part. 

2. Coat

One of the most striking features of the Bergamasco Sheepdog dog breed is their coat. Their broad body is covered with thick dreadlocks. They have a soft undercoat. Consider yourself lucky if you ever found a way through that coarse corded coat. The coat comes in various colors, like fawn, black, and grey. 

3. Other features

When you look at this dog, the first thing you see are those vast locks, and the second thing you notice is their beautiful mustache. Moreover, they have a tail yet again covered in dreadlocks. This large-sized dog breed has a charismatic personality and appearance that can make anyone turn and look at ’em twice. 

a Bergamasco Sheepdog sitting outside on the grass

Personality and Temperament

There is so much more to the Bergamasco Sheepdog dog breed that often gets overlooked and hidden under those dreadlocks. But appearance is not the only criterion to judge whether or not a dog is a right fit for you. The vibes should match, too, right? So here are the temperament and personality traits of Bergamasco Sheepdogs:

1. Stubborn

The Bergamasco Sheepdog dog breed is an independent thinker with a strong work ethic. Their dedication and strong-willed personality can often be translated into stubbornness. There can be instances where they do not follow the instructions and only listen to their mind. You can fix these behaviors at an early age, as it will be easier for Bergamasco Sheepdog puppies to adapt. 

2. Hooman pleasers

Contrary to the first point, these dogs can also be hooman pleasers. Sometimes, they may follow instructions given by their owners so they can get rewards. Also, as they have a rich history of herding and protection, Bergamasco Sheepdogs are super loyal to their owners and human families.

3. Intelligent

Another striking feature of the Bergamasco Sheepdog dog breed is their intelligence and creativity. They have excellent critical thinking skills that help them to trust their instincts. As a responsible owner, you should stimulate them mentally to encourage such behaviors. 

4. Guarding skills

The Bergamasco Sheepdogs have remarkable guarding skills. Previously, they were used to protect livestock and families and hold similar responsibilities in the modern era, too. If you want a courageous dog who does not hold back from acting against a thief, Bergamasco Sheepdog might be the one for you!

5. Gentle and affectionate

Last but not least, these dogs are very calm and gentle to humans. Especially with children, Bergamasco Sheepdogs can be very motherly and show lots of affection. They love to spend time and bond with their owners as well as their families. With proper socialization training, you can teach this breed not to be aloof. 

Have you ever wondered what Bergamasco Sheepdogs say to convince their owners?
“We are dread serious!”
a Bergamasco Sheepdog running across a field

Grooming Needs of the Bergamasco Sheepdog

Surprisingly, even after being covered in nothing but TONS and TONS of dreadlocks, the Bergamasco Sheepdog dog breed is a hypoallergenic breed. They are low maintenance as their fur barely needs any grooming. In fact, even if you are a new dog owner, you can groom them easily by remembering these grooming essentials:

1. Brushing

The best part about owning a Bergamasco Sheepdog is that barely any brushing is required! Due to the thick dreadlocks and wirey coat, there is minimal shed. This is the reason why the Bergamasco Sheepdog dog breed is considered a low-maintenance breed. 

However, due to their specific hair type, they get layers and layers of matting reverie day. For this, you can use the nature’s tool—your fingers. Yes! You can remove the matting and cut off the tangles with your hands and trimming scissors. 

2. Bathing

Another fantastic thing about Bergamasco Sheepdogs is that they do not need bathing unless they start smelling too bad or looking dirty. You only need to bathe them about 2-3 times a year—which will be more than enough! It is because their coat is dirt-resistant and does not need much cleaning.

However, it would be best to be careful of harmful parasites like fleas and ticks that can live inside their dense dreadlocks. To eliminate them, using the appropriate dog supplies like repellants will significantly help you. 

3. Trimming

Never shave the Bergamasco Sheepdogs, aka Bergamasco Shepherds. They have such fur coats for safety and protection, which should not be removed. Shaving can expose them to sun and skin infections. You should trim them around the eyes, ears, and paws. You can get help from professional groomers or learn at home. 

4. Cleaning

Lastly, their eyes may not be visible through those thick bangs, but the Bergamasco Sheepdog dog breed can be susceptible to eye booger and ear wax buildups. You should take a damp cloth to clean their paws, eyes, and ears. 

Exercise and Training Needs

The Bergamasco Sheepdog dog breed only requires 30 minutes to 1 hour of training daily. In fact, for Bergamasco Sheepdog puppies, you only need to start with a 10-minute walk every day. So this is a guide for you on the essentials of training the Bergamasco Sheepdog dog breed:

1. Daily walks

You must assign at least 20-30-minute walk sessions for this dog breed. This will keep them stimulated and active throughout the day. As they do not require rigorous training, you must provide them with at least some physical training. Hence, walks are perfect for learning other things side by side, too, such as obedience training, leash training, and positive reinforcement.

2. Mental stimulation

An empty mind is a devil’s workshop—we all have heard this at least once, and the same goes for dogs. The Bergamasco Sheepdog dog breed is intelligent and susceptible to becoming lazy and inactive. You should enroll them in mentally stimulating activities to encourage their creative sides. Scent and hunt, hide and seek, treasure hunts, and dog puzzles would be an excellent option for them. 

3. Basic agility

When we say Bergamasco Sheepdogs have low training needs, we do not mean negligible. You still have to provide some physical training to this dog. These dogs do great in dog sports and agility, so enrolling them in such funtivities will boost their confidence and keep their health in place. 

Conclusion

The Bergamasco Sheepdog dog breed is a low-maintenance dog with a great temperament and a fun personality, and yet! We do not recommend this dog for first-time dog owners. Why? Because it can be challenging to deal with their moods and their dreadlocks or matting for an inexperienced dog owner. Also, they cannot live an apartment life, as they need a “countryside” lifestyle more than a “city life.”

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Bergamasco dogs good family dogs?

Yes. The Bergamasco Sheepdog dog breed is an excellent dog for families and humans. Even if you have other pets- you can train this breed to socialize and be familiarised at an early age. This will help them to adjust better with families. Rest their temperament and personality fit well with everyone who shows them affection.

Do Bergamasco Sheepdogs shed?

There is a very minimal amount of shed from Bergamasco Sheepdogs. They have intricately tangled and wired dreadlocks, which leave barely any loose hair sheds. So, if you want a dog that does not cover you in hair, Bergamasco Sheepdog might be the one for you!

Can Bergamasco be domesticated?

Yes and no. The Bergamasco Sheepdog tends to be inclined towards a free living where the environment around them stimulates them. However, with proper socialization and training, they can learn to adjust in relatively smaller spaces, but not apartments.

Are Bergamasco Sheepdogs hypoallergenic?

Congratulations, the Bergamasco Sheepdog dog breed is a hypoallergenic breed. Due to negligible shed, they do not spread any allergens to people who are sensitive to allergic reactions. It is also great for houses with multiple pets, like hamsters and cats.

Are Bergamasco Sheepdog aggressive?

No. Bergamasco Sheepdogs are not at all aggressive. They are highly affectionate and gentle. Their protective instincts can translate to aggression, which has been the case throughout their evolutionary history. If you see your dog being too aggressive, you can train them with obedience training and positive reinforcement, as it is an unwanted behavior. 

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