A large sized breed originally used as a herding dog in the Italian Alps near Bergamo from where its name derives, the Bergamasco is over 2000 years old and was primarily bred to herd working cattle, sheep and other cloven footed animals. The breed's natural herding instincts have meant that the modern Bergamasco thrives in competition, whether in dog agility trials, tracking, obedience or showmanship. A great competitor with high trainability; single-minded, determined and agile.
Easily recognised for its unusual felted coat, comprising three layers of coarse, water-resistent hair, the Bergamasco is best suited to cold climates and is a strong, compacted canine breed boasting a rustic appearance. The coat colour is common in variations of merle, silver grey or coal black, colours which may have served as effective camouflage in the mountains from where the breed originates. The Bergamasco is an attractive breed, requiring regular outdoor exercise with a strong herding instinct that relies upon its characteristically sharp senses and dogged determination.
Depending on gender, the Bergamasco breed has a weight range of between 26-38 kg, with a life expectancy of 13-15 years, when shown appropriate care. The breed is not commonly known, however its easy, intelligent temperament makes it a suitable dog choice for families, engaging well with children, active in play and with a good working temperament. It is not uncommon for a Bergamasco to favour sleeping outdoors rather that inside in the warm as it is best suited to cold climes where its dense coat serves as shelter and insulation enough.
Notoriously resilient, the Bergamasco faces no serious health complaints common to the breed. As with most breeds, skin allergies, arthritis and hip dysplasia are documented in the Bergamasco, although due to its relative rarity, any genetic or breed-specific diseases are difficult to determine.