Bergamasco Sheepdog is an old breed that probably originated in the Italian Alps. As sheep and shepherds spread through Europe and Asia, especially in the Alpine regions, so did the dogs who served them.
The Bergamasco Sheepdog stands 22 to 25 inches tall and weighs 60 to 85 pounds. She is solid and large-boned, with a long head and thin dropped ears. Although her eyes are rarely seen, they are dark and intelligent.
The Bergamasco Sheepdog dog breed’s unique characteristic is the corded coat. The coat is made up of long black, silver, or gray hairs that mat into long cords that fall from the dog’s body to the ground. It takes about five years for the coat to fully grow out and cord. The cords require minimal care once they form. The dog can be bathed occasionally, but the cords must then be dried. Many owners keep the hair trimmed under the tail, around the genitals, and on the feet.
This dog breed requires only moderate exercise. A walk daily, a chance to play in the yard, and maybe a run through the agility course will be fine. Although not a high-energy breed, the Bergamasco does best in a home with a yard; this breed enjoys spending time with family but does not do well inside all the time. Training this dog breed can be a challenge. They are bright and learn quickly; however, they were bred for thousands of years to think for themselves while tending flocks of sheep.
When given an obedience command, the dog may or may not respond, depending upon how important she feels it is. Owners who want a very compliant dog should not get this breed. All training should be fun and very positive, and there should be minimal repetition. The Bergamasco Sheepdog breed does best in a rural home with an experienced dog owner. The dog will be happiest if a flock of sheep is present. She is wonderful with children, great with cats if raised with them, and good with other dogs as long as she doesn’t perceive them to be a threat. This is also a very healthy breed.