The Bergamasco is originally from Persia, and it is believed that this ancient shepherding breed is at least 2000 years old. These dogs were bred to be independent and clever. After the Second World War these dogs were almost extinct, but were saved by the efforts of Dr. Maria Andreoli – an Italian breeder and scientist. Even today, the Bergamasco is still a very rare breed.
The Bergamasco is not ideal for someone with no previous dog ownership experience. This breed is dependable, calm and extremely protective of their families and homes. They will be tolerable of other dogs if they do not see them as threats. The Bergamasco will also get along fine with children. These dogs are very wary and suspicious of strangers – and they are always attentive, caring, level-headed, distinguished and well-balanced. These dogs were never bred to be just pets.
If the coats of these dogs are fully flocked, they will not require a lot of care, and should only be brushed and bathed occasionally. Then from two to three years, their coats will settle into a locking pattern that will continue throughout the dog’s life. Their coat consists of three types of hair: the undercoat, the goat hair and the woolly top coat. The Bergamasco is a very straightforward, but genuine dog – and this is reflected in their coats. It is advised that the coats of these dogs develop as naturally as possible. The Bergamasco is not a heavy shedding dog, but you will find that they loose some hair during certain stages, especially during puppy hood. The hair loss for these dogs is minimal after the flocks are set. The coat of the Bergamasco is considered to be hair, and not fur. The coat is also considered to be non-allergic, but there are some cases where someone is still allergic to the hair of the Bergamasco.
Bergamasco’s as independent, bright and open-minded dogs. They are however not submissive, and were developed to solve problems on their own. They also need to know why certain commands are given. This bred will not submit to be obedient, but rather to display affection. The Bergamasco will not react positively to training methods that are cruel or unkind. Training of these dogs should also be conducted in a firm, fair and consistent way. It is also advised that these dogs receive the necessary obedience and socialisation training.
Seeing that this breed is fairly rare, not a lot is known about health concerns and issues.