Breed of the Week: Bergamasco

Bergamasco 2

Breed of the Week: Bergamasco

Bergamasco

Appearance:

This large, heavy-boned breed stands at 22-23 inches in height and weighs anywhere from 60-85lbs with males being substantially heavier.  The defining feature of this breed is the unique tri-layer coat that forms flocks, looking much like dread locks to provide weather and environmental protection.  The unusual coat can range from light gray to a matte black but should not be shiny or soft.

Temperament:

As a herding breed, the Bergamasco is alert and stubborn and not recommended for first time dog owners.  This breed is often called tenacious and are known to continue working through discomfort or ailment, they do best in rural areas with lots of space and appropriate jobs to do.

Health Concerns:

Being a rare breed, there has not been much over breeding or non-judicious breeding that would lead to many health issues, this a hardy breed with few major health concerns.  Due to their size they may be predisposed to joint and gastric issues such as dysplasia and bloat.

Fun Facts:

  • Similar to the sheep, this breed was bred to protect. The Bergamasco has a wooly undercoat that acts like fleece, rather than dog hair and rarely affects those with dog allergies.
  • The Bergamasco has extremely long eyelashes that help keep the flocks of hair and snow out of their eyes while working.
  • The flocks of a Bergamasco are never trimmed and often reach the ground by 6 years of age.