Updated 01-08-2023

Bergamasco Sheepdog Characteristics, Facts & Traits

Shepherds used the Bergamasco Sheepdog, an ancient breed, to herd and protect their flocks. The intelligent breed, well recognised for its distinctive matted, mop-like coat, is becoming a popular choice as a companion and show dog because of its outgoing and gregarious nature. Some alternative names for the Bergamasco Shepherd Dog include the Bergamo Shepherd Dog and the Bergamese Shepherd.

Known for its ability to form strong bonds with a large number of people, this gregarious breed is an excellent choice for households with several residents. Bergamasco Sheepdogs may thrive in almost any environment if they have a companion who is both energetic and attentive. Even though it looks like a lot of work, the Bergamasco's trademark coat is actually rather easy to maintain.

Bergamasco Sheepdogs have a complete list of characteristics and information below.


  • The Bergamasco Sheepdog's fur can be black, silver, fawn, merle, cream, white, and grey, and is commonly a combination of these colours. • It is well-known for its distinctive tacks.
  • No grooming is required for this breed's coat. Allergy patients are also advised to consider the breed, except for those who are allergic to lanolin or wool.
  • Bergamaschi don't require a lot of physical activity. One nice half-hour to an hour long walk every day, with some good, energetic play and shorter walks thrown in for variety is ideal.
  • In general, the Bergamasco Sheepdog is excellent with youngsters. When children are around, it's important to always keep an eye on them.
  • Bergamasco Due to their size or submissive nature, sheepdogs often get along with other dogs. Cats are also OK with them.
  • Bergamasco Sheepdogs are a little disobedient and prefer to do things their own way instead than following the crowd. The best way to stop unwanted behaviour is to be consistent and tough in your training.
  • This kind of dog is naturally wary of strangers. Make sure your dog is well-socialized early on if you want to avoid this problem.


Social Appearance 


It's a common misconception that a little dog is better suited to living in a limited space. Many tiny dogs have too much energy and are too yappy to live in an apartment building. An apartment dog's best attributes include being quiet, low energy, somewhat peaceful indoors, and respectful to the other inhabitants. Your dog's personal space in your apartment can be improved by purchasing one of these fantastic dog cages.

Sensitivity Level

Depending on the dog, a strong rebuke can be taken in stride by some, while others regard even the tiniest hint of disapproval as a personal attack. If you have a loud or pushy owner, a chaotic home, or a routine that is unpredictable or variable, your low-sensitivity dog, often known as "easygoing," "tolerant," "resilient," or even "thick-skinned," will be able to handle it better. Do you have young children, host a lot of parties, or have a hectic lifestyle? Choose a dog that isn't overly sensitive.


You can't tell from looking at them whether or not they're hyperactive, but when they do anything, they do it vigorously. They tug at their leashes (unless you teach them not to), they push their way through barriers, and they down their meals in huge, gobbling gulps. A home with young children or an elderly or feeble person may not be the best place for these dynamos to learn proper etiquette. On the other hand, a dog with poor vitality adopts a more reserved demeanor.

Potential for Playfulness

Some dogs never grow out of their puppyhood and are always looking for a game to play, while other dogs are more reserved and serious. Consider how many games of fetch or tag you want to play each day, and if you have children or other canines who can stand in as playmates for the dog.

Personality Appearance


In the same way that dogs who were raised to run all day need to work out their bodies, so too do dogs who were bred for professions that involve decision making and intelligence, like herding sheep. Digging and chewing are two examples of activities that a bored pet will engage in if they don't obtain the mental stimulation they need. Obedience training and interactive dog toys, as well as dog sports and occupations like agility and search and rescue, are wonderful ways to keep a dog's brain engaged.

Energy Level

Dogs with a lot of energy are continuously on the lookout for something to do. A canine job, such as retrieving game for hunters or herding animals requires a lot of stamina; these dogs were originally designed for that purpose. As a result, they're more inclined to engage in activities such as jumping, playing, and exploring new sights and smells.

The canine version of a couch potato, a low-energy dog is satisfied to lounge around all day. Consider your own level of activity and lifestyle when choosing a breed, and whether or not you'll find a rambunctious, excitable dog energising or irritating.

Easy To Train

It is easier for dogs that are easy to train to build associations between a cue (like "sit"), an action (like sitting), and a reward (like a treat) than it is for dogs that are difficult to train. Other dogs require a greater investment of time, patience, and repetition.

You'll need to utilize incentives and games to get your dog excited about training because many breeds are intelligent but have a "What's in it for me?" training mentality.

Family Affection Level

Affectionate With Family

Even if they've been nurtured by the same person since puppyhood, some breeds remain aloof and independent; others bond strongly with one person and are indifferent to others; and yet others shower the entire family with love. Not only does the dog's breed influence its level of attachment, but so does the dog's upbringing, as canines raised in homes with people tend to be more open to human interaction and form stronger bonds.


Kids-friendly dogs are calm, strong enough to bear the hefty hugs and pets kids can dish out, and have an unfazed attitude about rushing, scream-inducing children. There are several names you may not expect to see on the list: Fierce-looking Both Boxers and American Staffordshire Terriers are regarded as family dogs (which are considered Pit Bulls). Chihuahuas, which are small, sensitive, and potentially sharp, are not always family-friendly.

Dog Friendly

Friendship with dogs and friendship with people are two distinct concepts. Even though they're good with people, some dogs may attack or try to dominate other dogs; some would prefer play than fight; and yet others will turn tail and flee. It's not just the animal's breed that matters. At six to eight weeks of age, puppies should have spent a lot of time playing with their littermates and their mother, and they are more likely to have good social skills.

Physical Appearance

Amount of Shedding

Having a dog in the house means that you'll have to deal with some level of dog hair on your clothing and in the home. It's worth noting, however, that shedding varies widely among breeds. Some dogs shed all year long, while others ``blow" just during specific times of the year, and still others don't shed at all. If you're a stickler for cleanliness, you'll need to choose a breed that sheds less or lower your expectations. You can use a de-shedding tool to keep your house a little cleaner.

Drooling Potential

While greeting you, some dogs may cover their arms with ropes of drool and create large, wet patches on your clothing. If you don't mind a little drool, go for it; but if you're a stickler for cleanliness, you may want to look for a dog with a low drool rating.

Easy To Groom

Some breeds of dogs can simply be brushed and left alone, while others require frequent washing, trimming, and other grooming in order to maintain their health and appearance. If you don't have the time or money to take care of a dog that requires a lot of grooming, you may want to look into hiring a professional.

Exercise Needs

Evening walks around the neighbourhood are perfectly acceptable for some breeds. Others, particularly those trained for physically demanding vocations like herding or hunting, require regular, rigorous exercise.

They can gain weight and release their pent-up energy in ways you don't like, including barking, chewing, and digging, if not given enough exercise. Those looking to train their dog for an energetic canine activity, such as agility, should consider getting a dog that needs a lot of exercise.

Average sizes and life expectancy of the breed


55 to 85 pounds


13 to 15 years


20 to 24 inches


Bergamo is the name of the Italian sheep herding breed that hails from Bergamo (although he is also known in other parts of the country). Like the Puli, he has a densely matted coat that is akin to other central European sheepdog breeds.

The Bergamasco was in risk of extinction after World War II due to a decrease in demand for herding dogs. However, thanks to Dr. Maria Andreoli, an Italian breeder, the breed was saved.

American Kennel Club recognition for the Bergamasco has not yet been attained, so he remains in the Miscellaneous Class.

Personality and Temperament 

One of the gentlest dogs in the world is the Bergamasco Sheepdog. Dogs need a lot of care and love, but they also need certain boundaries. The Bergamasco can swiftly establish himself as alpha and treat his human pack mates as subordinates if there is no dearth of leadership. He must establish himself as the "top dog" because of his size.

Even though the Bergamasco is not aggressive, they are wary of outsiders. With proper socialisation from an early age, your Bergamasco will be a calm, confident, and relaxed individual when meeting new people. This dog has a strong sense of self-reliance. In search of an intelligent, self-sufficient canine companion? Bergamasco may be the right choice for you.


To keep Bergamasco sheepdogs healthy, they need to be walked on a regular basis and given regular training and socialising. As long as you know how to care for their particular coat, you'll have no problem keeping them in top shape.


They are generally healthy, although little information has been collected on the Bergamasco Sheepdog. As a result of the Bergamasco Sheepdog's lack of overbreeding, many believe that the breed is still strong.

It is possible that Bergamaschi suffers from Hip Dysplasia and bloat, albeit these illnesses are quite unusual.

Hip Dysplasia

Dogs can get hip dysplasia while they are still growing. The hip joint becomes loosened, resulting in discomfort and suffering. The hip cartilage and bone begin to degrade as the dog ages. The result is deterioration of the joints, muscular atrophy, and reduced mobility over time.

Recommended Health Tests 

  1. Hip Evaluation
  2. Elbow Evaluation


To feed the Bergamasco, which is a large, active dog, you need a high-quality, protein-rich kibble. As he ages, his dietary requirements will alter. Consult your veterinarian before giving your dog any medication. Depending on the size of your Bergamasco, it will require two to three cups of kibble divided over two daily meals. Ask your veterinarian about a weight-control diet for your Bergamasco if it gets to be more than 85 pounds. As a result of their tendency to gain weight, these dogs are at risk for health complications such as heart disease.


The grooming requirements of this breed are unusual. Oily, dense, and waterproof, the coat of the Bergamasco Sheepdog is thick and three-layered. Unless your dog is going to be shown, you don't need to brush his thick, dread-like locks very often. Once or twice a year, bathe your dog. If necessary, trim his nails. Clean his ears and eyes on a regular basis.

Only those allergic to wool or lanolin should avoid this breed, which is an ideal pet for persons with severe allergies.


Bergamasco Sheepdogs require a lot of daily exercise because they are herding dogs. On huge farms, they thrive in an open, unconfined environment. An apartment with this dog is not a good idea. Make sure your dog gets at least an hour of activity every day by walking him twice a day.


It's easy for the Bergamasco to pick up new tricks and orders because of its high level of intelligence. Positive reinforcement and repetition are the most effective training approaches when it comes to this child. Do not hit or otherwise be harsh with your dog. When your Bergamasco is still a puppy, you can establish your dominance by acting as the dominant male. Make sure he doesn't cross the line. Because of his size, it is imperative that you continue to train him to keep him under your control.

Children and Other Pets

Generally speaking, the Bergamasco Sheepdog is a great dog for youngsters. Bergamaschi are naturally drawn to youngsters because of their herding tendencies, and they will do everything in their power to protect them. Even though the Bergamasco Sheepdog is a great breed for children, it is critical that you teach your children and your dog the right ways to play together. When children are around, it's important to always keep an eye on them.

Given that they are smaller or more docile, Bergamasco Sheepdogs have a good relationship with other canines. However, you should introduce your Bergamasco Sheepdog to the cat while they are young so that they may become familiar with each other.

That being said, it all boils down to constant training and correct socialisation to see how your Bergamasco gets along with other animals.


If you get a Bergamasco puppy from a breeder or a rescue group, be aware that the dog's coat will change a lot over the first year. When puppies are young, their coats will be soft and fluffy, but by the time they reach their first birthday, they will have grown into their rougher goat and sheep coats. Around the time of the child's first birthday, you'll have to rip the coat into mats.

There must be a place in the house where puppies can safely play. Before introducing a puppy into your home, check to see if there are any items in your home that could injure the dog. Before you bring your puppy home, make sure you have all the food and supplies he or she will require.

A Bergamasco puppy can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $1,200 if purchased from a reputable breeder. If you're going to acquire a puppy, be sure it comes from a reputable breeder with plenty of experience. Buying puppies from backyard breeders or puppy mills, despite the low price tag, will end up costing you more in the long run. Many of these dogs have behavioural and physical issues, such as aggressiveness, parasites, and blindness that are common.

Dog breeds similar to Bergamasco Sheepdog

If a Bergamasco isn't your cup of tea, you might want to look into one of these alternatives.

Polish Lowland Sheepdog 

As a herding dog that does well with youngsters, this dog is similar in size to the Bergamasco. As a watchdog, either breed might be a great choice. To put it into perspective, the typical male Bergamasco is 77.5 pounds, while the average female is 40 pounds.

Old English sheepdog 

It is also a herding dog, but it is extremely intelligent and friendly. Grooming an Old English sheepdog, on the other hand, can be a real challenge.

Australian Shepherd 

It's an energetic herding dog that needs more daily exercise and does best in moderate to cold weather.