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Size: Large
56 - 60 cm (22.5 – 23.5 inches)
Weight: 26 - 38 kg (57 – 83.5 lb)
Life Span: 12 years
Cautious & intelligent
Country of Origin:
AKC Group:
Not registered
Other Names:
Bergamese Shepherd, Cane da Pastore Bergamasco, Bergamo Shepherd Dog, Bergamaschi


The Bergamasco is intelligent, independent, brave, calm and friendly. Bergamascos are eager to work and please. They bond very closely with their human family and are reasonably easy to raise and train. Bergamascos make excellent guard dogs and can be very protective of children. They generally get along with other household animals, but it is best if Bergamascos are socialized with pets from puppyhood.

During the first year the coat on a Bergamasco needs to be combed regularly, after this the coat will start to felt-up. If you want to prevent this, then you need to strip bunches of hair (about 3cm) in diameter out by hand. The hair on the head needs to be combed. Baths are recommended for in summer, as it can take over a day for the coat to dry.

Regular walks are recommended, or if there is a large fenced off backyard then Bergamascos will happily take care of their own exercise.

The history of the Bergamasco is rather obscure, but it is likely that these dogs contributed towards the evolvement of Briards, Polish Lowland Sheepdogs and Bouvier des Flandres. It is believed that this breed originated from the Bergamo region near Milan. They were used as sheepdogs to guard livestock from wolves.

Physical Characteristics:

General Appearance: Rugged, felt-like coat, strong and solid.
Color: Plain grey or speckled grey, plain black or greyish-yellow with fawn markings. White markings are excepted so long as they do not cover more than 20 per cent of the coat.
Coat: Thick under layer with a felt-like outercoat (it takes up to 5 years for it to become fully felt-like) that tends to form into loose mats. Feels greasy to touch and the hair around the head and shoulders does not form into the felt-like texture.
Tail: Hangs low with a slight curve upwards at the end.
Ears: Set high and hanging with slightly rounded tips.
Body: The body is strong and powerfully built and the length is slightly longer than it is tall. The ribs are well-sprung and the back is broad and strong with a level topline. The loin is well-muscled and broad with the croup slightly sloping downwards.

Additional Comments:

  • The Bergamasco is one of the most recent exports from Italy and has very strong protective instincts.
  • The Bergamasco is excellent with all children and have been used as Therapy dogs for handicapped children.
  • The Bergamasco is a friend, never a follower. They do not see their owner as a master but as a friend.
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