A medium to large sized Bergamasco
Bergamasco Quick Summary
Also Known AsAlpine Sheep Dog
Height (at withers)22-24in (56-61cm)
Weight60-80lbs (27-36kg)
Hair Colour(s)Varies
Lifespan13-15 years
Energy LevelLow
Litter size6-10
Barking TendencyMedium
Exercise requirementsMedium
Ease of training
Suitability for kids
Animal compatabilityMedium
Aggression levelsLow
Distress if leftHigh

The Bergamasco is a robust and rustic looking dog with a compact and well proportioned body. Its defining feature is its thick, trademark coat that is designed to protect it both from the weather and animal attacks. The coat is made up from three different types of hair that form matts or flocks, and it also drapes over the eyes to shield them from the sun reflecting off snow on the Alpine mountains. The colour of the coat ranges from grey, black, fawn and white, and is often intermixed giving a mottled or speckled effect, which serves as a camouflage.


Bergamascos are intelligent and lively dogs, and their friendly, peaceful and loyal nature allows them to bond easily and quickly with a family and makes them excellent companions. Suitable for novice and experienced dog owners, they are very trainable but don't tend to like useless tasks (such as fetching a ball). They adapt well with other breeds so long as they are non-threatening, and While not instantly aggressive, they do make excellent watchdogs as they will not allow strangers to draw too close. Bergamascos need to be around people and so are unsuitable for owners that cannot spare them a lot of time, as they will become bored and destructive. Bergamascos are always attentive, and even when they appear to be asleep, their eyes will follow their owners' movements and are ready to go at the slightest command. They make excellent companions for active people who prefer to have outdoor lifestyles.

History & Skills

Bergamascos originate from the Alpine regions of Italy, and have been thought to exist for over 2000 years. They were originally used for herding sheep and livestock, a talent they have retained to this day. Rather unbelievably, these dogs almost became extinct during World War Two due to a shortage of wool. They are thought to be the ancestor of the French Briard.

Breed Specific Ailments

Bergamascos tend to live between 13-15 years and are considered a healthy breed, although some of the health problems noted include hip dysplasia and eye issues.


Bergamascos have a coat made up of three layers, the undercoat, the goat hair and the outer coat. The thick, oily underlayer has a tendency to become felt-like as it matures. Although during its first year this will only need combing, to prevent this the hair needs to be pulled out in bunches by hand. Bathing is only required as necessary, and is best carried out in summer as it can take a whole day for their thick and fluffy coats to dry out.

Exercise & Environment

Bergamascos are very active and agile and require daily walks, and preferably need access to a secure yard or garden. Although they are not suitable for small homes they tend to live indoors as they need to always be around people. As they are strong and rustic, they can adapt to any terrain and weather and tend to thrive more in rural settings where they can roam unleashed.


FCIFCI - Federation Cynologique Internationale
KCThe Kennel Club (UK)

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