All About the Breed Bergamasco

Have you recently fallen for the Bergamasco or do you simply love rare breeds? Learn all about the breed here, including: Breed History, Personality Traits, Train-ability, Benefits and Disadvantages of the Breed, and Common Health Concerns.

The Bergamasco is a friendly and protective breed.

But how do you know whether you are ready to purchase a pet and if this breed is right for you?

This information is absolutely necessary in making the decision to purchase a pet.


While the exact origin of the Bergamasco has not been well documented, it is believed that this breed descended from various ancient Italian herding breeds. Enthusiasts believe this breed to at least 7,000 years old and originating in what is now modern-day Iran, though this has never been proven scientifically or otherwise.

Throughout its history, the Bergamasco has served most efficiently as a sheep herding dog and guard dog of the shepherd and flock.

After the destruction of much of Europe during World War II, and the need for wool dropping extremely low, the Bergamasco was threatened by total extinction. An Italian breeder and scientist, Dr. Maria Andreoli, is credited for saving the breed.

Her efforts and devotion to the breed have returned the Bergamasco the stable number it remains at today and introduced the breed to much of the world, including North America.

In 1997, the Bergamasco was recognized by the American Kennel Club's Foundation Stock Service.

Today, thanks to the hard work of Dr. Maria Andreoli, the Bergamasco has developed an underground following, though remains rare in many parts of the world.

Personality Traits

Best known for its strong need for dependable human relationships and friendly nature, the Bergamasco makes an excellent pet. This breed is alert, outgoing, and protective of its owners and territory. The Bergamasco loves to work, is highly intelligent, somewhat independent, and is easily trainable.


Due to its need for human relationships, the Bergamasco is eager to please and typically responds well to basic training and commands. These dogs are intelligent, love to work, and have the ability to learn to perform most any task their trainer is willing to take the time to teach.

Establishing immediate dominance and trust is key to successfully training the Bergamasco. This breed responds best to a stern yet gentle approach.

Benefits and Disadvantages of the Breed

There are many benefits to owning a Bergamasco. These dogs thrive on strong human relationships and love to play. The Bergamasco is highly intelligent and can taught to perform most any impressive trick or task. This breed is known for being especially gentle and protective of children and typically gets along with other pets.

The Bergamasco is loyal, affectionate, and protective, making an excellent family pet and companion alike. Due to their protective and territorial nature, this breed makes an excellent guard and watch dog.

Unfortunately, there are also disadvantages to owning a Bergamasco. This energetic breed requires large amounts of daily exercise and room to run and play. Anyone wishing to purchase this breed lacking the adequate amount of time and space to dedicate to the dog is strongly advised against doing so.

A Bergamasco not receiving the proper amount of exercise and space will often act out by destroying property, chewing, barking, whining, and ignoring basic training such as housebreaking.

The Bergamasco's unique coat requires almost constant attention, grooming, and cleaning, due to skin irritation.

As previously mentioned, the Bergamasco remains rather rare outside of its native Italy and can prove difficult to obtain. Individuals seeking to purchase this breed will often encounter such challenges as inability to locate a breeder, high prices, and being placed on long waiting lists.

Common Health Concerns

While the Bergamasco is generally known as a healthy and hearty breed, they do suffer from a few health problems, including: hip dyplasia, various joint problems such as arthritis, patellar luxation - dislocation of the knee, and bloat.

Now that you know all about the breed, do you think you are ready to own a Bergamasco?

Remember, purchasing a pet is a big decision and should be discussed thoroughly and seriously with your entire family.