Facts and Information on the Bergamasco Sheepdog Breed

At first glance, you might find the Bergamasco Sheepdog Breed a little weird to have as a pet. It’s because of the unique Bergamasco coat. These dogs look fluffy and cute as puppies, scruffy as teenagers, and then cool adults with dreadlocks. Everything about this breed is different, and if you want to know about it all, keep reading. 

Breed NameBergamasco Sheepdog
Other NameBergamasco, Bergamaschi
Dog Breed TypeHerding dogs
Parent BreedsNone 
Height20-24 inches
Weight55-85 pounds
Life Expectancy13-15 years
Coat TypeFlocked coat
Common ColorsSilver, Merle, Black, Fawn
Grooming NeedsLow maintenance
TemperamentDetermined, Vigilant, Patient, Intelligent
Apartment LivingNot suitable for apartment living
Health ConcernsBloating, Hip dysplasia
Overall HealthHealthy 
Intelligence LevelLow to medium 
Energy LevelMedium to high
Litter Size6-10 puppies 

Breed Characteristics

Adaptability 3 stars

Adaptive to apartment living 3 stars

Suitable for new owners 4 stars

Sensitivity scale 2 stars

Comfortable being alone 3 stars

Comfortable with cold weather 4 stars

Comfortable with hot weather 3 stars

All about friendliness 4 stars

Lovable around family 4 stars

Kid-friendly 5 stars

Dog-friendly 4 stars

Frank with strangers 4 stars

Grooming and Health Requirements 3 stars

Shedding quantity 2 stars

Drooling capacity 1 star

Effortless to groom 4 stars

Overall health 5 stars

Capable of weight gain 2 stars

Size 3 stars

Trainability 3 stars

Effortless to train 3 stars

Smartness 5 stars

Capable of biting 2 stars

Tendency to attack prey 2 stars

Wanderlust nature 3 stars

Physical Requirements 3 stars

Energy scale 4 stars

Intensity 2 stars

Exercise requirements 3 stars

Playful nature 4 stars

Vital Statistics






The Bergamasco Sheepdog breed is the perfect pet for allergy sufferers. However, if you’re allergic to wool or lanolin, this dog breed will not be a good choice. These dogs want things to happen their way; that’s why they get rebellious too. Obedience training can help to control such demanding behaviors.

They are also doubtful of strangers, that’s why socialization becomes necessary for puppies. It’s easy to identify a Bergamasco Sheepdog in a crowd of dogs because of its flocked and matted coat. As puppies, they have softer coats for 12 months only. After that, you’ll notice “fuzzy sheep” or “goat” hair growing. Later on, you’ll notice the signature matting of the coat. 

Their smartness makes them obey positive training techniques. They consider their owners equal to them. This is generally good as it doesn’t lead to dominant behavior. But they might become stubborn during training if you act like a boss all the time. 


The origins of the Bergamasco Sheepdog can be traced back to 7,000 years ago in the Middle East. Some even say that these dogs are the descendants of the briard, the Gallic herder breed. The Italian fans of this breed argue that to travel from the Middle East to the West, and one has to cross Italy. The breed got named after the Bergamo, an Italian city in the alps. These dogs’ flocked coats helped them to survive in such places’ harsh weather. 

After World War II, their numbers started to decrease in Italy, but thanks to breed enthusiasts, this breed was saved from going extinct. The Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) accepted this breed in 1956. 

The Bergamasco Sheepdog used to guard and herd livestock in the Alps while surviving the harsh weather conditions. They had long upper eyelashes that kept the hair out of their eyes and avoided snow blindness. Thanks to their flocked coat, they were at low risk of getting an injury. At that time, they understood their owner’s job and became independent in solving their problems. 


The Bergamasco Sheepdog has a medium to large size depending on several factors. Male dogs can grow tall between 23 to 24 inches. At the same time, female dogs can grow tall between 21 to 23 inches tall. 


The Bergamasco Sheepdog has a medium to large size depending on several factors. Male dogs can grow tall between 23 to 24 inches. In contrast, female dogs can grow tall between 21 to 23 inches tall. 

The reason that the Bergamasco Sheepdog is many people’s favorite breed is not only their flocked and matted coat but also their patient and calm personality. They are often said to have intuitive nature. As livestock herders in the Alps, these dogs noticed how their humans worked and acted independently to make them precious companions. 

Today, these dogs are living a more domesticated lifestyle. Their herding instincts, plus their intelligence, make them perfect family pets, especially with children. Their calming personality makes them great therapy dogs for both adults and kids. 

Having a herding dog history, the Bergamasco Sheepdog needs plenty of space to play around. However, they are not packed with high energy levels, unlike other herding breeds. They can live in an apartment as long as they are getting proper exercise. 

They love to please their humans but still act rebellious sometimes and like getting things done their way. They have outgoing personalities, but they get skeptical around strangers.


Studies show the Bergamasco Sheepdog is an overall healthy breed. They are considered a strong breed despite the fact they aren’t overbred. You need to be aware of some health issues associated with them. 

  • Bloating (rare)
  • Hip dysplasia


Looking at their vast coat, you might think the Bergamasco Sheepdog is a high-maintenance breed, but it’s quite the opposite in reality. The first step towards taking care of your dog should be taking them on regular vet visits. This will help to identify any health issue in advance and control it. Keep checking their ears, as you can notice they have long hair outside their ears. This can prevent air circulation or cause infections. Clean them using an ear solution made for dogs, and your dog will be fine. Ask your vet when to brush your dog’s teeth. They are intelligent as well as stubborn while training; get some professional help for training your dog. 

Feeding and Diet

To make the best diet plan for your dog, always take your vet’s advice. As each dog has unique dietary needs, your vet can help in identifying them and deciding the diet according to them. The Bergamasco Sheepdog’s diet will also depend on its age, size, health, and environment. A high-quality canine diet should be given that will nutritionally balance your dog. The amount and type of food should be discussed with your vet first. As this breed is prone to bloating, although it’s rare, you should not feed anything of your choice to your dog. Even treats should be permitted by your vet.

Coat color and grooming

The Bergamasco Sheepdog is popular because of its matted and flocked coat. This unique coat can be found in a mix of several colors like fawn, white, black, gray, cream, merle, and silver. They have low grooming needs, so there is no need to even brush their coat unless they are signing a show. Never shave or cut your dog’s coat, as it helps in maintaining their body temperature during extremely hot weather. It also provides insulation during extreme cold climates. 

Children and Other Pets

The Bergamasco Sheepdog breed is the perfect pet for families with children. Their herding instincts tell them to keep children safe. They are known to be kid-friendly dogs; you still have to supervise their play sessions with your kids. Just like you will train your dog on how to behave with your kids, you need to teach your kids how to behave with your pet as well. 

With other pets, the Bergamasco Sheepdog bonds well. They consider other pets as part of their livestock and try to protect them. To make sure their protective nature doesn’t become controlling, you need to do socialization from puppyhood. 


The flocked coat of a Bergamasco Sheepdog might make you wonder how much they shed during a year. Well, to your surprise, these dogs don’t shed during the year. You don’t even have to brush the coat unless necessary. 

Male vs. Female attitude

The main difference between a male and a female Bergamasco Sheepdog is their height and weight. The attitude of a dog can be unique even if they are from the same gender. 


Don’t get scared by the size of a Bergamasco Sheepdog, as they have low to medium energy levels. Half an hour to hour-long exercise is enough for them to be healthy. You don’t even have to plan an exercise session for them; just a long walk would be great. 

Little known facts

Despite their vast size, the Bergamasco Sheepdog was only used for herding livestock in the Alps. 

FAQ on breed

  1. Where do the Bergamasco Sheepdog breeds come from?


  1. What is the best diet routine for a Bergamasco Sheepdog?

The best diet routine for this breed is giving two meals a day with limited treats.

  1. How much exercise is required for a Bergamasco Sheepdog?

Long walks that last at least an hour. 

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