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Pastor Bergamasco: a calm and intelligent watchman

Pastor Bergamasco: un vigilante tranquilo e inteligente

Lobo Azul |

The Bergamasco Shepherd is a breed of medium height with a scruffy appearance in which long locks predominate as a characteristic symbol of this animal.
  • Medium size .
  • Weight : Between 26 and 32kg.
  • Hair type : Curly and long.
  • Character : Intelligent, Vigilant, Determined, Patient
  • Health : Healthy
  • Life expectancy : Between 13 and 15 years.
At the temperament level, he is distinguished by being friendly, making him an ideal candidate to be part of a family unit. Since herding is ingrained in its nature, it quickly adapts to rural life. This article will be very helpful to you so that you know everything about this breed and can be prepared to integrate it into domestic life appropriately. If the extravagance of the Bergamasco Shepherd catches your attention and you want to adopt him to keep you company, keep reading!

Origin of the Bergamasco Shepherd

The existence of the Bergamasco Shepherd is attributed to a group of shepherd dogs used for guarding livestock . These dogs arrived from the East at a time when there was a boom in the migration of nomadic populations. The nomads traveled with their flocks, which they sold, including the shepherd dog as part of the purchase, who was transported along with the flock to the West to take care of it. This fact influenced the birth of the Bergamasco Shepherd as a result of the crossing generated between the different breeds of dogs during the constant exchanges of flocks that occurred between nomadic populations. Before the beginning of winter, these shepherd dogs were taken in the company of the flock to the Bergamo valleys of Lombardy and the Piedmont basin. It is said that it got its name because the conditions of the site influenced its morphology.
Bergamasco breed
It is estimated that the grazing activities carried out by the Bergamasco date back to the year 1300 AD. But, as time passed, arriving in the year 1700, there was a sudden decrease in its population due to the little pastoral activity there was. The practice of herding was losing its popularity at that time, endangering the existence of the dog, reaching the point of extinction with the development of the world wars in the 20th century. After the end of these historical events, this dog would maintain the nickname "mountain dog." Later, in 1949, in order to protect its integrity, a foundation was established in which, after some deliberations to choose the official name, it was decided. the forceful decision to call him Pastor Bergamasco. All this taking into consideration the stories related to its origin. But, according to the founders of the club, they do not represent exact information about its origin, due to the age of this breed. Over time, he gained notoriety for his instinctive abilities for herding contrasted with his always urgent predisposition to work. However, the recognition of this dog as a breed was awarded in 2015 by the American Kennel Club , having remained a secret due to the little interest shown in making its existence known. Due to this anonymity in which this breed was immersed, it is not very appreciated among people who love dogs. Although it is possible to find specimens spread throughout the European continent, as well as in some areas of the American continent. In ancient times they tended to be confused with the Komondor , a dog breed from Hungary.

Pastor Bergamasco's Physique

The first feature to highlight in the physical characteristics of the Bergamasco Shepherd is its dimensions. Its measurements are comprised of a height at the withers of 60 centimeters in the male and 56 centimeters in the females. With a weight that can be between 26 and 32 kilograms, differentiating itself from the male, which can have a weight between 32 and 38 kilograms. These values ​​constitute the body of this breed, which is also characterized by having a square profile because the measurement from the shoulder to the back has the same value as the height at the withers. His chest is wide and deep, allowing him to have enough space to accommodate the size of his heart since it is large. This is an advantage by offering the necessary resistance during exercise activities. The head has a large appearance covered by abundant fur that creates a perception where one thinks that the head is even larger in size. However, its proportion with the body remains harmonious.
Bergamasco care
In relation to its eyes, they are large and have a dark brown color. A sweet, serene and alert expression is reflected in his gaze. But, due to the fur that covers its face, this is difficult to see. Their ears are suspended in a semi-drooping position, with rounded tips. It contrasts with a thick and strong looking tail at the base, whose diameter reduces as it rises towards the tip. There is no doubt that, of all the physical attributes, the coat is the most distinctive of the Bergamasco Shepherd. It is abundant, very long and, depending on the area of ​​the body, it will have different textures. In this sense, on the front part of the trunk the appearance of the fur is rough, similar to the hair of a goat. It differs from the fur on the head because it is slightly softer, hanging over the dog's face, covering the eye area. On all other parts of the body the fur is present in the form of tufts , generally having a gray tone with spots of the same color in different shades. But they can also alternate with black spots, with specimens existing in black but with an opaque hue. In this breed it is possible that white spots may appear, which are accepted as long as they do not cover more than a fifth of the dog's total surface.

Character and personality

In relation to the personality of the Bergamasco Shepherd, the perception that people have when considering this a sweet and tender breed is accurate, since this dog does not have a tendency to attack when it senses the presence of an invader in its space. Although this attitude should not be underestimated, since they can be distrustful of strangers. This causes the dog to generate an alert warning to the owners through its barking. This is one of the characteristics that gives it the necessary qualities to be a good pet in the home as well as a great company for children. It is a dog that, if it maintains daily interaction with its owners, will not present any behavioral problems. However, it is best to maintain constant supervision in an environment where there are small children near the dog, as well as other pets.
Bergamasco dog
Patient, attentive and intelligent, are some of the qualities that are part of the personality that characterize the Bergamasco Shepherd. All of them, together, make up a temperament that presents great concentration and stability. Thanks to this, you can develop the necessary skills to perform multiple functions, especially those related to the care and guidance of flocks. Another notable trait in this breed is pacifism which prevents them from showing aggression, placing them at a disadvantage as a dog that is not very effective in attack situations. In general, they tend to get along well with humans and children, including other pets such as cats or birds, and can interact with them without any problem. Although, to achieve this, it is necessary that the interaction be generated from the puppy stage. The Bergamasco Shepherd will not create situations of bad behavior as long as the environment has all the necessary conditions for habitability and recreation. Complementing this with a dose of attention from its owner. Although this dog is an ideal specimen for families with children, it is necessary to be careful when they interact with the dog in order to avoid a situation of abuse between them. It is not advisable for them to remain alone without being supervised by the presence of an adult.


Despite how matted its fur looks, it does not require much care in this area. These strands form naturally, although sometimes it may be necessary to separate them manually to prevent them from becoming tangled. If the dog feels its mobility or vision is hindered by a lock or dreadlock, the ideal is to cut it to solve the problem. Make sure you cut it to a level where the dog's natural look is maintained. Regarding the care of your nails, they do not need to be cut, since due to the physical activity you do, they tend to wear out on their own. The case may arise in which you must do it, and it is advisable to assign this work to a professional in canine aesthetic care, who will have the care and precision necessary to carry it out.
Bergamasco Shepherd coat
In any case, you should take care of carrying out this task in cases where the nail touches the ground, is very curved or makes a sound while the dog walks. These are indicators that the time has come to trim our furry companion's nails. Except for this detail, it is advisable to bathe the dog only when it is really dirty. Especially if he sleeps outside. We will do this by giving it a deep bath only two or three times a year, in order not to weaken or alter the structure of its coat, since after the bath it can take a long time to dry. In terms of exercise, the Bergamasco Shepherd will need a good dose. It is not the type of pet that is just happy to lie around the apartment doing nothing all day. Due to the nature of its instincts, this dog is very useful for living on farms because it can function as a herd guide. But, in domestic environments, to stay active it will be necessary for the owner to take him for a long walk daily, also reserving time to play with him. Something that may be appropriate to channel this dog's energies are dog sports such as herding.

Education and training

If you are starting to train the Bergamasco Shepherd , it is necessary that you take into consideration the space where you carry out the routine. This should be calm to prevent the dog from getting stressed or feeling nervous, as well as being able to stay focused on the instructions you give it. On the contrary, if you choose a public place to carry out the training, you will not be able to have control over what happens in the environment. Keep in mind that noise caused by people or other dogs would cause interruptions in the session, harming its effectiveness. Training sessions should have a maximum duration of 10 minutes to prevent the dog from becoming fatigued and losing interest in the routine. As for the exercise, you should practice it two or three times a day so that the dog becomes familiar with it until he can grasp it and execute it correctly.
Bergamasco Shepherd puppy
If at the time of training the weather is very hot, make sure that the duration of the session is short, since the Bergamasco Shepherd is sensitive to heat and may feel affected by it, becoming dehydrated if you do not apply the measures. relevant precautionary measures. This could also cause the dog to not feel motivated to do the training. Carrying out the practice at least once a day, when the dog is responding favorably to your instructions, you can alternate the sessions, leaving a day off so that the dog can rest and have enough time to assimilate the learned instructions. You can even have sessions twice a week to allow what the dog has learned to stay fresh in his mind. But you should not allow more than a month to pass without practicing the training, since after this time, the lesson will have completely lost its effect.

Health of the Bergamasco Shepherd

The physical condition of the Bergamasco Shepherd tends to be healthy , with the diseases typical of this breed being non-existent. Although this does not mean that its body cannot be affected in the same way as other breeds of dogs of the same size. These belong to the set of diseases that can generally occur in these species. For this reason, it is necessary to take the necessary measures to avoid pathological manifestations that put the life of your best friend at risk.
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