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Group Pastoral Dogs (KC)
History Considered as a breed with ancient ancestry, the Bergamasco is a breed that is said to have originated from Persia, in the place that is now known as Iran. The nomads that were breeding these dogs then found a home for themselves in the Italian Alps, and it was then that these dogs became known as the Bergamasco. When shepherds migrated to the Western world from the Orient, exchanges of dogs were made along with the selling of sheep. The bloodlines of Bergamascos were kept secret by the shepherds for a long time, and these dogs were chosen by many as their choice of working dogs.
Appearance These dogs are medium-sized, have powerful, strong builds, and are nicely proportioned. Their legs are straight and they have well-arched toes on their oval-shaped feet. The expressions conveyed by their eyes-- that are slightly oval in shape and typically brown in color-- are that of alertness, serenity, and intelligence. They have triangular-shaped, soft, and thin ears. Their eyes are also shielded by their hair so that they are protected from the glare of the sun. They have shaggy, thick coats that are made up of three kinds of hair. These hairs form flocks or mats that serve as this breed's distinguishing characteristic. Females of this breed sport lighter weights than male ones.
Colours Coats of these dogs can be silver gray or gray, or they can be as dark as coal, or black. They can also have shades of brown mixed in with their coats. There are theories stating that these colors may camouflage the dogs while they are up in the mountains doing their work.
Temperament Dogs of this breed are considered peaceful, brave, and intelligent. They are not aggressive, but they can be excellent watchdogs since they don't like it when strangers invade their space. These dogs see their owners as their friends, rather than their masters. Attentive and affectionate, these dogs enjoy being with their family and getting involved with their activities. They can also be great with children and can get along well with other pets that they have been raised with. There are even some Bergamascos that have been used as therapy dogs for children that are handicapped. These dogs will also get along well with other dogs, just as long as those dogs aren't threatening.
Weight They reach 53 - 64 cm in height and 25 - 36 Kg in weight.
Problems Known as a very healthy breed, Bergamascos seem to have no hereditary disorders or common health problems of any kind.
Living Conditions Since these dogs have thick coats, they do well in climates that are seasonal or cold. They will not do well living inside apartments, and prospective owners have to take this into account. These dogs are best raised on a house with a yard, and they should be given something to do. Dogs of this breed can also get used to sleeping outdoors during the night.
Requirements These dogs find the outdoors to be very enjoyable, which is why they should not be kept inside apartments. They will exercise on their own should they be left to work and live in a large farm. However, owners should still take the time to take their dogs out for long walks daily. These dogs can also be used for herding sheep as they will love doing this. Playing with kids can also provide them with the exercise they need.
Training Requirements Dogs of this breed should be trained gently and consistently. They should be socialized at an early age. These dogs should also be given work as they will always seek a job to do.
Life Expectancy The life spans of these dogs range from 13 to 15 years.
Grooming Coats of these dogs are made up of three layers: the undercoat, the goat hair, and the woolly top coat. The woolly top coat and the goat hair are interspersed to form the flock. Once the coats are fully flocked, grooming these dogs would only entail brushing their coats and bathing them occasionally. Owners should make sure that they let the coats of these dogs grow spontaneously and naturally.
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More Bergamasco Information: Check out our Bergamasco Clubs and links to more informative websites dedicated to the breed.
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