Originating in Italy, Bergamascos are rare beyond the Italian borders and are growing rarer in their native land where herding needs are dwindling. Named for their northern Italy home region of Bergamo, this breed rose to fame as robust herding dogs capable of guarding flocks but came near extinction when fewer and fewer Italians required herding dogs. The Bergamasco ancestors spread out along the Alpine chain but, due to their unique coat, this breed of working dogs is recognizable anywhere. Resembling a large, dirty mop in both color and texture, Bergamascos are gray or black with light additions of fawn or white. Their flocked coat is not truly fur – it is considered hair making these dogs non-allergenic. Their coat naturally grows into long mats that turn eventually into twisted, rough “cords.” While their thick and distinctively layered coat gives the Bergamasco an imposing appearance, they tend to be peaceful in nature. This strong breed is solidly compact with a powerful build that matches their sound bravery to create the ideal herding dog.
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