A VERSATILY BREED
The Bergamasco form a very close bond with man but at the same time maintaining the characteristics selected over hundreds of years.
A few years ago, I happened to be on the banks of the river Serio talking to a shepherd, we were talking about sheep, lambs and of course dogs. Surrounding us was a large flock of sheep, at a glance about a thousand sheep wandering around the river bed in search of fresh grass to graze. A sand dune separated our view from part of the flock where there were also a few donkeys and mules that the shepherd needs to transport a few household articles and above all the weaker lambs that are tucked into the pockets of the packsaddle during transfers. Whilst we were talking the shepherd glanced over to his Bergamasco and without changing his tone of voice said to him “ va a to i asen” “go and get the donkeys “. It certainly didn’t sound like a command, but more like a suggestion to a friend, to a helper. The Bergamasco took off at a steady pace but calm, went behind the dune and came back with donkeys and mules, leaving the flock tidy. A normal task for the sheepdog, not compensated with treats, a pat or a simple good boy as most of us dog lovers would have done, only a simple significant glance of approval to his Bergamasco who then lies down at his master’s feet ready for his next job, ready to receive a command, to fulfill and to even run to the top of a mountain just so as to please his pack leader. These are the Bergamascos, they live for their owner, to serve him, to see him satisfied, they create a very strong bond with him and they understand everything that is being said to them. For the shepherd they are not just helpers, but above all companions during the long hours of loneliness, specially in the mountains during summer pastures where the shepherd is completely alone with his animals.
The Bergamascos bred today have maintained all those characteristics whereby they were selected by the shepherds. Excellent companions, they establish a very close bond with man and are there to serve, always ready to obey orders given, to run, play or be by their side patiently waiting.
The Bergamasco Sheepdog is an Italian breed