Fédération Cynologique Internationale

The Kennel Club

United Kennel Club

Bergamasco Shepherd

(Cane da Pastore Bergamasco)

Bergamasco

Bergamasco

These illustrations do not necessarily show the ideal example of the breed.

ORIGIN

:
FCI
Italy.

PUBLISHED

:
FCI
13.11.2015.
KC
October 2009

UTILISATION

:
FCI
Shepherd dog used in driving and guarding herds.

CLASSIFICATION

:
FCI
Group 1Sheepdogs and Cattledogs
Section 1Sheepdogs
Without working trial

KC
Pastoral
UKC
Herding Dog

TRANSLATION

:
FCI
Mrs. Peggy Davis and Mrs. Ruth Binder-Gresly.

BRIEF HISTORICAL SUMMARY

:
FCI
This ancient breed of guard dogs of herds has spread all over the region of the Italian Alps; the total number of these dogs was especially great in the Bergamasca valleys, where the breeding of sheep was highly developed.
UKC
The Bergamasco is an ancient North Italian breed, a shepherd used for guiding herds in the Po Valley during the winter and in the mountains of the Alps during the summer. The number of dogs is great in the Bergamasco Valleys, where the breeding of sheep developed in ancient times. The Bergamasco was recognized by the United Kennel Club January 1, 1995.

GENERAL APPEARANCE

:
FCI
The Bergamasco shepherd is a dog of medium size of rustic appearance with an abundant coat covering all parts of the body, of a powerful construction but very well proportioned. Its general shape is that of a medium proportions dog, whose body fits into a square. He is balanced as much in relation to its size (heterometry = normal proportions between size and different parts of the body) as with the profiles (alloidisme = concordance between the profiles of the head and the body).
KC
Medium-sized sheepdog of ancient origin. Powerfully constructed, square in profile, heavily coated.
UKC
The Bergamasco is herding dog of medium size and rustic appearance. The body is compact and square in profile. The Bergamasco’s characteristic feature is its unique coat, made up of three types of hair. The coat forms “flocks” or loose mats, which cover the dog’s body and legs, and protect the dog from weather and predators. The hair on the head is typically long and hangs over the eyes.

IMPORTANT PROPORTIONS

:
FCI
The length of the body, measured from the foremost point of the shoulder (humeral-scapular joint) to the rearmost point of the thigh (pelvic tuber of the ischium) is equal to the height at the withers (the body thus fitting into a square). Permitted, but not desirable is a slight margin of tolerance which in no case must be more than one or two cms. The length of the head is 4/10 of the height at the withers. The depth of chest must be 50% of the height at the withers.
KC
Vigilant guard with strong protective instinct. Tight skin. Unusual and distinctive coat.

BEHAVIOUR / TEMPERAMENT

:
FCI
The function of the Bergamasco Shepherd is to guide and guard the herd, task for which he shows exemplary disposition thanks to his vigilance, his concentration and psychological balance- His learning faculty and determination combined with his moderation and patience make of him an excellent guard and companion dog, suited to the most divers uses. He establishes a close relationship with man.
KC
Intelligent, cautious, patient. Good companion/guard.
UKC
The function of the Bergamasco is to both guide and guard the herd. He is vigilant and determined when working. His learning faculty and determination, combined with his moderation and patience, make him an excellent guard and companion dog, suited to the most different uses. He is able to establish a close relationship with man.

HEAD

:
FCI
The length of muzzle is the same as that of the skull. In its parallelepiped ensemble, the head seems large. The skin must not be thick, but close fitting to the underlying tissues without forming wrinkles.
KC
Skull and muzzle of equal length. Tight skin with no wrinkle. Broad skull, slightly convex between high set ears, but rounded forehead. Width of skull no more than half length of head from occiput to nostril. Top of skull and top of muzzle parallel in profile. Prominent occiput. Definite stop with marked median furrow. Fairly deep truncated muzzle tapers slightly towards nose, but never pointed with rather flat foreface and strong under jaw. Well pigmented, tight lips just cover front of jaw.
UKC
The head is proportionate to the size of the dog, with the skull and muzzle of equal length, parallel to one another, and joined at a pronounced stop. The skin on the head is tight with no wrinkles.

CRANIAL REGION

:

Skull

:
FCI
The skull is broad and slightly convex between the ears; is also wide and rounded in the region of the forehead. The upper longitudinal head planes of the skull and the muzzle are parallel. The length of the skull is the same as that of the muzzle. Its width must not be more than half the length of the head. The protuberances of the forehead are well developed both in longitudinal and transversal sense, the zygomatic process of the frontal bone are well defined. The median frontal furrow (or flute) is marked; the occipital protuberance is obvious and prominent.
UKC
The skull is slightly domed between the ears, and rounded at the forehead. The skull is at most as wide as it is long, and features a prominent occiput and a marked median furrow.

Stop

:
FCI
The frontal-nasal depression (stop) is well adjusted, but accentuated due to the marked apophyses of the bones of the nose and forehead, the frontal protuberances and superciliary arches.

FACIAL REGION

:

Nose

:
UKC
The dark nose is fully pigmented.

Muzzle

:
FCI
Tapers progressively towards its extremity and its lateral sides converge slightly, so that the muzzle itself is not pointed but truncated, with a foreface rather flat. Its length is the same of that of the skull. Its width, measured at half length, reaches about 50% of its length. The height of the muzzle must not be less than half its length. The upper profile of the muzzle, traced by the profile of the face, is straight. The lower profile is not determined by the lip, but by the jaw. Because of this conformation, the corner of the lips is not obvious; the mouth is well split so that the corner of the lips is at the level of an imaginary vertical from the outer angle of the eye. The lower profile of the jaw is almost straight.
KC
Well split lips, with inner corner directly below vertical line from outer corner of eye. Scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaws.
UKC
The depth and width of the muzzle, measured at midpoint, are each about half the length of the muzzle. The muzzle is blunt, tapering only slightly toward the nose. The lips are tight and of black pigment. They just cover the teeth. The inner corner of the mouth reaches back to a vertical line drawn down from the outside corner of the eye. The cheeks are not very prominent.

Lips

:
FCI
Fine and of little importance, they separate under the nose making a well opened arc which forms a third of a circle; hence the teeth in the jaw are only just covered. The rims of the lips are well pigmented.

Jaws/Teeth

:
FCI
Upper and lower jaw well developed; the lower jaw (mandible) really strong and large. Teeth white, complete and well developed dentition; incisors in regular alignment. Scissor bite.
UKC
The jaw is wide, with a full complement of strong, evenly spaced, white teeth meeting in a scissors bite. The lower jaw is large and strong. The incisors are regularly aligned.

Cheeks

:
FCI
Not very prominent.

Eyes

:
FCI
Large; iris of a more or less dark chestnut colour depending on the colour of the coat. They are set on an almost identical frontal plan. Their expression is soft, serene and attentive. The opening of the eyelid is slightly oval and the eyelid axis has an obliqueness of about 15° on the horizontal. The eyelids fit tightly over the eye, with black pigmented rims; eyelashes are particularly long so that they can lift the hair falling from the forehead over the eyes.
KC
Oval, large, dark chestnut colour preferred, but depends on colour of coat. Soft, serene but attentive expression. Tight fitting black eye rims with long lashes.
UKC
The eyes are large, slightly oval, and set just slightly obliquely. Eye color is dark chestnut, with the darkness of the color varying with the color of the coat. The eye rims are tight-fitting and black. The eyelashes are particularly long so they can lift the hair that falls over the eyes. The expression is attentive and calm.

Ears

:
FCI
Set high, semi-drooping, i.e. the last two thirds of the lobe are drooping. When the dog is attentive, the ear lifts slightly at its base. Triangular shape. Length is between 11 and 13 cm, width 6.5 to 8 cm. It shows a wide base which, towards the back, extends to where the head sets on the neck, whereas towards the front, it reaches the middle of the skull. The tip is slightly rounded. On the ears the hair is slightly wavy and soft; ends up forming fringes on the tip.
KC
Set high, top two-thirds semi-drooping. Ear lifts from base when attracted. Triangular shape, wide base tapers into neckline. Slightly rounded tips. Covered with soft, slightly wavy hair forming fringes at tips.
UKC
The ears are soft and thin, and hang down on either side of the face. The ears are set on high. At its widest point, the ear is from 2½ to 3 inches wide. Ear length does not exceed half the length of the head, and shorter is preferred. The top two-thirds of the ear is triangular in shape, with slightly rounded tips. When the dog is alert, the ears prick up at the base, with the top two-thirds semi-drooping. Viewed from the side, the ears appear to be an extension of the curve of the back of the neck. The ears are covered with soft, slightly wavy hair, forming fringes at the tip.

NECK

:
FCI
Upper profile is slightly convex. The neck is a little bit shorter than the head; in effect, when extended, is not more than 80% of the length of the head. The perimeter of the neck, taken halfway of its length, must be at least double its length. The skin is never flabby, so always without dewlap. Hair must be dense.
KC
Medium length, strong, well arched, no dewlap. Densely coated. Joins back in gentle slope to high set withers.
UKC
The neck is strong, slightly arched, and, measured from the nape to the forward edge of the withers, should be about 20 percent shorter than the length of the head. In its center, the perimeter of the neck must be at least twice its length. There is no dewlap. The hair on the neck must be dense. FOREQUARTERS

BODY

:
KC
Depth is half height at withers, which are well defined. Length from point of shoulder to point of buttocks equal to height at withers. Brisket reaches to elbow. Broad back. Well sprung ribs. Straight topline. Sloping croup.
UKC
The Bergamasco is square, with the length of body measured from point of shoulder to point of buttocks equal to the height measured at the withers. Permitted, but not desirable, is a slight margin of tolerance which in no case must be more than ¾ (three-quarters) of an inch. The ribs are well-sprung and let down to the elbows. The depth of the rib cage is equal to half the dog's height at the withers. The line of the back inclines very slightly downward from prominent withers to a strong, broad back with a straight upper line. The loin is well-muscled and broad. The croup is slightly sloping, about 30 degrees downward from the horizontal. Tuck-up is nearly absent.

Topline

:
FCI
Withers well defined from the straight topline. The lumbar region shows a certain convexity and the rump is somewhat sloping.

Withers

:
FCI
High and long. The neck harmoniously joined to the body.

Back

:
FCI
Straight, well muscled and of good width, its length about 30% of the height at the withers. Lumbar region merging well with the topline and the rump. The length of the lumbar part is about 20% of the height at the withers; it is thus definitely shorter than the dorsal part. The width of the lumbar region is about the same as its length; muscles of the whole region are well developed.

Croup

:
FCI
Wide, strong, well muscled and slanting, with an inclination of 30° below the horizontal; transversal width between the hips must be 1/7th of the height at the withers.

Chest

:
FCI
Must be ample, brisket let down to the level of the elbows and well curved – Its perimeter (measured behind the elbows) is more by 25% than the height at the withers - Its transversal diameter must reach 30% of the height at the withers. Depth and height of the chest must be 50% of the height at the withers.

Underline and belly

:
FCI
From the sternum, the lower profile rises very slightly towards the belly which is a little tucked up. The length of the flanks must correspond with that of the lumbar region, which is short. The hollowness in the flanks is minimal.

TAIL

:
FCI
Set on third part of rump, thick and strong at its root, tapering towards its extremity. Covered with goat-like hair slightly wavy. Its length is 60 to 65% of the height at the withers and reaches the hock easily when the dog is standing normally; though it is preferable it should be shorter. At rest the tail is carried “sabre” fashion i.e. drooping in its first third parts, then slightly curved in its last third part. In action the dog wags his tail like a flag.
KC
Strong at root, tapering towards tip. Reaches hock easily, but preferably no longer. Slightly curved towards tip at rest, carried flag-like when animated.
UKC
The tail is set on in the last third of the croup. The tail is uncut, thick at the base, and tapering to the tip. When the dog is in repose, the tail just reaches to the hock, and is carried in saber fashion, with a curve in the lower third. When the dog is in action the tail waves like a flag.

LIMBS

:

FOREQUARTERS

:
FCI
On the whole seen from the front and in profile the forequarters are straight. Height from ground to elbow is 50% of the height at the withers; they are well proportioned in relation to the size of the dog.
KC
Straight when seen from front and side. Well angulated shoulder with good lay back, and length and angulation of upper arm. Elbows set under body. Straight forelegs, with strong bone and muscle. Short pasterns.
UKC
The shoulders are massive and strong. The shoulder blade is about 6 to 6¾ inches long and is moderately laid back, about 50 degrees from the horizontal. The shoulder blades should be tightly knit. The upper arm is just slightly longer than the scapula, about 7 inches. The angle formed by the scapula and upper arm varies between 105 and 125 degrees.

Shoulder

:
FCI
Well constructed and massive. The length of the shoulder blade is a little more than the quarter of the height at the withers and measures between 15 and 17 cm. Its obliqueness below the horizontal is of 45 of 55 degrees. Muscles must always be well developed.

Upper Arm

:
FCI
Must be well muscled with strong bone construction. Its length is 30% of the height at the withers. Its inclination below the horizontal is between 60 and 70 degrees. The opening of the scapula-humerus angle varies between 105 and 125 degrees.

Elbow

:
FCI
Must be placed in parallel plans to the median plane of the body. The point of the elbow must be on an imaginary vertical letdown from the caudal angle of the shoulder blade. The opening of the radial-humerus angle varies between about 150 and 155 degrees. From the level of the elbow going downwards, the hair must be abundant, long and dense, with a tendance to look like flocks of hair.

FORELEGS

:
UKC
The vertical forearm is about the same length as the upper arm and is placed so that the point of the elbow is on a vertical line falling from the tops of the scapulae. The elbows are neither close to the body nor out, but are set on a plane parallel to the body. The wrist follows the vertical line of the forearm and is very mobile. The pisiform bone protrudes. The pasterns are straight when viewed from the front, and slightly sloping when viewed from the side.

Forearm

:
FCI
Vertical; its length is at least equal to that of the upper arm. Muscle and bone well developed.

Carpus (wrist)

:
FCI
Mobile and lean with the pisiform bone clearly protruding, it extends the vertical line of the forearm.

Pastern

:
FCI
Must be lean and mobile. Seen from the front, must be placed in the same vertical plan as the forearm. Seen in profile , is slightly oblique to the front.

FEET

:
KC
Oval with well closed and arched toes. Strong well pigmented nails. Hard pads of dark colour.
UKC
The feet are oval, with toes well knit and arched. The pads of the feet are tough and dark. The toenails are strong and black. The feet are well feathered with hair, including between the toes. Rear dewclaws must be removed. Front dewclaws may be removed.

Forefeet

:
FCI
Oval shaped (hare foot) with well closed and arched toes. Strong nails, curved and well pigmented. Tough pads of a dark colour.

Hind feet

:
FCI
As the front with all the same characteristics.

HINDQUARTERS

:
FCI
On the whole, the hindquarters relate well to the size of the dog. Limbs straight, as much in profile as seen from behind.
KC
Long, wide, well muscled upper thigh, good turn of stifle, fairly high set hocks. Straight when viewed from rear.
UKC
The upper thigh is long, wide and well muscled. The angle formed between the pelvis and the upper thigh is approximately 105 degrees. The lower thigh is as long as the upper, with strong bone and lean muscles. It slopes downward and backward, forming a moderate angle of about 135 degrees at the stifle. There is a well-defined furrow between the tendon and the bone above the hock. The distance from the point of hock to the ground is no less than 25 percent of the height at the withers. Viewed from behind, the rear pasterns should be vertical and parallel to one another. Viewed from the side, the rear pasterns are vertical and placed so that the hocks just slightly extend past a vertical line dropped from the point of buttock. The angle of the hock joint is about 140-145 degrees.

Thigh

:
FCI
Long, wide, well muscled with a rear profile slightly convex. Its length exceeds about 30% of the height at the withers, and its width 75% of its length. The aperture of the coxal-femoral joint angle varies between 100 and 105 degrees.

Stifle

:
FCI
Is on perfectly straight line with the limb, is not turned either in or out. The tibial-femoral angle is open and measures about 130 – 135 degrees.

Lower thigh

:
FCI
Robust bone structure and lean muscle, the groove in the muscle is well marked. Length of leg is about 1/3 of the height at the withers. Inclination below the horizontal is about 55 degrees.

Hock

:
FCI
Lateral sides of the hock joint must be really wide. The distance from the point of the hock to the ground must not be less than 25% of the height at the withers. Aperture of the angle of the tarsal-tibial articulation varies between 140 and 145 degrees.

Rear pastern

:
FCI
Its length is about 15% of the height at the withers if gauged independently; if measured from the point of the heel bone, its length is the same as that of the hock. Its direction must be vertical. Eventual dewclaws must be eliminated.

GAIT / MOVEMENT

:
FCI
Step free and long; the trot, rather extended and well maintained, is the preferred gait. Because of its conformation, the dog can easily go into an ordinary gallop, gait which he is able to maintain for a relatively long time.
KC
Free, long steps. Extended trot is desirable. Capable of maintaining free gallop.
UKC
Because a herding dog is required to be in constant motion while the flock is being driven, correct, efficient movement is essential. The natural and preferred gait for the Bergamasco is a free, extended, elastic trot with both front and rear feet remaining close to the ground. Pasterns are supple and flex freely. When moving, the dog’s head moves forward so that the head is nearly even with the backline.

SKIN

:
FCI
Tight to the body, must be fine all over, but especially on the ears and forequarters. Neck without dewlap and head without wrinkles. Colour of the mucous membranes and third eyelids must be black.

COAT

:

HAIR

:
FCI
Very abundant, very long and different depending on the regions. The texture is harsh, (goat hair) particularly on the front of the body. From halfway of the chest towards the rear, and on all the limbs, the coat tends to form strands or is already in strands, depending on the subject’s age; these strands must start from the topline of the back and fall on the sides of the body. On the head the hair is less harsh and covers the eyes. On the limbs, the coat must be evenly distributed everywhere in the shape of soft flocks falling towards the ground; forms a kind of pilaster on the front and strands on the hindquarters, this without fringes. The undercoat is so short and dense, it is not easy to see the skin. Must be greasy to the touch.
KC
Abundant and long. Harsh texture on front of body, softer on head and limbs. Short, dense undercoat obscures skin. Tends to form into strands or loose mats from topline of body (not cords). Greasy to the touch.
UKC
The Bergamasco coat is made up of three types of hair: Undercoat, “goat hair,” and outer coat. The undercoat is short, dense, and of fine texture. It is oily to the touch and forms a waterproof layer against the skin. The “goat hair” is long, straight, and rough in texture. The outer coat is woolly and somewhat finer in texture than the “goat hair.” The “goat hair” and outer coat are not distributed evenly over the dog and it is this pattern of distribution that is responsible for the formation of the characteristic flocks. The coat from the withers down to the midpoint of the body is mostly “goat hair” which forms a smooth saddle in that region. On the back of the body and the legs, the woolly outer coat is abundant and mingles with the reduced quantity of “goat hair” in that region to form the flocks. The flocks are larger at the base than the end, flat, irregular in shape, and may sometimes open in a fan-shape. The hair on the legs also hangs in flocks rather than feathering. The flocks are never combed out. The hair on the head is mostly “goat hair” but is somewhat less rough in texture and hangs over the eyes.

COLOUR

:
FCI
Solid grey or with grey patches of all possible shades from a most delicate grey to a brighter shade of grey on to black; Isabel and light fawn shades are permitted. An all black coat is allowed providing the black is really opaque (zain). An all white coat is proscribed – White patches are tolerated as long as their surface is not more than a fifth of the total surface of the coat.
KC
Solid grey, or with patches of all shades of grey through to black. White patches allowed providing no more than one fifth of coat. Black, Isabella and light fawn allowed.
UKC
Solid gray or with gray patches, all possible shades of gray (including shadings of isabella and fawn), up to and including solid black, provided it is not shiny or lustrous. Solid white is not allowed but white markings are acceptable if they cover no more than one-fifth of the coat.

SIZE

:
KC
Height: dogs: 58-62 cms (23-24½ ins); bitches: 54-58 cms (21-23 ins). Weight: dogs: 32-38 kgs (70-84 lbs); bitches: 26-32 kgs (56-70 lbs).
UKC
Males ideally stand 23½ inches, and females 22 inches, measured at the withers. One inch taller or shorter than the ideal is acceptable. Males weigh from between 70 and 84 pounds. Females weigh from between 57 and 71 pounds.

Height at withers

:
FCI
The ideal height at the withers for males is 60 cm with a tolerance of 2 cm, either above or below. For the females 56 cm also with a tolerance of 2 cm more or less.

Weight

:
FCI

Males 32 – 38 kg.
Females 26 – 32 kg.

FAULTS

:
FCI

Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog.
The same conditions apply to dogs with too small a head and those who amble permanently.
KC
Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog and on the dog’s ability to perform its traditional work.

DISQUALIFYING FAULTS

:
FCI

Facial-cranial head planes convergent or divergent.
Accentuated and disfiguring prognathism.
Bilateral strabismus (squint).
Nose partially depigmented.
Size over or under the margins indicated by the standard.
Curled up tail.
Aggressive or overly shy.
Total depigmentation of nose.
Muzzle (foreface) definitely convex (roman nose) or concave.
Total bilateral depigmentation of the eyelids.
Wall-eyed (even one eye).
Jaws upper prognathism (undershot mouth).
Taillessness (anury) or stump tail (brachyury); carried rolled over the back.
Skin total depigmentation of the rims of the lips and of the eyes.
Coat colour white, more than 1/5 of the total surface.
Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities shall be disqualified.
UKC

(An Eliminating Fault is a Fault serious enough that it eliminates the dog from obtaining any awards in a conformation event.) Height under 22½ inches and over 24½ inches in a male; under 21 inches and over 23 inches in a female.
Unilateral or bilateral cryptorchid. Viciousness or extreme shyness. Bridge of muzzle decidedly convex or concave. Overshot or undershot bite that is accentuated or disfiguring. Dudley nose or nose partially depigmented. Total bilateral depigmentation of the eyelids. Bilateral cross-eyes. Wall eyes. No tail. Stump tail. Tail rolled over the back. White on more than one-fifth of the total area of the coat. Albinism.
Muzzle: Bridge of muzzle decidedly convex or concave.
Teeth: Overshot or undershot bite that is accentuated or disfiguring.
Nose: Dudley nose or nose partially depigmented.
Eyes: Total bilateral depigmentation of the eyelids; bilateral cross-eyes; wall eyes.
Tail: No tail. Stump tail. Tail rolled over the back.
Color: White on more than one-fifth of the total area of the coat; albinism.


Anatomical Features of the dog

N.B.:

Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.