Bergamascos are smart, strong but docile dogs that have a deep desire to please their people, but are not submissive animals. They are independent thinkers and usually act more as partners than subordinates within a family unit. Bergamascos share their time and attention equally with all family members, treating each of them as individuals rather than bonding tightly to only one. They are extremely loyal and protective of their owners, affectionate with family and friends and suspicious of strangers. Bergamascos have a reputation for being dominant around unfamiliar dogs. Owners who respect and return the Bergamasco’s intelligence, loyalty and affection will have a rare, steadfast companion.
Bergamascos are fairly large dogs that require regular exercise in order to maintain health, happiness and an even temperament. They like having a job to do and love stretching their legs outside. Most enjoy playing fetch and participating in other outdoor activities, such as Frisbee. They perform well in athletic competitions, such as herding, agility and obedience. While these are not overly rambunctious dogs, long daily walks are always a good idea. Bergamascos are not suited for apartment living. They need plenty of room to romp and do best in rural settings with large, securely fenced yards.
These are bright, obedient dogs that bond deeply with their owners and want to please. However, they won’t follow orders blindly. A Bergamasco wants to know why it is being asked to do something. Once it figures that out, it usually will happily comply, on its own terms. Bergamascos respond best to firm, consistent, patient training using positive reinforcement and rewards rather than harsh corrections. They are quickly learners and have a terrific work ethic.
Bergamascos are calm when in familiar surroundings. They tend to be most active outdoors and well-behaved inside. This breed isn’t known to be particularly destructive, as long as they get enough exercise and don’t become bored. Bergamascos are pretty quiet and rarely bark, although they become quite vocal and intimidating when protecting their families or livestock. They are great pets for families because they are patient and gentle with small children. These dogs have extremely good hearing and an extraordinary awareness of their surroundings, including the location of their family members. They are reliable protectors and guardians. They have been known to warn unsuspecting people of imminent attacks by other dogs. However, Bergamascos are not naturally aggressive.