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3 What kind of herding dogs are there?

FCI Group 1 dogs are real workhorses: herding dogs and cattle dogs have been helping people with cattle breeding for thousands of years. The clever dogs have a strong protective instinct, and a great deal of self-confidence and are therefore very popular not only with shepherds but also with families. Get to know the most important characteristics of strong four-legged friends.

Which dog breeds are used as herding dogs?

Herding dogs were bred for one purpose: herding. Depending on the application and environment, there are different breeds that are better or worse suited for work. The most popular herding dogs include the German Shepherd, Australian Shepherd, and Border Collie.

What is the difference between herding dogs and herd guard dogs?

Livestock protection dogs do not have a herding function. They are larger, heavier and stronger than herding dogs, but do not share their agility and joy of movement. You are rather relaxed, but have a pronounced protective instinct at the highest level!

What kind of herding dogs are there?

Australian Cattle Dog

Which Dogs Belong To The Herding Group Of Dogs? (Part 1) 17

country of origin
default number
height at the withers
Dogs: 46-51 cm, bitches: 43-48 cm
As the name of the Australian Cattle Dog breed suggests, this dog’s work is herding and herding livestock in both open and confined spaces, a task it performs in an inimitable manner. The Australian Cattle Dog is always alert, extremely intelligent, alert, courageous, and trustworthy; his unconditional devotion to duty makes him an ideal working dog.
FCI Group 1
Herding dogs and cattle dogs (except Swiss Mountain Dogs)
Section 2: Cattle dogs (except Swiss Mountain Dogs). Without work test.

Description: Australian Cattle Dog

The working dog from Down Under is a tireless companion and incredibly versatile. His alertness and courage also make him an alert watchdog who needs a confident person with leadership qualities.

The Personality of the Australian Cattle Dog

He is wonderfully natural, a free spirit and also a bit rough. Even if every Australian Cattle Dog is an individual canine personality, the original characteristics of the Australian ranch dog are reflected in every representative of the breed – sometimes more, sometimes less. Nervousness or even aggressiveness are absolutely undesirable characteristics in this breed. The cattle dog bred for cattle work has a strong character and a great deal of self-confidence. He is very personable and enjoys joining family life. The Cattle Dog is suspicious of strangers.

Preferences, training and care of the Australian Cattle Dog

Guarding is as much in his blood as driving cattle. Family connection and many joint activities suit the natural four-legged friend. Good training is important if the Australian Cattle Dog is not to bark excessively and go hunting without permission. Energy and joie de vivre characterize the active breed, which needs an appropriate environment. It is important to offer the robust four-legged friend enough exercise and to bring the appropriate assertiveness with you. Otherwise, the clever Australian just does what he wants and that can be quite tiring. He is very clear about his expectations. He doesn’t know patience. A mentally strong owner offers the bold Australian the optimal environment. Because with a person with top leadership qualities, the Cattle Dog feels completely at ease. He rewards fair, consistent leadership with a strong bond and leadership without giving up his own will. The fur is easy to care for.

This is what the Australian Cattle Dog looks like

It is strong, compact and symmetrically built. Substance, strength, balance and powerful musculature enable the Australian Cattle Dog to be extremely flexible with enormous endurance. Males reach a size of 46 to 51 centimeters. – Bitches 43 to 48 centimeters. The double coat has a dense undercoat. The top coat is straight, hard and lies flat, which has a water-repellent effect. The length of the fur varies – depending on the body part – from 2.5 to four centimeters. Australian Cattle Dogs come in Blue Spotted and Red Spotted.

The origin of the Australian Cattle Dog

The history of the Australian Cattle Dog is closely linked to the English who settled the Australian east coast in 1788. They kept Smithfields who did good cattle work on small plots. When cattle breeding was extended to the vast outback, the old dog type reached its performance limits. Eventually, to improve this, ranchers used dingoes to breed a more efficient cattle dog. The pioneer in this field: Thomas Hall. He imported blue merle collies from Britain who, like the Smithfields, failed at cattle. Then Hall took Dingoes into breeding. Actually red-beige or white, the dingo hybrids showed red stippling or bruises. Later, a Dalmatian was crossed in – obviously to increase horse-friendliness. Crossing the Black-and-Tan Kelpie should then in turn improve the driving abilities. It is questionable whether bull terriers were actually crossed to increase their biting power. The result of the performance-oriented breeding program brought the desired success: the ranchers fully trusted the Queensland Heeler, who also bore the name Queensland Blue Heeler. Around 1900 – when the Australian Cattle Dog name was also gaining popularity – breed lover Robert Kaleski set a standard that was endorsed by the Cattle Sheepdog Club of Australia and the Kennel Club of New South Wales. In 1963 the official standard was laid down by the Australian National Kennel Club.

Australian Kelpie

Which Dogs Belong To The Herding Group Of Dogs? (Part 1) 18

country of origin
default number
height at the withers
Dogs: 46-51 cm, bitches: 43-48 cm
German shepherd
FCI Group 1
Herding dogs and cattle dogs (except Swiss Mountain Dogs)
With work test.

Description: Australian Kelpie

If a herding dog darts cheekily over the backs of the sheep entrusted to its care, then it must be an Australian Kelpie. Because the nimble daredevil is only too happy to choose this direct route when he overtakes his herd.

The personality of the Australian Kelpie

It combines liveliness and agility. Self-confidence is innate in the Australian Kelpie – as is his sometimes exuberant temperament. The courageous four-legged friend guards his family just as convincingly as the house and yard. The dog, who loves to bark, is often a bit suspicious of strangers.

Preferences, training, and care of the Australian Kelpie

The nimble herding dog is bursting with energy. His passion for herding is so pronounced that employment in this area makes a lot of sense. As a family dog, he is balanced if he can live out his joy of work and exercise accordingly. If there is no flock of sheep in sight, various facets of dog sports come into consideration. Most Kelpies enjoy agility and are very successful at it. But they are also enthusiastic about other leisure activities: the main thing is action! Raising the enterprising Australian is relatively easy. His gentleness goes hand in hand with good leadership. He is loyal to his family, but a consistent upbringing is still appropriate. After a solid basic training, most Kelpies are absolutely sociable and uncomplicated companions. The coat consists of stick hair with a short, dense undercoat. The dense top coat is straight, hard and lies flat. It effectively protects the body against rain. Overall, Kelpies are easy to care for. However, regular brushing is required.

This is what the Australian Kelpie looks like

The typical Kelpie is muscular, agile and medium-sized. Males reach a size of 46 to 51 centimeters. Bitches 43 to 48 centimeters. The coat captivates in the wonderful colors of black, black and tan, red, red and tan, chocolate brown and smoky blue. It is made up of stick hair with a short, dense undercoat. The hair of the dense top coat is hard and lies flat. The Kelpie’s head resembles that of a fox. Almond-shaped eyes and a clearly contoured muzzle are just as typical of the breed as the tail hanging in a slight curve, which has a strong brush and is raised when excited. The movement of the Kelpie is free and flowing. He is capable of rapid changes of direction.

The origin of the Australian Kelpie

In his native Australia he can still be seen in many places working on large flocks of sheep. This has been the case for many decades and Kelpies are in their element in this effort. No wonder, since their ancestors are Scottish Collies, which also have herding in their blood. In 1872 a bitch of this new breed won a herding dog competition. Her name was Kelpie and that would become the official breed name. As the progenitor of the breed, Kelpie gave birth to puppies that were in great demand in breeder circles. It is likely that different breeds of herding dogs were crossed at the beginning of breeding. Dingoes are not the ancestors of the Kelpie.

Australian Shepherd

Which Dogs Belong To The Herding Group Of Dogs? (Part 1) 19

country of origin
United States of America
default number
height at the withers
Dogs: 51-58 cm, bitches: 46-53 cm
Farm and ranch herding dog
FCI Group 1
Herding dogs and cattle dogs (except Swiss Mountain Dogs)
Section 1: German Shepherds. Without work test.

Description: Australian Shepherd

Australian Shepherds are demanding. As a herding dog, they sparkle with energy and they want to live it out. That is why the appealing beauties from the USA are best suited to very active people.

The personality of the Australian Shepherd

Self-confidence, alertness and enjoyment of physical activity are typical characteristics of the agile American. As a herding dog, Australian Shepherds tend to herd everything: bikes, cars, horses, ducks, children. This is accompanied by the barking and clear body language signals of a herding dog. Australian Shepherds also have a strong guard and protective instinct.

Likes, training and care of the Australian Shepherd

Action every day. This is a basic requirement for a harmonious life with Australian Shepherds. Walks are best spiced up with interesting game tasks. Training on the dog field is just as welcome as agility or obedience. Overall, Aussies are very versatile and can therefore be engaged in all imaginable activities. Since they like to learn, their upbringing is a lot of fun and quickly brings a sense of achievement. However, consistency and clear rules are also very important. Australian Shepherds are communicative and social dogs that really enjoy socializing with other Aussies. They are ideal for multi-dog keeping. When choosing, pay attention to the breeding line. There are breeds specializing in herding work with narrower and more active dogs that are ideal for herding work and demanding dog sports. Other breeders are increasingly focusing on companion and family dogs. More serenity can be expected here than with the performance-oriented lines. The Aussie’s coat should be brushed regularly.

This is what the Australian Shepherd looks like

The Australian Shepherd is characterized by good proportions, medium size, more length than height and good bone strength. Males reach a size of 51 to 58 centimeters. Bitches 46 to 53 centimeters. The coat, which comes in color variations of blue merle, black, red merle, red – all with or without white markings and/or copper-colored branding – is straight to wavy, medium in length and protects against all weather conditions. Hair is short and smooth on head, ears, front of forelegs and below hocks. The backs of the forelegs and trousers show light feathering. A moderately developed mane and ruff are also part of the breed image. Supple, light and free movements are typical of the Aussie.

The origin of the Australian Shepherd

Although his name is Australian Shepherd, the pretty herding dog does not come from Down Under, but from the USA. Basque shepherds brought his ancestors to America from Australia around 1800. After the Second World War, the Aussie enjoyed growing popularity, especially in western riding circles, which spurred its popularity. He was increasingly seen on farms and accompanying ranchers. They were also the ones who worked hard on the further development of the breed. The focus was on the high motivation as a herding dog, attractiveness and family-related characteristics.

Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog

Which Dogs Belong To The Herding Group Of Dogs? (Part 1) 20

country of origin
default number
height at the withers
Dogs: 46-51 cm, bitches: 43-48 cm
As the name suggests, the Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog’s primary work is herding and herding livestock in both open and confined spaces, even under harsh conditions; a task that he masters in an inimitable way. Always alert, extremely intelligent, alert, courageous and dependable with an unconditional devotion to duty which makes them an ideal working dog.
FCI Group 1
Herding dogs and cattle dogs (except Swiss Mountain Dogs)
Section 2 cattle dogs (except Swiss Mountain Dogs). Without work test.

Description: Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog

He is the ideal working dog. The Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog is characterized by intelligence, courage, reliability and an absolute dedication to the task set for it. In his native Australia, he herds and herds livestock.

The Personality of the Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog

The nature of the self-confident Australian is characterized by great enthusiasm for work, constant attention, courage and independence. He understands quickly and accepts challenges enthusiastically. As a driving and herding dog for cattle, he is in his element with herds of sheep or cows. It unfolds its qualities in wide, open terrain as well as in a spatially limited area.

Likes, training and care of the Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog

The robust working dog is quite affectionate and loyal within its family. He tends to be suspicious of strangers. Early socialization increases the Stumpy Tail’s affability in everyday life and at shows, where the tough Aussie is expected to be friendly and cooperative. When running, the herding dog shows a powerful thrust from the hindquarters. He can react at lightning speed from complete stillness and move with tremendous agility. Trained and obedient, Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dogs are fairly easy to train. This also applies to their almost self-cleaning coat, which gets by with occasional brushing.

This is what the Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog looks like

Males reach a height of 46 to 51 centimeters at the withers. Bitches are slightly smaller at 43 to 48 centimeters. The short top coat is straight, dense and medium harsh. Short, dense undercoat with a soft texture is also part of the coat typical of the breed. The hair on the neck is slightly longer than on the rest of the body and forms a slight curl. The fur is very short on the head, legs and paws. Blue Stumpy Tails should be solid blue or spotted blue. Black markings on the head and black spots on the body are allowed. Red speckled representatives of the breed should have good, even red mottling. This also applies to the undercoat. Dark red spots on the head are acceptable, as are red spots on the body.

The origin of the Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog

It comes from Down Under and was bred there at the beginning of the 19th century to drive cattle. There are two plausible variants for the origin of the breed: Either the Stumpy Tail arose from a cross between northern English herding dogs (Smithfields) and Australian dingoes, which became known as Hall’s Heelers. Or it goes back to the red Timmins Biters, which resulted from the mating of a Smithfield bitch with a Dingo. Since the first generations of Stumpy Tails tended the herds entrusted to them with a great deal of rudeness, a smooth-haired, blue-merle colored collie was crossed in, which brought the positive characteristics of a versatile working dog into the breed. The innate bobtail thus comes from the English Smithfields, the red coat color from the dingoes and the blue coloring from the collies. Since breeding was limited to extensive rural areas of Australia for a long time, only a few dogs made it into the stud book. However, as it is established that this breed has been around for a long time, in 2001 it was given the official name Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog.

Bearded Collie

Which Dogs Belong To The Herding Group Of Dogs? (Part 1) 21

country of origin
Great Britain (UK)
default number
height at the withers
Dogs: 53-56 cm, bitches: 51-53 cm
Shepherd and Companion Dog
FCI Group 1
Herding dogs and cattle dogs (except Swiss Mountain Dogs)
Sheepdogs and Cattle Dogs (without Swiss Mountain Dogs) Section 1: Shepherd Dogs Without a working test

Description: Bearded Collie

The long, snazzy beard that adorns the Bearded Collie’s face gave the breed its name: Bearded Collie. But that’s not his only trademark: Liveliness, temperament and a lot of enterprising spirit are also part of it.

The personality of the Bearded Collie

Beardies have an almost exuberant temperament. They are lively, enterprising and highly active, which places certain demands on the owners of these dogs. His loving good nature makes the fluffy Scotsman a lovable member of the family who brings joy to everyone.

Preferences, training and care of the Bearded Collie

Exercise and activity are important for the well-being of the Bearded Collie, who also likes to let his voice ring out. Understandable, because in his home country he is responsible for tending the flock of sheep. If there is no opportunity for herding work, another form of utilization must be found. Agility, dog dance, propellant ball, pulling a sled, working as a therapy dog… Beardies can be used in many different ways. It is important that they are used, otherwise there is a risk of boredom and the associated undesirable behavior. Since the Scottish herding dog has an innate desire to please its owner, it is very easy to motivate it and is best trained with soft, friendly tones. But there shouldn’t be a lack of consistency, otherwise the four-legged friend will take over the direction himself. Regular brushing is also necessary with this working dog. The double-layered coat should be brushed thoroughly two to three times a week, it does not have to be trimmed.

This is what the Bearded Collie looks like

He is slim and yet shows a strong physique. The alert, bold impression is typical of the Bearded Collie, which reaches a height of 51 to 56 centimeters at the withers. It is a glorious sight to see the herding dog soar with its supple, evenly flowing and far-reaching movements – with a lot of effortless space coverage. Its double coat, which consists of a soft, furry undercoat and a smooth, harsh topcoat, comes in slate grey, reddish fawn, black, blue, and all shades of grey, brown, and sand – with or without white markings. The low set tail is carried low with an upward sweep towards the tip when standing or walking. At higher speeds, the Bearded Collie also wears them stretched out.

The origin of the Bearded Collie

Beautiful Scotland is home to the Bearded Collie, long known there as a working dog on farms and having been seen at dog shows as far back as 1897. From then on, the popularity of the attractive herding dog grew until the First World War interrupted this development. In the 1930s they reappeared at exhibitions. Finally, in 1944, the Bearded Collie type emerged, which is very popular today. However, the majority of the dogs continued to be bred outside of the English Kennel Club – on the farms where the Beardies lived as independent herding dogs with the flocks of sheep.


Which Dogs Belong To The Herding Group Of Dogs? (Part 1) 22

country of origin
default number
height at the withers
Males: 65-70 cm, females: 61-68 cm
Shepherd Dog, Guard Dog
FCI Group 1
Herding dogs and cattle dogs (except Swiss Mountain Dogs)
Section 1 herding dog and cattle dog. With work test.

Description: Berger de Beauce (Beauceron)

In France he is also known as Bas Rouge – Redstocking – due to his tan limbs. The Beauceron is a very old French breed of herding dog, which was always subject to strict breeding selection and managed without any crossbreeding with other breeds.

The personality of the Beauceron

Inner peace – paired with courage: These are traits that make up a breed-typical Beauceron. Unfounded aggressiveness, timidity or excessive shyness are undesirable. An honest expression is just as typical as a good character. The Beauceron is attentive but friendly to strangers. His prudence goes hand in hand with a high stimulus threshold. However, if the situation requires it, he reacts quickly and reliably. The Beauceron’s personality requires an experienced handler, they are not a beginner dog.

Preferences, upbringing and care of the Beauceron

A Beauceron needs a job. Herding a flock of sheep is without question his innate passion, but he also enjoys other challenges. Guarding is just as much in his blood as the need to protect everything entrusted to him, which makes the sporty Frenchman a gifted dog for eventing. He also enjoys agility and many other dog sports. Within his family, the Bas Rouge is loving, affectionate and likes to be involved in everything. A companion dog test is recommended and in general the Beauceron should be consistently trained and kept in a species-appropriate manner. Then he is also affable and suitable for everyday use.

This is what the Beauceron looks like

The Berger de Beauce, as the Beauceron is also called, is solid, rustic and powerful. – A large dog that makes an impression with a height of up to 70 centimeters at the withers. His physique is muscular, while the alert Frenchman doesn’t seem sluggish. The herding dog’s gait is smooth and unconstrained. A long, expansive trot is desirable. The coat, which is short on the head, lies close to the body and is strong and thick with a length of three to four centimetres. Short, fine, dense undercoat also belongs to the Beauceron. It is downy and preferably mouse-grey. Black and tan, i.e. black with tan markings, is the coat color typical of the breed. As does Harlequin, a blue-spotted coat with tan markings. The stock-haired coat is relatively easy to care for. Dead hair should be thoroughly removed during the twice-yearly change of coat.

The origin of the Beauceron

The Berger de Beauce is a very old French herding dog breed. His job used to be to watch over flocks of sheep in the pasture and accompany them along country roads. Time and again reports are given of the enormous condition of this breed, which covers distances of up to 80 kilometers in one go without tiring noticeably. In the 19th century there were numerous flocks of sheep and two Beaucerons were enough to herd up to 300 sheep. With the decline in the herds of sheep, the area where the Beauceron was used also shrank. In order to counteract the demise of the breed, the “Les Amis Du Beauceron” club campaigned for the use of the imposing dog in other areas: in addition to herding work, the Berger de Beauce is now mainly used as a guard and protection dog, as a tracking dog, with the army and in the medical sector. The demand is constantly increasing.

Belgian shepherd

Which Dogs Belong To The Herding Group Of Dogs? (Part 1) 23

country of origin
default number
height at the withers
Males: 62 cm, females: 58 cm (average measurement; tolerance -2/+4 cm)
Males: 25 – 30 kg, females: 20 – 25 kg
Originally a shepherd dog, today a working dog (guard dog, protection dog, tracking dog, etc.) and a multi-purpose service dog as well as a family dog.
FCI Group 1
Herding dogs and cattle dogs (except Swiss Mountain Dogs)
Section 1 German Shepherds. With work test.

Description: Belgian Shepherd Dog

There are four attractive varieties in the Belgian Shepherd Dog breed: Malinois, Groenendael, Tervueren and Laekenois. Although colors and coats vary, they all share the skills of herding dogs and guard dogs. The Belgian Shepherd Dog is a highly active, productive and willing dog.

The Personality of the Belgian Shepherd Dog

A lively and lively temperament characterizes the personality of the Belgian Shepherd Dog. His posture is proud, his expression always attentive. Fear or aggressiveness are not part of the desired profile of the spirited dog.

Preferences, training and care of the Belgian Shepherd Dog

He is alert and extremely active. The Belgian Shepherd Dog’s innate vivacity predestines it for a highly active life. Of course, the Belgian Shepherd has all the qualities of a herding dog, but it also proves to be a reliable guard dog. He excels as a protection and service dog. The breed seems to be constantly on the move and downright tireless. Circular movements are often observed and an expression of the exuberant temperament. Agility suits the Belgian shepherd just as much as tournament dog sport, eventing, rescue and tracking work and much more. The breed is extremely docile and easy to train. The maintenance effort is kept within limits for all varieties. Occasional brushing is enough.

This is what the Belgian Shepherd Dog looks like

The length of the hair, the direction of growth and texture of the coat and the coloring are criteria that lead to the distinction of the four varieties of this breed: Groenendael, Tervueren, Malinois and Laekenois. At pedigree dog shows, these four varieties are judged separately. The maximum height at the withers is 62 centimetres.
All of them require thick, close-lying hair with good texture. Together with the undercoat, it envelops the body like a protective coat. Long-haired variants, the Groenendael and the Tervueren, show short hair on the head, on the outsides of the ears and on the lower parts of the limbs. Otherwise the hair is long and straight, abundant around the neck and on the front chest. At the back of the thighs it forms pants. The tail is well covered with hair forming a flag.

Distinct masks are typical of Tervueren and Malinois. Hair ends dyed black create a black cloud. The fawn-black-clouded Malinois is short-haired. The fawn Laekenois is rough-haired. The Groenendael is solid black. The Tervueren is preferably fawn-black-overcast or grey-black-overcast with a black mask.

The Belgian Shepherd’s gait is lively and free. His favorite gaits are walk and trot. The canter is also of very high quality.

The origin of the Belgian Shepherd Dog

The origin of the breed can be dated to between 1891 and 1897. At that time the “Belgian Shepherd Dog Club” was founded and Professor A. Reul, lecturer at the Veterinary School in Cureghem, arranged a meeting to which 117 Belgian Shepherd Dogs were brought. This offered the opportunity to take stock and select the best representatives of the breed. This is considered the beginning of purposeful breeding of this breed. In 1892 there was the first standard that only described one breed – with three different coat varieties. In 1901 the first Belgian shepherd dogs were entered in the stud book of the Société Royale St. Hubert (L.O.S.H.). Around 1910, the type and personality of the Belgian shepherd appeared to be quite stable. However, the discussions about permissible varieties and colors should keep breed lovers busy for a long time to come. In terms of usability, however, there was always agreement.

Bergamasque shepherd dog

Which Dogs Belong To The Herding Group Of Dogs? (Part 1) 24

country of origin
default number
height at the withers
Dogs: 60 cm, bitches: 56 cm, each with a tolerance of 2 cm above or below
Males: 32-38 kg, females: 26-32 kg
FCI Group 1
Herding dogs and cattle dogs (except Swiss Mountain Dogs)
Section 1 German Shepherds. Without work test.

Description: Bergamasque shepherd dog

Actually its name is Cane de Pastore Bergamasco. In Germany it is better known as Bergamasque. Either way: This shepherd dog is a companion for people who love something special. Because with his long, matted tresses, the uncomplicated Italian attracts attention everywhere. However, you see him very rarely. It has been listed as an endangered breed of domestic animal since 2011.

The Personality of the Bergamasca Shepherd Dog

Bergamasques always lived in close contact with the shepherds, which made them people-oriented and sociable dogs. A lot is going on in the head of the strong and robust dog: He notices everything, learns very quickly and acts absolutely reliably. His ability to concentrate is amazing, along with patience. When it counts, he’s brave. In general, however, his all-round good-natured character comes to the fore. Sometimes Bergamasque people question things. This is not a sign of stubbornness, but rather the quality of a clever dog who only acts when an action makes sense to him. Stupid obedience is alien to him.

Preferences, training and care of the Bergamasque shepherd dog

Its versatility is nothing short of amazing. The incorruptible Bergamasque not only guards his herd, he also knows how to lead and drive them sensitively. Similar to the Briard (Berger de Brie), which also shares the goat hair look with the Bergamasque. The Italian charmer also shines as a family dog. He is affable, affectionate and lovable. However, it requires daily activity and this should not be limited to physical exertion. The clever shepherd dog loves challenges that require problem solving and independent action. Companion dog testing, popular sports, tracking and rescue services are all appropriate activities. A house with a garden is the ideal environment for the original breed, which also cuts a fine figure as a riding companion dog next to the horse.

The hair coat of the Bergamasque is what is special about it: it consists of long, matted tresses – at least on the body, with the rear area in particular tending towards this because undercoat and wool predominate there, which easily tangle with one another. The goat hair is open in the front, it has a coarser texture and is therefore less prone to matting. On the head, the hair feels soft and does not felt. The preservation of the breed-typical villi makes sense and is even a must at exhibitions, but requires a certain know-how in care. The head, shoulder and tail should be combed once a week. After each change of fur, the villi are parted by hand down to the skin so that they have the desired width. However, this is not a must. There is also the option of simply brushing the fur lightly on the surface or combing it through properly on a regular basis. Shearing is also possible, of course, although maintaining a breed-typical look certainly has its fascination. With the traditional coat, the length of the villi increases as the dog ages. They must not restrict freedom of movement under any circumstances. If this is the case, they must be shortened accordingly. The typical hair coat of the Bergamasque has a practical side effect: this dog does not shed any hair in the house. Leaves and twigs, on the other hand, get caught in the lush head of hair during a walk and should be removed daily. Light rain rolls off the shaggy hair. Completely soaked, a bergamasque needs a relatively long time to dry properly again.

This is what the Bergamasque shepherd dog looks like

It is medium-sized with a maximum size of 60 centimeters and appears robust overall. His strong physique goes hand in hand with good proportions. The straight, broad back is well muscled and merges into a thick tail that tapers towards the tip. Bergamasquers move with long free strides. Her favorite gait is the trot, but longer canters are also possible. The coat comes in all nuances from gray to black, Isabell, reddish gray to black. Spots in all shades of gray are even very desirable.

The origin of the Bergamasque shepherd dog

Phoenician and Roman soldiers brought the Bergamasque from Asia to Italy around 2,000 years ago. The area around Bergamo – but actually all of Northern Italy – developed into the center of breeding. Even today, northern Italian shepherds rely on their shaggy partners and they are no different from the dogs that the Old Latins once described. The rustic four-legged friend brings a wide variety of possible uses. This is the legacy of a long breeding selection, in which two characteristics always counted: health and performance.