The Bergamasco is a sociable, highly intelligent breed that possesses a deep desire to please its master.
The breed thinks independently, however, and often sees itself more as an equal partner than as a subordinate to the members of his family. Despite its unique appearance, their coat does not actually take much time to maintain. After the mats "set" at age one, the coat needs only 1-3 baths per year and no brushing. Shedding is minimal.
Depending on the size of your dog as an adult you are going to want to feed them a formula that will cater to their unique digestive needs through the various phases of their life. Many dog food companies have breed-specific formulas for small, medium, large and giant breeds.
What you feed your dog is an individual choice, but working with your veterinarian and/or breeder will be the best way to determine frequency of meals as a puppy and the best adult diet to increase his longevity. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.
It is actually different types of hair that form flat mats that feel like felt. This coat needs attention at one year of age to create the mats by pulling apart the hairs. Seek out a breed expert to help you in this process. Bathing is only required 1-3 times per year. Grooming can be a wonderful bonding experience for you and your pet. Their strong fast-growing nails should be trimmed regularly with a nail clipper or grinder to avoid overgrowth, splitting and cracking. Their ears should be checked regularly to avoid a buildup of wax and debris which can result in an infection. Teeth should be brushed regularly.
Options for exercise include play time in the backyard, preferable fenced, or taken for walks several times a day. Exercise can also come in the form of indoor activities, like hide and seek, chasing a ball rolled along the floor, or teaching them new tricks. Depending on the breed, certain outdoor activities like swimming, hiking, retrieving balls or flying discs can provide a good outlet for expending energy. If you live in an apartment even short walks in the hallways can give your dog some exercise, especially during inclement weather. Training for dog sports like agility, obedience and rally can also be a great way to give your dog exercise.
Like all breeds there may be some health issues. Some dogs may be faced with these health challenges in their lives, but the majority of Bergamascos are healthy dogs.
Working with a responsible breeder, those wishing to own as Bergamascos can gain the education they need to know about specific health concerns within the breed. Good breeders utilize genetic testing of their breeding stock to reduce the likelihood of disease in their puppies.