Breeding Ideology of the Bergamasco Sheepdog

Our Breeding Ideology

The goal of our breeding program is to carefully breed for strong herding and work ethic, excellent conformation, movement, temperament and health. 

Health

We are committed to doing our best to maintain healthy Bergamascos for decades to come. Luckily this breed is not plagued with many genetic illnesses, but as they grow in numbers, it will be important to remain diligent on preventing this from happening. We screen our Bergamascos for hip dysplasia using the OFA or PennHip method and are careful to look at the entire picture when breeding from such a small gene pool. Our goal is to breed healthy hips and elbows while maintaining conformation and movement to standard. We have been lucky to have some really wonderful hip reports among our breeding dogs. All our current breeding dogs are DNA tested via Embark for hereditary diseases.

Conformation and Movement

 We strive to breed Bergamascos with type and good movement. It is a mix of art and science when selecting prospective breeding dogs and puppies. We pay careful attention to the traits of our dogs and are always trying to improve for excellence. A dog with correct confirmation will have correct movement and in a herding breed, this is an important aspect for performing a job effectively. When selecting puppies for breeding, show or work homes, these factors are considered as a whole. 

Temperament

The Bergamasco temperament is unique. They are highly affectionate, loyal, quirky, intelligent, protective, comical and stubborn. We try to breed temperaments that are independent enough for working while still encompassing all their beautiful traits and personalities. Bergamascos can be protective and don't always get along with other dogs. They are people oriented and would prefer to be with family over anything else. 

Herding

Our dogs have mostly lived on farms with the exception of a few years in a residential neighborhood. They are happiest and healthiest when free and with purpose. We assess our puppies early on for herding instinct. Our dogs have strong herding instinct and drive and we are careful to do our best to produce puppies that can be an asset to a farm or homestead. Bergamascos are tending dogs and have specific ways that they work. We nurture these abilities by providing them with professional training and testing and then implementing some of these skills on our own farm. We are very happy with the abilities of our dogs and continue to train for AKC herding trails in the near future. We appreciate the work of Lynette Melville of Nutmeg Farm and Susan Willig Sullivan for all the work they have done with our dogs and for their expertise.