It has been a long road to breed recognition with AKC. Prior to full AKC recognition, we were able to show the Bergamasco as a Foundation Stock Service breed in Miscellaneous class. In January of 2015 The Bergamasco Sheepdog became a fully recognized breed even though the breed is ancient and has been around for many centuries. The AKC standard was created by Maria Andreoli in Italy, the country of origin. It differs only slightly from the FCI standard. Rather than describing the dog as “square”, it calls for 5% longer than tall, slightly off square. The belief is that this tiny bit of extra length is important for the movement and extension of a dog working in the mountains.
Because we are advocates and educators, it is important that we also show our dogs in AKC events. We are now part of a community that wishes to support the breed in health, conformation and temperament. By bringing our dogs to shows we can educate the public and the judges about this complex breed. As an AKC judge educator, I am available for seminars, tutoring and mentoring. Because we are a relatively new breed, it is important that we work with our AKC judges to ensure that they are familiar with our breed standard and can comfortably judge our dogs.
We have had much success in the show ring over the past few years. While our older dogs never had a chance to compete in AKC events, our younger generations have had lots of show weekends and we are so proud of their successes. We are happy to see Bergamascos gaining recognition and now competing with better known breeds. We support our families who are interested in showing their dogs and are happy to help them get started in showing as a family activity. We love mentoring those who are new to the show world and are committed to supporting the breed in this way.
We are so proud of our two girls, our own bred AKC Grand Champion Alp Angel's Faggia Dell'Albera and AKC Grand Champion Bergishe Bergamasker Amira for their wonderful 2017 show year. Faggia, as the 2017 #1 Bergamasco (Breed and All-Breed), earned Best of Breed in the National Dog Show in Philadelphia, the AKC National Championship in Orlando and at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York City. Her mother Amira was the first Bergamasco to win an Owner Handled Best in Show. Together they have made AKC breed history!
We would like to thank Faggia's handler, Amanda Shea, for her professional and beautiful presentation of our girl.