Bergamasco Notes

March 7, 2019

Clarification of the Coat, by the Late Maria Andreoli

” in Eastern European dogs like komondor and puli, we find a cape consisting predominantly of woolly fur (…), on the contrary, the dogs of Europe West, briard and catalans for example, have a cape in which the goat fur predominates . The Bergamo, which is geographically in the middle, seems to be bridge between these two groups of breeds, presenting a cape in which the two types of fur are present in equal measure, although widely distributed (…). Only to own this feature, which clearly distinguishes it, making it a particularly interesting breed both from the historical and evolutionary point of view (…) to be particularly present is the non-homogeneous distribution of the various types of fur In the area of the garese you only have the presence of goat fur that forms a smooth saddle (…) in the back of the trunk, on the chest and on the limbs, next to the goat fur, you have a woolly fur that from origin Fur Clusters that are defined as “Bioccoli” (…)… it is obvious how many must be the characteristics that must be added and integrated to ensure the correct formation of such a complex cape. (…) it is obvious that a large number of genetic “messages” should be involved… (…).
The Bioccolo in the bergamo is, for many aspects, similar to that present in sheep in the intermediate stage of its evolution, when I mean you are in the presence of different fur textures. In addition, the fur of the bergamo is subject to the felting when, for the wetsuit, undercoat and goat fur blend with woolly fur, whose wetsuit is very poor or nothing, forming a whole unique… (…)… If such a type of cape has evolved in the bergamo and it has been preserved through the times, it is a sign that it is to be considered an adaptation to the environmental conditions in which it had to perform The Bioccoli, for the felting that they determine, protect the animal from the rigid winter temperatures and, forming a waterproof layer on the surface keep the body dry by preventing the water from filtering until contact with the skin (…). If It is considered that all this cannot seem to be an absurd nonsense the thesis of those who support, more or less in good faith, that the bergamo should be combed or shaved (…). Those who wish an bergamo shepherd, must be aware of the characteristics , which cannot be modified at whim, running the risk of destroying in short time what a millennial, functional selection has brought up to us…”

April, 11, 2014

At this writing I have been living with the Bergamasco’s for approx. 20 years.

I don’t know them by any other name than Bergamasco Sheepdog and to extend to them their just due and regal standing, I really don’t know them by any other name than Pastore Bergamasco.

Each that I live with is absolutely my best friend, each that I support in any way that I can, emotionally and as endearing as I am able at the time, because I do need to spread myself around, with eleven you have no other choice. The elder’s allow me much grace in taking care of their needs, even though they probably need more attention than ever before to tend to their aging psyche and physiologically state.

They allow the youth indiscretions that the elders themselves never even asked for in their prime time, realizing that today’s generation has more, therefore needs more, wants more and is more egocentric, at the moment, knowing that they will grow into a true classic unspoiled being. (A Pastore Bergamasco.)

The Elders know that I am there and ask me for what each one deems necessary to maintain our strong impenetrable coexistence. That corner of the bed next to you is mine, Clothos went out with you earlier, I want to go out with you this afternoon, The bread & cheese you are eating, I don’t want, but the procueti is mine, when you have dinner, I would like to be given some of yours first. (My fault, I share with all.)

All talk to me in so many ways, if you don’t hear them then you are absolutely deaf, people want to know how we know who is walking into our room, we can tell by the patter of their feet, their bark, their whimper, their sigh, their snoring, their rate of breathing, their motion, their emotions!

That is only the beginning of our communication, I usually tell people that if you allow the relationship and aren’t afraid you will become closer to the Bergamasco than you will become to your wife or your children.

The Bergamasco will commit if you are inhuman enough to maintain a commitment to something other than yourself.

No they aren’t dumb enough to give to you selflessly, nor are they as needy as a human, but they will allow you to get next to them, if they feel you are worthy and deserve the commitment.

Yes, I believe that they can be a lot like what you would like most people in your life to be, but find out sooner or later, due to your actions or theirs the bond of trust or equality is broken or was never really there.

Most people constantly ask about the Bergamasco, what can they do for me, is the hair hard to maintain, are they friendly, will they get along with my children, will they smell, will they get along with my cats, will I be allergic to them.

Technically the question is not what the Bergamasco can do for you, but how can we co-habitate and co-exist together, within a mutually beneficial relationship that can enhance and enrich our everyday lives together.

Stephen DeFalcis


The Bergamasco Sheepdog was and has been a gift to us from Dr. Maria Andreoli whom we take with us in all our thoughts concerning the Pastore de Bergamasco.

Dr. Andreoli worked with the Bergamasco Sheepdog for approximately 40 years.


As of this writing, during the last 10 years we have worked exclusively with Dr. Maria Andreoli’s,(Dell Albera Bergamasco Sheepdogs). The continuation of the Bergamasco lineage and breeding techniques were entrusted to us through the use of various lineages, types, styles and personality chacteristics within the Bergamasco Sheepdog.

Dr. Maria Andreoli started breeding with various lines, Dimgod, Scivia, Lupercali, Imagna and others, to achieve the Bergamasco Sheepdog that she became world renowned for.

Dr. Andreoli suggested certain Bergamasco’s for us to acquire from different origins, that we were able to bring in from Italy, England, Switzerland and Sweden, to maintain the different lineages that she originally started with.

Having the various lineages available helps us to preserve the characteristics that Dr. Andreoli established within her Dell Albera lineage, helps to keep the coefficient of inbreeding at a reasonable percentage and most importantly, enables us to bring back the Dell Albera Bergamasco Sheepdog of Yesteryear.

Dr. Andreoli’s breeding techniques worked well for us, for we have seen our litters of Bergamasco’s grow into an adult that we are able to recognize from another time within the ancestral chain.

Fauno, Meropa, Athena and Florinda

From Left: Fauno dell’ Albera; Meropa dell’ Albera; Athena Chique Silver Star; and Florinda Dell’ Albera Silver Flower

We look at our young Bergamasco’s living with us and say, “Look at him, doesn’t he look exactly like our boy of 10 years back!” “Doesn’t she look like a Bergamasco of yesteryear!” The personalities that we see from our young ones make us smile — we see someone we were familiar with, with us now, creating a direct link to their ancestral origins.

How wonderful to have been able to bring about a now living generation of yesteryears’ Bergamascos without actually cloning, what an amazing accomplishment!

Dr Maria Andreoli’s teaching, techniques and Bergamasco characteristics continue with us in this magnificent way…on a daily basis!

This is what we are experiencing within our breeding and Dr. Maria Andreoli’s legacy of breeding Bergamascos.

The future, past and present are here now for us to behold and expand upon…with our beloved Bergamasco Sheepdog.

August 2006.


Lindoro dell’ Albera Silver Thunder