Bergamasco vs Austrailian Blue Heeler - Breed Comparison

Bergamasco vs Austrailian Blue Heeler - Breed ComparisonBergamasco is originated from Italy but Austrailian Blue Heeler is originated from Australia. Bergamasco may grow 12 cm / 5 inches higher than Austrailian Blue Heeler. Bergamasco may weigh 22 kg / 49 pounds more than Austrailian Blue Heeler. Both Bergamasco and Austrailian Blue Heeler has almost same life span. Bergamasco may have more litter size than Austrailian Blue Heeler. Bergamasco requires Moderate maintenance. But Austrailian Blue Heeler requires High maintenance


bergamasco - historyThe Bergamasco comes from northern Italy. This medium sized sheepdog is of ancient origin. Known as an Italian sheep herding breed, his name actually comes from the town where he comes from - Bergamo.

It was after World War II that there was danger that this breed would disappear as the need for herding and shepherding was diminishing. An Italian breeder, however, Dr. Maria Andreoli, stepped in to save the breed.

It was in 2015 that the American Kennel Club also changed the breed’s status from Miscellaneous to the Herding Group.

austrailian blue heeler - historyIn 1840, George Elliott made a match with Australian Dingo and Collie and got a clever and very active dog breed – Australian Blue Heeler. Soon, he showed his good herding instincts and protective nature and got really popular among the cattlemen and ranchers. Soon, as the USA soldiers arrived in Australia, they decided that it will be a great dog to bring home.

Australian Blue Heeler has short, double coat. The coat is water resistant and helps them when the temperature is too high as well. Their coat is rough to the touch, naturally. They can be found in blue or red coat colour mix. The Blue Heeler isn’t actually blue, but their black coat has a bluish tint. Red Heelers have red fur instead of black. They have long tails, strong legs, Dingo-like heads with pointy ears and muscular necks and balanced and athletic bodies.

Basic Information

Herding dogs
Herding dogs
Height Male:
58 - 62 cm
22 - 25 inches
45 - 50 cm
17 - 20 inches
Height Female:
54 - 58 cm
21 - 23 inches
43 - 48 cm
16 - 19 inches
Weight Male:
32 - 38 kg
70 - 84 pounds
14 - 16 kg
30 - 36 pounds
Weight Female:
26 - 38 kg
57 - 84 pounds
12 - 14 kg
26 - 31 pounds
Life Span:
13 - 15 Years
12 - 16 Years
Litter Size:
6 - 10
1 - 7
Medium dog
Medium dog
Other Names:
Bergamasco Shepherd Dog, Cane da pastore Bergamasco
Queensland Heeler
Colors Available:
Grey, sometimes black
blue, red
Coarse, long shaggy dreadlocks
blue speckled or red speckled with dark or cream marks
Affectionate, Alert, Cheerful, Courageous, Curious, Energetic, Friendly, Independent, Intelligent, Lively, Loving, Loyal, Outgoing, Playful, Protective, Responsive, Social, Territorial
Alert, Courageous, Curious, Energetic, Independent, Intelligent, Lively, Loyal, Outgoing, Playful, Protective, Responsive, Social, Territorial
Moderate maintenance
High maintenance
Kids Friendly:
New Owners Friendly:


A Rastafarian Look

bergamasco puppy - descriptionThis medium sized sheepdog stands 54 – 62cm in height and weighs up to 38 kg as an adult. It is his coat which draws the most attention. It is of a coarse texture and actually greasy to the touch. It actually forms into strands or almost like dreadlocks from the top of the body, so that people agree he is one of shaggiest dog breeds there are.

From age 1 on the coat starts to become woolly, and then the flocks start to form. As these clumps of hair appear, it will become necessary to separate them into smaller cords by hand to ensure attractive formation Brushing isn’t necessary but a big toothed comb can keep their hair ‘groomed’.

The colour of the coat is solid grey with patches of shades of grey and sometimes black. His dense, heavy coat makes it that he is suited to cooler climates. Because he is a herding dog, he wouldn’t do well in an apartment but would suit a home with a large garden.

Intelligent and Playful

He is intelligent and social but will need firm handling as he is a boisterous dog. He has a muscular yet compact body with a large head, long tail, high-set semi-drooping ears and large, gentle looking brown eyes. Although not instinctively aggressive, he makes an excellent watch dog with strong protective instincts to protect his human family.

He views new people into his circle with suspicion and wariness. He is good with kids and pets in the home and is playful and energetic.

austrailian blue heeler puppy - descriptionThis breed is somehow designed for an outdoor life and outdoor activity. This implies that Blue Heelers have nature made of the high dose of energy. They are always ready to go anywhere you go, and they will be a loyal friend. They are actually very clever, intelligent and ready to help.

If you are a type of the person who prefers being indoors and having minimal physical activity, Blue heelers are not the type of a furry companion for you. They have a high daily need for the activity, and they love having lots of space to run and explore. Sometimes, you will realize that having a leash is a must because they will get so playful that they will forget about you!

If you start teaching them to be friendly with other dogs while they are still pups, they will accept that kind of lifestyle. But, if your Blue Heeler is raised as the only dog on the ranch, note that they won’t be very friendly toward other dogs.

Since most of the herd dogs usually respond to only one person, most of the Blue Heelers can follow this old instinct. They can be very independent, as well, and they are usually not the type of the dog that will always be around your leg waiting for a cuddle or ear scratch. But, they build the respect towards humans depending on how they treat him so they can be very lovable and friendly pets.

If you are still confused about their name, you must know that the Blue Heelers can actually lightly nip your heel for attention. They are not aggressive, but they tend to be very protective of the family, humans around them and their property.


bergamasco dog - characteristicsThis is a working dog so they are naturally alert. He is also intelligent and independent and this independence is seen with training as he doesn’t take easily to following instructions, becoming stubborn. You’ll certainly want to have your Bergamasco socialized and trained as he can be a boisterous dog, bounding with energy.

This is a dog that will need to be kept busy and provided with plenty of activities so that he remains happy, playful and relaxed.

Lively and intelligent, these dogs also form strong bonds with their owners and get on well with the children in the home. He will take well to country life as opposed to living in the city.

Children friendliness

austrailian blue heeler dog - characteristicsThey are generally good with children, but you must be aware of their inherent desire to herd. Always supervise when your Blue Heeler is around small children.

Special Talents

Ball tricks, frisbee fun, running companion, herding cattle.


It is best to buy a puppy. These dogs get attached to one human and to the territory.

Learning ability

They are generally quick learners. If you teach them to be playful, friendly and loving, they will learn it in no time. So be aware of the decisions that can cost you when the dog grows up.

Health Problems

bergamasco puppies - health problemsYour Bergamasco can live to be 13 to 15 years of age and he is considered to be a healthy breed. Nonetheless you want to be aware of health issues that are common to this breed

he is vulnerable to heat. He can die of heat exhaustion quicker than other breeds

keep an eye on him for hip dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy and skin allergies

Eye problems

austrailian blue heeler puppies - health problemsProgressive Retinal Atrophy usually causes slow and painless loss of sight. This process takes years, but there are cases where this disease took only months before the dog ended up completely blind. It is advisable to take your Blue Heeler to the vet for a test that can tell you if your dog is carrying the gene for this disease.

Lens luxation is a disease where the lens of dog’s eye separates partially or completely. Good news is that this disease can be treated.

Joint diseases

Most common is the hip or elbow dysplasia. This is the disease where hip joints do not develop properly and begin to grind. This condition can sometimes be treated with physiotherapy, but there is a chance that your Blue Heeler will need a surgery. If you have a habit of regular vet checks and keeping your dog slim and fed with quality food, you can a make a big difference.

Osteochondritis Dissecans (OCD) causes the dog to have excess cartilage and deficient bone, where cartilage does not get replaced by bone during fetal development. This disease usually requires surgery and prescribed medicines.


Congenital hereditary sensorineural deafness – CHSD is a common form of deafness.

Bilateral deafness can be identified when the dog is still a puppy, more-less at six weeks of age. A puppy with deafness in only one ear is harder to identify, but it can happen.

Portosystemic shunt means that the blood flow is getting back into the bloodstream instead of passing through the liver. That means that liver can’t clear out the toxins, and the organ itself fails to grow properly. This inherited type of shunt can be treated with surgery if the diagnose is set on time.

Caring The Pet


bergamasco dogs - caringThe Bergamasco isn’t a shedder but his coat will need to be combed once a week just to keep it in order. You don’t want to bath him too often, especially during the Winter as his coat takes a long time to dry. It isn’t recommended to shave a Bergamasco as the coat regulates the dogs temperature – keeping him warm and cold as the weather demands.


They thrive on a blend of kibble (dry) mixed with raw and-or moist food once or twice a day. Remember to include quality chicken, turkey, etc. mixed with some vegetables and rice into your dog’s diet. Ensure a constant supply of fresh water in an easily-cleanable bowl.


Balls and ropes are important for building muscle strength and burning energy. Remember your Bergamasco is a working breed and will need plenty of games and exercise.

Feeding the puppy

austrailian blue heeler dogs - caringChoose a dog food that will provide nutrients that will help in the bone developing. Since they are more likely to suffer from joint diseases, you must take this advice seriously. It would be great if you speak about this with your vet before you choose food on your own.

Feeding the adult

The best food for Blue Heeler is a high-quality food which supplies them with premium nutrition to fuel their activity.

They also drink a lot of water, so be sure that they always have a fresh water available.

Points for Good Health

Lots and lots of the outdoor activity and a quality food. You must be very cautious because this kind of dogs gets overweight easily because they just love the treats and extra food portion.

Games and Exercises

Any outdoor activity that is mentally challenging and interesting enough to keep them from running in the field trying to catch anything that moves.

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