Bergamasco vs Australian Shepherd - Breed Comparison

Bergamasco vs Australian ShepherdBergamasco is originated from Italy but Australian Shepherd is originated from United States. Both Bergamasco and Australian Shepherd are having almost same height. Bergamasco may weigh 6 kg / 14 pounds more than Australian Shepherd. Both Bergamasco and Australian Shepherd has same life span. Both Bergamasco and Australian Shepherd has almost same litter size. Both Bergamasco and Australian Shepherd requires Moderate maintenance.

Basic Information

Group:
Herding dogs
Herding dogs
Origin:
Italy
United States
Height Male:
58 - 62 cm
22 - 25 inches
51 - 58 cm
20 - 23 inches
Height Female:
54 - 58 cm
21 - 23 inches
46 - 56 cm
18 - 23 inches
Weight Male:
32 - 38 kg
70 - 84 pounds
25 - 32 kg
55 - 71 pounds
Weight Female:
26 - 38 kg
57 - 84 pounds
16 - 30 kg
35 - 67 pounds
Life Span:
13 - 15 Years
13 - 15 Years
Litter Size:
6 - 10
6 - 9
Size:
Medium dog
Medium dog
Other Names:
Bergamasco Shepherd Dog, Cane da pastore Bergamasco
Aussie
Colors Available:
Grey, sometimes black
Tri-colour - blue, blue merle, black and red merle, white markings
Coat:
Coarse, long shaggy dreadlocks
thick - medium length - straight to wavy
Shedding:
Minimal
Constant
Temperament:
Affectionate, Alert, Cheerful, Courageous, Curious, Energetic, Friendly, Independent, Intelligent, Lively, Loving, Loyal, Outgoing, Playful, Protective, Responsive, Social, Territorial
Affectionate, Alert, Cheerful, Courageous, Energetic, Friendly, Independent, Intelligent, Lively, Loving, Loyal, Outgoing, Playful, Protective, Responsive, Social
Grooming:
Moderate maintenance
Moderate maintenance
Trainability:
Easy
Easy
Hypoallergenic:
Yes
No
Kids Friendly:
Yes
Yes
New Owners Friendly:
Yes
No

History

bergamascoThe 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.

australian shepherdThe Australian Shepherd, known fondly as ‘Aussies’, is actually an American breed, with the first official registry being in the 1950s. Basque Shepherds from Spain settled in Australia at the end of the 19th century, later moving to the United Stated with their dogs in tow. It is from these dogs that the breed originated. In the UK too, this breed of dog has many enthusiastic followers.

For many years, the Australian Shepherd has been recognized for their wonderful abilities as stock- or herding dogs, and today in Australia they continue to work as stock dogs and often take part in herding trials.

More recently, this working dog breed has been selectively bred to develop both Toy- and Miniature Aussies, and the American Stock Dog Registry actually recognizes 3 sizes today.The Australian Shepherd Club of America was also founded in 1957 to promote the breed.

Description

A Rastafarian Look

bergamasco puppyThis 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.

Coat

australian shepherd puppySimilar in appearance to the Border Collie, the Australian Shepherd is a medium sized dog and has a medium length coat which is straight to wavy with a weather resistant undercoat. The range of coat colours is amazing, and you’ll find blue, blue merle, black and red merle and all of these are with or without tan points. The Australian Shepherd is a drop-eared breed where prick ears are sometimes seen. Some Aussies are born with naturally bobbed tails while most have full, long tails.

Different Eye Colour Combinations

There is variety in the eye colour too, and they are often heterochromatic, which means that they can have two different coloured eyes or the one eye can even be bi-coloured. Most times the eyes are brown, but they can be blue too.

Health Problems

bergamasco dogYour 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

australian shepherd dogAussies are a healthy breed and won’t cost you a fortune at the vet. However, like every other breed, they are also prone to certain health conditions such as cancer. When choosing a puppy, always look for a good, reputable breeder who can show you health clearances.

We look at some common health ailments to be alert about

Hip Dysplasia

This is a dog ailment that can be inherited. It is where the femur doesn't fit properly into the pelvic socket of the hip joint. Also, as the dog ages, arthritis can develop.

Epilepsy

Epilepsy an hereditary disorder where the seizures your dog gets can be treated and controlled.

Osteochondrosis Dissecans, commonly known as OCD is an orthopedic condition which comes about because of improper growth of cartilage in the joints. It can cause painful stiffening of the elbow joint for instance.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy or PRA is a degenerative eye disorder that can finally lead to blindness. Reputable Aussie dog breeders have their dogs' eyes certified regularly by a veterinary ophthalmologist.

Your Aussie Puppy Needs Vaccinations

Your newborn Australian Shepherd may well be strong and healthy, but he isn’t immune from life-threatening illnesses. Vaccinations are imperative for your Aussie puppy, with vets usually recommending that puppies be vaccinated for the first time from 6 to 8 weeks of age.

These vaccinations will include the 5-in-one and includes Parvovirus, Distemper, Hepatitis and Parainfluenza. Later on the puppy will get his first rabies shot and he will also require booster vaccinations.

Caring The Pet

Grooming

bergamasco puppiesThe 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.

Foods

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.

Exercise

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.

General Grooming

australian shepherd puppiesWith his medium length coat, the Australian Shepherd sheds. In fact this particular breed sheds his hair the entire year round, but you’ll notice that with the arrival of Spring, he sheds more as this is when he is losing his Winter coat. You will most certainly need to brush his coat at least 2x a week to get rid of all those tufts of hair and to also prevent matting.

Feeding

A puppy will need 4 bowls of vet-recommended food a day. How much your adult Australian Shepherd gets will depend on his age, size and activity levels.The quality of food you buy will make a difference as it will keep your Aussie in good shape. Remember to include raw or cooked meat into his diet once a week or so. For more on feeding your Aussie, speak to your vet. Always ensure a constant source of fresh, cool water.

Training and Socialization

The Australian Shepherd is a strong willed dog, used to playing the dominant role with the herding of livestock. He’ll need firm training and socialization if you want to make him an amicable family pet.

Like many herding dogs, Australian Shepherds are loyal to their family and don’t easily take to strangers. Aussies make awesome companions for families with kids who have been taught how to treat dogs and other pets with kindness and gentleness. Just like a dog needs socialization, a child needs to respect a sleeping, feeding dog and to leave him in peace.

Characteristics

bergamasco dogsThis 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.

australian shepherd dogsThe Australian Shepherd is an intelligent dog, learning quickly. As a herding dog, he also has strong guarding instincts and will make a good watch dog. The dog has a balanced, even disposition, and even though he may show some reserve, he is certainly not a shy dog and isn’t aggressive.

He Craves Human Companionship

Your Aussie is a kind, loving, and devoted pet. He loves his human family and wants to spend lots of time with them. Don’t leave him without human companionship as he craves it and forms strong bonds with his family. Provide him with good care and with lots of fun and games and you’ve got an exceptional friend for life.

Comparison with other breeds

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