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Bergamascos

Discussion in 'Dog Chat' started by ThomBassmonkey, Jul 17, 2009.


  1. ThomBassmonkey

    ThomBassmonkey PetForums Member

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    Howdy :)

    My family's looking to adopt a new member and after a lot of looking around, my preference would be a bergamasco. We're after a medium-large hypo-allergenic dog that is affectionate but doesn't require as much exercise or fur maintenance as some.

    That's not to say that it'd not get enough exercise, we're all well aware that whatever breed we get, it'll get what it needs and not left to rot in a corner. :) But we're a fairly unfit family and getting a dog that requires 2 marathons a day isn't practical. ;)

    Basically my main queries are about finding them, there seems to be no breeders around the midlands (I'm in Nottingham) or, in fact, in the UK that I can find. Does anyone have any ideas where one can be found?

    Also, failing that, could anyone suggest any other breeds that're suitable before the female half of the household gets power and picks a Bichon (nothing wrong with bichons, but they don't quite fit in with my manly persona.:D )
     
  2. Nonnie

    Nonnie PetForums VIP

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    Have you ever owned a dog before?
     
  3. ThomBassmonkey

    ThomBassmonkey PetForums Member

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    Nope, we've had cats in the past, but that's it.
     
  4. Nonnie

    Nonnie PetForums VIP

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    A bergamasco really isnt a beginner dog. They are a working and guarding breed by nature, and require plenty of exercise and training.

    How much exercise are you willing to provide? How long would the dog be left alone?

    Ever considered a rescue greyhound?
     
  5. ThomBassmonkey

    ThomBassmonkey PetForums Member

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    Well most likely it'd be a walk around a local towpath a couple of times a day, so two 20-30 minute walks a day. It would be left alone maybe a 2-4 hours alone a couple of times a week.

    From what I've read, greyhounds aren't hypo-allergenic and I thought they needed a lot of exercise?
     
  6. Nonnie

    Nonnie PetForums VIP

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    No, greyhounds are very lazy. Forgot the hypoallergenic bit there :D

    I think breeds likes poodles/bichons/cresteds need a bit more exercise than that. Never owned any, so not entirely sure.

    There are a few owners on here, so fingers crossed they will be along.

    A bergamasco would not be happy with that amount of exercise.
     
  7. ThomBassmonkey

    ThomBassmonkey PetForums Member

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    I don't mean to come on here and criticise advice, but I've looked around on a lot of websites and contacted the admin of an american club site about bergamascos and the advice about exercise is pretty consistently saying that they don't need much.

    Maybe I'm misinterpreting it because a lot of the sites are pretty vague, how much exercise would a dog like this need (more specifically than "a healthy walk" or "moderate exercise" please :p )
     
  8. Nonnie

    Nonnie PetForums VIP

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    I wouldnt judge on what the American club states. They treat dogs very differently over there.

    Try the UK breed club.

    BERGAMASCO CLUB OF GREAT BRITAIN. Sec. Mr S Band. Tel No: 01344 884137

    Working breeds usually require more exercise, and an experienced owner. Especially when dealing with herding and guarding breeds.
     
  9. Nicky09

    Nicky09 PetForums VIP

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    I wouldn't recommend a Bergamasco they need a lot of exercise, a crazy amount of grooming even if you keep them shaved down, have very strong guard instincts requiring a firm handler and preferably a very experienced one. They probably need about 1 1/2 hours- 2 hours a day not going to be happy with 1 hour a day.
     
  10. dexter

    dexter PetForums VIP

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  11. ThomBassmonkey

    ThomBassmonkey PetForums Member

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    I just rang and spoke to a very helpful lady.

    She pointed out that there aren't many breeders in the UK (as I suspected from my own search) and that it's likely to be up to 2 years wait before being able to get a puppy due to demand and their rareness in this country. I don't intend to rush getting a dog (I'll probably be bugging you guys with hundreds more questions before we get a dog ;) ) but when we're sure we're making the right choice, we'll want one ASAP.

    She agreed that a more experienced owner would be better for the dog too. From what I've read about them and how they look (which I love) it'll have to be a "for the future" pet I think hehe.

    How much exercise do pulis need? They're another breed we've been looking at.

    Does anyone have any other recommendations that fit my earlier criteria? With exercise, we could do more if a dog needed it, we have a large garden and live a 10 minute walk from a large park, the 2 20 minute walks was just an idea of what I had in mind.
     
  12. Nicky09

    Nicky09 PetForums VIP

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  13. Ducky

    Ducky PetForums VIP

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    i dont mean to sound like harsh or anything, but why would you want a dog if your not really wanting to exercise it? that's one of the joys of owning a dog, taking them out for walks and runs in the park.

    :confused: :confused:
     
  14. ThomBassmonkey

    ThomBassmonkey PetForums Member

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    Nowhere did I say that we didn't want to exercise it. We'll happily take it out for walks and trips to the park for our own enjoyment as well as the dogs. Just that as we're unfit and never had a dog before, I just don't want to get a massive system shock about how much work it actually takes after I've already brought a dog home so I'm trying to get answers as specific as possible.
     
  15. tashi

    tashi PetForums VIP

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    Pulis are a lovely breed, we have a 7 month puppy, the coat can be a nightmare when cording but it depends whether you are going to keep the coat or clip them off, they are a super breed and very friendly, the exercise you are talking about especially with a big garden is ok providing they are allowed to run and are stimulated.
     
  16. r_neupert

    r_neupert PetForums Senior

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    We had a Hungarian Puli as a family dog when i was young. He was awesome, but had some issues... this may be specific to our dog though, but something to be aware of as a potential. We had him till he was 15, so i like to think i knew the breed quite well.

    His coat was a nightmare, and often caused some aggression - the cords give them sometimes a limited view, and you can suprise and scare them unintentionally. This resulted in quite a serious bite to a postie back in the day.

    The cords again, you have to put a lot of effort into them - they look great in the pictures, but everything will get stuck in them, you'll need to keep them super clean. He got VERY hot in the summer, we actually ended up shaving him and he had a 'fro for his last 10 years.

    He had some funny behavioural issues - he saw a dog psychologist (or psychiatrist? Who knows...) on numerous occasions, for some very strange behaviour.

    But anyway, this was my parents dog, i was young, i had no part in his training or handling so i can't say what was the breed and what was the learned behaviour. But i'd say it wasn't a dog for the faint hearted.
     
  17. Spellweaver

    Spellweaver PetForums VIP

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    Hi Thom - if you want to know about bergies, I'm your woman! First of all, have you looked in the pet encyclopedia on here? There's lots of information about the bergamasco on there, and all of it accurate (I know cos I wrote it!:p).

    I have three bergies and am hoping to breed from my grey bitch the next time she comes into season (which seems to be this year next year sometime never at the moment :wink5:) Their coats really do not take much looking after; all the mapping happens on its own and apart from a soft brush every day to keep them free of dust and dirt, you don't have to do anything to it at all. It's a very oily coat, so any dirt stays on the surface and either dries and can be brushed off, or just dries and falls off. If they get wet in the rain. the rain stays on the surface and they shake it off and are dry in a few minutes. However, when you bath them, they can take up to about three days to dry! The coat should never be shaved off - no point as it will just grow back in maps!

    Re wanting a hypoallergenic dog, adult dogs don't shed hair, but puppies can be quite fluffy and shed a lot of hair until the adult coat starts to form, which can be at any time from 9 to 12 months old.

    They are a very intelligent breed, but are not easy to train by normal training methods. They are bred to be partners of humans, and consider themselves equal to humans, so in order to train them you have to make them understand why you want them to do something - and then if they want to do it, they will. They are very family orientated dogs; the family become the flock - they really love children and are excellent with other animals.

    They are a herding and guarding breed, but the guarding is of the warning bark type of guarding and not the "I'm gonna get to your throat and kill you" type of guarding.

    Re exercise - they don't need a great deal of exercise, and certainly not as much as a border collie. They were bred to guard the flock from predators, and the typical pic of a bergie is of a dog standing with his front paws on a rock, peering into the distance. Yet they are also capable of travelling great distances when the flock moves to new grazing areas. In the domestic situation, this translates into needing about half an hour's exercise a day, as well as normal playing in the garden. Yet if you wanted to go on a ten mile hike, they would also be capable of doing that.

    I'm not sure I agree with Cindy (the lady you spoke to on the phone) that they are not a breed suitable for the beginner - it would of course depend upon the beginner, but with the right beginner and the right support from your breeder they are such a loveable, wanting-to-please-you breed that there should be few problems. There is one breeder in the UK at the moment, a very nice lady who lives in Bristol - and there will be two breeders if ever our grey girl comes into season again!

    Re clubs - the Bergamasco Club of GB (of which I am a committee member) is a good source of info, and so is the American Club. Donna DeFalcis, who runs the American Club, is one of the foremost experts on the breed in the world, so you can trust any info on their site.

    I've just come back onto this forum after a period away, so when I get organised I'll post some pics of my dogs - in the meantime hope this helps, and if you have any other questions please feel free to ask.
     
    #17 Spellweaver, Jul 17, 2009
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2009
  18. zahora08

    zahora08 PetForums Newbie

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    Hello,

    I was interested to read your post about Bergamascos. We are a family, very interested in a Bergamasco puppy and would love to get in touch with a breeder. I wonder if you can help us? We live in North London by extensive parkland with three children but we are happy to travel anywhere to visit and find out more about puppies. Many thanks. :001_smile:
     
  19. DirtyGertie

    DirtyGertie PetForums VIP

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    Shhh! Don't tell my hubby that, he's quite happy to be seen with our Bichon and quite besotted by her :D.

    If you do ever get to the point where you consider a Bichon I'd just mention that ours gets two good walks a day lasting from 45mins to an hour with about half of that running on the beach. She'd be getting a third one in the middle of the day if her first walk was quite early but it's too hot at the moment. Also they are very much people dogs and like human company. Ours is OK being left for up to an hour.
     
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