In the Show Ring

“The Bergamasco’s characteristic gait is not always correctly evaluated in the show ring. As a result, handlers with little experience with this breed may show their dogs “strung up in the lead”, forcing them to raise their heads too high and to produce a high stepping gait.

While more dramatic, this gait is completely unnatural for the Bergamasco Sheepdog. It is important that the Bergamasco’s neck not be too long and that the head not be carried high during movement. In addition, the Bergamasco always works behind the shepherd to watch any hand gesture. Therefore, the correct presentation of a Bergamasco in movement should be with loose lead, a regular and calm speed, feet close to the ground, with the dog side by side or slightly behind the handler, both at the breed or group level. The only gait acceptable in the show ring is a sustained trot!

Because the coat can hide flaws or give the appearance of a flaw that is not there, it is important for a
thorough exam by the judge. For example, the topline may not appear straight because of variability in the coat. Alternatively, the coat may give the appearance of a straight topline in a dog with a flawed topline. True evaluation in the ring should be done during the exam and all parts of the dog should be felt for correctness.

Topline should be straight while trotting. A roaching topline during movement is due to faulty structure and should not be awarded in the ring!”