Mateo cuts a striking profile wherever he goes. It's because he is such an unusual looking dog.
Mateo is a Bergamasco, or an Italian sheep dog. His ancestors herded and shepherded sheep as a living, going along with their nomadic masters. It is thought the Begrgemasco orginated in what is now Iran (Persia) thousands of years ago. They were hardy, vigorous shepherding dogs who took their job of herding sheep very seriously.
Eventually these dogs ended up in Europe, going to harsh mountainous climates such as the Italian Alps, where these dogs soon became to be known as Bergamascos, which they are known by today.
These dogs aer ideal for those who have allergies: they do not shed, and their coats, even though they look to be a tangled up, knotted mess, do not require brushing. They are relatively easy to care for, and they are very healthy, active dogs.
Mateo is a rather friendly dog to people he is familiar with, but to strangers he is wary and extremely attentive. He has been known to growl and bark at people he does not know. So far, he hasn't bitten anybody, but just in case, we have him ensconced in his pen in the backyard.
I always worry when children or toddlers or babies get too close to him. He hasn't tried to hurt them, but he does bark and growl, and then the children's parents get angry with me because "my dog barked/growled/snapped at them". It is very frustrating trying to explain to people that my dog is not a mean-spirited canine. He's just protecting his domain is all.
Around people he knows, Mateo loves to play and romp around; he is a highly intelligent dog who doesn't miss a trick. He is one of the best dogs I have ever had, and I have had a lot of dogs in my lifetime. I like him because he's a guy's dog: tough, bursting with health, highly intelligent, trainable, low maintenance (in terms of brushing is concerned), and a great fetcher/herder. He's all the dog I have ever wanted, and I am so glad that Meteo bounded his way into my life (and into my heart)!