A Professor and a Puppy: Bergamasco Scout now on Instagram

Matt meets Scout for the first time.

Matt meets Scout for the first time.

I know… I know… this blog is about social media education. But I thought I’d quickly share an update on our adventures into dog ownership as many people have been asking! Kelin and I have been planning to get our puppy since last semester – I told my students all about it and we talked names – so we are both very excited to have finally brought home Scout last night.

Scout (a literary reference, of course) is a bergamasco and right now peacefully napping! The car ride home was peaceful and she remained calm through the night. We spent the morning wearing her out, freeing me up to writ this quick post.

As a way to combine my need to get more hands on experience with Instagram along with my desire to be an ambassador of this rare breed, I’ve decided to create a Scout Instagram profile. If you are interested in following the puppyhood and beyond of our new bergamasco scout on Instagram, check out instagram.com/scoutbergamasco.  I promise lots of photos. I’ll try not to overdo it but in all honesty I probably will post far too many photos.

What is a Bergamasco?

Not many people have heard of bergamascos before. I hadn’t. And in fact, some people mistake bergamascos for komondors while others incorrectly think that bergamascos are messy or unclean due to their unique coat (more on that below).  This unfamiliarity is a major reason why I want to share our adventure with Scout.

Bergamascos are Italian sheep herding dogs and come from the Italian Alps. Their unique feature is their coat which consists of 3 different types of “hair” and forms flocks that look a bit like dreadlocks. They are hypoallergenic. Despite appearances, they shed very little and coat maintenance is minimal.  They are said to be very clean dogs and the coat does not smell.

According to the American Kennel Club, “The Bergamasco is a sociable, highly intelligent breed that possesses a deep desire to please its master. The breed thinks independently, however, and often sees itself more as an equal partner than as a subordinate to the members of his family.”  The Bergamasco (Comprehensive Owner’s Guide) describes these dogs as “intelligent and balanced,” “peace-loving,” loyal, great with kids, among other qualities that drew me to the breed.

When doing research on what type of dog would match our lifestyle, the bergamasco came up again and again. I did a great deal of research (I tend to overdo it sometimes!) on this and other breads and Kelin and I decided this was the right dog for us.

From time to time I will post updates on this blog about our life with Scout as I know many people are interested. But this blog is a social media blog and I know that is why you read this blog. I promise not to lose sight of that. I will also label all Scout-related blog posts under the category “Scout” (see “blog topics” on the left menu).

Feel free to contact me via other social channels (twitter, G+, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc) or via a comment below if you have any questions about Scout or our experience with her, or thoughts on raising puppies. While I am a novice with dogs and bergamascos, I am more than happy to share my experience.

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