ACCORDING to owner, Pauline, there is only 'one' Bergamasco in Cumbria making it one of the rarest dog breeds in the UK.

However, Cumbria's population is set to double... from one to two.

When Whitehaven woman Pauline McCahill fetched home her first Bergamasco, Allegra, she fell completely in love with her.

Now, Pauline is getting Allegra a little friend, thus doubling the number of the breed in Cumbria both living under the same roof.

Whitehaven News: Allegra in all her flocking gloryAllegra in all her flocking glory (Image: Pauline McCahill)

Zemo, the new puppy set Pauline back £2,300, making him a pricey arrival.

Pauline predicts there are only around 70 Bergamascos in the United Kingdom. As the breed is so rare, the breeders in this country are careful to prevent inbreeding.

Whitehaven News: Zemo, the new puppy doubling Cumbria's Bergamasco populationZemo, the new puppy doubling Cumbria's Bergamasco population (Image: Pauline McCahill)

Pauline is excited for the new arrival, she said: "I am counting down the days, I get him very soon."

Pauline is not sure how Allegra will act towards Zemo and explained that it will go one of two ways; either she will be obsessed or just ignore the new puppy.

However, Pauline said she is more worried how the cats will react. Sounds like a houseful!

The Bergamasco sheepdog has hair of three different textures that form naturally occurring loose mats, or 'flocks' (strands of hair woven together, creating flat layers of felted hair), covering the body and legs.

The flocks provide protection from the fierce cold and wild predators of the Italian Alps, the breed's ancestral homeland.

This dreadlock-esque coat looks difficult to groom. Pauline explained the process: "The dreads take a year to 18 month to form and they stay seperated.

"You can trim the dreads so they don’t get dirty, it is a whole washing process and you must wait until they are completely dried before you let them out.

Whitehaven News: Allegra is anticipating the new rare arrivalAllegra is anticipating the new rare arrival (Image: Pauline McCahill)

"I try not to overly groom them or get them wet."

Pauline is incredibly excited to welcome her new puppy to the Bergamasco family.

She said: "It is a massive privilege. I was obsessed with the dog for years before me and my boyfriend got one. The vetting process to make sure you will be a good owner is lengthy.

"We went to Holland to get Allegra and then we wanted another puppy. We knew what we were doing with the breed and we did not need to do the vetting process again.

"It is a complete joy to have them, they are really good dogs."

Whitehaven News: Zemo is all smiles as he prepares to be welcomed into his new homeZemo is all smiles as he prepares to be welcomed into his new home (Image: Pauline McCahill)

Pauline explained how big the breed can get, the dogs get to around a similar size of a Labrador but the dreads put extra weight on them.

Pauline went onto to explain that the breed are great around children and families as they do not jump up so much and are great at keeping the house safe. They are very patient dogs that do not bother with other dogs.

Pauline said: "Once a dog bit Allegra's ear and was hanging on, she just shook her head and got it off."

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