The Maremma Sheepdog is an Italian livestock guardian breed that is native to the central Italian region of Maremma and Abruzzo. This breed lived with Italian shepherds for centuries and their main job was to protect the flock from predators, especially wolves.
This is a breed that has many names and some of them are Maremmano-Abruzzese Sheepdog, Maremmano, and Abruzzese Sheepdog. It is quite a large breed that was bred originally for its protective capabilities and not for their looks. That does not mean their looks are any less important, far from it, the Maremma Sheepdog is a stunning dog.
24-29 in (60-73 cm)
66-99 lb (30-45 kg)
Dog Breed Characteristics
The Maremma Sheepdog’s characteristics are similar to other dog breeds that these dogs share ancestors with. It is a large dog with a rustic and majestic appearance. They are powerful and fearless which are some of the traits a dog needs to have in order to guard sheep against wolves.
The Maremma Sheepdog has a black nose and their eyes are almond-shaped and can come in a range from ochre to brown chestnut. Their ears are V-shaped and hanging forward. They have large and muscular bodies. These dogs are double-coated with a longer protective outer coat and soft, wooly undercoat.
Maremma Sheepdog standard
- Group 1 (Sheepdogs and cattle dogs except Swiss cattle dogs), Section 1 (Sheepdogs).
- height - males 25,5-29 in (65 – 73 cm), females 24-26,5 in (60 – 68 cm)
- weight - males 77-99 lbs (35 – 45 kg), females 66-88 lbs (30 – 40 kg)
- date of acceptance - 3/13/1956
Coat & shedding
Maremma Sheepdog needs regular brushing sessions to keep the amount of hair under control. They shed heavily twice a year – during shedding season. At that period daily brushing is required.
Maremma Sheepdog coat colors:
- solid white with shades of ivory, pale orange or lemon
Brush their teeth at least three times a week to prevent tartar buildup and infections. Make sure you use products that are made especially for dogs as human products could potentially harm them. Trim their nails if they don’t wear them down naturally. A good indication is if you can hear them clicking on the floor while they walk. Clean their ears and check for signs of redness or infections. Use a cotton cloth and never insert anything in their ear canal. You can always check with your Vet about the products you should use and the proper technique.
Maremma Sheepdog temperament
The Maremma Sheepdog is a natural guard dog. They are fairly intelligent and had to evolve in a breed that had the ability to make their own decisions and work independently. This can be a strong-willed dog that can cause problems for new owners and those that lack experience in owning such a powerful and protective breed. For centuries, these dogs used to guard livestock and in recent times they are filling the role of companions and home protectors.
They are loyal and devoted to their owner but not in a way that they will blindly follow your orders and commands. These dogs are able to think and if they think that something is not in their interest, they can refuse to do it. Think of the Maremma Sheepdog as a friend that is always by your side but also as that friend that doesn’t think your every idea is a good one. If you value friendship and loyalty, this is a breed for you.
Training and socialization
Maremma Sheepdog’s training should begin as soon as possible. Such large breeds need to be properly trained and they need to know house rules. They will not blindly obey you, but they need to know some rules. You need a strict, firm, and fair approach to this breed, and you should establish a clear role of alpha. Use positive training methods and include food and treats in their training and you will be happy with the results your dog is showing.
Maremma Sheepdog’s socialization should also start from the moment your new Maremma Sheepdog puppy arrives at your home. Expose your dog to new people and dogs to teach them proper social behavior as well as rules. These dogs can develop behavioral problems if they are not properly socialized so make sure that that doesn’t happen.
The Maremma Sheepdog is generally considered a healthy breed. These dogs have an average lifespan of 11-14 years.
When getting any breed, the breeder must show you health tests that they have done for their breeding dogs. Dogs must be adequately tested because taking a chance and hoping that the puppy’s parents are healthy is a risk no one should ever take. Only healthy dogs should be bred because that is the only way to assure that bloodlines will remain healthy and without any problems.
This dog breed is not for everyone and we advise you that you make your research before you go after Maremma Sheepdog. You will need to dedicate your time and energy to training and socialization if you want to end up with a dog you can control. When you decide to search for Maremma Sheepdog breeders, always buy a dog from a responsible and official breeder. By doing so, you can be sure that you will get the best possible dog because a good breeder takes good care of their breeding dogs and their puppies. If you have any questions or doubts any good breeder will welcome your questions because they also want their puppies to go into a good home.
If you are unsure whether this is the breed for you, check out this FREE GUIDE that will help you decide which dog breed is right for you.
World Dog Finder team