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Maremma Sheepdog

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4.7/5

(11 Reviews)


Is the Maremma Sheepdog right for you?

Species group:

Other name(s): Maremma; Pastore Maremmano Abruzzese; Maremmano-Abruzzese; Abruzzenhund; Cane de Pastore; Abruzzese

The basics:
A popular and historic sheepdog in Italy, the Maremma Sheepdog is a livestock guardian breed used for centuries to ward off wolves, bears, and other dangerous predators. As an ancient guardian dog used to protect sheep, it can get physical, blocking and leaning on you to nudge you where it thinks you should be. This large dog is not a toy. It considers itself a serious defender with an important job to do, and it has the strength to protect and defend against those it regards as intruders or attackers. This dog can take down a wolf, so you know it must be powerful.

This is not a pet for the average family. Indeed, the Maremma Sheepdog Club of America says flat-out that they don't recommend this breed as a pet: "It is a working dog, with 2000 years of genetic background of livestock guardianship behind it, and it needs a job to keep it occupied." Don't choose the Maremma unless you are an experienced dog owner capable of managing and socializing a strong, powerful breed-- and be sure you have something meaningful, such as guarding your livestock, for your dog to do.

Appearance / health:
The Maremma Sheepdog is a strongly built, large dog. The conical head appears larger in proportion to the size of body. The length of the muzzle is slightly less than that of the skull. The eyes are medium sized, almond shaped, and dark in color. The small V-shaped ears hang flat to the side of head in repose and move forward when alert.

Maremmas are below-average shedders, but shed heavily usually once a year around winter. Female Maremmas shed more frequently than dogs. Regular brushing or combing is sufficient to stimulate coat growth and remove dead hair. Standard care is needed for eyes, ears, pads, and nails.

Maremmas are large and active dogs and require a lot of exercise for proper development. However, they are fast growing dogs and excessive exercise could affect their bones and joints, and thereby hinder their growth. Vigorous exercise until six months of age can be avoided. A regular walk once or twice a day is sufficient to keep them in good shape.

The Maremma is a very hardy dog and no breed-specific disease has been documented. A few cases of epilepsy, heart problems, cancer and hip dysplasia have been reported. Some Maremmas have a strange habit of licking themselves until they have a bare red patch.

Behavior / temperament:
Maremmas are loyal and devoted guards who see their main function as being the protector of their master and their master's property. They get easily bored if left alone for long durations. This may result in their chewing anything around the house, or digging holes in the garden. They have strong protective and territorial instincts and require extensive socialization at early age to prevent shyness or aggressiveness.

Maremmas have an active mind with a high intelligence. However, their independent-minded nature makes them difficult to train, requiring great consistency and patience.

Maremmas bark at every new sound and sight they come across. This could make them excessive barkers in an urban setting. They can be trained to stop barking on a verbal command such as "stop."

wonderful

working dog, easy care coat, livestock protection, smart, magnificent dog, Great choice

challenging

suburban life, family pet, small kids

interesting

reputable experienced breeder, independant thinking

Helpful Maremma Sheepdog Review

Maremma Sheepdog

From Apr 16 2015 4:10PM

5/5

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