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Maremma Sheepdog

Maremma Sheepdog Egida Parcodaini
Egida Parcodaini
Photowith thanks to Eline Jagtenberg, www.maremma.nl

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Group Pastoral Dogs (KC)

Origin / History The Maremma Sheepdog originated from the Maremma and Abruzzo regions of Tuscany, Italy. As its name suggests, it was developed as a field dog for protecting sheep and other livestock. It was particularly useful during the Transhumance, wherein the livestock moves to higher grasslands in the summer and lower valleys in the winter. It continued to be popular even after the Tranhumance ended, especially in open rangelands.

References to the Maremma Sheepdog date as far back as the 15th century, making it a remarkably old breed. Its ancestors are mostly large sheepdogs from all over Europe, including the Turkish Karabash, the Hungarian Komondor, and the French Pyrenean Mountain Dog. The modern-day Maremma is smaller than most of these breeds, as it evolved from livestock guarding dog (LGD) to house companion. However, it remains a popular pasture dog in Italy, Australia, and parts of the United States.

Appearance The breed is mostly distinguished by its long, dense coat, bear-like head, and small v-shaped ears. The eyes are small but lively, giving it a friendly, intelligent expression. The coat is long with a slight wave but should not be curly; the tail should be thickly feathered and low-set. It has a sturdy muscular build like most sheepdogs.

Colours The Maremma sheepdog should be white all over, although some pale orange or yellow is allowed on the ears. The nose is black and may turn pink or brown over time.

Temperament The Maremma has all the attributes of an excellent guard dog: loyal, trustworthy, intelligent and brave. It is also friendly and affectionate; it gets along well with children and other pets, making it an ideal family pet. It also makes a great house companion, as it is significantly smaller than other sheepdogs. It doesn’t bark loudly or excessively unless provoked.

The Maremma is a dog that commands respect—it won’t blindly follow its owner’s commands, but will try to see the point of doing so. It treats its human companion like a friend rather than a master. It doesn’t get too attached to its human family, but will guard them with its life.

Height and Weight Maremma Sheepdog stand 23 to 29 inches in eight and weigh from 65 to 110 lbs.

Common Health Problems Maremmas are reasonably healthy, having been bred for harsh outdoor environments. However, they do suffer the same risks as most large dog breeds, such as bone disease, hip dysplasia, and fatigue. Eye disease may also be a problem, mostly from the weather or irritation from the surrounding coat. Proper hygiene, exercise, and regular checkups will help prevent health complications.

Living Conditions The Maremma is a particularly hardy breed, able to withstand extreme cold and last for long periods outdoors. It will thrive in any environment, but is best suited for cold climates and homes with large outdoor spaces. The ideal owner is someone with a fairly active lifestyle and who has enough time to play and take daily brisk walks with his dog.

Exercise Requirements Maremmas have heavy exercise requirements, so owners should be very active and have a lot of time on their hands. This breed needs long brisk walks every day, as well as constant play and ample time to run free around the yard. Mental stimulation is also necessary; feting and problem-solving games will make them sharper and more alert.

Training Requirements Maremmas tend to be overprotective of their human companions, so they should be trained to minimize aggression at an early age. Otherwise, they may start attacking anyone who enters your home. Socializing and obedience training should be done at an early age, as Maremmas can grow to be very obstinate. If they will be used as pasture dogs, they should be exposed to the field as early as 6 months of age to develop their sense of smell.

Life Expectancy The Maremma sheepdog can live 11 to 13 years.

Grooming The dog’s heavy coat calls for regular grooming, preferably every two to three days. The dog sheds heavily once or twice a year; during this time it needs daily brushing and combing. Baths should be kept to a minimum, though, as this can dry out the undercoat.

Famous Examples

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More Maremma Sheepdog Information: Check out our Maremma Sheepdog Clubs and links to more informative websites dedicated to the breed.

Submit your Maremma Sheepdog pictures Send us any pics of your Maremma Sheepdog, let us know there name and age and any other details. We'll add to this page. Contact us

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