Maremma Sheepdog

fast facts

About Maremma Sheepdog

Weight
65-100 lb
Lifespan
11-13 years
Group
UKC Guardian Group
Best Suited For
experienced dog owners, active singles, active families, house with a yard
Temperament
Hard-working, intelligent, friendly, protective
Comparable Breeds
Kuvasz, Polish Tatra Sheepdog
Height
23.5-28.5 inches
Maremma Sheepdog Basics


Also known as the Cane de Pastore Maremmano-Abruzzese or simply the Maremmano, the Maremma Sheepdog is an Italian breed of livestock guarding dog. These dogs are known for their thick white coats, fluffy tails, and their fearlessness. The name for this breed comes from the Maremma marshlands where the breed worked for thousands of years, though sheep-farming has decreased in this area in recent years.


The Maremma Sheepdog is an Italian breed of livestock guarding dog.


Origin


The Maremma Sheepdog is a livestock guarding breed native to the mountains of Tuscany. Breeds of this type have existed since ancient Roman times so the exact origins of the Maremma Sheepdog are unknown. The first time the Maremma Sheepdog was registered occurred in 1898 – the breed was known as the Maremmano in the Libro delle Origini Italiano at the time and it was registered with the Kennel Club Italiano. The first standard for the breed was published in 1924.


Pedigree

The exact origins of the Maremma Sheepdog are unknown because sheep-protecting dogs have existed since ancient Roman times. The breed is thought to share some of its heritage with other mountain breeds including the Kuvasz, Pyrenean Mountain Dog, and the Polish Tatra Sheepdog.


Food/Diet


As a large-breed dog, the Maremma Sheepdog should be fed a high-quality commercial dog food diet formulated for dogs of its size. Because this breed is a high-energy working breed, however, an active or working breed formula may be more appropriate to meet his needs.


Because the Maremma Sheepdog is an intelligent breed it generally responds well to training.


Training


Because the Maremma Sheepdog is an intelligent breed it generally responds well to training. These dogs can be independent at times, however, so you need to establish yourself as the alpha of the household and maintain a firm and consistent hand in training. If you plan to use your dog, for sheep guarding you should introduce him to the sheep around 7 to 8 weeks in order to begin the bonding process.


Weight


The Maremma Sheepdog is a large-breed dog that typically stands 23.5 to 28.5 inches tall and weighs 65 to 100 pounds at maturity.


Temperament/Behavior

This fluffy white dog is known to be a friendly and even-tempered breed, though (like most livestock guarding breeds) it does have a bit of an independent streak. These dogs are loyal to their human companions and they are fearless when it comes to protecting those they love. This breed gets along well with other dogs and household pets, though it may be a bit aloof around strangers. Early socialization is recommended to control this breed’s protective instincts and to ensure that he does not become too dominant or willful. Because this breed is smart it also needs plenty of mental stimulation to prevent the development of problem behaviors due to boredom.


Common Health Problems


As an ancient breed, the Maremma Sheepdog is a healthy and hardy breed for the most part. Like all dogs, however, they are prone to certain health problems, many of them related to the breed’s large size. Maremma Sheepdogs are prone to hip dysplasia as well as other musculoskeletal issues. Feeding your Maremma Sheepdog puppy a large-breed puppy formula will help keep him from growing too fast which will also reduce his risk for bone and joint problems later in life.


Life Expectancy


The average lifespan for the Maremma Sheepdog breed is 11 to 13 years.


Exercise Requirements


Because the Maremma Sheepdog is a highly intelligent working breed, these dogs need a great deal of daily exercise. This breed requires a long daily walk or brisk jog and will also appreciate having time to itself in a fenced yard. The Maremma Sheepdog also requires plenty of mental stimulation. Due to its high needs for exercise, this breed is not recommended for apartment life.


The Maremma Sheepdog is a friendly and even-tempered breed.


AKC


The Maremma Sheepdog is not currently recognized by the AKC but it is classified in the Guardian Dog group for the United Kennel Club and the Pastoral Group by the UK Kennel Club.


Coat


The Maremma Sheepdog is a large-breed dog with a muscular build and a thick white coat. This breed’s coat is long and thick with a rough texture – the hair is generally thicker around the neck. Solid white is the only color for the the breed, though some minor yellowing might be tolerated.


Puppies


The average litter size for the Maremma Sheepdog breed is 6 to 9 puppies. Because these dogs are so intelligent, they need plenty of training from an early age to prevent the development of problem behaviors due to boredom. It is also a good idea to choose a large-breed puppy food for your dog to prevent him from growing too quickly – growing too fast will put him at risk for joint problems later in life.


Photo credit: Cristina_Annibali_Krinaphoto/Bigstock

Kate Barrington
Kate Barrington

Kate Barrington is the loving owner of two cats (Bagel and Munchkin) and a noisy herd of guinea pigs. Having grown up with golden retrievers, Kate has a great deal of experience with dogs but labels herself a lover of all pets. Having received a Bachelor's degree in English, Kate has combined her love for pets and her passion for writing to create her own freelance writing business, specializing in the pet niche.

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