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Maremma Sheepdog

 Photo of Maremma Sheepdog

Maremma Sheepdog Books

Group: Pastoral - Breed Standard

Origins

Their function has been to guard the flock and property of the shepherd for millennia, even in situations where people are not present. A flock guard of impressive dominance and lifelong dedication, the breed takes control over its flock and human family. The Maremma is a marvelous sheepdog and loves its work. It is a terrible enemy of the wolf, but tame with humans. Held in high esteem by shepherds, especially in the mountains where it thrives in the snow; resistant to both cold and brambles. For several decades, it also achieved success as a companion dog. This is due to the fact that English breeders have developed dogs of excellent character.

Description

Ideal height: dogs: 65-73 cms (25½ ins); bitches: 60-68 cms (23½ ins). Ideal weight: dogs: 35-45 kgs (77-99 lbs); bitches: 30-40 kgs (66-88 lbs).

Maremma Sheepdogs can weigh from about 65 to 110 pounds (30-50 kg), and be from 23 to 29 inches tall (60-75 cm). They are strong, active, and for their size, very lithe. The Maremma Sheepdog is a massive, noble distinctive-looking dog with a bear-like head. The jaws are strong with a scissors bite. It has a black nose that often becomes slightly pink-brown with age. The ears are v-shaped, pointed and rather small. The eyes have a lively, intelligent expression, but are not large. The nasal canal is straight. The tail is low set and thickly feathered with dense hair. The deep, well-rounded ribcage extends to the elbows. The long, harsh, and very abundant hair has a slight wave. The under-coat is dense. Coat colors include white with markings of ivory, light yellow, or pale orange on the ears.

Character/Temperament

Maremma Sheepdogs are often employed as working dogs and those from working lines will most probably need a job to keep them occupied. They are devoted to their master but treat them as an equal and a friend. They are affectionate with people they know. Always treat a Maremma fairly and they will turn into an indispensable guardian angel for your stock, your farm, and your family. Nevertheless, this rugged breed has adapted into a marvelous companion, without losing its extraordinary working abilities. It will defend both house and master, and it is particularly attentive with children.

The Maremma is a friendly and well-balanced flock guardian, sober and dignified. This loyal, brave, and determined dog makes an excellent guard-dog without being a constant barker. It is correctly described as affectionate but not dependent. As a pet, they are not very attached or overly outgoing. This breed is not a dog that will follow your every command submissively and certainly not if it cannot see the point to it. It is very intelligent and its education and training require mutual respect in handling and voice, and above all, consistency.

It gets along with other dogs and pets and can be slightly reserved with strangers but not strongly so. People who are not welcome on your property will be stopped in their tracks. The Maremma is not as large as many of its fellow flock guards, but he still possesses comparable endurance and strength, as well as the ability to make up for the extra 50 pounds (23 kg) it lacks. It is alert and independent.

Training

See our books on training


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Last link added: 11 Jan, 2006