Maremma Dog Breed
- General Appearance:
- Maremmas are large in size with a noble appearance. They are strongly built with bear like heads. They have thick, long outer coats with a slight wave that forms a collar on the neck. They also have an undercoat.The dog should be a solid white colour and feature heavy bones and well developed musculature. The head is wide between the ears and narrows to the muzzle. Their ears are small and high set. Of medium length, the neck should show strength as it leads to the long, sloping shoulders and straight, well-boned forelegs. The feet are oval and well arched. Maremmas are slightly longer than tall and deep chested, with a moderately tucked abdomen. The back should be strong and straight and the tail is set low, reaching past the hocks.
- Other Names:Cane da Pastore
- Country Of Origin:Italy
- Dog Group Kennel Club:Pastoral
- Generally white with shading acceptable.
- Maremmas are intelligent breeds that form close bonds with their master. They are excellent working dogs and show loyalty towards their stock, whether this be human or animal. They are alert and lively and need exercise. They will be loyal to their master and devoted to their flock but intolerant of intruders. For this reason, the breed is also a good guard dog and has been used as such on many a successful occasion. Intelligent and strong willed, this can be a difficult dog to train and it does not take kindly to children or other dogs unless well socialised with them at an early age.
- Maremmas have a free and active stride that is capable of speed and endurance.
- Care and training:
- This heavy, dense coat takes a lot of upkeep and the dog needs a thorough brushing and combing nearly every day or the coat will become matted and the dog will develop eczema and hot spots. The pads should be examined and trimmed between them, if necessary. Baths would damage the undercoat. Maremma Sheepdogs need no training for guarding.
This breed can be very difficult to train as it is very strong willed. It will be loyal to one master but training may still take considerable effort. Early socialisation is essential as this is a big, strong dog and accidents could happen if the dog were not trained to get along with smaller pets and children.
- Overall Exercise:
- 40 - 60 minutes per day.
Whilst this breed can take a huge amount of exercise, it is not a necessity. The breed is used for guarding the herd and has the stamina to work all day. Having said that, they are more endurance dogs than high energy ones.
- Feeding Requirements:
- Whilst this is quite a large dog, on reaching maturity it is not a big eater and therefore can be kept on a low maintenance diet. It matures slowly, not reaching full maturity till two years so it is advised that it be fed a special diet for giant breed puppies. It is important not to overfeed the puppies but be aware that there are growth spurts.
- Personal Protection:High
- Suitability As Guard Dog:High
- Level of Aggression:Medium
- Compatibility With Other Animals:Medium
- Suitability for Children:Low
- Often Docked?No
- Average Litter Size:6-10
- Life Expectancy (yrs):10-14
- Health issues:
- Very healthy, although Maremmas may suffer from hip dysplasia and eye disease.
- The Maremma Sheepdog belongs to the stock of the large White Dogs of central Europe. Maremma Sheepdogs have a history in Italy that can be traced back over 2000 years. They were already described by the Roman Varrone (116 B.C.) in Rerum Pastoralis. Two regions in Italy have always claimed this dog as their own, the Maremma and the Abruzzo, hence its native title " Maremmano Abruzzese". One lives in the valley of Maremma, the other in the region of Abruzze. For a while, however, these two were thought to be two different breeds in Italy. The Maremma was bred to be a guarding dog, and has well served its purpose in the past and current to guard sheep and cattle from wolves, foxes and other predators. Puppies were always sent to be with the sheep early on in order to "imprint" on them. Imprinting refers to imprinting the thought of sheep on the puppy in order to make him want to guard the sheep later on. One flock was said to have suffered a great deal from wolves, stealing sheep all the time. The family got a puppy Maremma Sheepdog that was only 6 months old, and within 1 month the sheep count was up and the wolf problem was solved. The puppy had "imprinted" that quickly and learned how to defend the sheep. Shepherds in Italy have long used Maremmas in the field, and still do today.