Maremma Sheepdog

Breed Details

Size:

Exercise Requirements:

Grooming Requirements:

Weight:

30-45 kg (approx)

Life Span:

12 years (approx)

Appearance

The Maremma and Abruzzes shepherd dog is a big dog, strongly built of a rustic appearance, at the same time majestic and really typical. On the whole, his shape, of average proportions, is that of a heavy dog, whose body is longer than the height at the withers; is balanced as much in size (heterometry = normal proportions between the size and different parts of the body) as to the profiles (alloidisme = concordance between the profiles of the head and the body).

IMPORTANT PROPORTIONS: The length of the head reaches 4/10 of the height at the withers; the length of the muzzle is 1/10th less than that of the skull; the body length is more by 1/18th than the height at the withers. The depth of the thorax is slightly less than half the height at the withers. (For instance: for a dog of 68 cm the depth is about 32 cm).

History

This ancient breed of dogs who guard flocks come from shepherd dogs actually still used in the Abruzzes where the breeding of sheep is still thriving even in these days, and sheepdogs which existed yesteryear in the region of the Tuscan Maremma and in that of Latium. Most especially since 1860, the seasonal moving of livestock from one region to another has favoured the development of a natural crossing of those two primitive breeds.

Temperament

The Maremma's herding instinct is highly developed and the dog is happiest when at work tending its flocks. 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 successful occasions. 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. Although not aggressive, this dog is courageous in the protection of its flock and home.

Intelligence 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.

Care/Grooming

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.

Grooming Requirements more than once a week.

Breeders