NPPE Breed Library Info Page

Maremma Sheepdog

maremma sheepdog

This is a large, sturdy, muscular dog with a coarse white outercoat and dense protective undercoat. The head is wide between the ears and narrows to the muzzle. The ears are small and high set. Adult males stand at 65-73cm and weigh 35-45kg, and adult females are 60-68cm in height and 30-40kg in weight.

maremma sheepdog
  • Category size: Large
  • Grooming requirements: More than once a week
maremma sheepdog
  • Shedding: Heavy
  • Allergies: No
  • Noise: Not too noisy
  • Dog Group Kennel Club: Pastoral
maremma sheepdog
  • Alone: More than 3 hours
  • Other pets: Low
  • Stability as a guard: High

Origin

Ancient Italian writers have mentioned the Maremma Sheepdog breed, and a 13th century picture in the church of Santa Maria in Florence depicts a Maremma. The original stock came from migrating Eastern shepherd dogs which developed into the individual breeds particular to a region – for example, the French Pyrenean Sheepdog and the Hungarian Kuvasz. In Italy, the shorter coated Maremmano and the longer backed Abruzzese merged into one breed in the 1860s, due to seasonal movement of flocks. Today's Maremma Sheepdog is still the most popular and common sheepdog in Italy. It is said that the courageous Maremma Sheepdog can ward off wolves, bears and human predators.

Personality

Ancient Italian writers have mentioned the Maremma Sheepdog breed, and a 13th century picture in the church of Santa Maria in Florence depicts a Maremma. The original stock came from migrating Eastern shepherd dogs which developed into the individual breeds particular to a region – for example, the French Pyrenean Sheepdog and the Hungarian Kuvasz. In Italy, the shorter coated Maremmano and the longer backed Abruzzese merged into one breed in the 1860s, due to seasonal movement of flocks. Today's Maremma Sheepdog is still the most popular and common sheepdog in Italy. It is said that the courageous Maremma Sheepdog can ward off wolves, bears and human predators.

Health

The Maremma Sheepdog is generally a healthy breed, but as with many breeds, can suffer from various hereditary eye disorders, and hip dysplasia (a condition that can lead to mobility problems). Eye testing and hip scoring of dogs prior to breeding is therefore important.

Exercise

This breed of dog needs a huge amount of exercise – two-plus hours daily is right for a fit adult, although some of this can be done as he patrols his domain. The breed is used for herding and has the stamina to continue working all day. It is hard to keep this breed stimulated in the role of a non-working pet as he is never off-duty.

Nutrition

Large breed dogs, as well as having large appetites, benefit from a different balance of nutrients including minerals and vitamins compared to smaller-breed dogs. The Maremma Sheepdog is also prone to bloating and stomach problems; smaller, more frequent meals can help minimise this risk.

Grooming

This heavy, dense coat takes a lot of upkeep and the dog needs a thorough brushing and combing several times a week 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.

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What to Consider next

Adoption

It is incredibly fulfilling to adopt a dog from an animal shelter or rescue organization. It often means offering them a second chance in life. There are many dogs waiting for a loving family, a forever home. Reputable centers will be very careful about matching the right people with the right dogs. Staff learns all they can about the dogs they take in, and will spend time getting to know you, your family and your lifestyle, before they match you with any of their dogs. They’ll also be happy to give you advice and answer any questions you might have before and after the adoption.

Finding a good breeder

If your heart is set on a pedigree puppy, then your best bet is to find a reputable breeder. Contact The Kennel Club or a breed-club secretary who may have a list of litters available, or should be able to put you in contact with breeders in your area. Try to choose a breeder who is part of the Kennel Club’s assured breeder scheme.Visit dog shows to meet breeders in person and inquire about availability of pups of your chosen breed.

Welcoming your dog home

Whether you’re bringing home a tiny puppy or rehoming an adult dog, this is a hugely exciting time for everyone. While you’re waiting for the big day you might need to distract yourself, so luckily there are a few things you need to sort out before you welcome your new arrival. Click here for more information