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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.

  • Dog suitable for experienced owners
  • Extra training required
  • Enjoys active walks
  • Enjoys walking an hour a day
  • Giant dog
  • Heavy drool
  • Requires grooming daily
  • Non hypoallergenic breed
  • Chatty and vocal dog
  • Guard dog. Barks, alerts and it's physically protective
  • May require training to live with other pets
  • May require training to live with kids
 Two Maremma Sheepdogs are having a rest on the lawn

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.

Maremma Sheepdog is standing near the forest

History and Origins

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 and Common Issues

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 Needs

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 and Feeding

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 Maremma Sheepdog

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.

Best Family Dog Breeds

While many dogs are traditionally thought of as being good with children , all dogs and children need to be taught to get on with and respect each other, and be safe together. Even so, dogs and young children should never be left alone together and adults should supervise all interactions between them.

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