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Your Pet, Our Passion.

Maremma Sheepdog

Sturdy and muscular, the Maremma is a large and heavy dog, with a coarse protective white coat, and dense warm undercoat. The broad head and small high set ears give the Maremma a kindly yet dignified expression.

The need-to-know
  • Dogs suitable for experienced owners
  • Extra training required
  • Need to be aware of potential health issues
  • Enjoys active walks
  • Enjoys one to two hours of walking a day
  • Giant dog
  • Some drool
  • Requires grooming every other day
  • Quiet dog
  • Barks, alerts and may be physically protective/suspicious of visitors
  • Might not like other dogs
  • May need additional training to live with other pets
  • May need additional supervision to live with children
  • Needs a large garden
  • Best suited to countryside
  • Can be left alone with training
This breed may encounter health problems

The Maremma Sheepdog breed can be prone to:
- Hip dysplasia
- Elbow dysplasia 
- Gastric dilatation volvulus
 
Priority Kennel Club health schemes and testing: 
- Hip dysplasia screening scheme

Key Facts

Lifespan: 11 – 13 years
Weight:  30 – 45kg
Height:  60 – 73cm
Colours:  White 
Size:  Large
UK Kennel Club Groups: Pastoral

Ratings

Family-friendly: 4/5
Exercise needs: 4/5
Easy to train: 1/5
Tolerates being alone: 2/5
Likes other pets: 4/5
Energy level: 4/5
Grooming needs: 4/5
Shedding: 5/5
 Two Maremma Sheepdogs are having a rest on the lawn

Personality

Given their history as a flock guardian breed, it should be no surprise that the Maremma is independent, intelligent and likely to be suspicious towards strangers.  

Completely devoted and loyal to their family, but constantly alert to suspicious activity, the Maremma demands a very dedicated owner. They can be trained to a high standard, and should be, as a bored Maremma will be extremely difficult to live with.  

Early socialisation with other people and animals is vital as is ongoing management of such a protective giant. 

Maremma Sheepdog is standing near the forest

History and Origins

Country of Origin: Italy

Originally bred to protect flocks of sheep from wolves, bears and later, packs of feral dogs and human thieves, the Maremma Sheepdog can trace its origins to dogs of a similar type and function over 2000 years ago. Writing in the 1st century BC, Varro describes the type in detail, mentioning that the white colour was preferred to facilitate spotting them in the dark. Despite their size and weight, the Maremma was still at risk from bears and wolves and to protect them from injury to the neck and throat, they wore broad leather collars with large protruding spikes.

Sharing the same ancestry as the Hungarian Kuvasz and the French Pyrenean Sheepdog, the Maremma we know today is an amalgamation of two distinct types, the shorter coated Maremmano and the longer backed Abruzzese. Brought together as one breed in the 1950’s under the name Cane da Pastore Maremmano-Abruzzese, they have remained known as the Maremma Sheepdog or simply Maremma, elsewhere. 

First brought to the UK as an exhibit at London Zoo in the late 1820’s, listed as the Italian Wolf Dog, and occasionally imported during the Victoria period – Queen Victoria owned a pair named Boldia and Ruffo – it was not until the 1930’s that serious attempts were made to breed them or recognise them. Recognition came from the Kennel Club in 1936 and the UK breed club was formed in 1950

Did you know?

Did You Know?

  • Three Maremmas, Oddball, Tula and Eudy found their ideal and unique job of protecting the world’s smallest penguin - Eudyptula minor, standing just 33cm high and weighing only 1kg, often called the Fairy Penguin - from predators. The dogs lived with the colony on Middle Island just off the Australian coast during breeding season, and prevented foxes from eating eggs and killing the tiny penguins.