Maremma Sheepdog

With the appearance more of a white Golden Retriever than an Old English Sheepdog, the Maremma Sheepdog is a large, sturdy dog with a coarse white outercoat and dense protective undercoat. They are traditionally a solid white colour and feature heavy bones and well developed musculature. They have a wide head between the ears which narrows to the muzzle. Their ears are small and high set.

They may look like a white Retriever, but they have the personality of a sheepdog through and through, and are excellent herders and protectors of their flocks.

Other Names
Abruzzes Maremma, Cane de Pastore Maremmani Maremma, Pastore, Abruzzese, Cane da Pastore, Maremmano-Abruzzese, Cane Da Pastore Maremmano Abruzzese, Abruzzese Shepherd Dog, Abruzzenhund, Pastore Maremano Abruzzese
Country of Origin
Italy
Colour
Usually solid white in colour, although some special dogs can have orange or yellow tints around the ears. Ivory and pale fawn can also be seen in their coat colours.
Size
Large
Height / Weight
Can stand between 59 and 73cms and weigh between 30 and 45kgs.
Health
Hip dysplasia affects the Maremma, as does achondroplasia and slipped patellas. Can be sensitive to anaesthetics. Other common ailments include: Bones (Developmental) - Patellar luxation Skin - Dermatitis - Acute moist ("wet eczema" or "hot spot"), Skin - Matted fur
Life Span
11-13 years
Intelligence
This breed can be very difficult to train as it is very strong willed and independent. It will be loyal to one master but training may still take considerable effort. Early socialisation with children, other dogs and animals is essential as this is a big, strong dog with a protective instinct and accidents could happen if the dog isn't trained well to get along with other creatures, great or small.
Exercise
Medium
Suitability (Children)
Low
Feeding

Whilst the Maremma Sheepdog is quite a large dog, on reaching maturity it is not a really that big an eater and therefore can be kept on a low maintenance diet. That said, Maremmas mature slowly, not reaching full maturity until two years of age, so it is advised that it be fed a special diet for giant breed puppies. It is important not to overfeed the puppies but do be aware that just like teenagers, there are growth spurts and they can increase in size before your eyes. Poor nutrition in youth will lead to skeletal problems in older dogs so make sure you feed your new furry friend the good stuff from day one.

Feeding Cost
$20+ p/w
Other Cost
Excercise
Maremmas are best suited to farm life with lots of open space and livestock to guard, where they can be in their element tending their flock. They are not an overly active breed, preferring to quietly watch their flock. Not suited to suburban living —can become bored quickly.
Ailments
Hip dysplasia affects the Maremma, as does achondroplasia and slipped patellas. Can be sensitive to anaesthetics. Other common ailments include: Bones (Developmental) - Patellar luxation Skin - Dermatitis - Acute moist ("wet eczema" or "hot spot"), Skin - Matted fur
Hair Shed
Heavy
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 idry, itchy eczema and painful hot spots. The pads should be examined and trimmed between them, if necessary.

Grooming Frequency
More than once a week
Trimming
None
Maremma Sheepdogs have been successful guardians of their flocks for hundreds of years - ancient Italian writers have mentioned the Maremma Sheepdog, and a 13th century picture in the church of Santa Maria in Florence even depicts a Maremma. The original stock of Maremmas came from migrating Eastern shepherd dogs which developed into the individual breeds particular to a region, for example, the French Pyrennean Sheepdog and the Hungarian Kuvasz. In Italy, the shorter coated Maremmano and the longer backed Abruzzese merged into one breed sometime in the 1860s, due to seasonal movement of flocks. Today's Maremma is still the most popular and common sheepdog in Italy. Legend has it that the courageous Maremma can ward off wolves, bears and human predators. The Maremma was first exported to England in 1931 with the dog Drago of Castlenuova. A mate was later sent for him and Helen Home-Robertson and Mrs. J.M. Pryor started a breeding programme. In Australia they are generally used for estate guard dogs or as pets.


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