Maremma Sheepdog

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65-90 lbs
24-27"
Italy
Maremma, Maremmano, Cane da Pastore Maremmano-Abruzzese, Pastore Abruzzese, Pastore Maremmano, Abruzzo Sheepdog, Abruzzese Sheepdog, Italian Sheepdog, Abruzzenhund
Similar to the Great Pyrenees of France/Spain and Tatra of Poland, the Maremma falls into a highly-recognizable family of sheepdog thanks to its large size and long white coat. Also like the other two, its namesake is derived from its place of origin, the Maremma and Abruzzo region of Lazio and Tuscany, Italy. This Old World breed has been used for centuries to do exactly what its name implies, to guard sheep, and many of its characteristics stem from its age-old duty. In a family, they are affectionate and deeply devoted but tend to be a bit more independent than many other breeds, as they are used to spending day and night with the flock they are guarding. They take considerable training and need a strong, consistent owner to give them direction and even so, still sometimes tend to use their high intelligence and independent nature to make their own decisions. They are constantly vigilant and often take to patrolling whatever space they are put in but regularly do much better in homes with large yards or open space - as long as its not hot - and appreciate being exercised often and given work that stimulates them both physically and mentally. They generally maintain a calm demeanor, taking to barking only when necessary to warn of would-be intruders or predators nearby, which is usually a reliable deterrent given the depth and volume of their bark. Without direction from their owner, they can quickly become protective but usually refrain from anything physical unless pushed to that point and would rather stand in front of what they are protecting and/or bark as measures of intimidation but are significantly fierce when engaged. With proper training and socialization, they can be much more relaxed with strangers.
Purpose
Guarding, Companion
Date of Origin
Unknown
Ancestry
Mastiff, Native Mountain Dogs

Maremma Sheepdog Health

Average Size
Male Maremma Sheepdog size stats
Height: 26-29 inches Weight: 75-100 lbs
Female Maremma Sheepdog size stats
Height: 24-27 inches Weight: 65-90 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Hip And Elbow Dysplasia
Minor Concerns
  • Bloat
Occasional Diagnoses
  • Eye Problems
Occasional Tests
  • X-Rays
  • Eye Examination
  • Physical Examination

Maremma Sheepdog Breed History

Like many of its relatives, the Maremma Sheepdog's history is a bit of a mystery, but the most common belief is that its origins lie somewhere intertwined with the ancient Mastiff and developed through the lines of other native mountain dogs a bit more resemblant to wolves. They have been described and depicted throughout history as early as Roman times, the details of which are still quite accurate to the dogs that exist today. The first Maremma was registered in 1898 but a breed standard was not released until 1924. This breed was once considered two separate breeds, the Abruzzese and the Maremmano, each stemming from their own region, which a few hundred years ago were actually two different countries, one from the mountains and the other from the plains, each with only slightly different characteristics in terms of build. In the late 1950's, due to the transhumance occurring in both regions and inherent crossbreeding, it was decided to consider them one, only a few short years after their numbers had dwindled as a casualty of World War II. Since then, their numbers have slowly increased, even with the decrease in their usage as traditional guarding dogs, thanks to a rise in popularity as companions. They can now be found around Europe and even the US and Canada, but they are still considered somewhat rare outside of their home country of Italy. Over time, they almost lost their hunting drive entirely, making them extremely well-tempered with other non-canine animals and are quite gentle with children. Overall, they make only modestly good family pets unless give a large space to roam, a good amount of exercise, and a steady hand to assume the alpha role. But when those elements combine, they can make excellent companions, as they are loving, affectionate dogs with few needs outside of a place to stay cool and something to do.

Maremma Sheepdog Breed Appearance

The Maremma Sheepdog is a large dog, albeit a bit smaller than some of its relatives, standing just over two feet tall at the withers and weighing an average of 80 pounds but have been known to push over 100. They have a distinctive long, solid white double coat that is extra thick around the neck and somewhat coarse to the touch. Their head is bearlike with a squarish muzzle topped with a black nose, medium-length folded ears, and dark, watchful eyes. They have deep chest cavities, highly-muscled legs,  a square stance, a long, bushy tail and large paws.
Eye Color Possibilities
brown Maremma Sheepdog eyes
Brown
amber Maremma Sheepdog eyes
Amber
Nose Color Possibilities
black Maremma Sheepdog nose
Black
Coat Color Possibilities
white Maremma Sheepdog coat
White
Coat Length
Short Medium Long
Coat Density
Sparse Normal Dense
Coat Texture
Maremma Sheepdog wavy coat texture
Straight Wiry Wavy Curly Corded

Maremma Sheepdog Breed Maintenance

Because of their long double coats, Maremma Sheepdogs take quite a bit of maintenance. They are active shedders, especially in specific seasons, and require frequent brushing/deshedding to keep their coats clean and healthy. While many spend most of their lives outdoors, any that are to be brought into a home should be given regular maintenance to keep the dog at a more comfortable temperature and the home less hairy (although this can rarely be avoided entirely given their heavy-shedding nature). A thorough brushing every few days and the occasional touch up with de-shedding and de-matting brushes when necessary should help to keep their coats in good shape. As they were often left on their own to guard a flock, their coats generally need no trimming, as they maintain a proper length on their own and bathing should only be on an as-needed basis. They are not active droolers but like any dog, should have their teeth brushed on a regular basis to maintain oral health, especially considering their high intake of food. And like any other, their nails should be monitored and clipped to prevent cracking and breaking.
Brushes for Maremma Sheepdog
Pin Brush
Dematter
Deshedder
Nail Clipper
Brushing Frequency
Maremma Sheepdog requires daily brushing
Daily Weekly Monthly

Maremma Sheepdog Temperament

The Maremma Sheepdog is a calm, yet brave and dignified breed. When raised with a family, they are ultimately devoted and frequently show affection towards their family without being needy of attention. They are generally quite independent and are happy to be left alone as long as they feel they have something to keep them occupied, like guarding or patrolling the house/yard or even given tasks. Because of their size and high intelligence, they take an experienced owner with an alpha-like assertive hand that maintains both authority and consistency. Even once fully trained, their intelligence and independent nature can sometimes override given orders, so patience is key. Because of their long-standing history as guardians, their drive to hunt is almost completely non-existent, meaning they can coincide with a wide variety of other non-canine animals and they are equally as gentle with children. But given their protective nature, they are often wary of strangers, so thorough training and socialization is necessary if they are to be in high-traffic areas.

Maremma Sheepdog Activity Requirements

Maremma Sheepdogs were raised to be independent guardians able to move with the flock, so they possess a high level of both energy and stamina. Because of that and their size, they require a significant amount of exercise to stay happy and healthy. Multiple long walks a day are preferable to an excess of running, but supplementing walks with playing in the yard or even giving them work will go a long way in maintaining both their mental and physical health. A couple miles a day walk suits this canine best; around 45 to 60 minutes of exercise should suffice.
Rec. Walk Mileage Per Week
16 miles
Minutes of Activity Per Day
60 minutes

Maremma Sheepdog Food Consumption

Cups Per Day
4.5 cups
Daily Cost
$2.5 - $3.5
Monthly Cost
$80 - $110

Maremma Sheepdog Height & Weight

6 Months
Male Maremma Sheepdog size stats at six months
Height: 19 inches Weight: 62 lbs
Female Maremma Sheepdog size stats at six months
Height: 17 inches Weight: 55 lbs
12 Months
Male Maremma Sheepdog size stats at 12 months
Height: 23 inches Weight: 75 lbs
Female Maremma Sheepdog size stats at 12 months
Height: 21 inches Weight: 66 lbs
18 Months
Male Maremma Sheepdog size stats at 18 months
Height: 27 inches Weight: 87 lbs
Female Maremma Sheepdog size stats at 18 months
Height: 25 inches Weight: 77 lbs

Maremma Sheepdog Owner Experiences

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