- Activity Level: high
- Grooming Level: moderate
- Trainability: low
- Adaptability: low
- Kid/Pet Friendly: sometimes
- Average Size: Large
- Average Lifespan: 11-13 years
- Prey Drive: moderate
- Watchdog: very alert
- Registered?: aca
Maremma Sheepdog Breed Profile
The Maremma Sheepdog, which in Italian is translated “Cane da Pastore Maremmano-Abruzzese”, is best classified as a livestock guardian breed with origins dating back to the Roman Empire. Much like the Akbash or Anatolian Shepherd, this dog breed has been known to be very accomplished at guarding the flock, doing a fine job of keeping potential predators at bay. While the breed is currently not recognized by the AKC or ACA, this breed has a standard recognized by multiple kennel clubs around the world. Some of the Clubs are the Australian National Kennel Club (ANKC) and the UK based Kennel Club. A typical Maremma Sheepdog will have a large, solid build and a thick, soft white coat.
Being friendly and having a balanced nature, this working breed can serve as an effective protector of your livestock or as a companion, whichever your intended purpose. Keep in mind that because of its protective nature, it will have a tendency to watch over its family like a flock but with the best of intentions, of course.
At the heart of the Maremma Sheepdog, they are a mountain dog. They are best-suited to cooler environments due to their thick coats and can be sensitive to heat. Because of this dog breed’s size accompanied by centuries of breeding to guard flocks over large wide open spaces, the Maremma Sheepdog is not well-suited for apartment living.
The Maremma Sheepdog is a generally healthy, sturdy breed of canine. The one major concern is the need to proportion this dog’s diet to its activity level. While a working breed by nature, weight can become an issue for grown dogs that are not living the working breed lifestyle.
Like all working class breeds, the Maremma Sheepdog needs continued training and a stern pack leader. Novice owners will struggle with this breed if they do not seek the help of obedience training. A more experienced owner should do very well training this breed, as their stubborn nature quickly turns to a want to please with the proper master at the controls.
Because this breed has a thick, all-weather coat, it requires daily care with a brush or comb. Tooth brushing and nail trimming are recommended at an early age so your dog becomes comfortable with it. Good grooming goes hand in hand with good health in your Maremma Sheepdog.
The Maremma Sheepdog is a high-energy working dog. They were bred to be with their flocks at all times, day and night. As such, they need a job to do and plenty of exercise to stay happy and healthy. If this dog isn’t put to work on a ranch or farm protecting animals, they will need a few long walks a day and some time to run free.
The Maremma Sheepdog should grow to a height between 24-28 inches, and weigh between 65-100 pounds.
A Maremma was used in 2006 to protect a population of penguins in Australia. It was the world’s first trial of the kind and showed that, although a rare occurrence, a Maremma Sheepdog could help protect populations of endangered species from predators.