The Canine Chronicles Directory
The Maremma Sheepdog is a large, white, majestic canine. It has a water-resistant,
double coat with a coarse outer coat and a thick, dense under coat. The coat color
should be white, ivory, light yellow and may have some pale orange on the ears.
The head is conical shaped being broad between the ears and narrowing to the muzzle.
The large, almond-shaped eyes are dark brown in color. The nose is black or pinkish-brown
in color with a straight canal and large nostrils. The small, high set ears are
v-shaped and pointed. The jaw is muscular and the teeth have a scissor-like bite.
The well-built back is straight and the deep chest has a well-rounded ribcage with
a slightly tucked abdomen. The forelegs should be well-boned and straight. The broad
hindlegs are well-built with well let down hocks and slightly bent stifles. The
low set tail reaches past the hocks and should be thickly feathered.
Maremma Sheepdogs are strong, active and very lithe for their size. They make excellent
guard dogs and are happiest when working. They are dedicated to their owners and
their flocks; however they are intolerant of intruders and are wary of strangers.
They are great with children but will object to strange children being physical
with "their" children. They do well with other animals in the home and will protect
them also. Maremma Sheepdogs are an intelligent breed; however, they have a strong
will and may be difficult to train. Socialization at an early age is a must for
this breed, especially if they are to be around children and other pets. Training
must be consistent and mutually respectful. If there is more than one dog in the
home, it is important to feed them separately.
Male Height: 25-29" ; Weight: 77-100 lbs.
Female Height: 23-27" ; Weight: 66-88 lbs.
This breed may occasionally suffer from hip dysplasia and eye disease. Issues specific
to the Maremma Sheepdog breed also include infertility and disinterest in breeding.
This may be caused by irregular heat cycles and aggressiveness by some females towards
The Maremma Sheepdog should not live in an apartment. They do best in a rural setting
with a large area to run in, or in a suburban environment with a secure fence. They
are happiest when they are outdoors and they prefer a colder climate.
This breed needs lots of exercise in order to stay in shape. Free running while
they are puppies is great for muscle development.
About 10-14 years
This breed is easy to groom. This clean breed only needs to be brushed once a week.
Shampoo only when necessary.
Maremma Sheepdog's have been existence in Italy for over 2000 years. Their lineage
includes the Karabash and Akbash sheepdogs of Turkey, the Kuvac of Slovakia, the
Kuvasz and Komondor of Hungary, and the Pyrenean Mountain Dog of France. Records
have been found from 116 B.C. where Roman Varrone described the breed in his work
Rerum Pastoralis. Marcus Terentius Varro mentioned these dogs in 100 B.C. and Lucius
Colu-mella refer to this breed in his first century writings on Roman rural life.
In Florence, a picture was discovered in the church of Santa Maria depicting a Maremma
Sheepdog. Maremma Sheepdogs are used all over Italy; however, the two areas that
claim the origination of the breed are the Maremma and Abruzzo regions. The breed
was originally two combined breeds. The Abruzzese had a longer body and more proficient
coat, while the Maremmano had a shorter coat and a compact body. These two breeds
were merged in the 1950s and a standard was established. In 1931, the breed was
first exported to England and a breeding program was begun by Helen Home-Robertson
and Mrs. J. M. Pryor. The breed was not introduced to the United States until the
1970s. Although they are recognized by the UKC, they have not yet been recognized
by the AKC.
UKC Guardian Dog