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Maremma Sheepdog

The Canine Chronicles Directory

Maremma Sheepdog

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.

Temperament 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.
Height, Weight Male Height: 25-29" ; Weight: 77-100 lbs.
Female Height: 23-27" ; Weight: 66-88 lbs.
Health Problems 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 suitors.
Living Conditions 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.
Exercise This breed needs lots of exercise in order to stay in shape. Free running while they are puppies is great for muscle development.
Life Expectancy About 10-14 years
Grooming This breed is easy to groom. This clean breed only needs to be brushed once a week. Shampoo only when necessary.
Origin 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.
Group UKC Guardian Dog