Also known as the Maremma Abruzzese, Pastor Abruzzese, Cane da Pastore Maremma Abruzzese, and simply the Maremma, the Maremma Sheepdog is an intelligent and loyal breed. But how do you know whether you are ready to purchase a pet and if this breed is right for you? This information is absolutely necessary in making the decision to purchase a pet.
The origin of the Maremma Sheepdog can be traced back to 15th century Italy, through paintings and writings of the time. Enthusiasts believe these dogs to have descended from ancient Sheepdog and Mastiff breeds, though this has never been proven scientifically or otherwise.
Throughout its history, the Maremma Sheepdog has been most commonly used for herding, driving, and guarding cattle from predators such as wolves, and as a watch and guard dog, proving its superior abilities to work in the harshest of terrain while providing protection and companionship.
Today, while the Maremma Sheepdog has attained a regional popularity as a working and companion dog, the breed remains extremely rare outside of its native Italy.
Best known for its devoted and protective nature, the Maremma Sheepdog is willing to do anything necessary in order to protect its owner and territory. These dogs thrive on strong and dependable relationships with humans, and often look to their owner for leadership and guidance. This breed is very bright, yet stubborn, independent, and overly confident, creating moderate difficulty in training. As a pet, the Maremma Sheepdog is loyal, loving, and affectionate. The Maremma Sheepdog is not suited for full-time indoor or apartment living, as it enjoys spending time outdoors and having plenty of room to roam, run, and play.
Due to its stubborn, independent, and overly confident attitude, the Maremma Sheepdog can prove challenging to train. This breed is known for being especially difficult to housebreak, and grows bored with repetitive exercises and tasks.
Establishing immediate dominance, trust, and respect is key to successfully training the Maremma Sheepdog. These dogs require an experienced, confident, and caring trainer with a stern and serious approach to repetitive exercises and tasks.
Benefits and Disadvantages of the Breed
There are many benefits to owning a Maremma Sheepdog, such as its no hassle, low maintenance coat. These active dogs are always on the go, and often quite amusing and entertaining to watch while at play. When properly socialized from a young age, the Maremma Sheepdog gets along well with children and non-dog pets, known for its sweet and gentle approach to small children. This breed is alert, territorial, and protective, making an incredible watch and guard dog by announcing the arrival of guests and unwanted visitors, and serving as a deterrent to would-be intruders. The Maremma Sheepdog is loyal, loving, and affectionate, making an excellent working dog, family pet, and companion alike.
Unfortunately, there are also disadvantages to owning a Maremma Sheepdog. This energetic and athletic breed requires large amounts of daily exercises and plenty of room to run and play outdoors. Anyone wishing to purchase this breed lacking the adequate amount of time and space to dedicate to the dog is strongly advised against doing so. A Maremma Sheepdog not receiving the proper amount of exercise and space will often act out by destroying property, chewing, barking, and ignoring basic training such as housebreaking.
The Maremma Sheepdog has a strong instinct to herd and will occasionally indulge in a good chase. When on the run, these large dogs are surprisingly quick, and may pose a threat to other animals, neighborhood pets, and small woodland creatures. The Maremma Sheepdog must be leashed or properly secured at all times when outdoors.
This breed is not recommended for households with other dogs. Even with proper socialization, the Maremma Sheepdog is known to show aggression, jealousy, and dominance towards other dogs.
As previously mentioned, the Maremma Sheepdog remains extremely rare outside of its native Italy and can prove difficult to obtain. Individuals seeking to purchase this breed often encounter such challenges as inability to locate a breeder, high prices, and being placed on long waiting lists.
Common Health Concerns
While the Maremma Sheepdog is typically known as a healthy and hearty breed, they do suffer from a few health problems, including: hip dyplasia, elbow dyplasia, primary lens luxation – dislocation of the lens, glaucoma, distichiasis – ingrown eye lashes, cherry eye, chronic ear infection, obesity, and bloat.
Now that you know all about the breed, do you think you are ready to own a Maremma Sheepdog? Remember, purchasing a pet is a big decision and should be discussed thoroughly and seriously with your entire family.