Maremma Sheepdog

A rare breed in Australia, the Maremma Sheepdog has been around for over 2,000 years, originating from central Italy and was known for guarding flocks against wolves and bears or other wild dogs. Here in Australia, this independent and energetic breed is used to guard stock against foxes, wild dogs and birds of prey on rural farms and country properties and is also a popular household companion for many individuals and families.

Appearance

The large dog has fairly distinctive looking features, with a strong jaw, black nose and V-shaped ears that are pointed and small. The dog’s eyes are small, however filled with vibrant emotion and intelligence. The breed has a medium-to-large build with a bear like head and is covered in a coarse white outercoat and a dense undercoat. The tail is fairly low set with thick coarse hair. Coat colors include white with markings of ivory, light yellow or pale orange on the ears.

Temperament

The Maremma Sheepdog is a friendly and sociable dog, with a loyal and dedicated personality making it ideal as a guardian of stock or simply a friendly companion. Despite their loyalty, they have an independent and assertive nature and get along well with known family members and other animals, although will instantly recognize a stranger and get protective! Training these dogs are easy, as they are bred to listen to their owners and complete their guardian role with unprecedented dedication although owners must use a strong yet calm voice to assert dominance and control. The Maremma loves to work and is talented at its role as a sheepdog, however can still make a great family dog, it just needs to be exercised regularly with brisk walks or jogs to exert some of its natural abundance of energy.

Grooming and Care

As the Maremma Sheepdog has luscious long coats of hair, it requires regular maintenance with thorough combing and brushing to remove loose, knotted or dead hair as well as to remove burrs and grass seeds that may irritate the skin. The dog does shed quite significantly so grooming is particularly essential during this period.

Lifespan

The Maremma Sheepdog has an average lifespan of 11-13 years, with it typically living to 12 years of age.

Health issues

Due to their large size and active lifestyle, The Maremma can sometimes have troubles with hip alignments and can be affected by a common degenerative disease Canine Hip Dysplasia (CHD). Hip dysplasia and achondroplasia and slipped patellas can sometimes cause serious pain. The condition is diagnosed by a Veterinary through X-ray imaging and interpretation.