The Maremma Sheepdog is a highly intelligent dog that can be trusted to be left alone with the sheep for several days. They do not forget their duty to guard the sheep and they will remain attentive and on the job, regardless of whether you are there or not. This ability to remember its function also extends to any behavior between it and its owner.
The Maremma does not tolerate being treated badly and will remember anyone who does attempt to push it around. It does need a dominant owner, but the owner must seek to engender mutual respect with the dog through proper obedience training techniques and not by punishing or humiliating the dog. The dog won't forget an unkindness and is likely to become stubbornly unresponsive to training if treated this way or may bite the owner to display its antagonism.
Once a Maremma Sheepdog is bonded to its owner and the family unit, it will not forget to be loyal. It is a dog that will lay down its own life without hesitation to say the lives of the people it is guarding. It has been known to face wolves and bear and even win during these battles. The dog is very much worth its weight in gold for sheepherders and is intensely loyal to its owner. It is said that the Maremma who is bonded to someone will remember that person for a long time, even if years have passed by and they have long since gone on.
The dog's guarding instincts don't just extend to sheep. If it is brought up as a pet, the dog will start to become very territorial and possessive of all the family and their many possessions. It will even guard a car or any other item that it perceives to be one of the owner's belongings. This can make it difficult for people who are coming up the walk close to the car and not understanding that the dog is offended that they are too close.
The dog is naturally affectionate towards its herd. It will try to help an ailing lamb and might even carry it to the flock's owner. It will also remember any kindness that has been extended to it and will be eager to respond in kind.
Even though the dog has a good memory, it will always have a highly independent spirit. That means that although quick to understand obedience training, it won't always follow the commands. This is because it simply thinks it knows better than its owner in many different situations. The handler will need to be firm and consistent with the training and try to bond the dog to it so that it will be more obedient.