Anyone that decides to own a large guard dog will have to deal with the realities of the liabilities they are undertaking when doing so. The Maremma Sheepdog is no different. This is a large guard dog that takes its role as guardian very seriously. While it is not overtly aggressive with strangers, it does have a fierce reputation as a slayer of wolves. So, this is not a dog to be taken lightly. It has an independent mindset and will sometimes ignore the commands of an owner if its guardian instincts kick in. It will not hesitate to bark and bite a stranger that is not welcome on your property.
The Maremma Sheepdog is really a dog for a rancher and herder. Some of the newer pups have been bred with a temperament that allows them to be household pets. If you do decide to get a Maremma Sheepdog for a family pet, you will want to take precautions to get one of the newer pups, which are smaller than the regular breed. The temperament makes it more docile too. You will still have to take precautions to keep it away from strangers and to give it an ample backyard to guard. You will want to install a privacy fence and keep the posts dug in deeply. You will also need to put locks on the gates and warning signs on the fence. This dog is not a constant barker, like some guard dogs, but it will bark when it feels its territory is being infringed.
Your subdivision may have rules against specific breeds of dogs that are considered to be aggressive. You will have to check with them to see if the Maremma Sheepdog is allowed in your subdivision. You will want to get the dog obedience training, but be mindful that this will not ensure obedience in this breed. It is very independent and highly intelligent.
Lastly, you may end up having your home insurance premiums go up if your insurer finds out you are keeping a Maremma Sheepdog on the grounds. You may even have your policy canceled as there is a bit of doggie profiling going on in the insurance business. Any dog classified as a guard dog that lives on your premises can be grounds for canceling your homeowner's insurance.
If you follow some of the precautions here, get the dog obedience training, and keep it away from neighbors and strangers, you can get a dog with a good temperament that makes a fine family pet. However, if the dog does bite someone you are liable for the damages and in some cases, if you donâ€™t show proof that youâ€™ve taken precautions with a hostile dog that you owned, you could face a prison term if someone gets hurt.