A Maremma Sheepdog is highly intelligent and a very active dog. It spent many happy years as a breed that guarded livestock along the mountains in Europe. It is an outstanding livestock guardian and revels in its role. It's thick coat makes it especially suited for the outdoors and it is quick to make its own decisions when guarding the sheep. These same instincts and breeding make it a dog that really doesn't do well as a housedog. It prefers to be busy and expects a good deal of exercise to grow well and be healthy.
You may think that you can buy this dog and just let it roam free in your backyard. Unfortunately, this is not enough for the dog to keep busy. If left to its own devices, it will simply start to become extremely possessive of the yard and any other belongings that are nearby, including cars, children, or other pets. It does need to be very well socialized for it to start to take its cue on what to guard from you. It never occurs to this dog to not guard something, as this is what it was bred to do. If you don't give it something to do, then it will make its own choices about what to guard and how to guard it.
This is where obedience training can come in handy. The dog is ready to be trained at about four to six months of age. Its above-average intelligence will help it pick up commands quickly, but it will also decide for itself whether to obey the command once it is issued or whether to follow its own instinct. As long as the dog is being challenged and kept busy, it can learn to love obedience training and look forward to sessions where it can display its cleverness, even if it might not obey every single command. It might even look around after you issue the command trying to decide why you are asking it to do something it finds no reason to do. This is normal for a Maremma that is used to making up its own mind. The key is to continue to challenge it and grow a bond between you and it.
If you want to keep the dog really busy, just use it for a farm or ranch. This is where it excels in its capacity to make up its own mind and guard your livestock. It will happily accompany sheep across rugged terrain, asserting its dominance, but also with a very keen awareness of the well being of the sheep. It is so happy to do its duty that you can leave this dog with livestock alone and it will continue to be at its post, regardless of whether you are there or not. This dog has been used to guard sheep and cattle successfully.