You can take the dog out of the flock, but you can't take the guarding instinct out of the Maremma Sheepdog. This dog is sometimes thought of as the best sheep herding and guard dog around. It has guarding instincts that can range from a fierce attack on wolves to a careful tending of an injured lamb. The Maremma Sheepdog is such a dutiful guard dog that you can leave it unattended for several days and it will continue to guard the flock, even when you aren't there.
The breed is known to be trustworthy, dependable, and always attentive to the flock's needs. It loves being outdoors and its heavy double coat allows it to travel in all kinds of weather without much fuss or muss. It is a very active dog that likes a lot of exercise and won't shirk at the amount of work guarding a flock requires. It will even enjoy the experience and love the chance to display its mastery of the territory and the flock. This is a dominant dog that knows its business. It is used to making decisions on its own and being treated as an equal by the ranch hands that have come to trust this dog's great reasoning abilities.
The same traits that make it such a great sheep dog are also what can make it less than ideal in an urban setting. It is a dog that wants to tend a flock, even if that flock happens to be your family unit. It won't do well just left in the backyard with nothing to do. It wants to be very active and it wants to guard something, whether that something is your car, the backyard, or any other possession you have that it will use as a flock. It is particularly protective of children in the household and this can be a problem in social settings. If you want to discipline your children, you will have to isolate the dog first as it won't mind telling you that you aren't being nice to the children. It also will favor the household with its protective blessing but won't have the same regard for strangers or other children who come to visit. Leave the dog outside when strangers come calling so that it doesn't decide that a child's horseplay is really a threat and seek to defend your own child at the expense of someone else's child.
A dog this active really requires to be given some task to do. It can make an excellent guard dog, if you live out in the country and have few visitors. It takes its role of protection very seriously and will not allow people to come near your property. The dog doesn't bark much when around its flock but won't hesitate to bark and display aggressive behavior with anyone that is not of its own flock.