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Maremma Sheepdogs

Aliases: Pastore Abruzzese, Italian Alpine Dog,Italian Mountain Dog, Abruzzese, Cane da Pastore, Italian Sheepdog, Maremmano-Abruzzese

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Maremma Sheepdog Articles

The Right Owner And Ideal Environment For A Maremma

The Maremma Sheepdog was bred to be livestock guardians. They are very independent, intelligent, and protective large dogs. They are used in many different continents from the Americas to Australia. They are considered one of the best livestock guardian dogs, but not ideal for a family pet. This is because this dog really does need to be involved in its role of guardian or it will become highly possessive of any small territory or family members it thinks it is responsible for guarding. In a herding activity, the dog is smart enough to be left alone for days with the sheep and it will continue to guard and protect them against predators. Some of the newer pups being bred have been bred for a smaller size and to be more suitable as companion dogs. [...]

A Dog That Doesn't Forget

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. [...]

Legal Liabilities Of Owning A Large Guard Dog

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. [...]

Special Care In Hot Weather

The Maremma Sheepdog has a double coat with long and lush hair on the top and a thick undercoat underneath. This was helpful to it when it spent long days and nights herding sheep in the European mountainous ranges. The coat protected them in all kinds of cold and inclement weather and even provided protection against brambles. It kept it warm and dry and was ideal for sleeping outdoors. [...]

When It Thinks It Knows Better How To Engender Mutual Respect

It has spent a long history being friend to both sheep and man, and loyal to a fault. It thinks that this entitles it to the respect of us humans, and it’s probably right. The problem is not so much that the Maremma Sheepdog is obstinate or willful; it is that it knows its own worth. It is a very self-assured dog. It is highly intelligent and used to making the decisions that have saved the lives of a flock and sometimes its owner. So, it really doesn’t take kindly to having someone tell it what to do when it just doesn’t get the reason why it should obey. [...]

Obedience Training A Must, But Not 100% Effective

A Maremma puppy is ready for obedience training once it hits four to six months of age. This may seem early, but the breed has an above average intelligence level. It also has a tendency to make up its own mind, which means that obedience training is a must with this dog. Even after you get it into training, you will notice that the dog doesn’t immediately obey your command. They will take a few minutes to think it over and decide whether what you are requesting sounds like a good idea to them. This reasoning ability is what makes them very good livestock guardians, but it is also what makes them less of a star in formal obedience trials. [...]

When Shedding Season Strikes

The Maremma Sheepdog is best kept outdoors, for a variety of reasons. One, it is used to being an outdoor dog from its long history of guarding sheep in European mountain ranges. Two, it has a double coat that serves to protect it against cold and inclement weather outside to the point where it even repels water. And three, it sheds during moulting season and all that hair can get in your house. [...]

Keeping Your Dog Busy

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. [...]

Tending Its Flock Is Serious Business

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 are there. [...]

Weird Facts/Did You Know?

The Maremma Sheepdog originated in Central Italy. It has been used as a livestock guardian in European mountainous ranges for over two thousand years. The dog takes its role as flock guardian very seriously. It has been known to attack wolves and bears and even win these battles. It will also attack any thieves that dare to try to purloin a sheep. The dog is so trustworthy with a flock that the shepherds often left them for days without any supervision. The dogs would continue to guard the flock whether the shepherd was there or not. They do bond with the flock more than the owner and will lay their lives down for the flock too without hesitation. [...]

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