Maremma Sheepdog

Maremma Sheepdog
Maremma Sheepdog pictures
Maremma Sheepdog suitability

In my own words


I’m a pretty good guardian, even if I do say so myself. Want me to look after you sheep? Or I can look after the house? Even the children, I can look after anything because that’s my job! As long as I’ve got some work to do, I’m happy. It can a bit quiet and scary out in the countryside  alone at night so don’t worry, I can keep an eye for you. My favourite place to be is the countryside, I can’t stand being cooped up! I don’t really like the city too much. It’s so busy, isn’t it? And there’s no grass to run in or sheep to look after. I’d really love to live on a farm and have my own flock of sheep to look after. That would be great, wouldn’t it?

Did you know, my kind originally come from Italy? That’s where we were bred to look after the sheep, isn’t that cool? Of course, I don’t always look after sheep but I definitely want to keep working. I like being busy! I have to keep active to stay in shape too...

My ideal owner(s)


Farmers and ranchers

Active singles


Cold-climate dwellers

What they say about me


Gentle and nurturing





Please read on, to find out more about me, and whether I will be someone you can be happy with for the next 14 years, or even longer!

Is this Maremma for you?

Test your knowledge about the Maremma

Information essential about the Maremma Sheepdog


Kennel Club Group:


(Not AKC recognised)



Maremma Sheepdogs belong to the pastoral group and are used as guard dogs for herds, as companions and seen in the show-ring.



Giant: Weight Male 77 – 99 lb (35 – 45 kg) Female 66 – 88 lb (30 – 40 kg)

Height Male 25.5 – 28.5” (64.8 – 72.4 cm) Female 25 – 25” (63.5 – 68.6 cm)



Today the Maremma is still the most popular and common sheepdog in Italy.

Breed History:


The Maremma originated in (and was named after) a region of Tuscany where it has guarded sheep and livestock for centuries. Some documents tract the Maremma back to Ancient Rome. Ancient Italian writers have mentioned the dog and a 13th century picture in the church of Santa Maria in Florence depicts the Maremma. The original stock came from migrating Eastern shepherd dogs which developed into the individual breeds particular to a region, for example, the French Pyrennean Sheepdog and the Hungarian Kuvasz. In Italy, the shorter coated Maremmano and the longer backed Abruzzese merged into one breed sometime in the 1860s, due to seasonal movement of flocks.


It is said that the courageous Maremma can ward off wolves, bears and human predators and their solitary function (both past and present) is guarding flock and property. The Maremma was first brought to England in 1931 with the dog ‘Drago of Castlenuova’. A mate was then brought over and a breeding programme was set up by Helen Home-Robertson and Mrs J. M. Pryor. Maremma’s now have their own class at Crufts and are generally used in this country for estate guard dogs and pets. Still popular in its native country, the Maremma Sheepdog is a helpful worker and companion in the United States, Australia and elsewhere.



The Maremma is sturdy, dignified and carries itself with a majestic appearance. It is a large breed and is well-built with an aloof expression. This is a true working breed and is not intended to solely be a pet as they are very intelligent, independent and alert. The Maremma is extremely adept at guarding farm, flock and family and is extremely loyal, affectionate and dedicated to its family and work. They do well with other dogs, pets and are good with children. They are always on the look out and have a tendency to bark.



This breed is happiest when at working guarding its flocks as it has a very strong and well developed guarding instinct. They are loyal to their master, devoted to their flock but intolerant of intruders making this breed a good guard dog. The Maremma is intelligent but can be difficult to train due to its strong willed nature and needs to be socialised well at a young age or it might not be well behaved with children and other dogs. They are good with other animals if they have been brought up them and well socialised at a young age. They are reasonably tolerant of others unless they feel their charges are being threatened and although it is not aggressive, this dog is courageous when protecting its flock and home.



The Maremma has a large, sturdy frame and has a rough, thick and slightly wavy coat that is usually white and sometimes has patches of yellow and orange. It has a broad, triangular head with a slightly tapered muzzle and dark, almond shaped eyes. The ears are small and high set. The neck should show strength as it leads to long, sloping shoulders and straight, well-boned forelegs. The frame is heavy boned and muscular. The feet are oval and well arched. The back should be strong and straight with a low set tail, reaching past the hocks. Its hindquarters are broad and muscular with well let down hocks and moderately bent stifles.  Coat:

The coarse outercoat is white, ivory or pale fawn while the undercoat is thick and dense. Together both coats should waterproof the dog. The puppy coat is soft and woolly, growing harsher between six and twelve months. Puppies are always white in colour.


The coat is usually solid white, ivory or pale fawn in colour although orange or yellow tints can occur around the ears



This breed requires early socialisation and obedience training. Early socialisation and training will ensure this breed gets along well with smaller pets and children.The Maremma will regard its master as an equal and friend and do not respond well to harshness. Training must be done with respect and consistency. This breed is strong willed so can be difficult to train. It is loyal to one master but training may still take considerable effort.



The Maremma is prone to bloating so it is recommended to feed it several smaller meals in the day rather than one large meal. Rough coated Maremmas are not prone to matting and tangling like the fine-coated versions but both types shed during spring and autumn. Maremmas that live mostly inside will need more brushing and clipping than their working counterparts. Regular brushing and grooming will remove loose hair and more attention is needed during shedding periods. The ears and paw pads need to be checked often for debris. Due to their rarity and selective breeding, this breed is not well suited to warm climates. Whilst this is quite a large dog, on reaching maturity it is not a big eater and therefore can be kept on a low maintenance diet. It matures slowly, not reaching full maturity till two years so it is advised that it be fed a special diet for giant breed puppies. It is important not to overfeed the puppies but be aware that there are growth spurts. Poor nutrition in its youth will lead to skeletal problems in older dogs.



The lifespan of a healthy individual is up to 14 years. If you buy from a reputable, responsible breeder, health problems should not occur. The Maremma is a hardy breed but can be susceptible to some ailments common to large breeds. They can suffer from hip dyplasia, achondroplasia and slipped patellas. Veterinary surgeons must be careful when anaesthetising this breed as it is sensitive to anaesthetics.



This breed is not recommended for apartment or city living. The Maremma requires a rural setting an an excessive amount of physical exercise and mental stimulation everyday. They do best with room to roam and enjoy having a job to do. While this breed can take a huge amount of exercise, it is not a necessity. This breed is used for guarding a herd and has stamina to work all day as they are endurance dogs rather than high energy. Between 40 and 60 minutes exercise a day is sufficient for this breed.

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Advice on choosing your breed »

Find an animal shelter or rescue home where a Maremma Sheepdog is waiting for a new home »

The following grid gives a fast track review which covers all breeds. You can apply it to help you decide if a Maremma Sheepdog is suitable for you, the environment where you live, your personality and your lifestyle. On the grid, 1= strongly disagree, and 5= strongly agree. For example, if you are looking for a dog that likes walking, look down the list under Activities, and you will see that Maremmas love walking and jogging, scoring 5. If you want a watchdog, look down at Role and Suitability and you will see that Maremmas make excellent guard and watchdogs, and score 5. You might like to save or print off this section and keep it for reference while you check some other breeds before making your final choice

Be the first to rate this breed »

Noahs Breed Rating | Community Breed Rating

Good jogging companion5/5
Good walking companion5/5
Likes water/swimming3/5
Likes learning new tricks5/5
Likes to hunt4/5
Likes to fetch5/5
Good gundog/retriever3/5
Barks a lot2/5
Gets easily jealous1/5
Friendly with strangers3/5
Expensive to insure1/5
Expensive to feed1/5
Happy to sleep outside1/5
Prefers countryside5/5
Suits urban environment1/5
Prefers temperate climate5/5
Prefers hot climate2/5
Prefers cold climate5/5
Moults a lot5/5
Requires lots of grooming3/5
Role and Suitability
Ideal for elderly3/5
Ideal for singles5/5
Ideal for couples with no children5/5
Ideal for family with children4/5
Good watch dog5/5
Good guard dog5/5
Good with other pets3/5
Good with other dogs5/5
Time and Energy
Happy being left alone for 4hrs2/5
Happy being left alone for 2hrs2/5
Requires lots of exercise5/5
Training and Obedience
Good for first time owners5/5
Good for experienced owners5/5
Good recall5/5
Easy to train3/5
Good jogging companion0/5
Good walking companion0/5
Likes water/swimming0/5
Likes learning new tricks0/5
Likes to hunt0/5
Likes to fetch0/5
Good gundog/retriever0/5
Barks a lot0/5
Gets easily jealous0/5
Friendly with strangers0/5
Expensive to insure0/5
Expensive to feed0/5
Happy to sleep outside0/5
Prefers countryside0/5
Suits urban environment0/5
Prefers temperate climate0/5
Prefers hot climate0/5
Prefers cold climate0/5
Moults a lot0/5
Requires lots of grooming0/5
Role and Suitability
Ideal for elderly0/5
Ideal for singles0/5
Ideal for couples with no children0/5
Ideal for family with children0/5
Good watch dog0/5
Good guard dog0/5
Good with other pets0/5
Good with other dogs0/5
Time and Energy
Happy being left alone for 4hrs0/5
Happy being left alone for 2hrs0/5
Requires lots of exercise0/5
Training and Obedience
Good for first time owners0/5
Good for experienced owners0/5
Good recall0/5
Easy to train0/5

*PLEASE NOTE: All our breed profiles are general, and all dogs are individuals. Always talk to the breeders and meet the owners you are buying from. Try to meet the dog and its parents if it is a puppy in their home environment.

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