By Macy Gen Veterinary AssistantMacy Gen Last updated: 18th October 2022

Maremma Sheepdog


Macy Gen Veterinary Assistant Macy Gen
Last updated: 18th October 2022

Belonging to the livestock guardian category, these shepherd dogs hail from the Abruzzo as well as Tuscany and Lazio regions of Maremma in central Italy. It has attained its name from the Maremma region where it was widely used for herding sheep. Their broad head resembles that of a bear, while their lively expressive, almond-shaped eyes are small in size. Other features include a black nose that turns pinkish brown as it grows in age, V-shaped, pointed ears, muscular body stature, tapered muzzle and a low set feathery, tail covered with hair.

Maremma Sheepdog Pictures

Quick Information

Other NamesAbruzzese, Cane da Pastore, Abruzzese shepherd dog, Abruzzenhund, Pastore Maremmano, Pastore Abruzzese, Italian sheepdog
Common NicknamesMaremma, Maremmano
CoatLong, thick wavy white coat encircling its neck like a collar.
ColorSolid white with shades of ivory, orange and yellow
GroupLivestock guardians, Mountain dogs
Lifespan/ Life Expectancy10 to 13 years
Height24 to 29 inches
WeightMale:75 to 100 lb; Female: 65 to 90 lb
Litter size6 to 9 puppies
Behavioral Characteristics Loyal, brave, friendly, dignified, gentle, intelligent, affectionate, hardworking
Good with childrenYes
SheddingHeavy ( particularly during spring and fall)
Competitive Registration Qualification/ InformationACA, CKC, APRI, ACR, DRA, KCGB, FCI, NZKC, NKC

Video of Maremma sheepdog Puppies Playing with Ducks


The Maremma Sheepdog has an ancient history, finding mention in ancient Roman paintings, sculpture, and literature. Though there is no concrete document of how they originated, it was registered for the first time in the year 1898. Luigi Groppi and Giuseppe Solaro took initiatives of devising the first standards for these dogs in 1924. In fact, Maremmas are said to share their lineage with other LSDs including the Pyrenean Mountain Dog, Kuvasz, and the Polish Tatra Sheepdog.

Initially, the Maremmas and the Abruzzo sheepdog were considered as distinct breeds, with societies formed for them in 1950 and 1953 respectively. However, they were unified to a single breed on the 1st of January, 1958, by Italy’s national dog association Ente Nazionale della Cinofilia Italiano (ENCI).  In the present times, their task as livestock guardians have not just remained confined to Italy but has also spread to other countries including UK, USA, Australia and Canada. These dogs have been acknowledged by environmentalists since they have reduced chances of livestock falling prey to coyotes, fox, and wolves by about 70 to 80%.

The Maremma Sheepdog Club of America founded on the 15th of August 1988, aims at encouraging the promotion of this breed.

Temperament and Personality

Friendly and affectionate, they are said to be immensely loyal and devoted towards their family surpassing all hurdles to protect them from any danger. However, being guardian dogs, they also possess an independent nature that might make them strong willed at times, hence making them an excellent option for those acquainted with big farm dogs rather than first-time users.

These gentle dogs are however shy or reserved when interacting with strangers or an unfamiliar face, emitting a bark to warn their masters of any impending danger. This along with their brave disposition makes them excel as great guard dogs, who bark when the need arises.

Though they get along well with kids of the family, supervision is needed when the Maremmas, mainly the puppies are interacting with the little ones as the latter get over energetic during their play session resulting in knocking down or hurting the children. It even gets along well with other dogs and pets, but smaller animals are not recommended keeping their guarding and herding instinct in mind.

Their big size, herding instinct, and active nature make them unsuitable for an apartment life. They would rather do well in big farms or ranches where they have a flock of sheep or animals to guard.

They have a high enduring capacity of surviving cold weather conditions because of their double coat.




Owing to its high energy levels, it needs to be taking on long walks at least two to three times a day, alongside the adequate amount of playtime in a large fenced yard, if not employed on the farms.


Having moderate grooming needs, they require brushing two times a week to keep the coat clean devoid of any tangles and mats. However, during spring and fall, when they shed the most, they need to be brushed at an increased frequency to remove the dead hairs. Other grooming needs include keeping its ears clean to prevent any wax built up as well as brushing its teeth. Those that are confined indoors require more clipping and brushing in comparison to the working canines.

Health Problems

Though healthy and hardy, they are known to be affected by some common problems like large breeds are prone to like hip dysplasia, problems related to muscles and bloating.


Though a quick learner, these dogs often have an independent mindset because of the herding tasks that they have been assigned since time immemorial. They may often defy the command unless handled in a firm and tactful way. Training sessions should be kept short to prevent them from getting bored, while the positive reinforcement methods would keep them hooked into their training regime.

Socialization: Since they are protective of their surroundings the Maremma puppies are to be socialized at the earliest to keep this tendency under control. They need to be acquainted with diverse experiences and observe people of different physical traits so that they eventually begin distinguishing the good from the bad.

Obedience: Acquaint it with commands like “Stop” or “No”, so that whenever they indulge in any unacceptable behavior like getting harsh on the livestock or nipping and biting at strangers. The command “Come” would encourage him to claim his treat on displaying good behavior.


Divide his meals into small parts instead of giving it all at once as it is prone to bloating. Besides a high-quality dog food opt for a proper nutrient based diet needed for your big dog to be in sound health.

Interesting Facts

  • The Maremmas were engaged to guard the declining population of the penguins in the Warrnambool region of Australia. Being the first initiative of its kind, the project was given the “Australian Government Coastcare Award” in 2010.

4 responses to “Maremma Sheepdog”

  1. Jim Morris says:

    Looking to add theses dogs to our ranch
    Where can we get them in AZ
    Or if we need to go out of the area that is fine as well.

  2. Jesse Walby says:

    Really great dogs,haven’t lost a sheep or goat since I’ve gotten them. Was really interesting seeing my two female pups of about 3 months old heard their small flock into a stock trailer while my older dog put the run on the offending coyote. Now both my females have pups looking for flocks of their own to guard, email

  3. Bruce Cline says:

    While driving through open range in western Wyoming we came up on a large herd of sheep guard by three of these dogs , one of them made it clear to me he wanted to slow down by walking ahead of my car until we where safely through his sheep . I wish I had recorded the experience . What amazing animals!

  4. Natalia says:


    Kennel from Ukraine sells dogs from the best parents (sale of elite puppy of the Maremma Sheepdog, documents we will send by your request), we offer you cooperation on favorable terms.
    We are breeding Maremmano-Abruzzese Sheepdog and we have now (on 2018.07.09.)
    there are matured puppies Maremma Sheepdog (5 months) and newborn puppies.
    Best regards, Natalia
    More info in personal message
    Tel. +380509780792
    Viber:  +380509780792
    WatsAp: +380509780792

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