The site was last updated on
24 Aug 2000
Name of breed: Maremma Sheepdog
Recognized: ANKC, CKC, FCI,
KC (GB), KUSA.
Size: Height; dogs 65-73 cm (25.5-28.5
bitches 60-68 cm (23.5-26.5 in)
Weight; dogs 35-45 kg (77-99 lb)
bitches 30-40 kg (66-88 lb)
Coat: Long, plentiful and rather harsh;
Color: All white
The Maremma Sheepdog has
two names in its native Italy because for centuries the shepherd dogs spent from June
until October in the Abruzzi, where there was good summer grazing, and from October until
June in the Maremma. Called both Pastore Abruzzese and Pastore Maremmano, some people
thought that they were two different breeds. Then, about 25 years ago at a meeting in
Florence, the eminent judge, Professor Giuseppe Solaro, drew up a single breed standard
under the name of Pastore Maremmano Abruzzes.
The Maremma has never worked sheep like the Border Collie, but defended the flock against
wolves and bears. The first record of a Maremma Sheepdog appeared 2000 years ago when
Columella (c. AD65) made reference to a white dog and Marcus Varro (116-27BC) produced a
standard for a sheepdog almost identical to that for the Maremma of today. The breed has
been known in the United Kingdom since 1872.
Character and care
The Maremma is a
natural guard that will never forget a kindness or any injury. To quote an Italian expert,
"If you want obedience and submission keep away from out breed, but if you appreciate
friendship given and received, a trace of humor and much teaching of the lore of the
wild, a typical Maremmano is the best you can have." The Maremma should be regularly
groomed using a wire dog brush and, occasionally, a good cleansing powder.