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24 Aug 2000

Dog of the Week

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Name of breed: Maremma Sheepdog
Class: Herding
Recognized: ANKC, CKC, FCI, KC (GB), KUSA.
Size: Height; dogs 65-73 cm (25.5-28.5 in)
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; never curly.
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.

Maremma Sheepdog


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