Maremma Sheepdog – The Italian Guardian

Maremma standing with sun setting in the background

Dog of the Month!

Woof! My name is Maremma. My real name is Pastore Maremmano Abruzzese. Yes, it’s a mouthful to say, isn’t it? So stick to my nickname, it’s much easier to remember. I was a little surprised to be picked for Dog of the Month since I don’t really like to talk about myself or attract too much attention, but OK!

The Abruzee mountains with two maremma in the landscape
“What do you see?? Who’s there!?”

My Brave Background

My ancestors in Italy ruled for centuries as the largest Italian sheepdog guarding mainly sheep, goats, and anything else worth defending! From the Marammano region of Tuscany to the rural Italy hills, to the Abruzzo mountains, and now to central Italy where wolves prey on innocent flock of sheep.

Goat, bunny, goat, baby chicken, pig
“Bahhh, thank you for protecting us!”

My Sole Purpose

As a livestock guardian, it is my duty! My oath! My solemn pledge! To protect my fellow sheep, or goat, or chickens from the ENEMY! Dangerous predators like the sly fox, hungry wolves, or any two, three, four-legged bandits! They are not getting in on MY watch. No, I blend in perfectly with the sheep with my disguised thick coat of creamy white. Let ‘em try. I am fair in my dealings. I will not attack first unless my other methods have been exhausted in vain. I will scare them off with my deep intimidating barks warning them to not come near. I methodically advise and keep them at bay. My last resort? ATTACK! Don’t be fooled! I may look lazy from afar when I relax or sleep during the day, but come night, I am ready and active to do my job. I will patrol the perimeter, protect my territory, and, most importantly, not fail my Shepherd and his flock.

Maremma dog resting with the flock of sheep
“Nap time”

My Calm Character

I am a laid back, calm, easy-going dog. I have a good-natured, gentle spirit. I can be aloof and wary of strangers because I am cautious about who I let in my precious circle. You must pass the trust test with me! But to my bonded family, I am extremely loyal, affectionate, protective, and intuitive. Though I am very independent, I love being near my family and with the flock. I am a free thinker, intelligent, strong-willed, and I have a tendency to have a mind of my own sometimes. I have a strong guarding instinct, so I like to make my own decisions when it comes to a situation. I don’t always want to be told what to do, and on those occasions, I’ll ponder on your request before I decide for myself if it is worth granting.  

No City Life, Please!

I can weigh from 85 – 100 lbs and stand up to 24″ – 29″ Inches tall. I need a lot of space! I’m not a suitable pet for any city life. What can I say? I love the country. I need at least an acre minimum with a fenced in yard of space or be able to roam on a farm to fulfill my duties if I am to feel useful in life. I always have a reason to bark! And I will bark, bark, bark warning any intruder who comes near our property. My voice is heard! And my presence is known, believe me. Although I CAN be a good family companion only if with an experienced owner. However, I’m happiest when I have freedom of space to run around in and livestock to bond with and protect. I am not generally a lover of children, but if I bond with them, I will protect them.

Experienced Livestock Guardian Dog Owners Only

The bad news? I know I look like a big cuddly ball of white, soft fluff. Still, I need an experienced dog owner to raise me because I may not respect someone who does not understand or appreciate my independence. I need to be able to do my job the way I see fit and cannot have you interfering. I will make my own decisions when faced with a dangerous situation. If you would like a dog that obeys every single one of your commands each and every time no questions asked, then I’m not the one for you. If you’re looking for a loyal, brave working dog who understands his job and can make his own decisions when push comes to shove, then I won’t disappoint you.

Woof Woof!

4 thoughts

  1. I have had Maremma for 24 years in a household with no children. However mine have always loved children and treated them very gently. They are amazing dogs

    Like

  2. The only point I disagree with is your perception that Maremma don’t really care for children. Any and every child that has ever come to my farm has been mauled with loving kisses and hugs. They see them when they’re coming and start wiggling and whimpering while waiting for them to get there. I could never own a dog or cat that didn’t love children as much as I do. Of course they are big dogs and need supervised around children so they don’t knock them over while trying to get their attention.

    Respectfully,
    Katrina Bowser

    Like

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