Maremma Sheepdog: Dog Breed Profile

Country of origin: Italy
Shoulder height: 60 – 73 cm
Weight: 30 – 45 kg
Age: 12 years
Color: white
Use: companion dog, guard dog

The Maremma-Abruzzo Sheepdog comes from Italy, where it is still mainly used today as a livestock guardian dog. It is very independent and territorial – a born guardian and guardian. Therefore, he also needs a task that corresponds to his nature. If you are only looking for an impressive dog for your ego or a partner for dog sports activities, you should not get a Maremma.

Origin and history

The Maremma-Abruzzo Sheepdog is a livestock guardian dog that originates from the stretch of land between the Maremma plain in central Italy and the Abruzzo mountains. In its country of origin, Italy, this breed is still used to herd flocks of sheep just as it was in the past. Their main task is to protect the flock of sheep from wolves, bears, or other predators. The Maremma Sheepdog is a breed that is not very common in Germany or Austria. Also in Italy – where it is more common – it is mostly used as a pure working dog – it is hardly bred as a family dog.


The Maremma-Abruzzo Sheepdog is a very large dog, powerfully built, with a rustic appearance, yet majestic and never ponderous. Its hair is long, white, and not or only slightly wavy. Colors other than white are not included in the breed standard, although yellowish tints are tolerated. The undercoat is abundant only in winter.

The dogs have a bear-like head with dark almond-shaped eyes and triangular, flat-lying lop ears. The lips, nose, eyelid edges, and claws are black, the neck has a distinct mane.


The Maremma-Abruzzo Sheepdog is by definition a working dog that protects its herd and the farm. Therefore, it is also alert, territorial, and ready to defend in an emergency. It hardly tolerates strange dogs in its territory. It is very docile, but it will never show blind obedience because it was bred for centuries to work independently, i.e. without instructions from humans. It will not carry out instructions that he does not see in any sense. The Maremma is therefore not suitable for obedience exercises, agility, or other dog sports – its will and independence are too pronounced for that.

The Maremma-Abruzzo Sheepdog needs clear leadership and consistent upbringing, even from an early age. Puppies should be accustomed to their environment, other dogs, and people at an early age. Natural authoritarian leadership is necessary so that the hierarchy in the “pack” is clear from the beginning.

The Maremma-Abruzzo Sheepdog is best suited for people who like to live with their dog without having to constantly interact with them and can leave their extensive, fenced-in territory to guard. The Maremma does not need hours of walking either if it has a large plot of land where it can roam freely. This breed is not suitable as a pure companion dog or for life in the city. Although the fur is relatively easy to care for, it sheds heavily.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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