Learn more about the Maremma Sheepdog from our Dog Breed Guide, designed to help you choose the dog that’s right for you and your family.
The large Maremma Sheepdog is a loyal, protective dog that’s happiest when put to work tending livestock or as a guard dog. While classed as a rare breed in Australia, this ancient breed from central Italy is still the most common sheepdog in Italy and very popular there. Australian farmers report good results with the Maremma Sheepdog guarding their stock from foxes, wild dogs and birds of prey.
Maremma Sheepdogs are sturdy dogs that stand 60-73 cm tall and weigh 30 to 45 kg. They have a double, weather-resistant coat that’s usually solid white, sometimes with tinges of ivory and pale fawn. These dogs shed heavily twice a year and their dense coat needs to be brushed thoroughly very often.
The Maremma is not an aggressive dog but it does have a strong will and can be difficult to train. Because of its size, care should be taken around small children. Socialisation from an early age can teach the Maremma to get along with kids and pets, but it’s probably not the best match for a young family.
If stuck inside or confined to a small house, this sheepdog is bound to get bored and possibly destructive. The Maremma is much better off at a farm with plenty of space to roam around and a job to do. It is a determined dog that will show great loyalty to its master and will protect its home and flock from perceived threats.
A hardy breed, the Maremma Sheepdog can be prone to ailments that typically plague large breeds such as hip dysplasia, achondroplasia and slipped patellas. The Maremma’s lifespan is approximately 12 years.