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Maremma Sheepdog Club of America
The Pastore Maremmano Abruzzese, Maremma Sheepdog, originated in Italy where it
has been used for many centuries as a flock guardian for sheep and goats. It was
first imported into the United States for this purpose in the early 1970's.
Since then, the Maremma Sheepdog has continued to increase in number and
popularity. You'll commonly hear them referred to as LGDs, (Livestock
The Maremma is a large white or cream
colored dog, usually weighing between 70 and 100 pounds and standing 25 to
30 inches tall. It is described in the Breed Standard as being majestic,
lively, sturdy, distinguished, intelligent, and courageous without being
aggressive. Properly trained, it has the ability to bond closely to sheep,
goats, alpacas and llamas, with which it assumes a protective parental
attitude, it demonstrates an aloof awareness as leader of its adopted
family, while at the same time readily accepting a secondary role to its
A Maremma accepts the leadership of humans, but not their mastery.
While being a good friend to man, the Maremma will not willingly be his slave.
Born with exactly the right qualities for livestock guarding, the Maremma is
not recommended for use as a pet.
The independence necessary for solitary guarding of a flock makes the
Maremma somewhat unwilling to take orders, and all of its behavioral
characteristics that make it an excellent guardian tend to become stronger
as it matures. The pet Maremma, without a flock and large area to guard,
will gradually become more possessive of its bonded humans and of its
limited territory, and more defensive of its possessions, while it will also
become less discriminatory between friend and foe.
A successful Maremma guardian dog will be GOOD TEMPERED, ATTENTIVE to
the stock, PROTECTIVE of the stock, and TRUSTWORTHY.
The ideal time for an inexperienced guardian owner to purchase a Maremma
is as a recently weaned puppy so that it will bond strongly with its
adopted family, its humans, and its territory as it grows. However, this
also involves all the antics of puppy-hood; adolescence, and training in
the "don'ts" of guardianship - it already knows all of the "do's" and
will develop them on its own if exposed at the right time to appropriate
guarding situations. Maremmas become mature, fully developed guardians
at about age two.
For these reasons, some people may choose to purchase a more mature
dog, closer to mature guardianship, that will readily transfer to a new
adopted family, new humans, and new territory if it has been treated
properly up to that time.
In any case, it is strongly recommended that
you do some advance preparation.
The Maremma Sheepdog Club of America (MSCA) sells a "how to do it"
book at low cost that will be helpful.
We also recommend that you buy
your dog(s) from active guardian stock rather than from kennel-bred
stock. Appropriate early exposure to the livestock-guarding situation is
For this reason, MSCA acts as a registry association for purebred Maremmas and
publishes a directory of members and breeders. You are invited to join MSCA, to
register your dogs with us, and to contact members for personal information
and experiences. Visit our for
MAREMMA SHEEPDOG CLUB OF AMERICA
Debra Powers, Secretary / Treasurer
6211 Lake Gulch Road, Castle Rock, CO. 80104