Canine Breed Menu



Breed Organization
Maremma Sheepdog Club of America
Native Country
Other Names
Maremma Sheepdog, Maremma, Pastore Abruzzese, Maremmano-Abruzzese, Pastore, Cane da Pastore, Cane Da Pastore Maremmano Abruzzese, Abruzzese Shepherd Dog, Abruzzenhund, Pastore Maremano Abruzzese
Life Expectancy
Approximately 11-13 Years
Litter Size
Average 6-10 Puppies
Breed Group
Flock Guard
Breed Appearance
The Maremma Sheepdog has a solid, muscular build, a thick white coat, a large head and a black nose. The coat is long and thick; it is rough to the touch, and forms a thick collar around the neck. It should be solid white; possibly with some minor yellowing. Some divide the breed into various subtypes, largely based on small differences in physical attributes and with subtype names based on village and provincial names where the dogs may be found, e.g. the Maremmano, the Marsicano, the Aquilano, the Pescocostanzo, the Maiella, and the Peligno. However, biologists dispute this division, as well as over reliance on minor physical differences, as the dogs were bred over the centuries for their behavioral characteristics as flock guardians.

Breed Description
Breed Description
Head: Large, flat, wedge-shaped; similar to that of the polar bear. Stop not pronounced.
Ears: Set on high. Relatively small, drop, triangular (v-shaped). Cropped ears acceptable for working dogs.
Eyes: Almond-shaped, relatively small in relation to the rest of the body. Ocher or dark brown color.
Body: Length greater than height. Large, strong neck. Deep chest is well open. Well-sprung ribs. Rectangular back. Powerful, muscular, slightly sloped croup.
Tail: Covered with thick hair. Set on low. Carried down when relaxed; when alert, carried at the level of the back with the tip curved up.
Hair: Thick, long (8 cm on the body, 2.5 in), harsh to the touch. Short on the head. Collarette and fringes on the back of the legs. Heavy undercoat in winter.
Coat: Solid white. Ivory, pale orange, or lemon nuances are permitted.
Size: Dog: 65 to 73 cm. (25.6-28.7 in).Bitch: 60 to 68 cm. (23.6-26.8 in).
Weight: Dog: 35 to 45 kg. (77-99 lb).Bitch: 30 to 40 kg. (66-88 lb).

It is believed that the Maremma Sheepdog is an ancient breed. The Roman agronomist Varro mentions a breed of white dogs in his writings as early as 100 BC. Like most European Molossian types, this breed's roots can be traced to the shepherd dogs of central Asia that arrived in Western Europe with the Mongols. Until 1950/1960, the Maremma Sheepdog (short-haired) was distinguished from the longer-haired Abruzzes Sheepdog. It was determined that this distinction had been made only because of the fact that this dog worked from June to October in the Abruzzes and from October to June in the region of Maremma. Approximately twenty-five years ago, Prof. G. Solaro wrote one standard for the breed and the names were joined.

Calm, reflective, but proud and not likely to be submissive, this dog needs firm training. He is devoted to his owner, is good with children, and makes a good companion. Very distrustful of strangers, he is a reliable, dedicated guardian.

Very healthy, although Maremmas may suffer from hip dysplasia and eye disease.

This breed is not suited for apartment living. He needs space and a lot of exercise. This robust dog does not stand heat well. Regular brushing is required.

Flock Guard, Guard Dog, Pet.

Horse Herd