A large sized white Maremma Sheepdog
Maremma Sheepdog Quick Summary
Also Known AsAbruzzenhund
Height (at withers)24-33in (60-73cm)
Weight66-99lbs (30-45kg)
Hair Colour(s)White, ivory
Lifespan9-15 years
Energy LevelLow
Litter size6-10
Barking TendencyMedium
Exercise requirementsHigh
Ease of trainingLow
Suitability for kidsMedium
Animal compatabilityLow
Aggression levelsMedium
Distress if leftLow

The Maremma Sheepdog is a large and sturdy dog. The body is deep chested with a straight back, a moderately tucked abdomen and a low set tail. The bear-like head is conical in shape with large black nostrils, small high-set triangular ears and dark brown eyes. The waterproof double coat consists of a dense undercoat and a harsh outercoat, and the colouring tends to be white, ivory or pale fawn.


Maremma Sheepdogs are friendly and even tempered dogs. They are affectionate but not overly dependant, but do tend to become loyal to one master. Often described as sober and dignified, these dogs are intelligent and very strong willed and so can be very difficult to train. As a result they are best suited to those with some experience of dog ownership and training rather than for novices. Early socialisation and correct training is absolutely essential as these are large and powerful dogs. Maremma Sheepdogs are only suitable for older, more considerate children, and are generally okay with other pets, but again, early socialisation and training are required. They are reasonably tolerant of strangers unless they feel their family is being threatened, and whilst not being overly aggressive, they are courageous and will protect their homes when required. Although not aggressive, thanks to their highly developed guarding instincts they make effective guard and watchdogs but are not constant barkers.

History & Skills

Maremma Sheepdogs originate from Italy and date back several centuries, with their roots coming from migrating Eastern shepherd dogs. They remain the most popular and common sheepdog in Italy, and are thought to be able to ward off wolves and bears as well as human predators. Although fairly common in Italy, this breed is rare in England.

Breed Specific Ailments

Maremma Sheepdogs tend to live between 9 to 15 years and are a hardy breed of dog. Some of the health problems noted in this breed mainly includes those common to most large dogs, such as hip dysplasia and luxating patella. However, they are also sensitive to anaesthetics. Puppies should not be overfed but good nutrition is required during growth spurts to avoid skeletal problems in older dogs.


Maremma Sheepdogs are heavy shedders and so may not be suited to those suffering with allergies. Their grooming requirements are fairly high because their heavy dense coats need brushing daily otherwise they will become matted and the dogs will develop eczema and hot spots. The footpads will need regular checking, and the hair between trimmed when required.

Exercise & Environment

Maremma Sheepdogs can live in or outdoors thanks to their thick all-weather coats, and are not suitable for small homes such as apartments as they are accustomed to wide open spaces. They prefer cooler climates too, and will need a daily walk plus access to a generous and secure open space for exercise, and the chance to run freely if possible. They are happiest when used as the sheepdogs they were bred to be.


FCIFCI - Federation Cynologique Internationale
KCThe Kennel Club (UK)

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