The breed of dogs Maremmano-Abrucense or better known as Maremma Shepherd; However, the full name of these dogs is the Shepherd Dog of the Maremma and Abruzzo. This dog is a style of Mastiff and of Italian origin, more precisely from central Italy. These beautiful white and furry dogs for many centuries were used as sheepdogs defending herds from wolves and other attackers. In this article we will answer the question, How is a Maremma Shepherd ?; starting at the beginning with its origin, physical characteristics and temperament. But also the basic care for this breed of dogs and the uses of these dogs.
History of the Maremma Shepherd
The Maremma Shepherd, also known as the Maremma and Abruzzo Shepherd Dog or Maremman Shepherd is an ancient breed of herd guard dogs that comes from the shepherd dogs that were used and to this day they are still used in the Abruzzo. In the Abruzzo region sheep farming has historically been prosperous. These dogs are also descendants of the shepherd dogs that existed in the Maremma Tuscany region and in the Lazio region. In the middle of eighteen hundred, it was transhumance, that is, the passage of herds from the territories or winter pastures to summer pastures or vice versa, that caused a natural mixture to take place between these breeds of dogs, allowing the appearance of the today known as the Maremma Shepherd.
Physical characteristics of the Maremma Shepherd
Maremma Sheepdogs are dogs that, since they were used as sheepdogs since their inception, are classified by the FCI in Group 1: Sheepdogs and Cattle Dogs
(except Swiss Cattle Dogs). Inside section 1: Sheepdogs. In addition, since they do not exceed 50 Kilograms, they are considered dogs of large breed.
Maremma Shepherd Body
The Maremma Shepherd is a large, robust dog that has a body that is slightly longer than it is tall. The withers of these animals protrude from the upper line, and the rump is broad, strong and descending. The tail, set low, is hanging at rest. Its belly is slightly collected, and the chest, wide, reaches the elbows, which are quite close to the body. The legs of the Maremmano-Abruzzese Sheepdog are straight and heavy boned. The front feet are round, also known as climbing shoes, and the rear feet are more oval. The neck without dewlap.
Head of the Maremma Shepherd
The head of the Maremma Shepherd is heavy and long. They have a snout a little shorter than the skull and their stop is not very accentuated. The skull of these dogs is a little wide between the ears and shows a slight slope towards the area of the nose. The nasal bridge of the Maremma Shepherds is straight and the ears are "V" shaped, ending in a point. When the dog is alert, they remain semi-upright. The eyes are almond shaped and the teeth are scissor-shaped.
How tall is the Maremma Shepherd?
The Maremma Shepherd has a height at the withers that ranges between 60 centimeters and 73 centimeters. The height of adult males ranges between 65 centimeters and 73 centimeters. As for adult females, their height is around 60 centimeters and 68 centimeters.
How much does Shepherd Maremmano weigh?
The weight of the Maremmano Shepherd varies between 30 kilograms and 45 kilograms. In adult males, the estimated weight is usually between 35 kilograms and 45 kilograms and in females that are in their adulthood it usually varies between 30 kilograms to 40 kilograms.
Maremma Shepherd Coat
As for the hair that makes up the Maremma Shepherd's mantle, it is lustrous, long and falls; it sticks to the body and is a bit rough to the touch. Males have a thick ruff, something that is not present in females. The hair of these dogs is short in the area of the face, the ears and the front legs.
Colors in the Maremmano Shepherd
The coat of the Maremma Shepherd is normally white; the nose is black, as are the edges of the eyelids and lips. Ivory, lemon or cinnamon colored spots on the animal's coat are accepted. The eyes are always brown.
Temperament of the Maremmano-Abruzzese Shepherd
Thanks to his trade as a shepherd dog, the Abruzzo Maremmano Dog acquired many qualities thanks to this work, such as intelligence, loyal, being alert and determined; however it is also a very friendly dog. To better understand how the Maremma Shepherd's temperament is, we break down in this section on the one hand, how is the character and on the other, how this dog behaves.
Character of the Maremma Shepherd
The Maremma Shepherd is a very authentic dog. It can be defined as a loyal and friendly dog that is also sober and demanding with itself. Other of the main characteristics of its character is that it also tends to be a brave, dignified, serene and intelligent dog. He is affectionate with family members and friends who frequent the home. It is not at all dependent and much less overwhelming. They tend to show a lot of maturity in certain situations. It is an excellent watchdog, when it hears suspicious noises in the house or warns of a danger it will give warning quickly. You will always protect your family and your home with great ardor.
Behavior of the Maremmano-Abruzzese Shepherd
The Maremmano-Abruzzese Shepherd usually has a very good behavior. He tends to be good to other animals, be it other dogs or other domestic animals. He is patient and tolerant with children but with strangers he is quite reserved and tends to remain distant until he becomes confident. It will not let visitors it deems unwanted set foot in its territory.
General care of the Maremma Shepherd
The Shepherd of the Maremma and Abruzzo is a dog that does not need too much care, however it is important to eat and exercise properly. On the other hand, in summer, it is not necessary to shave it despite the amount of hair it has, but to have constant water and a small place in which to rest in the shade. To better know what care this beautiful dog needs, we carry out this section; where they will learn about hygiene and hygiene, brushing, exercise and training. But also the issues of diet, health and diseases more prone in this dog and the life expectancy.
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How to brush a Maremma Shepherd?
The Maremma Shepherd requires some care in its coat in terms of brushing. It needs to be combed and brushed regularly. It is recommended that you brush approximately 2-3 times a week in normal times. At the time of shedding it is essential to do it every day so that the fallen hair does not spread throughout the house.
How to train a Maremmano-Abruzzese Shepherd?
The Maremma Shepherd is not a servile dog that follows each and every one of the orders given by its master, especially if it does not find them reasonable. However, it can be taught many things, and this is mainly because it is an intelligent dog. Their education and training require mutual respect in commands and voice, and above all, firmness. Without firmness it will be very difficult to achieve good results with the training of our Pastor Maremmano-Abruzzese.
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Maremmano Shepherd Exercise
For the exercise of the Maremmano Shepherd we must be aware that it is a canine breed that needs space, both mentally and physically. For this reason, it is not enough to take three walks a day. The ideal is a well fenced garden in which you can move around as you like at the time of day you want. It is not affected by bad weather and can stay outside, although the family should pay attention to it. Outdoor doghouses or kennels are not the most advisable for this breed since although it likes to be outdoors, it loves to sleep indoors. Historically, this type of dog is used to covering a large amount of ground per day, so if it has the opportunity, it will escape for a while to roam on its own. For that reason, it is an ideal dog for houses with very large grounds or families that live in the countryside and it is of the utmost importance to have fenced land to prevent it from escaping. The recommended training time for Maremma Shepherds is approximately 3 hours a day.
Feeding the Maremma Sheepdog
The most recommended for the Maremma Shepherd dog is a diet or food of homemade food with raw meat but in a balanced way; however, good quality dog food or dry feed can also be given. It is important to respect the 2 servings that you should eat per day, usually one in the morning and one at night. But you should consult a veterinarian about the amount to be given based on the dog's age, weight and exercise.
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Health and diseases of the Maremma Shepherd
Although the Maremma Shepherd Dog is a dog in very good health, one of the important care is taking care of the coat and skin, since it can present problems in the future if the coat is untidy or without care. These dogs can occasionally develop hip dysplasia as they become adults. It is highly recommended to check your ears and eyes from time to time, as they can sometimes have some infections and fungi due to the amount of hair.
If your Maremma Sheepdog is used primarily as a working or field dog as a shepherd dog, it is important to check its coat from time to time. In this way they will find if you have fleas or ticks or spikes that have stuck in the skin. A common place where they usually stay is on the legs or in the internal cavity of the ears. Ticks is a very important issue, since in these dogs they can transmit some diseases such as ehrlichiosis, babesiosis, hepatozoonosis and other diseases.
How long does a Maremma Shepherd live?
Although these dogs have an excellent quality of life, they are large dogs and can have some problems that hinder their life expectancy. There are specimens that live up to 14 years, however it is estimated that they have a hope of up to approximately 12 years of age. It is important that these dogs are given proper care in terms of medical check-ups and visit the vet at least once a year. In this way they will find if the dog has any disease in time to be able to solve it as soon as possible.
Uses of the Maremma Shepherd
Shepherd Maremmano-Abruzzesse is a companion who is always alert. Due to its stubborn nature, it is not a very suitable dog for canine sports. Its original function and for which it is best performed is to keep the flocks.