This sheepdog has a large, sturdy frame covered in a rough, thick and slightly wavy coat that’s usually white with possible patches of yellow of orange. Its broad, triangular head has a slightly tapered muzzle, hanging V-shaped ears and dark, almond-shaped eyes. Its body is slightly longer than tall, and its well-plumed tail hangs low but curves upward.
In the Tuscan hills and fields, the Maremma sheepdog is known for being gentle with sheep and fierce with wolves and predators. These beneficial traits continue to this very day, whether the the dog is used for working purposes or as a family pet. With children, it is gentle, protective, and sometimes playful, but the Maremma is mostly nurturing and watchful around little ones. And you couldn’t ask for a better watchdog. Overall, it makes a dependable companion and a friend for life.
The Maremma can live as long as 14 years with relatively few health problems. Some may develop hip dysplasia. Because this dog is prone to bloat, feed it smaller meals throughout the day, as opposed to one big meal.
Grooming is fairly easy. Rough-coated Maremmas are not as prone to matting and tangling as the fine-coated versions, but both shed during the spring and fall. Dogs that live mainly indoors, as opposed to working Maremmas, will need more brushing and clipping.
The Maremma originated in (and was named after) a region of Tuscany where it has guarded sheep and livestock for centuries. Some documents trace the dog back to ancient Rome. Still popular in its native country, the Maremma Sheepdog is also a helpful worker and household companion in the United States, Australia and elsewhere.