Maremma-Abruzzo Shepherd Dog

Description Maremma-Abruzzo Shepherd Dog

Purposeful, Focused, Intelligent
The Maremma-Abruzzo Shepherd Dog is a livestock guard dog. The under group 1, section 1, FCI no. 201 listed pedigree dog is considered an extremely highly specialized protection dog. His job is to look after and protect the herds, which he manages independently. He shows characteristics that are very different from other many dog ​​breeds. He needs a lot of exercise and meaningful employment. The animal is definitely not suitable as a city dog.FCI Group: Herding Dogs – Cattle Dogs

  • Size: Large
  • Weight: 45kg
  • Life expectancy: 9-15 years
  • Coat type: long hair
  • Colours: white

Character Maremma-Abruzzo Shepherd Dog

Shepherds always prefer white dogs. When attacked by wolves, the animal cannot be accidentally shot. The breed standard is still white. There are also slightly light tints within the tolerance range. The hair of the Maremma-Abruzzo Shepherd Dog is wavy and long.

The head, reminiscent of a bear with a mane on the neck, has close-fitting, hanging ears.
The small eyes are deep. Different colors of the nose are allowed. The lips must be fully pigmented. Males have a shoulder height of 65 to 73 centimeters in the standard.

Bitches are between 60 and 68 centimeters high. The powerful dogs weigh up to 45 kilograms.
Shepherds have bred for centuries a character capable of guarding a farm without much instruction. These dogs protect the flocks resolutely and courageously. You don’t care about your own life.

This dog is confident, independent and conscientious.
He is able to make his own decisions. Protection dogs cannot be trained out of these character traits. The working dogs are not devoted helpers, they are anarchists. They only obey their owner’s commands if they make sense to them.

They are jokingly compared to cats, which have a certain stubbornness.
You should be patient, consistent and strong as the owner of such a dog. You can only enforce the education quietly and non-violently. Violence does the opposite with this dog. Note that the dog shows distrust of strangers.

He doesn’t like being touched. It also requires a large, individual distance from humans. This livestock guardian dog is particularly alert at dusk. You should therefore get him used to things during the day that he does not know yet.
The Maremma-Abruzzo Shepherd does not mature as quickly as other dogs.

He exceeds the eighteen months given as a value for other dogs. It may happen that by the thirtieth month the dog will redefine its own rank in the pack. The pack can be the owner or the family. Then he may show a certain potential for aggression.
The dogs were kept by the Italians as herd guard dogs and court herding dogs.

It was possible for him to have a closer family connection. This weakened the typical characteristics of his nature. These have also decreased in breeding.
A character trait developed that also made him a family dog. The dogs are not cuddly.

They don’t flatter either, but they are very attached to their owners. Therefore, you can also keep them in the family as a friend and to protect children. But they need early and good socialization and consistent training.

Diet Maremma-Abruzzo Shepherd Dog

Because this dog breed needs a lot of exercise, it needs a species-appropriate diet. The dog also develops a larger appetite than other dogs due to its body size. He therefore needs completely different proportions of nutrients than a smaller dog.
This applies in particular to all vitamins and minerals. It can happen that he tends to stomach problems or flatulence.

Stomach torsion is also a danger. However, you can prevent these symptoms. Feed the animal several small meals throughout the day. It doesn’t matter whether you give dry food or wet food.


Your dog’s long, heavy, and thick coat should be brushed every day. Matting can cause eczema. Matted fur can also cause heat build-up. Your dog would suffer from this. Regularly examine his pads on his paws.

The fur sometimes grows out between the pads and needs trimming.
As a rule, the Maremma Abruzzo Sheepdog is healthy. However, it can happen that hereditary diseases of the eyes occur. Hip problems, such as hip dysplasia, are often diagnosed. This can limit mobility.

If you want to breed, you should ask the veterinarian. An examination and evaluation of your dog’s eyes and hips are essential.


This particular sheepdog got its name from two Italian regions. The name comes from the Maremma region. About a hundred years ago it was a swamp area infested with malaria. The second name derives from Abruzzo, whose Apennine mountains are up to 3000 meters high. The shepherds retreated with their flocks to the barren coast of southern Tuscany in winter.

They often found no food in the mountains of the Apennines. For this reason, the white guard dogs were also genetically related to each other.
The ancient origins of these dogs go back almost to primeval times. It is said that their ancestors came from the Tibetan plateau. In 2000 BC, the nomadic peoples migrated westwards inexorably.

They looked for soil that was fertile and brought their flocks and dogs with them. These dogs protected the livestock herds. They are considered the ancestors of all livestock guardian dogs worldwide.
In the following centuries, the nomads reached the Azov Sea of ​​Ukraine. There two groups formed.

They took different paths. A group followed the route to what is now western Europe. The second group moved towards the eastern Mediterranean. Over time, not only the human races changed, but also the dogs. They took on the character traits needed for working and guarding flocks.

The three most important ancient dog breeds descended from the Tibetan Molosser. Among them was the Canis Pastoralis, who accompanied the shepherds and protected their flocks. It is not clear how the forefathers of livestock guardian dogs came to Italy. Probably all nomadic peoples had a white Canis Pastoralis with them. It could only survive under certain environmental conditions – where there were wolves or bears.

Both separately managed breeds were merged into one breed in 1950.

Maremma-Abruzzo Shepherd Dog Accessories

A normal, wide dog collar is sufficient. For sleeping, the animal should have a dog pillow or a large dog basket. A strong leather leash is recommended for a vet visit in the city. As a care product, you should have a mild dog shampoo at home. Bathe the dog only in exceptional cases.

As long as it isn’t full of mud, brushing will do the trick. A special brush for the long coat and pliers for the dog’s claws are useful.
This breed hardly needs toys. Maremma-Abruzzo Shepherd Dogs are also not suitable for dog sports. Neither for agility nor for the dog area.

Because this dog is not to be had at all for obedience to the word or with hand signals. He needs a specific task that suits his nature. He feels good about it. In a city apartment he would wither away. You should have at least two hours a day with your dog.

A lot of exercise is very important for the adult and healthy dog ​​and not too much.

6.9Expert Score
Breed characteristics

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