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Maremma Sheepdog Club of America

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The Pastore Maremmano Abruzzese, Maremma Sheepdog, originated in Italy where it has been used for many centuries as a flock guardian for sheep and goats. It was first imported into the United States for this purpose in the early 1970's. Since then, the Maremma Sheepdog has continued to increase in number and popularity.  You'll commonly hear them referred to as LGDs, (Livestock Guard Dogs).  

The Maremma is a large white or cream colored dog, usually weighing between 70 and 100 pounds and standing 25 to 30 inches tall. It is described in the Breed Standard as being majestic, lively, sturdy, distinguished, intelligent, and courageous without being aggressive. Properly trained, it has the ability to bond closely to sheep, goats, alpacas and llamas, with which it assumes a protective parental attitude, it demonstrates an aloof awareness as leader of its adopted family, while at the same time readily accepting a secondary role to its bonded humans.

A Maremma accepts the leadership of humans, but not their mastery.  While being a good friend to man, the Maremma will not willingly be his slave. Born with exactly the right qualities for livestock guarding, the Maremma is not recommended for use as a pet.

The independence necessary for solitary guarding of a flock makes the Maremma somewhat unwilling to take orders, and all of its behavioral characteristics that make it an excellent guardian tend to become stronger as it matures. The pet Maremma, without a flock and large area to guard, will gradually become more possessive of its bonded humans and of its limited territory, and more defensive of its possessions, while it will also become less discriminatory between friend and foe.

A successful Maremma guardian dog will be GOOD TEMPERED, ATTENTIVE to the stock, PROTECTIVE of the stock, and TRUSTWORTHY.

The ideal time for an inexperienced guardian owner to purchase a Maremma is as a recently weaned puppy so that it will bond strongly with its adopted family, its humans, and its territory as it grows. However, this also involves all the antics of puppy-hood; adolescence, and training in the "don'ts" of guardianship - it already knows all of the "do's" and will develop them on its own if exposed at the right time to appropriate guarding situations. Maremmas become mature, fully developed guardians at about age two.

For these reasons, some people may choose to purchase a more mature dog, closer to mature guardianship, that will readily transfer to a new adopted family, new humans, and new territory if it has been treated properly up to that time.

In any case, it is strongly recommended that you do some advance preparation.

pups learning
The Maremma Sheepdog Club of America (MSCA) sells a "how to do it" book at low cost that will be helpful.

We also recommend that you buy your dog(s) from active guardian stock rather than from kennel-bred stock. Appropriate early exposure to the livestock-guarding situation is extremely important.

For this reason, MSCA acts as a registry association for purebred Maremmas and publishes a directory of members and breeders. You are invited to join MSCA, to register your dogs with us, and to contact members for personal information and experiences.  Visit our   for further information.

Debra Powers,  Secretary / Treasurer
6211 Lake Gulch Road, Castle Rock, CO. 80104



The Maremma Sheepdog Club of America assumes no responsibility
for individual members' claims or for the quality of their products.


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