The Maremma Sheepdog

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This is a medium to large dog, strong, active and, for his size, very lithe. The coat is always white with shades of lemon, fawn or biscuit occasionally seen. The nose, eye rimes, lips and pads should ideally be black.
The coat should be rugged, a soft undercoat covered with longer guard hairs, rougher in texture. They need little grooming and keep themselves remarkably clean. The coat is shed once or twice a year for around three weeks, the clumps of undercoat can easily be combed out, to hasten this process it is advisable to give a bath followed by a good grooming session.
In between moults they shed very little. The average life span is between twelve and fourteen years, there are no known hereditary illnesses or eye problems. It is advisable that all breeding stock be hip scored (Maremma average is 14) and prospective puppy owners should ask the breeder for information regarding their stock. Adult Maremma's eat very little considering their size but good quality food must be fed to puppies to ensure proper skeletal growth.
This breed has been around for over two thousand years in its native Italy, in that time it has been bred for the protection of livestock and his master's property. These dogs have had to work without formal training or instruction, so they have developed an independent nature, a mistrust of strangers and a strong instinct to protect his owner's stock, children, the cat, or anything else he considers in his care.
He is loyal, protective, intelligent and affable with people he knows well. It is imperative that prospective puppy owners are made aware of these breed characteristics and that they are prepared to spend time making sure their puppy is well socialised and trained.
The late Don Tommaso Corsini wrote : "Beauty in repose and in action, intelligence, dignity, natural guarding instincts are all very positive qualities, but there is something more to our big white fellows than is usual to the species - a vein of the wild, and a natural habit of treating Man as an equal and a friend, not as god and master. If you want obedience and submission, keep away from our breed, but if you appreciate friendship given and received, a trace of humour and much teaching of the lore of the wild, a typical Maremma is the best you can have."