Maremma Sheepdog Breed Information and Personality Traits


The Maremma Sheepdog (also known as Maremmano-Abbruzzese or Italian Sheepdog) is a large, devoted working dog. Independent thinkers, they are confident and protective guardians for livestock.


Maremma Sheepdog at a glance
The Maremma Sheepdog dog Breed

An ancient Italian breed, the Maremma Sheepdog has been used for centuries to guard livestock from predators. The breed are renowned for their guarding instincts, intelligence and loyalty. They are excellent guard dogs for both livestock and property.


Weight Range:

Male: 35-45 kg
Female: 30-40 kg

Height at Withers:

Male: 65 - 73 cm in height
Female: 59 - 68 cm in height


Maremma Sheepdogs have a sturdy build and a broad, slightly rounded head and dark eyes. They are known for their thick double coat which helps protect them in a variety of weather conditions.

Other notable attributes include: Intelligent and easy to train. Relaxed and calm temperament. Low barking. Very loving and loyal. Loves children and other pets. Very social. Low exercise requirements. Smaller variety can suffer small-dog syndrome when young. Poodle-style coats need daily grooming.


Exercise Requirements: 60 to 90 minutes per day. Maremmas are best suited to farm life, with plenty of open spaces and livestock to protect
Energy Level: Moderate
Longevity / Life expectancy:: 12-14 years
Tendency to Drool: Low
Tendency to Snore: Low
Tendency to Bark: High
Tendency to Dig: Moderate
Social/Attention Needs: Moderate to high

Bred for:

Livestock guardian


Length: Medium - long
Characteristics: Dense, straight double coat. Weather resistant
Colours: Typically solid white, although sometimes orange or yellow tints around the ears occur
Overall Grooming Needs: High. Grooming is required more than weekly, and Maremmas are known to shed heavily

Club recognition:

AKC Classification: Not recognised
UKC Classification: Not recognised
Other club recognition: American Canine Hybrid Club, Designer Breed Registry, Designer Dogs Kennel Club, Dog Registry of America Inc, International Designer Canine Registry
Prevalence: Rare
Maremma Sheepdogs weigh between 30 to 45 kg and have a height range of 59 to 73 cm. They have a distinctive white coat and a large physical presence.
An ancient Italian breed, the Maremma Sheepdog has been used for centuries to guard livestock from predators. The breed are renowned for their guarding instincts, intelligence and loyalty. They are excellent guard dogs for both livestock and property.


Independent, intelligent and loyal, Maremma Sheepdogs are affectionate with their family, yet may be reserved around strangers. This makes early and ongoing socialisation important to ensure your Maremma grows into a confident and well-rounded dog, who is familiar with being around children and smaller animals.

With a strong herding instinct, Maremmas are happiest when protecting their flock. They are known to be strong willed, and training can take time and experience.

Living With:

This dog breed is best suited to farm life, with plenty of outdoor space and livestock to guard. Whilst Maremma Sheepdogs are not an overly active breed, they do become bored quickly if they don’t have enough work to keep them occupied.

Natural livestock guardians, Maremmas are always alert to potential threats, and they do have a tendency to bark. Secure fencing is a must, to prevent them from wandering.

Recommended Diet:

Puppy: Hill's Science Diet Puppy Large Breed Dry Dog Food

Adult: Hill's Science Diet Adult Large Breed Dry Dog Food, Hill's Science Diet Adult Perfect Weight Large Breed Dry Dog Food

Mature: Hill's Science Diet Adult 6+ Senior Large Breed Senior Dry Dog Food


Maremma Sheepdogs are an ancient livestock guardian dog breed, descended from the shepherd dogs of the Maremma and Abruzzes regions of Italy. The breed has been traced back to the Roman Empire, and were known to fearlessly defend their flocks against even the most formidable predators, including wolves.

Officially recognised by the United Kennel Club in 2006, Maremmas are now commonly used to guard all sorts of animals, including llamas, geese and chickens.

Health Concerns:

Maremma Sheepdogs are generally quite healthy, however, like all dog breeds, they can be prone to certain health issues. Potential health issues for this breed include:

Hip dysplasia: affects the hip joints, and can cause discomfort and mobility issues. Regular controlled exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, and choosing a breeder with responsible breeding practices who prioritises hip screenings, can help to reduce the risk of this condition.

Eye disease: Maremmas can be genetically predisposed to eye conditions, including Entropion and Ectropion. These conditions involve the eyelids rolling inwards or outwards, potentially causing irritation and pain.

Some Maremmas may also experience sensitivity to anaesthesia and some tick or flea sprays.

Finding a breeder who provides history of their breed lines with examinations by a veterinarian will give you the best chance of finding out about any potential genetic issues when choosing your dog.

It is advised that any prospective pet parents are aware of potential health challenges faced with this breed and that you do your own research before ownership.