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Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Dog Breed of the Week: Abruzzenhund or Maremma Sheepdog

image source: windancefarms.com
The Maremma Sheepdog is a massive, noble, distinctive-looking dog with a bear-like head. The jaws are strong with a scissors bite. It has a black nose that often becomes slightly pink-brown with age. The ears are V-shaped, pointed and rather small. The eyes have a lively, intelligent expression, but are not large. The nasal canal is straight. The tail is low set and thickly feathered with dense hair. The deep, well-rounded ribcage extends to the elbows. The long, harsh and very abundant hair has a slight wave. The undercoat is dense. Coat colors include white with markings of ivory, light yellow or pale orange on the ears.

image source: thedogplanet.com
 The Maremma is a friendly and well-balanced flock guardian. For several decades, it has also achieved success as a companion dog. Sober and dignified, this loyal, brave and determined dog makes an excellent guard dog  without being a constant barker. It is correctly described as affectionate, but not dependent. Working lines that are put out to work will not easily follow your every command submissively, as they are bred and trained to be independent. You must display calm, but firm, confident and consistent leadership toward the dog in order to make it listen. It is very intelligent and its training requires mutual respect in handling and voice, and above all, consistency. It gets along with other dogs and pets and can be slightly reserved with strangers but not strongly so. People who are not welcome on your property will be stopped in their tracks.

image source: http://www.maremma-sheepdogs.co.uk
 The Maremma is not as large as many of its fellow flock guards, but he still possesses comparable endurance and strength, as well as the ability to make up for the extra 50 pounds it lacks. It is alert and independent. A flock guard of impressive dominance and lifelong dedication, this breed takes control over its flock. When humans are part of the dog's pack, the humans must be pack leader over the dog. Allowing any dog of any size to be a human's pack leader is dangerous, as dogs instinctually communicate their displeasure with a growl and/or a bite. Humans who keep flock guard type dogs as companions must understand how to calmly, but firmly display their authority over the dog. Passive owners will not have a successful human/dog relationship. As a pet, the Maremma is not very attached or overly outgoing. Nevertheless, this rugged wolf-slayer breed has adapted into a marvelous companion, without losing its extraordinary working abilities. It will defend both house and master, and it is particularly attentive with children. The Maremma is a marvelous sheepdog and loves its work. It is a terrible enemy of the wolf, but tame with man. Held in high esteem by shepherds, especially in the mountains where it thrives in the snow it is resistant to both cold and brambles. This is not a breed for beginners.

image source: http://stoneybrookworkingdogs.com

 Source: Dogbreedinfo.com
 

Rescue Organization:
http://www.maremmaclub.com/rescue.html
Hotline: 720-733-3618  

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