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Last updated on April 18, 2014 at 6:20 EDT

Maremma Sheepdog

The Maremma Sheepdog is an Italian livestock guardian breed. In Italy, the breed is known as Cane Da Pastore Maremmano-Abruzzese, derived from the area in which it originated. The breed is thought to be an ancient one, and it continues to be used for its original purpose even today, mainly in Italy but also in the U.S. and Australia. The Maremma, when used as a livestock guardian dog, is introduced to its flock as a puppy in order for it to bond to its sheep or goats. The breed is also increasingly used to guard cattle, and even penguins. National parks in Italy, the Canada, and the U.S. use the breed to minimize conflict between ranchers and endangered predator species.

The Maremma Sheepdog weighs 65 to 110 pounds and stands 23 to 29 inches tall. It is a very muscular breed with a solid build. It has a thick, white coat. Its head is large and its nose is generally black.

Occasionally the breed is divided into subtypes based on the region in which the particular type is found.

The breed may be large, but it can still be an excellent companion dog as long as it is given some open space in which to run and play. The Maremma Sheepdog can be very protective of its family due to its nature of bonding to its flock. The breed is intelligent as well as protective, and it may display some animosity toward strangers.

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Maremma Sheepdog