Maremma Sheepdog breed characteristics, origin and care

Maremma Sheepdog breed characteristics

Want to watch more Bondi Vet content? Subscribe to our channel.

  • Size: Large
  • Traits: Loyal, Energetic, Independent
  • Maintenance: Moderate to High - multiple brushings a week, regular trimming of hair in their paw pads
  • Best Suited To: Homes with plenty of open space, such as farms

Where I'm From

The Maremma was originally bred in two regions of Italy to help with guarding livestock. Known to be intelligent, independent thinkers, this trait is said to have come from their origins where they were trained to problem-solve rather than to act in a certain way.

The Maremma Sheepdog is thought to be a descendant of the Tibetan Mastiff, with records of their existence dating back to the ancient Roman era.

What I Look Like

Most Maremma's have a white coat, though some may have variations with tinges of yellow, orange or peach. Their coats are quite thick, coarse and long and with regular brushing it will stay nice and neat and help control shedding.

Their thicker coats are great for cooler climates and less ideal for warmer areas, though with plenty of shade, shelter and water during hotter months, they can handle the warmer weather.

How I Act

Given their background, the Maremma are loyal and known to be good watchdogs. This does however mean that they don’t tend to react well to strangers in your home. While they won’t act aggressively unless someone is doing so, they may try and get in between you and your guests. If you are having people over, it’s best to have their own space set up away from the party.

With a sociable personality, they love interacting with other pets and family members and don’t do well alone for long periods of time. They love having plenty of space to be active and be independent.

Looking After Me

While the Maremma breed are typically quite healthy, there are some larger dog issues that can develop that you should look out for. They can be prone to both elbow and hip dysplasia. Hip dysplasia is an inherited condition in which the dog’s thighbone doesn’t fit properly into their hip joint . Some dogs may display symptoms such as lameness on one or both rear legs and outward signs of pain, but others may not display any symptoms. Having intermittent X-rays at your vet can help detect the issue. Similar to hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia can be caused by any abnormalities during your dog’s growth and development. Both of these health concerns can be avoided by ensuring you’re feeding your dog correctly as they grow, making sure they don’t grow too quickly. Also avoiding overly vigorous exercise while they’re still young can hep prevent these issues. Maremma's also tend to be sensitive to tick and flea sprays, which can make stopping them from itching when they live outside tricky. Regular baths if you are using these sprays can help prevent build up and irritations.

Am I the pet for you?

If you have plenty of space for your Maremma to roam and are looking for a loyal and faithful companion for your family, this breed is a great choice.


  • The Maremma is fiercely loyal and will make a great watchdog
  • This breed loves to play and doesn’t mind short periods of time alone to wander the yard


  • The breed’s protectiveness can make them wary of guests.
  • The Maremma’s large size means they need a plenty of yard space and don’t suit apartment living.

Want to watch more Bondi Vet content? Subscribe to our channel.

Back to blog