MAREMMANO-ABRUZZESE DOG

The guardian of Italian herds is the cane da pastore Maremmano-Abruzzese. It name comes from two extinct dog breeds that were combined to create this modern breed.
Majestic and large in size and stature, the Maremmano is a completely white dog, strongly built and rustic appearance, with a beautiful long coat, somewhat rough and slightly wavy. The head is cone shaped and large; the skull is wide between the ears, narrowing towards the forehead; the muzzle is not pointy; its length is 1/10 inferior to the skull. The eyes are not large or small, sunken or prominent, the iris is a color that goes from ochre to dark brown; the ears are small and “V” shaped, very high inserted. The neck from a profile is moderately arched, thick, very robust and without dewlap. The shoulders long and sloped; good boned forelegs, not heavy, with a straight appearance. The body well developed with a wide and straight back; kidneys slightly arched. The hindquarters wide and powerful; low hocks, and moderate angulations. The tail is low inserted, and comes under the hock, dropped in rest, and carried at the spine level, with its end very curled when the dog is in action. The coat forms a thick collar, it has a thick undercoat, and the tail well provided with hair. The color should be pure white, although an ivory to pale orange or lemon shading is admitted. It stands between 65 and 73 cm; the female 5 cm less.
 
WHO IS IT RIGHT FOR
It is not a very popular breed in England or the US, but it is in Italy. However, it can be found in both countries, and good breeders can be found. The breed shares many attributes with the Kuvash and the Pyrenean Mountain, which can be confused with it. It is a lively dog, brave, that seems reserved, but Is very kind and treatable (not necessarily by strangers). The Maremmano needs attention, and the possibility of performing plenty of exercise. Probably too large and outdoor oriented to live inside, although it is very adaptable. It is an excellent guardian.
 
DEVELOPMENT    
Born white with no exception, the Maremmano usually weighs a good 500 g. The nose, the eyelids and lips are pink at birth, but will have darkened after eight weeks. At that age it weighs between 6 and 9 kg, the male always heavier. Over the 18 months it reaches its maximum height and continues adding substance during the second year. Some don0t mature completely until the third year. An extrovert puppy, which is not shy, is the best choice; the breed doesn’t have a reserved air. The eyes darken at the fourth week. Almost confused with a lamb, the puppy hair is soft and woolly, not long but thick. The rougher hair, not curly, begins to grow after six to twelve months. They often have growth sprouts, for which puppy overfeeding should be avoided. After 18 months, the Maremmano is an adult in character.   
 
HEALTH
As in most large breeds, bone problems are the one breeders are more concerned about: hip dysplasia, achondroplasia and kneecap luxation. Given the Maremmano’s limited breeding base, these problems are probably related to some lines, since there is no incidence. In general, it is a strong, easy to care for breed. It is very sensitive to anesthetics and it is easy to overdo the dosage. Make sure that your veterinarian is aware of this. The Maremmano should be brushed regularly to avoid potential skin and coat problems, such as claps and eczemas.
The Maremmano-Abruzzese puppies, similar to the Kuvash and Pyrenean Mountain, are more reserved that other breeds. 
 
Few Maremmano-Abruzzese have reached the US, although in England the breed is acknowledged. In Italy specimens can still be found working in the mountains protecting their herds.