Stoneybrook Maremma Sheepdogs
The Ultimate Livestock Guardian
At Stoneybrook Maremmas we are dedicated to preserving the inherent guarding nature of the Maremma Sheepdog. The Maremma Sheepdog originated in the Abruzzi mountains of Italy over 2000 years ago. Early shepherds discovered the incredible guarding instinct of the Maremma Sheepdog and have relied on them ever since to protect their flocks from predators including mountain lion, bear, coyote, fox, timber wolf, flying predators and occasionally, the domestic dog or cat. As a first resort, the Maremma Sheepdog will often attempt non-confrontational strategies to ward off predators such as barking, lunging and body blocking before resorting to an actual physical assault. Very rarely is the Maremma Sheepdog provoked to an all out physical attack, but will do so if necessary to guard their flock or territory. The ideal livestock guardian dog should demonstrate a calm and gentle temperament, be tolerant of juvenile curiosity and behavior, trustworthy and capable of working independently. Above all, they must exhibit a strong desire to bond with the livestock; a quality that is completely inherent in the Maremma Sheepdog and cannot be trained into just any breed of dog. Maremma can be imprinted on a variety of different livestock including sheep, goats, alpacas and even poultry. In some of the western states, Maremma are even being used to guard cow-calf operations from predators. This is especially important to the rancher during calving season when young stock are especially vulnerable. Maremma will quickly bond with any type of livestock, but it is essential to introduce them at a young and impressionable age in order to develop their full potential as a livestock guardian. It is equally important to avoid over socializing your Maremma if he or she is to be used exclusively for guarding livestock. This will help ensure bonding with the livestock rather than seeking human affection. It is also important to bear in mind the size and age of the pup in relation to the size and age of the stock it is placed with. An adolescent pup should never be reared with very young animals. And likewise, large animals could easily frighten or injure a young, fragile pup.
Maremma can also make wonderful family pets, but they do not thrive well in a small confined area with a lot of outside distraction. An apartment or small fenced in back yard is not a suitable environment to raise a Maremma Sheepdog. Maremma are large breed dogs which require a lot of space to exercise. They are very affectionate and protective by nature; a quality that makes them the ideal candidate for a livestock guardian. However...they can and will become equally protective of family members, especially children, so it is imperative to introduce and socialize your pup with all frequent visitors.
Member of the Maremma Sheepdog Club of America
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