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Marremas

Danny W
June 6th, 2005, 08:53 AM
Hello my name is Danny,this is the first time that I have visited this forum,we have loads of animals in our family but I am relly interested to know if there is anyone who has a Maremma,I am owned by one called Storm he's 11 months old and is an absolutely beautiful dog,as there doesn't seem to be many of these dogs around outside Italy it would be nice to hear about other peoples experiences with these great dogs.

Cheers

Danny

db7
June 6th, 2005, 10:55 AM
I have some experience with them but only in Italy and only with working dogs. So my experience is A) they are beautiful, independant dogs and B) I never got too close to them as I wasn't their handler. The dogs I experienced had no time for humans except for the one that fed them.

If I ever had livestock that needed guarding I would get a couple or three Maremmani in a heartbeat.

I understand that they have been imported into the UK for a long time and that generally the UK bred dogs are smaller and more biddable. I would assume that is through show breeding. Though I am sure there are working Maremmani in the UK too.

The dogs in North America come mostly from Italian stock and are almost exclusively working dogs used to control predation by coyote, wolf, bear and mountain lion.

Danny W
June 6th, 2005, 11:35 AM
Thankyou for your reply,Storms grandparents are from italy and his great great great great grandfather was international and italian champion,his pedigree is from a long line of italians,although he is a family pet he also works with me as a guard dog,his protective/guarding instinct is great for the job but because of his independant and headstrong nature he can be a bit of a handfull,not the perfect guard dog for the security industry but on the odd occasion a potentially dangerous situation has been avoided purely because of his looks and the person/persons have been interested in the breed,he is quite large for his age and still has a little growing to do yet!

happycats
June 6th, 2005, 11:48 AM
I love the flock guardian breeds !! I was actually looking into either a Maremme, Kuvasz or great pyr, I think they are beautiful, intelligent amazing animals. But definately not for everyone!
I would love to see pictures of Storm :D

Danny W
June 6th, 2005, 12:04 PM
Hi,you are absolutely right they aren't for every body,but even though they are a handfull the are also extremely loyal affectionate and playful,but they aren't playful like you would imagine,Storm although only 11 months of age has the attitude of an older dog he never went through what you would call the "puppy stage" of behaviour and comes across as quite mature for his tender years,it's more of a sense of humour than actual play although he does have the occasional mad 5 minutes when he likes to be chased,he also loves hide and seek!

Sorry,but I don't have the facility to post any pictures of storm at the moment,but as soon as I can get myself a "decent" digital camera there will be lots to look at!

Cheers,

Danny

db7
June 6th, 2005, 12:14 PM
The breeders I know did use the dogs to guard the property around the house too. But as you mentioned, they are a handful, driven by instinct rather than your commands. It's much more difficult for them to accept another person as "one of us" than the guard breeds that traditionally work with people like the GSD.

They wouldn't even try to introduce a guest to the dogs. When I first visited I was told "Don't go into the garden, they're a little bitey."

In fact the breeders go out of their way to see that the dogs do not bond with people when they are young. Particularly because the great threat to livestock in much of Italy is poaching. They bond them to the livestock and basically all the training, if you can call it that, was simply from working with experienced dogs.

If you've got a dog from direct working lines good luck to you in training it to be hospitable! I would bet they are more dog than most professional handlers could manage.

You should join this yahoo group. There are many people with lots of professional experience in this group. Don't ask about show dogs though or you'll be run out of town!

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/WorkingMaremma/

Also here is a great site from Italy.

http://www.abruzzese.org/

and another...

www.flockguard.org

Danny W
June 6th, 2005, 12:26 PM
Just thought if you look on Ursa Bianco Maremmas uk (breeders website) you will see pictures of storms parents and there is one of either his brother or his sister,it may even be him!!

Danny

db7
June 6th, 2005, 12:34 PM
I was just reading the history of the breed and came across this story. This is the kind of Marremana i'm acquainted with.

In Vladimir Peniakoff's book entitled Popski's Private Army, the author recounts the story of one group of Italian soldiers and their Maremma sheepdog who had been captured by the Allies. Six German shepherds were left to guard the prisoners. In the morning, when the Allies came to check on their prisoners, they found that the Italians had escaped- leaving behind their Maremma. He was found lying quitely at the entrance to the pen and the six German shepherds were dead.

Danny W
June 7th, 2005, 03:44 AM
That really doesn't suprise me,Storm protects all of the family without fear and is quite calculating in his response to a threat,but on the flip side of the coin he is a loyal and loving dog!

May I suggest that you try and meet one of these wonderful dogs to see this otherside to them and maybe you could tell me a story that is a little more positive, I feel you are only seeing there working face and not their family face once you have owned one or should I say been owned by one they get into your blood and they become part of you especially when you spend literally 24 hours a day with them,you cant help but love em!!

Joey.E.CockersMommy
June 7th, 2005, 06:12 AM
Hi Danny welcome to pets .ca I dont know alot about maremmas but they are beutiful dogs when I have some time I will read up more on the breed, I enjoy learning about different breeds on the interenet. :pawprint:

happycats
June 7th, 2005, 06:16 AM
May I suggest that you try and meet one of these wonderful dogs to see this otherside to them and maybe you could tell me a story that is a little more positive, I feel you are only seeing there working face and not their family face once you have owned one or should I say been owned by one they get into your blood and they become part of you especially when you spend literally 24 hours a day with them,you cant help but love em!!
I just love the breed I have met a Maremma, and a Kuvasz, That's how I fell in love with the breed!
The Kuvasz I met was a "pet" and he was just gorgeous! I thought he was old, because he was sooo calm, but the owner told me he was only 1!
The independence, and the fact that they don't stick to you like glue (sorry to all out there who love Velcro dogs).
I also loved how he was non excitable yet very friendly.
They kind of remind me of a cat's disposition, independent free thinker, loving and affectionate, but will do things because "they" want to, not because you want them to. Yet unlike a cat, totally loving and loyal and true to their family and would be willing to die defending them!
Some day, I would love to be owned by one! :D

db7
June 7th, 2005, 07:58 AM
Actually, I find it disappointing that these dogs are considered as pets. They are one of the few ancient working breeds that have remained true to their original form and haven't had their temperment dumbed down simply so people can keep them in a house because they look good.

There are plenty of other breeds that are much more suited to family living. In fact, throughout Italian history this breed has been forbidden from cities through the application of exhorbitant taxes.

When used in their traditional role they play an integral part in balancing land use between farming and wildlife. When working they very rarely dispatch predators, soon after they are introduced and have had a few contacts with predators they quickly act as deterents. The predators return to their natural diets as the sheep are off limits.

It's a much more humane and effective way of controlling predators. The other option being culling all the local wildlife considered to be a threat.

To undo thousands of years of breeding in order to make the dog more biddable, to lose another of the great healthy breeds to the show ring would be a great great shame.

kandy
June 7th, 2005, 04:54 PM
Welcome to the Board! I just recently heard of a Maremma, and saw a picture of one. They are beautiful animals! Hope to see pictures soon!

Danny W
June 8th, 2005, 02:58 AM
Storm is not a show dog,he works with me in a guarding capacity!