maremmano abruzzese breed information

common health issues

GDV describes a condition whereby a dog's stomach becomes dilated with air and then, while dilated, twists over on itself, effectively sealing the stomach. The most common sign of bloat is a firm, distended stomach, especially if it seems to occur rapidly. GDV is one of the true life-threatening emergencies in dogs and many cases require emergency surgery.

Panosteitis is inflammation of the long bones that causes pain and lameness in young large breed dogs. The pain occurs in both the front and hind limbs and can seem to shift between different limbs. Eventually, dogs will outgrow the condition, but may need medication to alleviate discomfort for severe symptoms.

The retina lines the back of the eye and is responsible for transmitting visual stimulus to the brain. Retinal dysplasia is a malformation of the retina which can range from mild retinal folds to severe dysplasia with detachment of the retina and blindness. Visually impaired dogs generally adapt to life well due to their keen sense of smell.

Hip dysplasia is an inherited condition in which the ball and socket of the hip joint do not fit well together, resulting in a hip with increased laxity. This laxity can lead to degenerative changes and depending on the severity, may require surgical correction.

For centuries, the Maremma Sheepdog (also known as the Cane da Pastore Maremmano-Abruzzese, or Maremmano for short) has been the four-legged helper of shepherds of the Abruzzo and Maremma regions of Italy, guarding sheep from wolves. At one time, there were two separate breeds, the Pastore Abruzzese and the Pastore Maremmano, but a single breed was officially established in the 1950s. It is believed that her ancestors are the same dogs that produced other flock-guarding breeds, such as the Hungarian Kuvasz, the Komondor and the Great Pyrenees.

Though she has become more widely known around the world, she is still most commonly seen in her native Italy, doing the job she was bred to do. Many ranchers in the U.S., Canada and Australia also keep Maremmanos, a practice encouraged by national park authorities because it allows livestock to coexist with endangered predator species.

The Maremma Sheepdog is a large, muscular dog, weighing between 65 and 100 lbs., with a dense, all-white coat that is long in the tail and thick around the neck. Her thick undercoat sheds out twice yearly, once in the spring and once in the fall, so plenty of brushing will be required. Puppies tend to have more energy than adult dogs, who do fine with moderate amounts of exercise. All Maremmanos need adequate open space, so keeping them in urban environments is not recommended.

Though she evolved to be slightly smaller than her other guarding dog cousins, she maintains the same strong will, loyalty and intelligence that distinguish those breeds. She is affectionate and friendly with her family members, and can be especially attentive with children, but she maintains an independent streak and can be distrustful of strangers or those she perceives to be a threat to “her” property. She does best with an experienced owner who can provide calm, firm, consistent obedience training.

Despite her solid build, Maremma Sheepdogs are prone to hereditary and congenital conditions that can adversely affect their health — not to mention your family’s vacation fund. Some of the conditions and illnesses the Maremmano is prone to include eye problems such as retinal dysplasia; skeletal problems such as panosteitis; stomach problems such as gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV or bloat); and joint conditions such as hip dysplasia.

Thankfully, Petplan pet insurance covers all hereditary and chronic conditions as standard. Which means if your Maremma Sheepdog inherits anything more than her mom’s bad hips or her dad’s bad eyes, you’re covered.

Use the condition checker tool to learn what common conditions your pet may have.

claim calculator

  • your share of the cost: $450
  • Petplan's reimbursement to you: $1,550
  • coverage remaining in policy period: Unlimited
    (full policy limits are reinstated upon renewal)