ITALY - Cani di pastore maremma abruzzese
The history of the Maremma is in many ways quite
a simple subject for Italy and yet at the same time is complex.
breed is over 2000 years old.
is quite astounding when you compare this to the average age of most dog
There are several schools of thought on the exact origins of the maremma
we know today.
are some that claim that there are 2 separate breeds: The Abruzzese and
the Maremmano, being distinct by a heavier Abruzzese dog and also distinct
by the regions the names imply them coming from. There will always be
some contention on this point I think, and it is not the purpose of this
page to provoke the subject. My opinion is that, since breeders such as
the Prince Corsini, breed the two together, as do many others in Italy,
the breed should be regarded as one, "Maremmano Abruzzese". I do acknowledge
that there can be seen, in areas, two "types", one almost Mastiff like
in appearance and stature, and the other, finer, more 'pretty', in appearance
and stature. However, in the light of careful reading of the Breed Standards,
it would seem that the most correct 'type' is somewhere midway of these
extremes. For this reason it will always be very important to select breeding
pairs by comparing the animals to the standards. If the dog is becoming
too fine, then choosing the heavier 'Abruzzo' type will correct this,
if the dog is becoming too heavy, then select the finer 'Maremmano' type
will correct this also.
Italy, the dogs are still worked in the same manner as they have been
for centuries, though there are not as many 'wild' regions, and agriculture
has dropped there as it has in many other countries of the world since
the industrial revolution. The transhumance is not the same today as it was thousands of years ago, however shepherds do still have to travel with their animals at certain times of the year.
Shepherds still prize their dogs highly and
select for very robust dogs. Many shepherds today show their dogs with
great success, and their dogs are brought into the show kennels to keep
the bloodlines wide and full of vitality. Shepherds still crop their dogs
ears for protection, as this gives little for the predators to grab in
a fight, and they wear heavy collars with spikes to protect their throats.
In Italy some shepherds are showing their working dogs successfully and displaying
wonderful conformation to the standards, and demonstrating their
excellent conformation to temperament!
long as this continues in Italy, it will serve as a fine example to the
rest of the world that the Maremmano Abruzzese must be a working dog.
Read on for the Australian maremma history