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Livestock guarding dog temperament and behaviour


Livestock guarding dogs are a type of dog used to guard livestock against predator attack and there is a range of breeds used around the world for this purpose.

These dogs have a unique temperament and not so much display behaviours that are different to other breeds of dogs as they DO NOT display behaviours that so many other breeds of dogs do.

They are one of the oldest breeds that have been recorded.

Recordings in the first century says that the sheep dog must be white, the reason being that at dawn the wolf will come to the herd and the dog will fight the wolf in defence of the herd. The shepherd will then wish to help the dog but he must not be misled into harming the dog instead of the wolf.

The hard life, the harsh and solitary life to which these dogs have been accustomed to for centuries has given them a temperament that is very special to THEM.

They will always be diffident to strangers and will maintain a spirit of initiative. Maremmas have too much dignity and pride, together with an inborn sense of responsibility for what they have to do, which is the guarding and defence of their property, be this a herd, territory or home, virtually anything that needs protection.

This is one of the traits of the maremma that must be completely understood by anyone considering the maremma as a pet.

The maremma will want to guard and defend his family and his property.

What constitutes successful guarding of livestock is the absence of losses to predators - not the body count of dead predators.

This section on temperament is broken into topics for your convenience to read the sections that most apply to what you need to know, and to return and find sections of information quickly and easily:


male maremma playing with his pups displaying the loving nature of these livestock guardian dogs

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