Your Maremma Sheepdog and ALL dog breeds web resource



Definitely the best book I've ever read and could recommend on dog origins and behaviour by Ray Coppinger

maremmano's top recommendation



Please LIKE this site on facebook!

Franca Simondetti

History and origins of the maremma sheepdog

This article is a tribute to Franca Simondetti who was tragically killed January 28, 1998, in a road accident in Italy. From my personal contacts with Franca in her last few years, I feel this article is one of her best overviews of these marvellous dogs.

The maremma world will feel her loss for a long time to come.

Franca was also world famous for her Cocker Spaniels.

typical maremma sheepdog seen scanning the horizon in his paddock as part of his attentive behaviour - no predator threat will go past him unnoticed!

The breed is over 2000 years old, and when I was asked to speak about it I was a little afraid to touch on such important subject. Many people are surely more knowledgeable than I am having written a great deal about the origins of this lovely breed. I will only try to say, in a few lines, that which refers to the most reliable theories. In fact the opinion on the breeds origins, or rather the origins of all white sheepdogs, are several and different. Some people believe they arrived in Europe following the Tartars, others that they followed the Phoenicians. or followed the Greek colonisers in the Mediterranean, and another that they followed the Romans returning from expeditions in Asia. What is certain is that several breeds such as our Maremmas, the Kuvasz from Hungary, the Pyrenean Mountain Dog in France, the Tartra in Poland and the Slovian Chuak in Czechoslovakia, had common origins and characteristics. They are all white and similar in size. All have 'closed temperament' and are semi- domestic. The similarities of these dogs obviously came about because they were used for the same purpose which was guarding and defence of the herd, this since the most ancient times. The most common factor however is that they have all come from Asia, following shepherds, moving from region to region. Finding good grazing for the sheep. The differences in climate and land situations of these chosen parts gave to each group of dogs slightly different characteristics. These characteristics are what distinguishes the different breeds and fixes their type. They all maintain however, certain characteristics such as colour and the strong rough physique plus their temperament, all these are absolutely untouched.

Now why white in colour? 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 sheep, the shepherd will then wish to help the dog but he must not be misled into harming the dog instead of the wolf. The dogs are strong and rustic because they live in the cold and heat, rain or snow, in fact in all types of conditions, but always with the sheep and the-shepherds. The shepherds do not spend time on any special feeding for their dogs.

This article has been broken down into sections for your convenience


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

Did this page give you the information you needed?
If you notice anything that you could add, why don't you submit an article or story?

- This website is the copyright property of - no material may be reproduced without express permission of the site owner and a link provided to the orginal information, please contact for any requests to reproduce material from here - email. [email protected]