Maremma - big white dog

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What it's like to try to live with a maremma.
Why are they special?
Stories from life with my dogs
Some photos of our dogs

Links to other sites

Northern Maremma Assn. in the UK.
Marnie Griffith's site. A maremma that was rescued from a pound in Australia
Linda's site. More on Reaper, the rescued maremma.
Katrina Sommers' site
Marco Petrela's site in Italy.

My writing style is a bit "off" because I don't handle too well my involvement in something that is impressive, generally unknown and likely to be dismissed as misguided enthusiasm.

Blurb relevant to my credibility:
I'm Tim Douglas and while my experience and knowledge of maremmas is small, my appreciation of interactions in nature and it's implications is better. Probably my greatest interest is what really goes on at the grass roots level of our world - basic environmental, social and scientific considerations.
a maremma pup The Maremma is a breed of dog that has been used in Italy for hundreds of years to act as guardian to flocks of sheep and goats in the mountains. The threat to the stock included wolves and bears. The maremmas were so effective because they lived with the stock, not the shepherd. The stock was the dog's family and responsibility.

I pinched that image from the Circulo Pastore Maremmano Abruzzese site.

So, basically they are special dogs. Maremmas are big, fit, intelligent and spirited. Or, looking from the point of view of an intruder, they are formidable.

There are many other guardian breeds but all are a minority in the world of dogs. Dogs have all sorts of qualities but there are always some things that are missing. There is something fundamentally special about guardians that domestic dogs generally can never have, at least to such an extent. Intelligence, good spiritual balance, and health.

The claim of intelligence seems a bit much. There are all sorts of dogs that can do pretty remarkable things. How can anyone claim that guardians are something special? Well, which is smarter - a dog that can do anything that its told, or one that doesn't need to be told. Or, looking at the other side of the coin: obedience requires that you don't think much.

Also the health claim seems a bit much. Remember that dogs have been bred to have all sorts of qualities - but they are qualities to suit humans and not the dogs. Even with dogs which have the most impressive qualities have still had their breeding controlled by humans. This unnatural control imposed on their breeding must have its consequences. Not having any knowledge of dog breeds I vaguely recall hearing of only one man-made breed which basically has no breed associated weak features in its health. Guardians have been bred not to suit the aims of humans but to do what dogs are supposed to do - to just be plain good dogs.

Our reason for getting maremmas is to guard our wildlife from dogs. We weren't confident that it would work, but they aren't at all fussy about what they guard. If they know we care about it then they care about it as well. That includes anything of yours, animals, objects, land.

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Last update: Nov 04.