My Edible Garden

I've been gardening for most of my life and have been a devoted fan of organic gardening the whole time. It just makes so much more sense to work in harmony with Mother Nature than to fight her. Besides which it is better for the planet and better for our bodies. Here you can see what I'm planting and harvesting, with gardening hints and resources thrown in for good measure.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

What is a Maremma

Maremma pup about 12 weeks old

I got to pick up my Maremma pup today. He doesn't have a name yet but he does answer to "Boy".

Maremma's are Livestock Guardian Dogs and they are also known as Italian Sheepdogs. They have been bred in Italy for centuries, living with and guarding the flocks of sheep. They look similar to a Great Pyrenees but to me look taller and longer bodied. They also seem to have a shorter coat.

As far as I know there is only one breeder of Maremma's in the state of Arizona, although I have seen advertisements for some crossbreeds. I am on the look out for an unrelated female to keep him company.

 He cried a bit in the car at first, but quieted down after I patted his head a bit. He slept part of the 2 hr drive home and when he woke up he discovered if he stood up he could see out the window.

check out those feet!

After we got home, went to the bathroom and got a drink, he went with me to feed the chickens. The chickens are not impressed with their new protector. However I am very impressed, even in the baby pen when all the birds were running, flapping, squawking and generally going nuts because something strange was in there with them, the pup did not even try to chase them. In fact he just sat there watching them a minute and then decided that chicken feed and chicken poop were more interesting.

So I am really impressed; any other breed of dog I have ever seen would have been trying to chase the birds. He was totally calm. When I held a baby for him to sniff and it pecked his nose he just walked away. Can't wait for him to grow into those feet tho!

The guarding instinct is bred into them so no training is really needed in that area. But we will be working on socialization and on walking on a leash, learning to heel, sit, stay and lay down. Just basic commands that every dog should know. We will also be walking the perimeter of the area he will be guarding, so he gets to know where he should go and where he shouldn't.

After we fed and watered all the birds and he got a look around, he ate a snack and took a nap; all wore out.

If you would like to learn more about the Maremma you can check out the Maremma Club's website


  1. Mary, congrats on your new addition to the homestead. Every homestead needs a guard dog bred and trained for guarding the property. It appears that you have acquired a good one. When growing up we had dogs but they were mutt dogs that were nothing more than pets. I don't remember that we lost too many chickens or live stock but then in Nebraska there's not much wooded area for predators to live. We do have coyotes that can be a nuisance at times but even those are minimal. At least they weren't a problem on Dad's farm.

    Have a great Maremma day on the homestead.

  2. He looks like a darling dog! but then of course I can't resist any puppies! Nancy