Maremma Sheepdogs hail from Italy and have proved to be excellent working dogs under many conditions. When I first researched livestock guardian dog breeds, I interviewed several people who raised Maremma and they spoke of the breed with such reverence and adoration. I found a reputable breeder in Oregon (there aren’t many in the US yet) and flew down to meet the 20 Maremma on the vast premises; I fell in love.
Luca (a region in Italy spelled Lucca) and Cora (short for Corazón, Spanish for heart) are a registered brother and sister working team. They turned a year old in early March of 2018 and have spent their lives bonding with and learning to guard sheep, goats and donkeys. At this stage they are well on their way to being fully mature livestock guard dogs (this occurs between one and two years old depending on the breed, the individual dog and the training received). Building a sound infrastructure by attending to the sometimes wild puppy-play stages and providing the support and proper environment to allow them to learn, gain confidence and succeed in doing what they’ve been bred for thousands of years to do, is complete. Of course, this process is ongoing in some regards but a solid foundation has been well-laid.
Luca and Cora have been highly socialized with people as well as their livestock; they are an absolute delight to be around. Luca is absolutely gorgeous from tip to tail and has an excellent disposition. Think love-muffin who can be frighteningly aggressive when he needs to be. Luca is not currently neutered because he is a very solid candidate as a stud.Cora is pure loveliness; a bit more shy than Luca, you need to work a little to gain her affection but once you have it, she is deeply loyal and loving. She has a beautifully calm and alert manner with the livestock. Cora is spayed (a decision based on a threat from a roving un-neutered dog in the area).
If you’ve never seen livestock guardian dogs interacting with livestock, it is truly something to behold. If you haven’t yet had the honor and pleasure of living and working with these amazing dogs and you choose to do so – you are in for a very special relationship.
Please note photos can be reused with attribution – please credit Festina Lentívaldi (be) Benevolution – and are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.