Fédération Cynologique Internationale

The Kennel Club

United Kennel Club

Maremma and the Abruzzes Sheepdog

(Cane da Pastore Maremmano-Abruzzese)

Maremma Sheepdog

Maremma Sheepdog


ORIGIN

:
FCI
Italy.

PUBLISHED

:
FCI
13.11.2015.
KC
October 2009

UTILISATION

:
FCI
Shepherd dog used mainly for the protection of flocks and guarding of properties.

CLASSIFICATION

:
FCI
Group 1Sheepdogs and Cattledogs
Section 1Sheepdogs
Without working trial

KC
Pastoral
UKC
Guardian Dog

TRANSLATION

:
FCI
Mrs. Peggy Davis.

BRIEF HISTORICAL SUMMARY

:
FCI
This ancient breed of dogs who guard flocks comes from shepherd dogs actually still used in the Abruzzes where the breeding of sheep is still thriving even in these days, and sheepdogs which existed yesteryear in the region of the Tuscan Maremma and in that of Latium. Most especially since 1860, the seasonal moving of livestock from one region to another has favoured the developing of a natural crossing of those two primitive breeds.
UKC
The Maremma Sheepdog is derived from the ancient shepherd dogs used in the Maremma and Abruzzes regions of Italy. At one time the dogs from these two regions were considered two different breeds, but since about 1860 they have been crossed to the point that they are now recognized as one breed. The Maremma Sheepdog was recognized by the United Kennel Club July 1, 2006.

GENERAL APPEARANCE

:
FCI
The Maremma and Abruzzes shepherd dog is a big dog, strongly built of a rustic appearance, at the same time majestic and really typical. On the whole his shape, of average proportions, is that of a heavy dog, whose body is longer than the height at the withers; is balanced as much in size (heterometry = normal proportions between the size and different parts of the body) as to the profiles (alloidism = concordance between the profiles of the head and the body).
KC
Majestic, large size, lithe, strongly built, of ‘outdoor’ appearance. Expression of aloof awareness.
UKC
The Maremma Sheepdog is a big, strongly built dog of majestic and rather rustic appearance. He is heavily built, and slightly longer than tall in proportion.

IMPORTANT PROPORTIONS

:
FCI

The length of the head reaches the 4/10 of the height at the withers; the length of the muzzle is 1/10th less than that of the skull; the body length is more by 1/18th than the height at the withers.
Depth of thorax is slightly less than half the height at the withers. (For instance for a dog of 68 cm the depth is about 32 cm).
KC
Intelligent, distinguished, sturdy, courageous but not aggressive.

BEHAVIOUR / TEMPERAMENT

:
FCI
His principal function as a guard and defense dog of flocks and property in general, asserts itself in the manner he accomplishes these tasks, with perception, he can also show a devoted attachment to his master and all his entourage.
KC
Lively, any tendency to nervousness or aggression highly undesirable.
UKC
The principle function of this breed is as a flock and property guard. He is perceptive and assertive and devoted to his master.

HEAD

:
FCI
On the whole, the head is large and flat, of conical shape, reminiscing of that of a polar bear.
KC
Head conical in shape and appearing large in proportion to size of body. Skull rather wide between ears, narrowing towards foreface. Occipital ridge little emphasized with medium stop. Area under eyes slightly chiselled. Length of muzzle very slightly less than skull. Muzzle converges without snipiness. Jaws powerful and with plently of substance in foreface. Lips close fitting, not pendulous. Pigmentation of lips and nose black.
UKC
The head is large, flat and conical in shape, resembling a Polar Bear.

CRANIAL REGION

:

Skull

:
FCI
Is of great width with lateral sides slightly bulging. In profile, is also convex. The upper longitudinal axes of the skull and muzzle are slightly divergent, which makes the profile of the head slightly convex.
The superciliary arches are moderately marked. The medio-frontal furrow line is slightly marked. The occipital crest is only just visible.
UKC
The skull is broad and slightly convex in profile. There is a very slight stop, and the occipital crest is just barely visible. The planes of the skull and muzzle are slightly divergent.

Stop

:
FCI
The frontal-nasal depression only just accentuated and the frontal-nasal angle is always very open.

FACIAL REGION

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Nose

:
FCI
Rather big, in line of the muzzle, with large well-opened nostrils, moist and cool, coloured black. In profile must not protrude beyond the front marginal of the lips.
UKC
Rather large, with well opened nostrils. Black in color.

Muzzle

:
FCI
Its length is by 1/10th less than that of the skull. Its depth, measured at the level of the corner of the lips, must reach half its length. Its width decreases progressively according to the convergence of the lateral sides of the muzzle towards the front, but nevertheless keeping a flat fore surface. The suborbital region is slightly chiselled.
KC
Teeth white, strong, regularly spaced and set in a level jaw. Scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaws.
UKC
The muzzle is just slightly shorter than the skull. It is broad and deep at the corner of the lips, narrowing slightly towards the end. The lips are tight and not pendulous. The lower line of the foreface is defined by the bottom jaw, not the lips.

Lips

:
FCI
Seen from the front, the upper lips, at their junction point, determine by their lower edge a semicircle of very short radius. Slightly developed, they barely cover the teeth of the jaw, and, therefore, the corner of the lips is only lightly accentuated.
Consequently the lower lateral profile is only defined by the lips in its fore part, in its rear part it is defined by the lower jaw and the corner of the lips. The rims of the lips are black.

Jaws/Teeth

:
FCI
Jaws: Look strong, normally developed, with incisors set straight, well aligned of good size and complete in number.
Teeth: White, strong – scissor bite.
UKC
The Maremma Sheepdog has a complete set of evenly spaced, white teeth meeting in a scissors bite.

Cheeks

:
FCI
Moderately visible.

Eyes

:
FCI
Not large in relation to the size of the dog; the iris is of an ocre colour or chestnut brown. The eye, in lateral position, is neither deep set nor protruding. Lively and attentive expression. Eyelid opening is almond shaped, with black eyelid rims.
KC
Neither large nor small, aperture almond-shaped, dark eye preferred. Rims black.
UKC
Not large, almond shaped, and ochre or chestnut brown in color. The eye rims are black, and the expression is lively and attentive.

Ears

:
FCI
Set very high over the zygomatic arches, they are hanging but very mobile. Triangular shape (in V), their extremities forming a narrow point never rounded; they are small in relation to the size of the dog. For a medium size dog their length must not go beyond 12 cm. The ear attachment is of medium width. Cropped ears tolerated only in dogs really used as herd dogs.
KC
Small in relation to size of head, V-shaped, set high on head, covered with short hair. Hanging flat to side of head in repose, moving forward when alert. The extremity of the ear forming a narrow point, never a rounded end.
UKC
Set very high, triangular in shape, hanging but very mobile. Small in relation to the size of the dog. Cropped ears are acceptable only in dogs that are actually used in herd guarding capacity.

NECK

:
FCI
Upper profile moderately arched. Its length does not go beyond the 8/10 of the length of the head, which means that the neck is always shorter than the head. It is thick, very strong muscular and always without dewlap; covered with long and dense hair forming a collar particularly obvious in males.
KC
Strong, of medium length, devoid of dewlap.
UKC
Always shorter than the head, thick and strong, arched at the crest and free from dewlap.

BODY

:
FCI
Solidly constructed, its length is more by 1/18 than the height at the withers.
KC
Strong, muscles well developed, withers slightly above level of back; back broad and straight, rising to slight arch over loins, and falling to broad, strong rump. Length of body, measured from point of shoulder to point of buttocks, slightly longer than height at shoulder. Ribcage full, let down to level of elbow; well sprung ribs, not barrel chested. Sternum long, gradually curving up to the abdomen, which shows a waist without tucking up.
UKC
The chest is deep and well rounded. The ribs are long and well sprung. The withers are high and wide. The topline is level to the croup, which is sloping. The loin is fairly long and very broad. There is little tuck up.

Topline

:
FCI
Straight from withers to rump where it becomes somewhat sloping.

Withers

:
FCI
Slightly above from the topline; wide because of the distance separating the shoulder blades.

Back

:
FCI
Straight in profile, length reaches about 32% of the height at the withers. The loin which merges perfectly with the topline has a slightly curved profile with well developed muscled in width. The loin reaches in length 1/5 of the height at the withers and its width is nearly equal.

Croup

:
FCI
Wide, strong and well muscled. Its inclination from the hip to the tail set is of 20° increasing to 30° and more if we refer to the ileum-ischium line; that is why the rump of the Maremma and Abruzzes shepherd dog must be qualified as sloping.

Chest

:
FCI
Ample, descending to level of elbows, deep and well-rounded at mid-height. Its circumference must be more than ¼ of the height at the withers; its maximum width at mid-height must reach at least the 32% of the height at the withers, then decreases progressively downwards while retaining a good width in the sternal region. Its depth must reach half the height at the withers. The ribs are well sprung and oblique with inter-costal spaces of good width; the last false ribs are long, oblique and well opened.

Underline and belly

:
FCI
The sternum-ventral profile is characterised by a long sternal line in the shape of an arc of a circle of very big radius rising slightly towards the belly.

TAIL

:
FCI
Low set due to the sloping rump, in normal stand reaching below the level of the hock. Hanging when dog stationary; carried level with back line with a rather strongly hooked extremity when the dog is in action. Well furnished with dense hairs without fringes.
KC
Set on low, reaching below joint of hock, hangs down when dog is quiet, but carried level with back when dog is alert, with tip gently curved. Well covered with thick hair but without forming fringes.
UKC
The tail is low set due to the slope of the croup. In repose, it is hanging. When the dog is in action, it is carried level with the backline with a hook in the end. The tail is well furnished but not fringed.

LIMBS

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FOREQUARTERS

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FCI
Straight limbs from the front and in profile; forequarters well balanced in relation to the body, and the various parts of the forequarters are well proportioned between them.
KC
Shoulders long, sloping, well muscled. Forelegs well boned and muscular without heaviness, straight when viewed from front; elbows close to ribcage, not turning in or out. Viewed from side, pasterns slope very slightly forward.
UKC
Shoulder blades are long, well laid back, and capable of free movement. The upper arm joins the shoulder blade at an angle that varies from 105 to 120 degrees.

Shoulder

:
FCI
Long, oblique with powerful muscles. Must be really free in movement. In length measures about ¼ of the height at the withers. Its obliqueness below the horizontal is of 50° to 60°.

Upper Arm

:
FCI
Set close to the body in its upper two thirds, with powerful muscles. Its obliqueness below the horizontal varies between 55° and 60°; its length measures about the 30% of the height at the withers. Its position is more or less parallel with the median plane of the body. The scapula-humeral angle varies between 105° and 120°.

Elbow

:
FCI
Normally close to the chest, they are covered with a soft loose skin. Their position must be parallel to the median plane of the body; the point of the elbow must be on an imaginary vertical line starting at the rear angle of the shoulder blade. The opening of the humeral-radial angle varies between 145° and 150°.

FORELEGS

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UKC
The elbows are held close to the chest, and are covered with soft, loose skin. The length of the forelegs is slightly greater than half the height at the withers. The legs are straight and heavily boned. The pasterns are lean and slightly sloping.

Forearm

:
FCI
Straight, and vertical, heavily boned. Its length is slightly more than the length of the upperarm, while being a little less of a third of the height at the withers. The front leg from ground to elbow measures 52,8% of the height at the withers.

Carpus (wrist)

:
FCI
In extension of the vertical of the forearm. Strong, clean, smooth and of good thickness; the pisiform bone is clearly protruding.

Pastern

:
FCI
Its length must never be less to 1/6 of the foreleg measured from ground to elbow. It is lean with a minimum of sub-cutaneous tissue. Seen in profile is slightly oblique towards the front.

FEET

:
KC
Large and almost round. Hindfeet slightly more oval. Pads black.
UKC
Large, with close toes. The front feet are roundish; the rear feet are more oval. Black nails are preferred.

Forefeet

:
FCI
Large, of roundish shape, well closed toes, covered with short thick hair, nails preferably black. Chestnut colour is tolerated.

Hind feet

:
FCI
Like the front but more oval.

HINDQUARTERS

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FCI
Seen as a whole limbs straight when seen from the behind and in profile. The general aspect is in proportion with the body, and the various parts of the hindquarters are harmonious.
KC
Wide and powerful; thighs strongly muscled, legs straight when viewed from behind, hocks well down, strong, moderate bend of stifle.
UKC
The angulation of the pelvis and upper thigh is approximately 100 degrees.

Thigh

:
FCI
Long, wide protruding muscles and a rear edge slightly convex. Its width, measured from edge to edge, reaches ¾ of its length. It is a little oblique from top to bottom and rear to front; the coxal-femoral (hip bone) angle is about 100°.

Stifle

:
FCI
Perfectly in the vertical of the limb, without internal or external rotation. The fermoral-tibial angle rather well opened, varies between 135° and 140°.

HIND LEGS

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UKC
The limbs are straight when seen from behind or in profile. The upper thigh is long, with protruding muscles. There is moderate angulation at the stifle joint. The hock joint is thick and moderately angulated. The rear pasterns are strong, lean and broad.

Lower thigh

:
FCI
Its length, a little shorter than the thigh, corresponds to 32,5% of the height at the withers. Its obliqueness below the horizontal is about 60°. Strong bone, muscles lean and the groove in the leg well marked.

Hock joint

:
FCI
Quite thick, with broad lateral faces. The angle opening varies between 140° and 150°.

Rear pastern

:
FCI
Strong, lean and broad. Its length reaches 30,9% of the height at the withers. Eventual dewclaws must be eliminated.

GAIT / MOVEMENT

:
FCI
Walk and extended trot.
KC
Movement free and active, giving impression of nimble dog, able to move easily over rough ground and turn quickly.
UKC
An extended trot.

SKIN

:
FCI
Tight to all parts of the body; rather thick. Black pigmentation of the mucous membranes, third eyelids as well as the central and toe pads.

COAT

:

HAIR

:
FCI
Very well furnished. Hair long, rather harsh to the touch, closer to straight horse hair, flat to the body; slight wave is tolerated. The hairs form an important collar around the neck and fringes of limited length on the edge of the hindquarters. But the hair is short on the muzzle, on the skull, the ears and front edge of the limbs. On the body the length of the hair reaches 8 cm. The undercoat is only in winter abundant.
KC
Fits outline of dog and is long, plentiful and rather harsh. Slight waviness, not curliness, permitted. Forms thick collar on neck. Hair short on muzzle, skull, ears, feet and front of limbs, forming slight feathering on rear limbs. Thick, close undercoat, especially in winter. Tail well covered with thick hair.
UKC
Somewhat long, harsh, straight, and held close to the body. A slight wave is tolerated. The hair forms a collar around the neck, and limited fringing on the back of the thighs. The hair is short on the face, ears and front of the legs. On the body, it may be up to three inches in length. The undercoat is seasonal. The skin is tight and thick, with black pigmentation of the mucous membranes as well as the third eyelids and toe pads.

COLOUR

:
FCI
Solid white. Shades of ivory, pale orange or lemon are tolerated but only in certain limits.
KC
All white. A little shading of ivory or pale fawn is permissible.
UKC
Solid white. Shades of pale ivory, orange or lemon are tolerated but not to extremes.

SIZE

:
KC
Ideal height: dogs: 65-73 cms (251/2-281/2 ins); bitches: 60-68 cms (231/2-261/2 ins). Ideal weight: dogs: 35-45 kgs (77-99 lbs); bitches: 30-40 kgs (66-88 lbs).
UKC
Acceptable height range for males is 25.5 to 28.75 inches. For females it is 23.5 to 26.5 inches. Weight ranges from 77 to 100 pounds for males; 66 to 88 pounds for females.

Height at withers

:
FCI
Males 65 to 73 cm. Females 60 to 68 cm.

Weight

:
FCI
Males 35 to 45 kg. Females 30 to 40 kg.

FAULTS

:
FCI
Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog. The same conditions apply to dogs which pace very often and dogs whose dewclaws have not been cut.
KC
Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog and on the dog’s ability to perform its traditional work.

SERIOUS FAULTS

:
FCI

Head: Cranial-facial axes convergent, accentuated and disfiguring prognathism.
Tail: Rolled over the back.
Gait: Dog which paces continuously.
Size: Over or below the limits fixed by the standard.
UKC

Tail: Tail curled over the back.
Size: Over or under the size limits.

DISQUALIFYING FAULTS

:
FCI

Aggressive or overly shy.
Nose: Completely depigmented.
Muzzle: Definitely convex or concave.
Eyes: Moderate or bilateral depigmentation of the eyelids. Wall eye. Bilaterally cross-eyed.
Jaws: Undershot mouth.
Tailless or short tail, whether congenital or docked.
Coat: Curly.
Isabella coat; well defined patches or Isabella or ivory colour. Black shadings.
Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities shall be disqualified.
UKC

Unilateral or bilateral cryptorchid. Viciousness or extreme shyness. Albinism. Undershot bite. Solid Isabella color or Isabella patches. Black shading in coat. Curly coat. Docked or natural bob tail. Wall eyes. Complete lack of pigment of the eye rims. Dudley nose. Undershot bite.
Teeth: Undershot bite.
Nose: Dudley nose.
Eyes: Wall eyes. Complete lack of pigment of the eye rims.
Tail: Docked or natural bob tail.
Coat: Curly coat.
Color: Solid Isabella color or Isabella patches. Black shading in coat.


Anatomical Features of the dog

N.B.:

Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.