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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Maremma Guardian Dogs

On our second visit to Littledale B&B we found a pair of new residents… Maremma Sheepdogs.  They are not sheepdogs in the terms that they are herders; they are actually ‘livestock guardian dogs’.  Their job is to hang out with the livestock and protect them from predators. 

Other livestock guardian dogs include the Great Pyrenees and the Anatolian (“Bart” from the movie ‘Kate and Leopold’). 

Maremma come from a marshy region of central Italy where sheep are traditionally wintered.  They are big dogs… around 100 pounds and about 30” at the shoulder.  Their purpose is more to deter predators rather than to attack.  They do this using their size as an intimidation and a lot of barking.

An interesting tid-bit I found out is that in Australia they have been trained to protect a flock of endangered penguin.  It has been working well, allowing all species to co-exist. 

I really like the guardian breeds so I enjoyed being around this new breed.

Meet Benny:

And Pumba:

Benny supervising repairs.

There are two ways to get thru a gate…
…and under!
Maremma’s are one of the more social guardian dogs, so once they got used to me I had all the time I could want with them.
Benny looking for another ear scratch!

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