Our life with the Maremma Sheepdog

Cliquez ici pour l’article en français Notre vie avec les Bergers de Maremme et Abruzzes

Many people liken the Marremma to the Pyrenean Mountain Dog, or even Retrievers, but they are not like either of these beautiful breeds. Maremmas stand alone.

Maremma Sheepdog book

They are livestock protectors whose beauty conceals what they are capable of. Over hundreds of years they have been kept on the mountains and hills of Italy to guard stock, killing wolves & bears. They even guard cars, property and humans.

Why the Maremma?

I first met a Maremma in 1983. I found her in the town centre, she had escaped from her garden, fortunately complete with collar and name tag, so I took her home unaware of the future!

After meeting her I made an effort to go and see the breed at Crufts, I had fallen in love with them. Their mind was very different to the Collies I had trained and done so well with over the years. I didn’t like the temperament I saw in the ring though, the fact the judge had trouble to look at this beautiful breed made me sad, but did I want to train one? Yes, big time! So the hunt for a Maremma started.

I met my husband in the meantime and we bought our first house together with a huge garden, and after some five years we went and collected our first Maremma pup, Belle.

Maremma book featuring Anita Edwards and BellaWe did all the right things; obedience clubs, puppy training, and joined the Maremma Club Great Britain, and all the Maremma owners told me, “a Maremma will do as it wants, you will never train one. The temperament is what it is.” Sorry guys, we have proved you wrong! Five Maremmas later and we are still as sure as ever that you can train any dog, you just need different ways to suit their different mindsets.

My husband and I have a great passion for dogs and, if you have seen our website or social media presence, you already know what we do. I have a great gift with dogs and enjoy sharing that gift with others who love and care for dogs as I do.

Having competed, and won awards, at competitive obedience and agility events with my Border Collies, and after helping Border Collie rescues, I was ready for the Maremma challenge!

Belle went to many, many, events in her lifetime. She was an ambassador for the breed and is in the only book in the UK written about the breed. Belle died at 19 years of age, we still miss her.

We also became the Rescue for South England Maremmas and rescued a Maremma called Cara. She was deeply affected by her owner’s suicide and guarded his body for eight days until I collected her, educating a few police dog handlers in the process!

Sadly Cara died at the grand age of 17 years, but she had many happy years with us.

Maremma CruftsKia, my male Maremma, was the first dog I showed in France. All the judges I have met have been frightened to touch this breed, they know better now! With great pride, we have taken our dogs into the ring. Our Maremmas are proof that any dog can be a good dog with training, patience, time, understanding and love. I am not a breeder. I don’t show for money or to breed. I show the Maremma to prove that it can be done. They are a rare breed, and misunderstood by many.

Kia is enjoying his retirement now and has handed over the reins to Kiera. Kiera was a gift to us from the UK, bred by an Italian lady, Manuella Castella, another person who loves the breed.

Kiera has been to Crufts and has the Champion of France under her belt. Next time we’re in the ring will be the World Dog Show in Germany, November 2017 where we will fly the flag for Grande Daze and all Maremma Sheepdogs.

Watch this space for further news!

Anita Edwards with Kiera the Maremma & Crufts certificates

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