Official American Standard for the Maremma Sheepdog
The ENCI recently updated the standard of the Maremma Sheepdog in Italy.
The American Maremma Sheepdog Standard also needs revised and updated.
Please contact the MSCA to volunteer for the MSCA Breed Standard Research and Revision Committee.
Majestic, lively, sturdy, distinguished and intelligent. Courageous without being aggressive.
Lithe and strongly built. The expression should be one of aloof awareness. This reserve should not be mistaken for nervousness, any tendency to which should be penalized.
Head and Skull
When viewed from the front the head is of triangular shape and in proportion to the size of the body. The skull wider between the ears, narrowing towards the facial area. The head somewhat rounded, with the occiputal ridge slightly emphasized. The area under the eyes gently chiseled. Medium stop. The length of the muzzle fractionally less than that of the cranium, and the muzzle slightly tapering without snippiness. The lips close fitting and not pendulous. Pigmentation of the lips and nose black.
The eyes bold, neither large nor small; neither sunk nor protruding. The aperture almond shaped. A dark eye preferred. Eye-rims black.
The teeth should be white, strong, regularly spaced and set in a level jaw. The inner faces of the upper incisors should close on the outer faces of the lower incisors.
Neck should be strong, of medium length. Devoid of dewlap.
The shoulders should be long, sloping, well muscled and free moving; the forelegs well boned and muscled without heaviness, straight when viewed from the front, the elbows held close to the ribcage, neither in nor out. The pasterns should show a very slight angle in profile.
The body strong, the muscles well developed, the shoulders slightly above the level of the back, which should be broad and straight, rising to a slight arch on the loins and falling to a broad, strong rump. The length of the body, measured from the point of the shoulder to the point of the buttocks, slightly longer than the height at the shoulder. The ribcage full, descending to the level of the elbows, with well sprung ribs; not barrel-chested. The sternum long, gradually curving up the abdomen, which shows a waist without excessive tuck up.
The hindquarters broad and powerful, with strongly muscled thighs, legs straight when viewed from behind; hocks well let down and strong, with moderate bend of stifle.
Large and almost round. Hind feet slightly more oval. Toes close together and well arched. Pads black.
Movement should be free and active, giving the impression of a nimble dog, able to turn quickly.
Set low, reaching below the joint of the hock. Hangs down when the dog is quiet, but carried level with the back when the dog is alerted, with the tip gently curved. Well covered with thick hair without forming fringes.
The coat should fit the outline of the dog and be long, plentiful and rather harsh. A slight waviness, but not curliness, is permissible. It should form a thick collar on the neck. The hair should be short on the muzzle, cranium, ears, feet and front of limbs but should form a slight feathering on the rear edges of the limbs. There should be a thick, close undercoat especially in the winter.
White. A little shading of ivory, pale orange, or lemon is acceptable.
Weight and Size
Ideal height: Dogs 25 1/2 – 28 1/2 inches, Bitches 25 1/2 – 26 3/4 inches.
Ideal weight: Dogs 77 – 99 pounds, Bitches 66 – 88 pounds.
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.
Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.