Mastino Abruzzese

Not recognized by AKC

Mastino Abruzzese sitting in front of a white background

Height at Shoulders

23.5-30 in

Weight

66-100 lbs

Life Expectancy

11-13 yrs

History

The Mastino Abruzzese, also known as the Maremma Sheepdog, is the oldest of the Italian sheepdog breeds, having developed about 2,000 years ago in the Abruzzi region of Italy. They likely descended from the ancient Alabai, Albanian dogs, and large white Balkan dogs such as the Merdzan Sarplaninac and the White Greek Shepherd. These large, white dogs were often employed in packs of 4-10 to protect flocks, with the pack leader being the one to take on any predators. This alpha dog often wore a spiked collar to protect its neck. There are 5 regional varieties of the Mastino Abruzzese with slight differences such as head shape and temperament, but unfortunately, due to the lumping of all varieties under one breed standard, much of this differentiation has been lost. The Mastino Abruzzese is not currently recognized by the American Kennel Club.

Breed Characteristics

While not all Mastini Abruzzese will display the exact characteristics typical of the breed, most share a personality and temperament can be generalized by the characteristic rankings below. 

Intelligence

Affection Towards Family

Friendliness Towards Strangers

Friendliness Towards Other Dogs

Exercise Needs

★★★★☆

★★★★☆

★★☆☆☆

★★★★☆

★★★★★

Energy Level

Sensitivity

Noise Level

Prey Drive

Shedding

★☆

★☆

★☆☆

★★

Intelligence

★★★★☆


Affection Towards Family

★★★★☆


Friendliness Towards Strangers

★★☆☆☆


Friendliness Towards Other Dogs

★★★★☆


Exercise Needs

★★★★★


Energy Level


Sensitivity

★★★★☆


Noise Level

★☆


Prey Drive

★☆☆


Shedding

★★

Common Traits

Friendly, even-tempered, and affectionate with family, but tend to be reserved around strangers 

Are quick to assume position as alpha is not taught otherwise

Brave and protective, making them good watch and guard dogs

Intelligent but independent, and generally respond best to consistent, mutually-respectful training