Why the double name?
Maremmano-Abruzzese has been the official denomination
of the breed since 1958, when the standard, which is still nowadays in
force, was drawn up. A double name which has created a lot of confusion.
With it, the editors wanted to promote the Maremma as the birthplace
of the breed; actually, the Maremma has only marginally been interested
by the big phenomenon of the transhumant sheep-industry of the central
- southern Italy (and with it the canine population working with the
flocks) which has always had its focus in the Abruzzi. In the Tuscan
Maremma, also because of its mostly marshy territory, cattle and horses
are the prevailing breeds. If you visit it, you can find clear signs
of these activities (for example, the tradition of the "butteri", herdsmen),
whilst the few sheep and the dogs following them are kept by the shepherds,
originating from Sardinia, who settled there after the completing of
the drainage: the Tuscan Maremma has therefore been an area of diffusion
of this dog but not of breeding, in the true sense of the word.
Why, then "Maremmano", too? An addition which appears even more false and instrumental
if we consider that there are regions where the presence of this dog has always
been much more deep-rooted (see the regions of Matese, Sannio or Apulia) and
that would have had more right to be mentioned in an official name.
Therefore, "Maremmano" simply because the first dog-lovers and dog-breeders of
this breed with a sporting and expository aim were Tuscans. As a consequence
of this, they have also imposed and spread the double name.
Anyway, one thing is the officiality and another the historical reality: that
one of a breed originating in the history of our land, the Abruzzi. The dogs
still used for guarding and defending the flocks from the predators are many
in the Abruzzi (and in the regions crossed by the king's sheep-tracks of the
previous kingdom of Naples); in the mountain villages everything still shows
signs of the ancient pastoral traditions and, with them, of the white dog following
This breed is healthy and intact even nowadays thanks to the Abruzzi sheep-rearing
and not to the interest in it of the dog-lovers that, in the last 50 years, have
spread its knowledge but have also radically changed its morphology (modifying
it for the exclusive use of the expository shows) and its character (reducing
him to an unclassifiable hybrid dog-companion).
"Maremmano-Abruzzese" is the conventional name; Abruzzese is the dog for his
history, culture and tradition; for us, he has always been the 'sheep-dog' of