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Maremma Sheepdog breeder / Maremmano Abruzzese

10 questions to the breeder
10 questions to yourself
10 questions to the breed

How to choose a puppy?

There are an awful lot of different breeds with every one of them their own characteristics. Wat ever breed you decide to take, consider B E F O R E H A N D what kind of characteristics you are looking for in a breed. What do you expect from a dog? What should you yourself think of and what should you ask your breeder.

10 question to the breeder

  1. Why do you breed?
    A breeder is someone who tries to breed a litter with the best possible dogs, hoping for healthy and beautiful puppies of a certain breed. Never buy a puppy from someone who can supply every breed, and doesn't make a fuss of offical papers or health examinations. Don't buy any puppy in a petshop, or from a puppyfactory; don't 'rescue' these puppies, as you buying a puppy keeps these practices going!
    To breed a litter, because it would be better for the bitch is rubbish. In nature only the alfa-bitch would have puppies. To breed a litter for the children doesn't sound as a well-considered decision either; take them to the children's farm to observe the miracle of birth.
  2. Where is the mother and where is the father of the puppies?
    The bitch must be in the neighbourhood of her puppies, or at least live at the breeder's. The breeder doesn't need to own the male, but he can certainly show you pictures of the father of the puppies.
  3. Why did he choose this male for this bitch?
    A reputable breeder can tell you the plusses and minusses of both male and female. He can tell you his thoughts in his decision to breed his bitch to this particular male. 
  4. How often does he breed the bitch?
    A Maremma should not have her first litter before the age of 2 years; before that they are not matured. Between 2 litters there should be at least one year and 1 heat. The total number of litters in a lifetime is 4. The last litter should be before the age of 8.
  5. What health examinations are obliged?
    Both parents must have been x-rayed for HD (hipdysplasia). A breeder can show you the offcial results.
    The following combinations are allowed (that is to the Dutch breed policy):
    A x A, A x B, A x C, B x B, B x C
  6. What happens when I can no longer take care of my dog?
    A committed breeder will have made an agreement with you, possibly in form of an official contract, about the possiblities of taking back the dog and finding a new home.
  7. What happens when my dog turns out to have an illness?
    No breeder can guarantee that your dog will never be sick or ill; dogs are living creatures. However he will have taken care that all possible precautions have been made to prevent heathproblems and disappointments. He can put this in the agreement.
  8. How does he socialese the puppies?
    Puppies must be socialised. When this doesn't happen, the puppy will be afraid of everything. The proper period is between 3 and 12 weeks. So the first period is with the breeder. He has to make sure that the puppies are familiar with as may things and situations as possible; so he has to take them out-doors, in the car, to other environments, to other dogs, other animals, other people, strange noises, etc.
  9. When are the puppies allowed to go to their new owners?
    Legally puppies should stay with their mother untill at least 7 weeks. Before that age it is absolutely not acceptable that they leave their mother, later is of course always possible, especially when the breeder provides good socialisation. At the age of 8 - 9 weeks a puppy is ready to leave and go to his new home.
  10. Is he a member of the breedclub?
    A breedclub looks after the interests of a specific breed. You can go there for advice and information on the breed. They have a breeding policy, to which member-breeders have to keep. Though it is not a guarantee that you bought a good puppy - after all, anyone can become a member - you can go there when you have questions.

10 questions to yourself

  1. Do I have enough space for a large dog?
    A Maremma should at least have the disposal of a large garden.
  2. Do I have enough time to spend with my dog?
    A Maremma can be alone for a while without getting into mischief, but he does need your attention, just as any other dog. When you work five days a week and/or are often away from home and can only spend some time, you might be better off with an other pet.
  3. Am I consistent in raising a dog?
    A Maremma needs a consistent training and upbringing, not harsh or strict.
  4. Do I have enough patience in raising a dog?
    A Maremma is stubbord and independent; only when you have enough patience will you succeed in raising him into a well behaving dog.
  5. Does the rest of you family want a dog?
    A Maremma puppy is a very cute fluffyball, but they will grow big(ger). Does the rest of your family know what is expected of them, or do they maybe not want a dog at all or have different expectations of a dog.
  6. Am I prepared to wait for a puppy?
    A Maremma is a rare breed in Holland (and in many countries) and there are not always puppies awaiting new homes. You will probably have to be patient and you'll have to wait for a litter to be born. Have a look at the rescue section, when you are intrested in an adult dog.
  7. What will my life look like in 10 years from now?
    A Maremma has a good life-expectancy; ages of 12-13 years and even more are not an exception. Of course no one can see into the future, but when you forsee major changes in your lifestyle, you might be better off with an other breed or an other pet. To find a new home for an adult Maremma is not a very easy job.
  8. Can I stand dog hair?
    A Maremma gets a very thick undercoat in winter and he will shed twice a year. There WILL be dog hair in your house and on your clothes! Dirt will stick in his coat, especially when the dog is out-doors a lot, and will fall off when in the house, thanks to his selfcleasing coat. That does mean lots of sand and dirt in your home.
  9. Do I have a nicely laid out garden?
    A Maremma likes to dig a hole when it is hot or lay under the bushes.
  10. Am I prepared to fence my garden?
    A Maremma is not a dog that stays on your premises. He will not run away and get lost, but he will roam the area and usually his territory is bigger than your garden

10 questions to the breed

  1. How large should your dog be?
    A Maremma will turn out to be around 70 cm (= 27.5 inch), depending on male or female. Therefore it will become a large, strong dog.
  2. Should your dog be obedient?
    A Maremma is stubborn, self-willed an independent. It is not a dog that will obey every command.
  3. What kind of character do you expect your dog to have?
    A Maremma is a livestock guardian dog. It was raised and bred to protect sheep flock. A Maremma is at its best when he has something to guard. He can be aloof to strangers, but attached to his boss.
  4. How much grooming does your dog need?
    A Maremma has very thick, white, half-long hair. He will shed twice a year. Relatively seen the coat needs little grooming. Brush now and then, don't wash! The coat doesn't tangle and must not be trimmed.
  5. How much exercise does your dog require?
    A Maremma is a calm dog, who does need his exersice, as any other dog, but it is not a retriever that goes on and on and on. It is certainly not a dog that will continue to retrieve balls and other things.
  6. What activities do you plan to do with your dog?
    A Maremma is not suited for agility, retriever work of obedience.
  7. Is the dog good with children?
    A Maremma is tolerant with children, but it would be wise to never leave a young child alone with your dog, no matter what kind of breed.
  8. Is the dog good with other pets?
    In general, yes! Especially when brought up with them from puppy-age.
  9. Is the dog used to living out-doors?
    A Maremma is weather-resistant; in winter he will get a very thick undercoat that will protect him from the cold, in summer the coat protects him from heat. A Maremma likes to be out-doors, but is not suitable to live in a kennel all the time.
  10. Does he bark a lot?
    A Maremma will bark and investigate, when he sees or hears something that is unfamiliar to him.

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