Why we chose Maremma & Great Pyrenees
- Both breeds are big, beautiful, fluffy, white dogs! Once you fall in love with the beauty of these pure white dogs it is hard to go back. The white coat also makes it very easy to locate your dog at nighttime when they are most active. Maremma and Great Pyrenees are both nocturnal breeds.
- Both breeds are decent herding dogs. While this may not be considered their specialty they are quick to follow your lead when directing the movement of livestock.
- Both breeds are extremely gentle with children & livestock including: cattle, goats, lambs, pigs, chickens, cats, etc.
- Both breeds (especially Maremma) are not particularly adapted as security guard dogs. In our opinion this is a benefit! A security guard dog is meant to guard against human intruders. LGDs are expected to migrate responsibly with their herd to deter wild predators & protect if need be. In the event your guardian were to encounter a human you need to be confident that passersby will not be attacked or harassed. That could be a major liability! But make no mistake, these dogs are intelligent enough to identify an aggressive human and act accordingly. For these reasons, Maremma-Pyrenees mix breeds are well adapted for both small homestead and large scale operations.
- Great Pyrenees have a much thicker coat and are not as well adapted for Texas heat. Although Maremma develop a thick coat during the winter, they thoroughly shed their coat once warmer weather arrives. Maremma coats are highly water resistant, more so than Pyrenees. Great Pyrenees have thicker, more elastic skin than Maremma which is especially helpful for protection when engaging predators or feral dogs.
- Maremmas love water whereas Great Pyrenees are either wary of water or avoid it entirely. The water affinity of the Maremma helps them to cool down during hot Texas summers. This also makes bathing your guardian a more pleasant experience.
- Maremmas are adapted to alert and deter predators from approaching whereas Great Pyrenees are adapted to patrol and pursue a trespassing threat. Mixing these breeds helps to bring out the best of both beneficial instincts. Since Great Pyrenees are know for roam larger territories we recommend pure-bred Maremmas for small farms/homesteads, Maremma x Pyrenees for medium sized farms (40-100 acres), and pure-bred Great Pyrenees for large farm and ranch operations.
- Maremmas tend to stay with their flock/herd whereas Pyrenees tend to roam/patrol and mark their territory. Both traits are helpful for different reasons.
- Maremmas are more intelligent, acutely aware, athletic, and exhibit great endurance. The Great Pyrenees doesn’t tend to exert nearly as much mental and physical energy, but when it comes to loyalty, brute strength and territorial marking, the Great Pyrenees excels.
Purebred vs. Mixbred?
By mix-breeding Italian Maremma and Great Pyrenees, the resulting dog is a healthy animal who retains appreciable traits from both parents. The mix breed is an excellent choice for large or medium scale operations. The Maremma-Pyrenees offspring exhibits the physical strength and territorial protection of the Pyrenees and the intelligence and athleticism of the Maremma.
We also produce pure-bred Pyrenees and pure-bred Maremma litters. In fact, purebred dogs are the basis for our entire breeding program. The ancient genetics behind the Maremma and Great Pyrenees are responsible for the specialty nature of each breed. Pure Maremmas exhibit cunning intelligence, energy and athleticism and tendency to stay close to the flock. This makes the Maremma breed especially well suited for small farms/homesteads. Purebred Great Pyrenees exhibit great strength, willingness to engage a predators, and a tendency to guard their entire territory to ensure no trespassers go unnoticed. This makes them well suited for large ranching operations that cover large territories. Both breeds and their instincts fulfill different crucial tasks for the common goal of protecting livestock. We’ve also chosen these 2 specific breeds for their affinity for humans & children, and predictable temperaments.
Our breeding dogs are selected for their working bloodlines, docile temperaments, fierce predator response, close bonds with livestock, lack of excessive roaming, and dedication to their guardian job.
Both the Pyrenees and Maremma breeds have been know to harbor hip and patellar defects due to indiscriminate breeding in America. This is why we import all our canine breeders from Italy, Belgium and France from parents whose health scores meet our breeding requirements. All dogs within our breeding program must pass a battery of health and genetic tests to ensure the highest quality health for future generations. We only include dogs in our breeding program who have been screened for sight, hearing, immune system & joint deficiencies, and personality defects. All too often, animals are not bred responsibly and exhibit a lack of genetic diversity for the sake of pedigree. In other cases, home breeders will unknowingly perpetuate unhealthy traits & genetics. Defective genetics can result in serious physical & mental health problems. This is something we take seriously and have no tolerance for in any of the animals we breed on our farm.
Why didn’t we choose other LGD breeds?
We have considered other breeds to include in our guardian pack and breeding program. However, other classic Livestock Guardian breeds such as Kangal, Anatolian, & Akbash are bred to kill or they have a heightened sense of “stranger danger” towards humans that are not part of their pack. These fierce instincts can cause them to become a liability in the event they perceive an innocent human as a threat. These instincts can also make these breeds problematic for families with young children. We find that Great Pyrenees & Maremma especially were bred to withhold their guardian instincts during human encounters and exhibit patience & an attentive nature with children.