Updated: Nov 14, 2021
I am often asked this question by potential LGD owners trying to do their due diligence in researching LGD breed traits and assessing their needs as owners. This research is complicated by the fact that conflicting information abounds. Many potential owners like the idea of being responsible for only one dog. Over the years, and based on my experience with many, many Maremmas, I have developed strong opinions about this issue so I will share them with you here.
Here are the facts:
Canines are social creatures
These facts are undeniable. If you bring an LGD into your life without accepting that these facts exist, and adjust your expectations and management of the dog accordingly, you are likely to be frustrated and disappointed in your relationship with your new LGD. I can tell you that if you are feeling frustrated the dog likely is too, and he is probably confused and quite possibly frightened because of the “corrections” that often come from the owner while the dog is trying to do his job and understand his world in the only way he knows how. There is a regrettably high rate of failure for LGDs due to behavior problems that often stem from a lack of understanding and acceptance of the two facts stated above. Dogs often pay a very high price for having learned behaviors that are incompatible with their owner’s expectations and are relinquished to rescues, shelters, or euthanized. With an owner’s realistic expectations and appropriate training support of an LGD it is possible for the dog to thrive in the working environment for which he is genetically designed and for the own