Care of a Maremma Sheepdog Puppy


On this page you will find information on health care and basic training for your Maremma puppy .

Health Care For Your Maremma Puppy


Vaccinations are necessary to protect your dog against 3 infectious and fatal viral diseases:

  1. Canine Distemper

  2. Canine Infectious Hepatitis

  3. Canine Parvovirus

These vaccines are given in combination with a vaccine for Canine Cough (Canine Parainfluenza, and Bordetella Bronchiseptica).

In large kennels and multiple litter situations, vaccines which protect against Canine Coronavirus and Leptospirosis icterohaemorrhagiae are given in addition at 6 and 12 weeks.

Puppies: 6-8 weeks:

At Arawn Maremma Sheepdogs puppies recieve a C3 vaccination at 6 weeks.

Canine Distemper, Canine Infectious Hepatitis and Canine Parvovirus vaccination (C3).


In multiple litter situations: Canine Distemper, Canine Infectious Hepatitis and Canine Parvovirus Vaccination (C3) and Canine Coronavirus and Leptospirosis Icterohaemorrhagiae (C2i).

10-12 weeks:

At Arawn Maremma Sheepdogs puppies are given a C5 vaccination at 10 weeks.

Canine Distemper, Canine Infectious Hepatitis, Canine Parvovirus and Canine Cough Vaccination (C5).

16 weeks:

Puppies are normally homed before 16 weeks of age so new owners need to get their new puppy vaccinated at 16 weeks. 

Canine Distemper, Canine Infectious Hepatitis, Canine Parvovirus and Canine Cough Vaccination (C5).


For puppies vaccinated at 6-8 weeks with C3 and C2i: Canine Distemper, Canine Infectious Hepatitis, Canine Parvovirus and Canine Cough Vaccination and Canine Coronavirus and Leptospirosis Icterohaemorrhagiae (C7). We will advise you if puppy was whelped in a multiple litter situation and needs a (C7).


All adult dogs require an annual C5 vaccination booster and health check.

At Arawn Maremma Sheepdogs we support Titre Testing for antibodies after the first 2 years of vaccinations. Currently, many Boarding Kennels will not accept Titre Testing results and your puppy/dog will need to be vaccinated. Further,  Dog Clubs, Dog Obedience and Clubs running Conformation Shows will not take Titre Testing results and will only accept vaccination certificates. 


At agess 2 - 12 weeks every 2 weeks. At 16 weeks, and then again at 6 months. Then every 3 months. 

Most puppies are infected with worms.
Puppies should be regularly dewormed and their droppings disposed of carefully.

Deworm puppies with a good quality ALL WORMER, such as Drontal, Fenpral, Milbemax, Pyraquantel or Popantel.

Drontal is available as a liquid for very small puppies.

ALL WORMER’s should then be given at 12 weeks, 16 weeks, 6 months and then 3 monthly for life.


Alternatively, Interceptor Spectrum is given monthly.
Check supermarket brands as many of them do not control all types of worms. 
Please ask your veterinary clinic for advice.


Heartworm is spread by mosquitoes and is endemic in Melbourne. 
To prevent heartworm your Maremma should receive either:

  • Palatable monthly Interceptor Spectrum or Sentinel Spectrum tablets.

  • Monthly Revolution or Advocate spot-on drops.

  • Proheart SR12 annual injection. Proheart is most useful for owners who have difficulty remembering to give monthly tablets. Proheart is usually given at the annual health check.

When a Maremma misses its scheduled heartworm prevention dose, please contact your veterinary clinic for advice regarding testing or the appropriate course of action.



Puppies 06 -12 weeks old should have 5-6 meals per day.
Puppies 12 -16 weeks old should have 3-4 meals per day.
Puppies 04 -12 months of age should have 2-3 meals daily. 
After 12 months, and adult dogs should be fed twice daily.

We recommend the premium quality dog foods:

Hill's Science Diet and Eukanuba are very high quality and are completely balanced for your puppy. They are low in salt compared to supermarket foods which are high in salt to make them palatable. They have the correct balance of oils and nutrients to give a nice shiny coat and optimal nutrition for growth and development of your puppy. They only contain the type of meat specified by the ingredients label on the packet and have very little indigestible matter, meaning less faeces and less smelly faeces. Supplements should not be given with these foods.

Weetbix are commonly given to young puppies during weaning. After this, puppies not given milk will develop lactose intolerance. Calcium is needed for healthy bone growth and is most important in larger breeds like the Maremma. Calcium supplements are not required for animals on premium dog foods.

Raw meat carries the risk of food poisoning. Raw meat, even of human quality, is extensively handled and processed and commonly contains high numbers of bacteria which can make your puppy ill. Chicken is especially susceptible to Salmonella contamination. Only use the freshest raw meat and DO NOT leave any meat  that's uneaten down for later, or recycle it for other meals. Only give your puppy chicken necks with supervision. 

It is essential to give a mixture of canned (wet) and kibble (dry0 food.

Give your puppy a variety of foods, but make each type of food routine and regular. This avoids making your puppy a fussy eater. If they are given different foods at different times they will keep waiting for that surprise.

Fussy eaters or overly protective eaters can develop difficult temperaments.

It is best to train your puppy to eat when food is given and not to graze. This helps to show early signs of illness if the puppy/adult dog refuses food. With a grazing animal it may be a longer period of time after the animal begins to get ill that you notice it is not eating.

RAW BONES once weekly are ideal for your puppies to clean their teeth. Uncut marrow bones and brisket bones are ideal for large breed dogs. Cut marrow bones will break teeth and cut gums. Raw bones shouldn’t contain an excessive amount of meat as described above.

Remove unwanted bones to avoid fights and because they harbour Canine Parvovirus.


Always provide plenty of fresh water. 

Desexing of Dogs

Here at Arawn Maremma Sheepdogs we do not support desexing. 

The advantages and disadvantages made for desexing are mostly Veterinary self-interest and are based on myths around dog behaviour, particularly aggression. Most of the claims for desexing have been seriously debunked. In fact, desexing compromises your dog's immune system. Because most dogs and cats are neutered, they no longer have the hormonal driven ability to maintain lean, muscular body weight. Vasectomy and tubal ligation will preserve their hormone function and may still qualify with your Council as a desexed dog. 

Maremma Sheepdogs require full and complete management which includes monitoring females and isolating them during their seasons. If making an effort with your purebred, pedigree puppy is too time consuming and laborious, then please consider another option. 


Bathing and Grooming


For general bathing a mild shampoo such as Dermcare Natural shampoo, Dermacare Aloveen or Allergroom is ideal. Many cheaper and supermarket dog shampoos are rebottled human shampoos and are not recommended. They will damage your dog’s coat and skin. Dermcare’s Aloveen and Virbac’s Episoothe shampoo are ideal for frequently washed dogs. They are very gentle on the coat and skin, yet have a good cleansing action.

As a rule, bath your Maremma as often as it needs it but as infrequently as possible. Regular brushing is important to promote a healthy coat.


Microchips contain a unique identification number which is permanently implanted in your pet. The unique number is linked to your details on a national registry. From the 1st of May 2007 microchipping is now compulsory in Victoria. The microchips are the size of a grain of rice and it is injected under the skin of your pet over the shoulder blades. Microchips can help your pet return home safely.

Pet Tags


Identification tags can be made up to contain your pets identification details which is then attached to their harness.

Basic Training of Your Maremma Puppy

House Training


House training your puppy should start as soon as you collect your puppy and again when you get your puppy home.

Allow 5-15 minutes for the puppy to go to the toilet. Praise good results. 

Young puppies should be taken out during the night as they don’t have the bladder control to hold on overnight until 14-16 weeks of age. So a few weeks of broken sleep will follow the arrival of a new puppy.  

Puppies will toilet as soon as they wake up. They will also soil after eating or drinking so take the puppy outside immediately after meals. Be patient and make a fuss of the puppy when its finished its business. Dogs also prefer to toilet on rough surfaces so take the puppy outside when it moves onto a carpet. Other signs to watch for are the tell-tale posture for evacuation. When the puppy assumes this position, it needs to go outside    

Dogs will not soil their den so the use of a crate to minimise inside accidents and train the puppy can be helpful. Set the crate up as a bed and this can then be used to put the puppy in when you can’t watch it or during the night while you are asleep. The crate could be the puppies bedroom if you like, where he can go when he wants to be left alone. A crate must never be used as punishment.

Never scold a puppy for soiling inside. It will merely train them to soil inside when you are not watching. It is important to regularly take the puppy outside, reward soiling outside and minimise inside ‘accidents’. The puppy will then learn that it needs to go outside. It you catch your puppy soiling inside don’t scold it, but in a hurried voice pick the puppy up taking it outside saying ‘outside’ or whatever command you choose to instruct your puppy to go to the toilet. Then reward the puppy.


The period between 8 - 16 weeks is very important in establishing behaviour patterns in your dog.

Puppy School is mandatory for your Maremma. Basic training to "sit", "come" and "heel" will make your dog more managable.

Use positive food rewards as much as possible. Your dog should be made to sit and not start his meal until you allow it and you should always walk through a doorway before your dog. DO NOT try to take food, or a bone, away from your dog while eating and then give it back to him. The theory that this develops the hierachy within your household and helps avoid creating a dominant dog has been authoritatively refuted.

Obedience Schools immediately following Puppy School is strongly recommended. Bad habits and any aggressive tendencies can be avoided or quickly controlled and eliminated. Please ask your veterinary clinic for advice.

For the best control of your dog use the Black Dog head collars (This is not a neck collar). They are like power steering for your dog. Unlike correction chains they don’t require pure strength to correct your dog, just a mild pull on the lead. They can take a little while for the dog to get used to, but if they are placed on whilst the puppy is getting some other sort of positive reward then they get used to them very quickly. Once your dog is well controlled and trained on a head collar then you can advance to a flat collar. However, many dogs remain on a head collar which is of no concern.

“Four Paws Dog Training School” is highly recommended. Ausdog Trainers and Bark Busters are recommended for difficult dogs.

Leads and Collars


Puppy play is adequate execise for your young dog. 

Puppies do not need to be walked until 6 months of age. Of course, puppies need to visit the Vet., etc., so when they are restrained on a harness they should be allowed to walk about unrestricted. 

Correction collars, and collars per se', are not recommended as they are commonly used inappropriately and can damage your dogs neck. Laryngeal Paralysis can be exacerbated by collars. We advise our puppy owners and highly recommend using a harness. Car harnesses must be used to restrain dogs when travelling in the car. 

Chain leads are advised for use with your dog, because they will chew through woven leads. 

Controlling your dog on a lead is the first lesson at Obedience School. Avoid trying to control your dog while walking on a lead until taught correctly as bad habits, particularly with Maremma, are persistent.  

This page was adapted from:

Dog Care Advice, Monash Veterinary Clinic,  Accessed Dec. 20, 2011.


Contact Details

Paul E Withers BSc, DipEd, MA.
Ganmain, NSW, Australia
Phone : 0413 245 125
Email : [email protected]