Working Dogs

Maremmas, it’s love at first sight

By Rodney Woods

What do you like most about the breed?

I love their free spirit. They learn quickly and they are the most playful dog I’ve ever met. I’ve had a lot of dogs over time and this breed is everything I’ve ever wanted in a dog.

How long have you had Jillie?

I’ve had Jillie since she was six months old. She’s now three (years old) going on four.

What’s Jillie’s personality like?

Brilliant. She’s protective. She protects me — I took her with me everywhere I went when I first got her so she would bond with me and now she will look after the house when I leave. You can see she’s still there looking after me, while the others have gone and are doing their own things.

Do the dogs have any bad habits?

A bad habit is they go wandering for foxes. Once they hear something, or see something, you can’t stop them.

Do they sleep in kennels?

No they sit in the backyard. Jillie will sleep at the backdoor because she knows I’m inside. If it rains, they are happy to stay outside but if it storms they have the balcony. They love anything that’s soft.

What do they get to eat?

I feed them dry food and bones every so often.

Does Jillie have any quirks?

I will put the food down and it’s all about Jillie. One day I gave them all a bone and all of them were over at the chook shed except Jillie, who was sitting with all the bones.

How has she been as a mother?

She’s a beautiful mother. She’s looked after them and had them easily.