The Maremma-Abruzzese Sheepdog, Maremma Sheepdog, or Abruzzo Sheepdog, in Italian referred to as Cane da pastore Maremmano-Abruzzese, Pastore Abruzzese, or Pastore Maremmano; and often referred to as just Maremmano outside of Italy, is a breed of livestock guardian dog indigenous to central Italy, particularly to Abruzzo and the Maremma region of Tuscany and Lazio. It has been used for centuries by Italian shepherds to guard sheep from wolves. The rough English translation of the official Italian name, "cane da pastore Maremmano-Abruzzese", is "dog of the shepherds of the Maremma and Abruzzo region". The English name of the breed derives from that of the Maremma marshlands, where until recently shepherds, dogs and hundreds of thousands of sheep over-wintered, and where the breed is today abundant although sheep-farming has decreased substantially. The breed is widely employed in Abruzzo, where sheep herding remains vital to the rural economy and the wolf remains an active and protected predator. Shepherds in Abruzzo also use the closely related and similar-looking Abruzzese Mastiff to guard sheep. Other similar breeds include the Pyrenean Mountain Dog, the Kuvasz of Hungary, the Tatra of Poland, the Cuvac of Slovakia and the Šarplaninac (although not white), with all of which it may share a common ancestor; and the Akbash Dog of Turkey. See Mountain dog breeds.
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