The atavistic and main opponent of the sheepdog is the wolf who has proved to be very shrewd and often makes fun of men and dogs.
The good male dog can cope with the wolf , and must be able to cope for himself in whatever situation.
The transition from day to night is the time when the wolves , like all carnivores, move in search if prey, and is for this reason that the sheep dog establishes its restlessness and the premonition of danger of its protected, a threat that more or less all of its ancestors over the centuries....
We have wanted to stick to a description, that in certain passages may seem too harsh and cruel, as also real and wild, animated exclusively to an understanding of the general public, the true essence of a shepherd dog, as well as providing an overview of etiologyon the character of the Maremmano Abbruzzese Sheepdog, which would remain unknown if not going further to look into the primal and fundamental part of this wonderful and peculiar Italian race.
The barking echoing in the night is a common thing in the small mountain settlements, which means that the people will rest in peace knowing that there are those who watch over you and your property. Today these Appenines centres are an idyllic tranquility, but you do not have to go far back in time to find these same paths crossed by fairs and fierce robbers, therefore posessing a powerful and relentless Maremmano Abbruzzese sheepdog was at the same time a system of alarm and defence.
As soon as this happens we have a visual memory, the different tests of strength that mother nature has always placed in the Maremmano Abbruzzese sheepdog, who sees the wolf as an actor in the scene but with our Maremmano sheepdog as the main protagonist in a scene of desperate for survival; overnight , the fair approaches the sheep pen lying down patiently nearby undercover, listening to the sounds of the camp. Once tranquility reigns and the dogs are curled up next to the fence of the sheep, it approaches and performs like a shadow, lightens his attack. At that point the wolf slips into turmoil of the flock, tightening the neck of the sheep between its jaw and drags her away still alive so as not to be impeded by a dead weight. But that is where the action of the Maremmano Abbruzzese takes over launching itself and making the beast leave the spoils.
Only adult male dogs have the strength and determination to repel the attack, while the female dogs and young dogs are confined to encourage them with their mad barking.
The blind fury of the struggle makes ones blood run cold. Even though the wolf is terribly tough and strong enough to crush the head of the sheep with a single bite, he only reacts when surrounded.The expert dog loads the wolf with its powerful chest and throws it to the ground in order to expose its belly and eviscerate it with tearing bites. If by chance this maneuver is not successful then dog goes down, biting the back and the groin of the wolf. The sheep dog bites the dog repeatedly until they get a grip, and simultaneously twist the head in order to easily tear it off, and does not cease until the tissue does not yield.
The wolf does not present itself with a lithe and agile body as does the domestic dog, its trunk instead is rigid, as his battle tactics are different. He joins the maremmano abbruzzese sheepdog and gives deadly blows on its sidetrying to eviscerate it. Here becomes clear the real meaning of the broad pointed collar called "meliunm" by the Latins and "vreccale" by shepherds. It is a characteristic collar bristling with outward spikes made entirely of iron or double bolted leather (less effective). If the wolf is not able to attacking the head or neck region, his attack is countered.
The technique of struggle of the sheepdog and the wolf is not a behaviour used by chance. The hips and shoulders are the parts most exposed to the bites but at the same time they offer little possibility of serious injury and the kaws are filled with hair and skin only. Therefore the duellists try to inflict mortal effective blows to the abdomen, neck, and the ridge of the back( for its nerve centres) which offer the chance to inflict a lethal wound as well as a good grip.
The first encounter with the wolf is so strong for the sheepdog that it will no longer sleep at night in order to prevent an ambush.
The sheepdog is without doubt the only effective defense system against the wolf, but as nothing distracts the wolf's nature from plundering the flock, the Maremmano sheepdog needs to ensure that the beast does not steal his victim, or worse, throws itself in the wolf's typical impulse to slaughter as many sheep as possible.
Other fairs also undermine the herds, but without the natural spectacular that, at dawn, the fights in mpountainous shores with the wolf, triggers: In flat land many stray dogs are found, who have little to envy in regards to their wild cousins as far as cunningness and danger is concerned, but on the other hand are easily overwhelmed by our Maremmano Abbruzzese sheepdog. The fox, on its own, do not miss the opportunity to clear the occasional lamb from the flock left behind, but if caught , it does not take more than a bite and a few tugs to snap it neck.