Michelles Weekly Pet Challenge : The Majestic Maremma



After looking after the house in Cairns and the delightful Rim and Ginger Cat we moved south to Gympie for the next house sitting assignment.

This was a totally different type of dog to look after. Manky Dan is a Maremma. The Maremma Sheepdog is a massive, noble, distinctive-looking dog and  is said to be aloof, independent and protective of its family and territory. The breed was developed to protect herds of sheep and most will bond quickly with the designated flock.

He is a majestic dog, but aloof and wary of strangers. We arrived a week in advance of the owners leaving so that they could introduce us to Dan and let him know that we were going to be part of his family. I had to always be on my guard around him and let him know that I was the boss. This was not a dog to be cuddled and played with. He was a challenge but I came to respect and enjoy his company.

Manky Dan

Manky Dan



Dan lived outside and spent most of his day under the house catching the cool breeze. His hair was silky and very thick with a dense undercoat as the breed came from the Italian Alps area.

The other member of the house-hold was Jeanie, an old cross-bred grey hound. She had just had a major operation to remove a tumour on her shoulder and needed lots of care and attention. She lived inside all the time. Being nervous and shy her temperament was totally opposite to Dan’s. She did make a full recovery.



House sitting is becoming a very interesting way of life for us. I never know what will be next.


Thanks Michelle for hosting this challenge, it gives me an opportunity to revisit the assorted pets I have looked after.

Visit Michelle’s blog to meet many other delightful pets

Categories: house sitting, Michelle's weekly pet challenge, photography | Tags: , , , | 15 Comments

Post navigation

15 thoughts on “Michelles Weekly Pet Challenge : The Majestic Maremma

  1. Oh you are so lucky!!! She is glorious!!

  2. The “lives outside all the time and spends most days under the porch,” may explain the difficulty. Most dogs need to be inside with the family at least at night if they are not to become aloof, shy and problematic. Full working dogs are never expected to be pets, but this works in herding or dog sledding environments.
    Sounds like this was a majestic dog, not able to reach his full potential. Hard to form a bond. So yes, difficult and too bad too.
    Cheers to you my most interesting friend (and Jack too of course).

    • Yes that may be part of the problem, especially as he could look through the door at Jeanie getting lots of attention. He did bond with me and I think he respected me, but I never allowed him to get the upper hand and had to be firm with him. Not an easy dog to look after, but I did get to really like his independent character. I like a good challenge… 🙂

  3. I am so glad she made a full recovery. Dan is just gorgeous! Thanks again for sharing your lovely sitting pictures!

  4. Sandra

    We have several similar type dogs at the farm near us, and often see others when we go for walks. They are Spanish Mastins, bred for the same purpose, guarding flocks of sheep. They are magnificent looking dogs, but as our wire haired fox terrier can attest they are not to be crossed; he’s had a run in with at least three when he’s gone up to say hello when we’ve been out, and they weren’t sheep guarding at the time.

    • Hi Sandra, those fox terriers are spunky little dogs but I think they would meet their match with those big dogs. I’ve read how they can attack wolves to save their flocks.

  5. Oh, Dan is a cutie pootie…love him♥

  6. Good job and interesting too. I don’t think we have the same possibility in Sweden.

  7. a handsome dog, sorry he was difficult for you 🙂

  8. Pingback: Michelle’s Weekly pet Challenge: Round up | Hope* the happy hugger

I would love to get to know you, please leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: