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a writing of Marco Petrella on the Abruzzesi Shepherds Dogs . Types and Subtypes
ABRUZZESE SHEPHERD DOG
Types and Subtypes
The Abruzzese shepherd dog is a
breed that has developed different subtypes.
In past years attempts have been made to set a single standard, as with other breeds, whose history has been different from the Abruzzese shepherd.
If, on the one hand, the dog lovers (breeders) attempt to attain a single standard has brought a greater knowledge and management of the breed, it has also resulted in both the disappearance and emergence of several sub types based on the regional needs of the area and the shepherds.
Very marked morphological differences exist, in one or another area of such Abruzzo, to indicate the genotype of the race to each breeder. However, one can be assured that the most representative types are:
The type Marsicano
The imposing head of this type is reminiscent
of the lion. The structure of this dog is large and strong.
The breast is big, but not excessive. It measures about 70/75 cm. to
the withers and weighs between 40-60Kg. These dogs generally have a
set of teeth like shears. It is located in the area of Marsica.
Currently, this type is often used for breeding.
Esemplare Aquilano di proprietà del sig. Marco Petrella
The type Aquilano
This type has an imposing and large structure.
The head is as large, but longer than the Marsicano. Those belonging
to this type usually measure between 75-83cm to the withers, but in some
cases, there have been exceptionally larger animals. They usually
weigh between 60-80kg.
Pippo: esemplare maschio di Edorado Puglielli, Pratola
The type of Pescocostanzo
This dog remembers the actual present show dogs and is a typical
Esemplare di Marco Petrella
Pratola P. (AQ)
The type of Maiella
Located primarily in the Pescarese region and
in the Maiella Mountains, the Maiella is probably a cross between the
Aquilano and the Pescocostanzo. This line is similar in structure to
the Aquilano, with a head similar to the Pescocostanzo. In some
specimens the head is reminiscent of a bear. In character, the
Maiella is very similar to the Aquilano, and was common until the 1950’s.
The disappearance of the wolf, and the decline in the number of sheep and
shepherds has brought about a gradual reduction in this line.
The type Peligno
Very similar to the Aquilano of which he differentiated more for the character, it was very diffused up to the years '50.
The Satin Hair type:
Almost extinct, with ‘shaved’ hair, this type was present in the mountains of Maiella and Morrone. Another line of imposing structure, it had the head of the Marsicano and the body type of the Aquilano.
Praticamente estinto, era presente
sulle montagne della Maiella e del Morrone ed aveva il pelo raso.
The Type Maremmano.
Despite its name, this dog is also a native of
Abruzzo, where it probably had its origin.
(1) Notes: The shepherd’s charmed Abruzzesi
has always experienced a remarkable magnetism for the rich land owners of the
Maremma region, who used these dogs to guard their farms.
The extreme jealousy of the shepherds for their dogs was such that they were very reticent to give examples of their breed to people of other regions.
The wars for the pastures were very frequent and these dogs were the real soldiers that fought for their shepherds. There was a real fear in the shepherds that the breeding lines of their dogs could be passed on to their enemies.
Often, the only way to secure the breeding lines of these dogs was to leave the females in heat near the best male examples of the line. The result was, that some of the litter would have the Abruzzese characteristics, but often with evident defects.
It was usual for many shepherds to discard the dogs with evident defects due to wrong breeding, and keep only the best examples.
Besides these principal types, other subtypes existed, and were selected for various characteristics by the Abruzzesi shepherds.
This line is similar to the type Pescocostanzo. It can be recognized by the absence of a tail.
Found in the Castel Del Monte's mountains, this type is recognized
by the presence of a thick down on the face. This is the result of
impure bloodlines introduced through dogs which are not from the Abruzzese
Pink Nose Type:
This line was formed from completely depigmented specimens.
Their imposing structure was very similar to the Marsicano, except for the
lack of pigmentation. This characteristic is also present, but very
rare in other lines.
The Types of coat
Another character of differentiation is tied up to the coat that introduces him in different ways:
it is a lot of difficulty to classify the various types of hair being also us differences between dog and dog.
Generally the more communes are those with the Smooth coat, Slightly crinkled or curly.
The sample to hair satin is practically extinct.
Ercole Curino: Owner Rocco Di Fiore.
|The samples to curly or crinkled hair are defined by some as rustic dogs.
With this term It is wanted to describe dogs typical of the pastoral environment.
In reality the characteristic of rusticity is also present in the other types of dogs.
At times It can happen that in a same litter go out dogs of the various coat.
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