Hi there, we just got a couple of goats, and are now looking into getting a LGD's. We have 40 acres with aprox 2.5 currently fenced for our goats. We also have chickens, a family dog and cat. And I have a young son (20.5 months). The people we bought our goats from had 3 Maremma's - I'd never even heard of them before, but they were beautiful dogs, and one of them at least was very friendly and nice. Looking around our area I've found a couple breeders with puppies available now (or will be soon) with Great Pyrenees and at least one (possibly two) with Maremma's. I've been reading about both breeds online the past couple days and am just trying to grasp the differences between them, but am coming up fairly short. Why would you choose one over the other?
Personally I've never met a Maremma. I have worked with a number of rescues and people there have said that Maremmas tend to be a bit more aggressive than Pyrs. That said, there are variations within breeds and I've personally lived with a horrible Pyr, he and at least one other in his litter were put down for aggression toward people. I've also owned and fostered some wonderful Pyrs that would lay down their lives for you. With ANY LGD breed you have to be extra careful about researching lines for temperament issues (and health issues but with a child in the house, temperament is especially important). They are powerful dogs and bred to protect. I know some people don't believe in socializing LGDs to people but I disagree. With kids around the dog needs to be trustworthy with your kids first, animals and anything else second.