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Country of Origin, History of Neapolitan Mastiffs
All European Mastiffs are descended from the ancient Tibetan Mastiff. The Neapolitan Mastiff is descended from the Roman Molossus. It has existed in Campania for over two thousand years.
The Neapolitan Mastiff was bred for use in war and in Roman arena fights. It has remained a fierce guard and protector through the years. Used by police, the Italian army, farmers, and estate owners, it protects people and property.
Breed Selector Tool - is the Neapolitan Mastiff the right breed for you?
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A General Appearance of the Dog
The Neapolitan Mastiff is a serious, powerful, looking dog. It is muscular with a rather rectangular body, massive head, and wrinkled face. The facial wrinkles continue under the chin and down the neck to form a prominent dewlap. The skull is broad and flat on top, and the nose is large. The teeth meet in a scissors or level bite.
According to tradition established when the dogs were used in combat, the ears should be docked short (but many people keep them natural) and the very thick tail is cropped by one third.
The most common coat color is blue, though black is the next most common color.
The short, harsh coat is dense and smooth.
Males 26-30 inches (65-75 cm.)
Females 24-28 inches (60-70 cm.)
Up to 165 pounds (74 kg.) The largest male Neapolitans may be nearly 200 pounds (90 kg.)
Temperament of the Dog
Despite the beastly and even vicious
appearance, the Neapolitan Mastiff is a peaceful
and steady dog. It was developed to look and act
fearsome when needed, but is affectionate with his
family and the family's friends. He is highly protective
The Neapolitan Mastiff is extremely intelligent and somewhat willful. It does not require repetitious training. A Neo is very attuned to his master's wishes. This breed rarely gives trouble by excessive barking.
They are serious, calm and quiet unless provoked. The breed is very wary of strangers. Males can be much more aggressive and dominant than females. The female is much better as a family pet.
Neapolitan Mastiffs are not given to barking. The Neapolitan Mastiff will tolerate a great deal of pain.
Neos drink a massive amount of water and eat 8 -10 cups of food a day. They drool and they snore.
Extensive socialization of the Neo must begin early and continue throughout its life. Owner dominance must be firmly established from the beginning. Even with proper socialization, their protective instincts will cause them to be overly protective.
This is not a breed for inexperienced dog owners. They must have an owner who is used to handling this type of dog. The owner/trainer must be calm, consistent and firm. It will not work to repeat commands the dog has refused to obey. Early obedience training is highly recommended as they become more willful (stubborn) as they become adults.
The Neapolitan Mastiff bonds very closely with its owner and becomes a completely loyal and devoted companion and protector. Those who raise Neos call them proud, majestic, loyal and unique.
Better suited to an indoor or outdoor lifestyle?
The Neapolitan Mastiff can live outdoors if she has plenty of soft bedding in a solid doghouse. However, she does not do well in hot, humid weather. Be sure to provide plenty of water and shade. His preference is to be inside.
She can do well in an apartment as she will be quite inactive indoors. She will want to go on long walks each day with ample opportunity to look around and sniff.
Are they suited to homes with kids?
This is not the best breed for families with children. The female Neapolitan Mastiff is better with children than the male. Some females are even loving with children. Children should be taught to respect this dog (and never tease or provoke it) and all friends need to be properly introduced. Always supervise the dog when children are in the vicinity!
How Active is the Breed?
Neapolitan Mastiffs do not need large amounts of exercise. It does like walks where it can look around and sniff. Avoid tiring the dog too much.
How Much Exercise Does the Dog Need at every stage of its Life?
Neapolitan Mastiff puppies should not be allowed to get overly tired from running and playing. Avoid rough games during her growth period. This dog needs as much energy as possible to grow healthy bones and muscles.
Adult Neapolitan Mastiffs will enjoy two long walks a day. The Neo's favorite thing to do is lie on the couch and be pampered by its master.
These giant, short-haired dogs are easy to groom. Remove loose, dead hair with a rubber brush. This breed is an average shedder.
Neapolitan Mastiffs have pano-ostiosis (growing pains), a condition which may occur when the dog is 4-18 months old and generally disappears on its own.
Neos are prone to hip dysplasia because of their size and mass.
Neapolitan Mastiffs are also prone to "cherry eye." The eye tissue protrudes more than normal and becomes red and inflamed. This condition is completely cured with minor surgery.
Because they are prone to bloat, feed 2-3 small meals a day.
Hip Dysplasia is a genetic problem.
Other problems include thyroid disorder, intropian, PRA, juvenile cataracts, cardiomyopathy, OCD, and bloat.
Short, up to 10 years. If well cared for, some live to 13 years. Because of their size, they develop a number of health problems as they age.
National Breed Clubs
British – The Neapolitan
Mastiff Club – www.theneapolitanmastiffclubuk.com
US – United States Neapolitan Mastiff Club – www.neapolitan.org
Other Recognition: CKC, FCI, KCGB, NKC, NZKC, USNMC, APRI, ACR
Group: Working Group.
AKC Popularity Ranking: 102
Also Known As: Italian Mastiff, Neo, Mastino Napoletano, Mastino
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How to lead and think like a pack dog - the new psychology.
3 dangerous mistakes that most Italian Mastiff owners make when they are trying to potty train their dogs.
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A surprisingly easy way to teach your dog cool new tricks.
How to improve your dog's lifespan and keep it from getting overly heavy with a healthy and nutritious diet.
Getting Pro help fast - how to get access to our expert trainers when you need them most.
One hidden psychological trigger that all Neapolitan Mastiffs have... that practically allows you to "analyze" and "control" your dog's every action.
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