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This type of dog is considered very heavy-bodied and has a firm and powerful grip. These dogs have been traced all the way back to Asia and the Middle East. Their main jobs were to protect homes, control the livestock, and fight intruders and big animals in battle, for example, lions and elephants.
Today’s Neapolitan Mastiff is said to be linked to huge Macedonian war dogs that Alexander the Great merged with short-haired dogs from India. This was around 330 BC. The resulting bloodline was referred to as the Molossus. This is considered to be the progenitor to several big dog breeds of modern times.
Their history then becomes a little more interesting when the Romans seized Greece and at the same time seized all of their Molossus dogs. Around 55 BC the Romans attacked and dominated Britain. The British had huge and striking Mastiff dogs that the Romans adored. These dogs fought courageously during war.
As you can probably image these two dogs were bred together and formed a super breed of huge war dogs referred to as Mastini which is Italian for Mastiff. The breed continued to expand its members and was refined over centuries of well functioning guard dogs. Yet, they were very secluded and remained unknown too the rest of the world.
Back in 1946 they were presented to the world at a Naples dog show. It was a man named Piere Scanziani who first saw the dog and instantly recognized what type of breed it was. He began campaign to persuade other dog aficionados to assist in bringing out the breed from the darkness so-to-speak. They went as far as drawing up an appeal so that the Italian Kennel Club would identify them under the name of Mastino Napoletano.
Later on, during 1970s, the Neapolitan Mastiff dog breed was recorded in America.. There were a few of these dogs that were already present in America at the time from Italian immigrants. However, nothing was official until the 1970’s. So, it didn’t take much time for the breed to become well-know and gain attention from dog aficionado. They were acknowledged by the AKC in 1996 and were official numbers of the AKC working group in 2004.
Because this dog was bred for centuries as a family watchdog, it is very aloof and distrustful of strangers. The Neapolitan Mastiff loves kids but may be dominant towards other animals.
Keep in mind that Neapolitan Mastiff dogs will need a lot of space. This is one dog that is considered large in size and must have plenty of room to wander around in. As far as exercise and physical requirements are concerned, these dogs do not need a lot. All they need is a walk on the leash and that’s all.
The normal life line of a healthy Neapolitan Mastiff is around nine to ten years. Bigger dogs tend to have a shorter life. The only real health concerns that could come up are CHD, demodicosis and cardiomyopathy. Minor health issues consist of cherry eye and elbow dysplasia.
Learn more about Neapolitan Mastiffs.
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