Neapolitan Mastiff Information

Overview

A massive body, head and bone structure gives the Neapolitan Mastiff a serious demeanor. This large and powerful dog is quite docile in spite of its fierce appearance. The breed is recognized by its huge size, loose skin and the many wrinkles and folds on the head. Well-bred and socialized, the Neapolitan Mastiff is loyal to family members and protective against intruders. Because of size, this breed is not recommended for families with small children. They need daily exercise with much care taken to not overwork them when it is hot.

Neapolitan Mastiff
Basic Info
NameNeapolitan Mastiff
Other Name Italian Bulldog, Italian Mastiff, Mastino Napoletano, Italian Molosso, Can'e presa
OriginItaly
Size Type Giant Dog Breeds
Breed Group Working Dog Breeds
Life Span8 - 10 years
TemperamentObedient, Protective, Fearless, Trainable, Stubborn, Dominant
Height24 to 31 inches
Weight110 to 200 lbs
ColorsBlack, Tawny, Brindle, Blue, Mahogany
Puppy Price$1500 - $2000 USD

Neapolitan Mastiff

Physical description

Body Type

The Neapolitan Mastiff is heavy-boned, stocky and massive in substance. Rectangular proportionally, length is from 10 to 15 percent greater than height. Males stand from 26 to 31 inches in height while females stand 24 to 29 inches tall. The average weight for an adult male is 150 pounds and 110 pounds for the female.


The Neo differs from other mastiff breeds by having heavier wrinkling in the face, pendulous lips and a larger dewlap (loose skin underneath the neck). The head is large in comparison to its body. Deep set eyes are pensive at rest and practically hidden under dropping eyelids. The expression changes to alert when intimidated. Lower lids also are drooping.

Ears, set well above the cheekbone are usually cropped into an equilateral triangle shape. The skull between the ears is wide, flat and slightly arched. The skin on the head is wrinkled and the brow is very developed.

The large nose has well-opened nostrils and is the same color as the coat. It is an extension of the muzzle. Kennel club standards look for a nose that neither protrudes nor recedes behind the muzzle's front plane. The muzzle is one-third the length of the head and is as long as it is broad. The top of the muzzle is ridged with heavy folds of skin

The Neo has a short, slightly arched and well-muscled neck. A large, well-divided dewlap widens from the bottom jaw to the lower neck. The well-muscled chest is broad and deep. The underline of the abdomen has very little or no tuckup. The back is wide and strong. The top of the shoulder blade rises only slightly above the level topline.

Well-muscled loins joins the back and hindquarters and are strong and slightly sloped. The docked tail sets a little lower than the topline and is thick at the base, tapering toward the tip.

The forequarters are muscular and balance with the hindquarters. The shoulders and upper arms shoulders are muscular and powerful. Elbows are parallel to the rib-cage and covered with loose skin. Forelegs are straight, heavy-boned and strong. The feet are notably large with arched toes.

Hindquarters are powerful and strong. Muscular thighs are close in length to the forearms. The stifles are at a slight angle. The legs are heavy and hocks are long and strong. Hind feet are slightly smaller than the front ones.

Color

The Neo is short-haired with straight hairs that are one inch long or shorter. The coat is dense with hair uniform in length, giving a smooth appearance all over the body. There are no tufts or fringed hair anywhere.

Solid colors for coats include light and dark shades of black, gray-blue, tawny and mahogany. The AKC allows some brindling in all colors if the brindling is tan. This is known as reverse brindling. Some may have white markings on the chest, throat, underside of the body or on the toes. White hairs behind the wrists are accepted by the AKC.

Coat

The Neo is short-haired with straight hairs that are one inch long or shorter. The coat is dense with hair uniform in length, giving a smooth appearance all over the body. There are no tufts or fringed hair anywhere.

Solid colors for coats include light and dark shades of black, gray-blue, tawny and mahogany. The AKC allows some brindling in all colors if the brindling is tan. This is known as reverse brindling. Some may have white markings on the chest, throat, underside of the body or on the toes. White hairs behind the wrists are accepted by the AKC.

Characteristics
Good with Kids
 
Cat Friendly
 
Dog Friendly
 
Trainability
 
Shedding
 
Watchdog
 
Intelligence
 
Grooming
 
Popularity
 
Adaptability
 
Hypoallergenic  No

Grooming

The Neo doesn't shed any more than the average dog. Brushing weekly with a hound glove or bristle brush keeps the coat free of loose hair as well as helping to keep it clean. If the wrinkles are dirty, wipe out with a soft, damp cloth. Give the Neo a bath when needed and be prepared to get wet yourself.

If nails click on the floor, it is time to trim them. This helps keep the feet in good condition as well as prevent those being greeted from getting scratched. Brush teeth with a canine toothpaste at least twice a week. Check the ears for dirt inside them and clean with an ear wash or soft, damp cloth if necessary.

History

The first mastiff-type dogs are believed to have been developed in Tibet about 5,000 years ago. They served as guards and were used in battle. The specific Neo Mastiff was developed in Southern Italy around Naples, hence the name Neapolitan. Neapolitan breeders wanted a large dog with loose skin that would provide protection when attacked. They also wanted the dog to be loving and loyal to family members.

In 1946, jouralist Piere Scanziana attended a Naples dog show and admired the breed as perhaps a descendant of the Epirus mastiffs that accompanied Paolo Emilio, a Roman consul, as he triumphantly entered the city after his defeat of Perseo of Macedonia. Scanziani's interest in the breed led to it becoming more well-known. He helped in writing the breed standard and was instrumental in its recognition by the national dog registry in Italy. One of his own dogs became the first one of the breed to become an Italian champion.

The breed became popular in Europe in the 1970s. The first known Neo to enter the United States was imported in 1973. The breed was recognized by the AKC in 2004.

Temperament

The Neo's temperament makes it more of a guardian than an attack dog. Even when it looks relaxed, it is aware and alert. If the owner is not home, no one is coming on the property with a Neo around. However, if the master welcomes a visitor, the Neo does too, but he may remain aloof and wary.

The Neo is strong-willed but affectionate to family members. Big enough to have his own way, training must begin early. Be firm, consistent and use praise and treats as rewards. Socialize early with exposure to different people and
experiences.


Interesting Neapolitan Mastiff Facts

 

  • A Neapolitan Mastiff set the record for giving birth by birthing 24 puppies at once.
  • A Neo played the dog Fang in Harry Potter films.
  • Neos have been trained to bait bears, jaguars and bulls.