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Breed Information: Neapolitan Mastiff

Breed Description: This ancient heavy-boned breed is massive and imposing in appearance. Originally bred for guarding home and property, the Neapolitan Mastiff is distinguished by his broad, flat skull, very muscular body, and an abundance of wrinkles and folds on his head. Agile and majestic, this courageous dog has a calm, even temper and when properly trained, makes an excellent watchdog and family companion.

Group: Working Group

Purpose of Breed: Guarding, fighting

Country of Origin: Italy

Average Size: Depending on sex, Neapolitans range from 24 to 30 inches and can weight up to 165 pounds.

Color(s): Typically blue, black, tawny, or mahogany. The Neo can be either solid or brindle.

Coat Type: Short, thick, and shiny.

Grooming: This breed is an average shedder that requires regular brushing to keep its coat in top condition. Standard care is required for ears, pads, and nails. Eyes should be inspected closely on a regular basis.

Exercise Needs: Despite their large size, Neapolitans do not need a lot of exercise. They prefer to lounge around and enjoy a fenced backyard. That said, they are not suited to apartment living and need plenty of physical space to accommodate their large size.

Temperament: The Neapolitan Mastiff was originally bred for guarding and fighting. Today the breed has a gentle and steady temperament to friends and family, but is still wary of strangers and willing to go to great lengths to defend home and property. Protective and alert, this breed can be a heavy drooler when nervous or eating and consumes up to a gallon of food per day.


Due to his large size, the Neapolitan Mastiff needs a confident trainer who is both calm and assertive and can maintain proper leadership. Females of this breed are somewhat more submissive than males. This loyal dog does well with children, but due to its large size, should be supervised when around small children.

Common Ailments: Susceptible to hip dysplasia, immune system problems, "growing pains," heart problems, hypothyroidism, cleft pallets (or tail problems) and cherry eye.

Life Expectancy: Averages 8-10 years.

Trivia: It is thought that it was Alexander the Great who first brought the Neapolitan Mastiff to Italy, where the dogs were taken to war by the Romans and matched up against wild animals such as lions and elephants.

More Information: United States Neapolitan Mastiff Club


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By Arun MS (Guest Post)
November 3, 20060 found this helpful

I do agree, u've given correct info about Neapolitan mastiff. But, Neapolitan is not only the MASTIFF present. There are some other family members like BULL MASTIFF, ENGLISH MASTIFF & GERMAN MASTIFF(GREAT DANE). Acc to my sense of knowledge, this is the info. My email-id is "msarunms1987 AT yahoo.co.in"

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By Robert turner (Guest Post)
February 25, 20070 found this helpful

Hi i have a neo mastiff x pit bull just wondering at what age should i let if breed ?

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By Sean MAC (Guest Post)
December 9, 20080 found this helpful

Ive had an odor problem with my 2 year old male Neapolitan. It comes from his rectum were I'm told there is a sack that secretes. A vet has relieved it from time to time but what can I do will it eventually break, dry up or what?


Someone told me to mix pumpkin pie mix with his food. Didn't try yet. Can you please tell me what this is? What if anything can cure this. Thank you, please help.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

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