The Neapolitan Mastiff!

The Neapolitan Mastiff is one massive breed, with its muscular, boxy built, and large head. Its wrinkled face makes it look quite stern, and the folds on its face continue down to its chin to form a distinct dewlap. The top of its head is flat, and it has a huge nose, a level or scissors type bite, and ears that may be left the way it is or cropped short. It has a wide tail that is usually docked by a third of its actual length. Despite its burly appearance, this breed can move with considerable speed.

Some Quick Facts:

Life Expectancy:
8-10 years

Energy Level:

Living Conditions:
Sensitive to heat. Fine for apartments.


Exercise Needs:
Two 15 minute walks.

Breed Group:


24 to 30 inches

150-200 pounds

Standard Hair Colors:
Blue or black, either pure or brindled, and rarely in chocolate color. Can have white spots in the toes and the torso.

National breed club:
United States Neapolitan Mastiff Club

Neapolitan Mastiff Skills

This breed takes its name from the Neapolitan region of the southern part of Italy. It was once used as a war dog and fighting dog in violent displays at the Roman arena. These days, its strength and ability as a guard dog is very much appreciated by many. It is still quite a popular breed in Italy, where it has been used to assist in army and police work, as well as guard people and their belongings in estates, business establishments, and farms.

Neapolitan Mastiff Personality

Having been raised as a protector of its owners for a good part of its history, the Neapolitan Mastiff exhibits great devotion and allegiance to its people. It is an alert breed that is always wary of strangers. It needs a lot of early socialization to minimize the threat brought about by its size, and one might expect its discordant behavior toward other dogs, particularly the overbearing sorts. Dogs of this breed often behave positively towards children, although its immense size may be a risk to small kids.

Exercise Needs

The full-grown Neapolitan Mastiff’s exercise needs are to be fulfilled with a good amount of exercise that is equivalent to a long walk taken twice every day. A young Neapolitan Mastiff, however, must not be left to have excessive play and running around. Exhaustion in the growing phase may have a delimiting effect to the development of its muscles and bones.

Living Conditions

Given a good amount of exercise, the Neapolitan Mastiff can do well in an apartment setting. Access to a small, enclosed outdoor area will suffice, as this breed tends to be somewhat inactive inside the home. Where it sleeps should be a soft, dry area. This dog must be given fresh water and kept in the shade in warm conditions. During the cold season, a well-built shelter with ample beddings is adequate for keeping it comfortable.

Grooming Requirements

Its short coat requires minimal care, as it sheds moderately. Falling, dead strands should be taken out using a rubber brush.

Health Issues

During the first one and a half years, some dogs of this breed may experience pains due to a condition called pano-ostiosis, which often just fades away eventually. Other possible concerns include cherry eye, hip and elbow dysplasia, and cardiomyopathy.

If you liked this dog… might also like the Airedale terrier, which is just as friendly with children but possesses less physical danger for its size.

Neapolitan Mastiff


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