Neapolitan Mastiff

Group 6: Utility
Male: 65 – 75 cm
Female: 60 – 68 cm
Male: 60 – 70 kg
Female: 50 – 60 kg

Energy Level:  Low to moderate
Original Function: Guarding
Lifespan: 8 – 10 yrs

Recommended for: Firm handlers and families (an adults’ dog that is good with children, not a “child’s” dog.)

Neapolitan Mastiff

About This Breed

The Neapolitan Mastiff was used by the Roman armies in Battle, their colour made them ideal guard dogs at night as it acted as a camouflage and made it easy for them to attack without being seen first.

After the World War II in Italy they were shown at dog shows and since have become better known around the world.

This is an extremely affectionate and loyal breed and one which craves human companionship. They are generally very good with children and other household pets provided they have been socialised with them early on in life. They can become dominant with other dogs so early socialisation is important. They become very devoted to their families. In the right environment these dogs are gentle and make loving pets.

General Characteristics

Appearance: Extra large heavy boned body. Broad head with square muzzle & Loose lips. Eyes deep set & typically following the colour of the coat. Ears hang to the side of the head. Skin is loose & wrinkled. The breed’s large head, intelligent expression and abundant loose skin give them a very distinctive profile.

Temperament: Calm, contemplative and certainly not frivolous. Not quick to aggression but difficult to stop if they make that decision.

Characteristics: Steady and loyal in character, not aggressive nor liable to bite without reason, a defender of property and its inhabitants, he is always vigilant, intelligent, noble and majestic.

Colour: Preferred colours are grey, leaden grey and black, but also brown [mahogany], fawn [tawny] and deep fawn [deer red], sometimes with white patches on the chest and on the tips of the toes. All these colours may be brindled. Hazel [light brown], dove-grey and Isabella [light fawn] are tolerated.

Coat: Short, stiff, hard and dense, of the same length all over; uniformly smooth, fine and measures 1.5 cm [just over & 1/2; ins] maximum. Must not show any trace of fringing.

Grooming: As with all short haired breeds a good brushing during moulting is necessary to remove dead and loose hairs. However considerable attention should be paid on hygiene. They are sloppy eaters and excessive droolers and owners must wipe their mouths after every meal. The breeds loose skin also needs looked after carefully to prevent irritations. Their ears also need inspected regularly and kept clean and dry.

Exercise: for the first 12 months keep exercise to as little as possible as their bones are growing and developing, but they do need to be taken out to socialized, after this regular walks are good, they tend to be on the lazy side so make the exercise interesting for them.

Health: This breed is susceptible to many “large breed” ailments, including hip and elbow dysplasia (and other joint problems — due to their extreme and rapid growth). Often developing “cherry eye”, which can be either removed or treated surgically.

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