The Neapolitan Mastiff or Mastino Napoletano is so-called after the Italian city of Naples since antiquity. Its origin dates back to 700 BC. The Roman Empire used them as war dogs, gladiators as well as guardians. The breed has been nicknamed Mastino or Neo. This pedigree is closely related to Cane Corso. Neo has existed for centuries all over Europe. However, after World War II the breed vanished. It was revived by Italian painter Piero Scanziani.

The massive muscular fearsome body with intimidating looks and deep bark scare the adversaries. Its frame can knock down intruders. Contrary to its appearance it can spring into action with swiftness. The coat of the animal is short so they are not suited for extreme weather.

Neapolitan Mastiff Looking Tired

Distinctive Features of Neapolitan Mastiff

The males are 26-31 inches tall and the females 24-29 inches tall. Male weighs 150 pounds and females 110 pounds heavy. Some of the dogs are smaller or larger than average. The life expectancy is 7-9 years. The litter size is 6-9 puppies.

The color of the Neo coat can be Gray, Mahogany, Black, Tawny, Tan, fawn, Brindle with dark and tan stripes on toes and chest tolerated.

The body skin is thick and plentiful over its heavy-boned structure. The smooth, short one-inch-thick coat is evenly distributed all over the body. The head is short but the jaws are powerful with large teeth. The expression on the face is formidable.

The Neo face consists of heavy, velvety wrinkles as well as folds. These continue from eyelids to the dewlap; meaning loose, pendulous skin beneath the throat as well as neck. There is a fold from below the lower lids to the external outline of the lips. The skin is oily and at times emits a smell. The dog walks with rolling, lumbering amble.

As the Neo borders maturity, its huge size and lax skin accompanied by facial wrinkles arouse silent apprehensions. In most cases, breeding happens through artificial insemination and cesarean delivery.

How to Take Care of Pet Neapolitan Mastiff Dog?

Neapolitan mastiffs are very large dogs, and there are strict requirements for those who wish to own one of these beautiful creatures. Once you’ve met all the requirements, you will get to enjoy the company of your new loving family member for many years to come. 

What to Feed Pet Neapolitan Mastiff Dog?

The Neo diet should be high-quality dog food homemade or commercially prepared. The quantity should be based on age like a puppy, adult, or senior. When the dog is young serve food that is high in fat and low in protein. For an adult, diet is based on the large breed with medium energy level. Natural whole ingredients are good for the digestive system.

Neapolitan Mastiff Resting on the Floor

The diet of the dog will be influenced by the following factors:

  • Growth dimensions
  • Age
  • Body structure
  • Metabolism
  • Activity undertaken
  • Weather conditions

Neapolitan Mastiff is likely to put on weight so it's better to measure the food you serve. 4-6 high-quality food served twice daily is sufficient. Avoid leaving food in the bowl all the time. The waist of the dog should be visible. You should be able to feel the ribs and not see them. If all this is not apparent serve less food and more exercise.

Dog gulp air as they eat. It is commonly seen that commercial diets produce more flatulence. Serve Neo with a homemade diet of real meat accompanied with vegetables, the gassiness problem will be curtailed.

How to Setup the Living Area for the Pet Neapolitan Mastiff?

The dog should be given a big spacious crate to rest and relax. The adult dog prefers to live in the home or yard. Neos or Neapolitan Mastiffs are unsuitable for apartment or condo variation being they have a room for themselves. In a cramped space, they are likely to displace the furniture and knock objects down in their attempt to make themselves comfortable.

Homes with fenced yards are best suited for this guard dog. The yard fence should be 5-6 feet high. It is so because it is a territorial breed and this way will learn about its boundaries. Care should be taken they do not wander away. At the same time, they adore being with the family. So they should not be left alone for long durations in the backyard. 

Knowing the Health Issues of Pet Neapolitan Mastiff Dog

The best way to purchase a Neapolitan Mastiff puppy is through the agency that gives health clearance guarantees and assurance on possible genetic diseases. Some of the diseases occurring in the Neapolitan Mastiff are as follows:

  • Dysplasia of the hip
  • Dysplasia of the elbow
  • Cherry-eye
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Cleft palate
  • Demodicosis
  • Dermatitis of the folds
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Gastric torsion or bloat
  • Cancer like osteosarcoma

The Mastiff is an average shedder and needs weekly brushing. Dedicated scrutiny is required for maintaining the hygiene of skin wrinkles and folds. Wipe clean the wrinkles with a damp cloth followed by drying them up to keep skin fold infection away.

Inspect ears once a week for dirt, redness, or unpleasant smell and possible infection. Wipe the dirty ears with a damp cotton ball. Ensure teeth are cleaned twice or thrice a week. Nails to be trimmed twice a month. Nails can scratch the owner, family, and itself. Bath the dog when needed.

What it's Like to Keep Neapolitan Mastiff Dog?

Neapolitan Mastiff is an individualistic thinker but reacts well to routine. Do not wait till the puppy is six months old for training. As the dog grows older it becomes headstrong. Enroll for training between 10-12 weeks.

Video Credits: Mastinos Del Manicomio

Consistent training with leadership, happy praise, love, and food rewards go a long way in training. House training should include toilet training and exposure to the outside world. Crate training will prevent the chewing habit of the puppy in and around the house. The top-heavy Neo is not a swimmer. It has a problem keeping the head above water. Once the Neo is trained you will discover that the breed is extraordinary, caring, faithful companions prepared to put their life at risk for the owner.

At the same time socialize them from the beginning so they adapt to pets animals and people around. This way the dog will be accustomed to new sights, sounds, and experiences. The dog will develop well. Prevent rough play like wrestling with the dog. This way it will perceive that rough play is an approved way of behavior and can be dangerous once adult. The intimidating look of the dog gets him in a legal tussle with friends and neighbors even if it does not do anything incorrectly.

Neapolitan Mastiff breed can easily become obese. Take the dog out for exercise for weight management and disease reduction. Lack of exercise also makes them destructive. Too much exercise may harm their bones and joints, especially during formative age. Neo is sensitive to heat and moisture. Plan the exercise during cool mornings and evenings.

Mastiffs take out sounds like snort and grunt. When asleep they snore loudly. Its sounds can be irritant to many. The Neo salivates after eating drinking and when nervous. When these creatures shake their heads saliva falls on clothes and furnishings. Another annoying habit is passing gas. Keep room freshener handy.

As puppies, this breed is clumsy and experience a problem in maneuvering more than a few stairs. Puppies are boisterous, it becomes necessary to curtail their rough behavior for good orthopedic development. Even in adult dog bones are big, joints can be damaged easily.

Frequently Asked Questions About Neapolitan Mastiff Dog

This section will answer the most frequently asked questions about Neapolitan Mastiff. Do you have questions? We have answers!

Do Neapolitan Mastiffs Make Good Pets?

Neo is not the best selection by first-time dog owners or apartment dwellers. The owner should be confident in tackling the dog and look after its needs. The dog gives threatening stares to strangers but is not a fighting dog. They love to be with the family. However, if they have to defend themselves they do it with ferocity.
Older children use the dog as a backrest while relaxing. For younger children, they are big and clumsy. They may accidentally knock them or step over them. So small children should be with the dog under the supervision of parents. Children should not run and scream in the presence of Neo. The noise and activity may agitate the dog.

Neapolitan mastiffs do not like animals unknown to them. If raised with other dogs and cats they adjust.

These loyal companions will safeguard the family with all its might and love at their disposal. This loving dog is unaware of its size and will blissfully cuddle with the owner and family members. The dog stays alert and aware even though visually it looks relaxed. If the owner welcomes someone the dog will accept the entrant but will stay aloof. The displeasing habits of Neo are; Drooling, Slobbering, Grunting, Wheezing, Snorting, flatulence

How Big does a Neapolitan Mastiff get? What is the Biggest Mastiff Breed?

The 20-pound puppy grows up much massive, powerful and muscular. The length of the body is almost 15% bigger than the weight. Neo is a giant among dogs. The biggest dog breed is the English Mastiff even called the old English Mastiff. The weight may vary from 110-343 pounds. 

Are Neapolitan Mastiffs Very Aggressive?

Neapolitan mastiffs are not aggressive. They are just like any other dog and will act hostile if they feel threatened.

The Neapolitan Mastiff breed is one of the most misunderstood breeds. They are not aggressive but they are very territorial. When a stranger comes onto their property, they will be defensive and act out aggressively. If when the dog is in a good mood, it will be playful and friendly to other dogs and humans.

Which Mastiff is the Strongest?

The Bullmastiff dog is one of the most popular and strongest mastiffs. This breed has a very powerful bite with a jaw that can exert up to 600 pounds per square inch. With this jaw strength, the Bullmastiff is able to hold down large animals like bulls. 
The Bullmastiff is also a great family dog. They are very protective and more than just a guard dog, they are athletic and adventurous. The Bullmastiff enjoys meeting new people and other dogs, but without proper socialization, they may become aggressive.