Why Neapolitan Mastiffs are great
The massive Neapolitan Mastiff is a protective, watchful dog that bonds closely to their owners. They are affectionate, but only towards their family, and are surprisingly low maintenance.
- Loyal family pets
- Low maintenance when it comes to grooming
- Confident watchdog
- Require moderate exercise
Things to consider when looking at Neapolitan Mastiffs for Sale
As with all dog breeds, there are characteristics of the Neapolitan Mastiff that should be considered when deciding if this is the perfect breed for your lifestyle.
Some downsides to the Neapolitan Mastiff:
- Can be wary of strangers
- Not the best breed for a first-time owner
- Prone to health issues
History of Neapolitan Mastiffs
Mastiffs are thought to have been developed over 5,000 years ago in Tibet where they were used as guard dogs and in battle. The Neapolitan Mastiff was developed in Naples in Italy and the breeding was focussed on producing a large, loyal, loving dog with a smooth coat and loose skin that would prevent injury in an attack.
The Neapolitan Mastiff (also referred to as the Mastino or Neo) almost went extinct around World War II but after the breed was exhibited at a dog show in Naples in 1946 they were reintroduced to the public. A journalist had seen the breed at the show and had taken a great interest, playing an important role in building the Neo’s popularity back up. A couple of years later in 1948 a breed standard was written for them and by the early 1970s they had gained popularity in Europe and further afield.
The United States Neapolitan Mastiff Club formed in 1991 and in 2004 the breed was recognised by the American Kennel Club. These days the Neapolitan Mastiff is a loyal companion, they are mostly family pets but are also used in shows. Despite not being used as guard dogs anymore, they remain very protective.
The Neapolitan Mastiff is an impressive dog, characterised by their loose skin and the hanging wrinkles on their heads. Neapolitan Mastiffs are massive in size with broad heads, square muzzles and ears that hang down. Their nose matches their coat colour and their eyes look sleepy underneath the wrinkles on their face. When they move, the Neapolitan Mastiff is lumbering rather than elegant.
How big is the Neapolitan Mastiff?
A fully grown male Neapolitan Mastiff stands at between 66 – 78cm at the withers, females are slightly smaller at between 60 – 73cm at the withers.
How heavy is a Neapolitan Mastiff?
Neapolitan Mastiffs are very large dogs, an adult can weigh up to 70kg.
What Colour is the Neapolitan Mastiff?
The dense, short coat of a Neapolitan Mastiff most commonly comes in the following colours:
- Tawny (Blonde)
All coats can be solid with white patches or can be brindled.
Do Neapolitan Mastiffs make good guard dogs?
Yes, Neapolitan Mastiffs are excellent guard dogs. These large dogs are fearless and will naturally protect their family.
Do Neapolitan Mastiffs bark a lot?
No, they do not bark a lot. The deep, loud bark of a Neapolitan Mastiff is guaranteed to get your attention but they only bark when they feel it is necessary.
Are Neapolitan Mastiffs easy to train?
Training a Neapolitan Mastiff can be challenging and requires a lot of patience and consistency. The breed is not a good choice for a first-time owner as they are strong-willed, large in size and will test you. It is essential to carry out socialisation training with your Neapolitan Mastiff as early as possible to ensure they become well-rounded obedient dogs when fully-grown.
Are Neapolitan Mastiffs playful?
Neapolitan Mastiffs have a playful side to their characters and love to play games and create some mischief. Be warned, a playful Neapolitan Mastiff puppy is prone to running into things, knocking things over and causing all sorts of chaos so it’s best to play with them outside.
Are Neapolitan Mastiffs good with children?
Neapolitan Mastiffs are great around children and seem to really enjoy interacting with them but care should be taken around younger children, mainly because of the sheer size of a Neapolitan Mastiff.
Are Neapolitan Mastiffs good with other pets?
Generally, female Neapolitan Mastiffs are good with other dogs while males can be aggressive towards other males. When it comes to smaller animals (including cats) interactions should be avoided, the only exception being if the Neapolitan Mastiff has grown up with the other animal.
Can I leave a Neapolitan Mastiff Alone?
As with many dogs, the Neapolitan Mastiff does not like to be left alone. They are best suited to being in homes where someone is always at home with them to avoid separation anxiety and destructive behaviours.
Do Neapolitan Mastiffs like water?
Although they are not known for loving water, some Neapolitan Mastiffs do enjoy swimming when the weather is warm. If your dog does enjoy swimming, ensure you dry off their wrinkles and skin folds to prevent skin issues from occurring.
How long do Neapolitan Mastiffs live?
A Neapolitan Mastiff lives for 8 – 10 years.
How much exercise does a Neapolitan Mastiff need?
These large dogs require at least an hour of exercise each day, ideally a shorter walk in the morning and a long walk in the afternoon (don’t walk them during the heat of the day as Neapolitan Mastiffs are sensitive to the heat). Your Neapolitan Mastiff would also enjoy spending time in a secure garden.
What are Neapolitan Mastiffs Common health issues?
Unfortunately, Neapolitan Mastiffs are prone to several health issues including:
- Hip dysplasia
- Elbow dysplasia
- Eye problems including entropion, ectropion and cherry eye
- Fold dermatitis
How much space do I need for a Neapolitan Mastiff?
As Neapolitan Mastiffs are such large dogs they are not suited to living in apartments, they are best suited to living in homes with a large, enclosed garden.
What should I feed my Neapolitan Mastiff?
When you bring your Neapolitan Mastiff puppy home it is important to follow the breeder’s schedule. Any changes you make to your dog’s diet must be carried out gradually to avoid causing an upset stomach. Neapolitan Mastiffs have very good appetites and, as a rough guide, an adult of 60kg can be fed between 500 and 650g of high-quality dog food a day.
How much grooming do Neapolitan Mastiffs need?
The short coat of a Neapolitan Mastiff requires very little grooming. Weekly brushing is often enough to remove any loose hair and keep them looking good. One important part of caring for a Neapolitan Mastiff is checking their wrinkles to see if they need cleaning.
Do Neapolitan Mastiffs shed?
Yes, Neapolitan Mastiffs shed moderately throughout the year and tend to shed more in Spring and Autumn.
How much does it cost to keep a Neapolitan Mastiff?
As a rough guide in pricing:
Cost to buy: roughly £1300 for a well-bred Neapolitan Mastiff puppy
Other costs (Vet, Food etc): £150 per month
Specific Buying Guide
You can read our general buying guide here (/advice-on-buying-a-puppy/
), with the most important thing being going to view your Neapolitan Mastiff Puppy, seeing it with its mother, and checking the quality of the breeder.
More specifically, here is some Neapolitan Mastiff puppy buying advice:
- Neapolitan Mastiffs are very popular in the UK, you will likely come across a lot of online adverts so make sure you choose a puppy from a reputable breeder who can provide the relevant paperwork.
- Take care when choosing a puppy, your Neapolitan Mastiff should not have excessive wrinkles or too much loose skin. They should also not show any weakness in their hindquarters.
- Do not buy a puppy or pay a deposit without meeting the breeder in person and ensuring they are genuine as there are a large number of scammers online.
Other reading, Adopting Neapolitan Mastiff Puppies and Rescue Organisations
A big thank you to the following sources who helped to shape this article: