Neapolitan Mastiff

Description Neapolitan Mastiff

Confident, calm, loyal
The Neapolitan Mastiff is one of the most impressive dog breeds. Its size and fur design are striking. He has a strong self-confidence and bravely defends his territory. With his calm disposition he is a cool fellow.FCI Group: Pinscher – Schnauzer – Molosser – Swiss Mountain Dogs

  • Size: Large
  • Weight: 50-70kg
  • Life expectancy: 8-10 years
  • Coat type: short hair
  • Colors: Black, Blue, Brown, Gray, Tawny, Mahogany, Brindle

Character Neapolitan Mastiff

The Neapolitan Mastiff is a recognized Italian breed of dog. He is classified by the FCI in Group 2, Pinscher and Schnauzer and other breeds. It belongs to Section 2, Molossoids and Great Dane Dogs.
This dog stands out because of its stocky build and develops strong muscles, especially on the back. With his large body weight, he is a heavy dog.

The body length exceeds his shoulder height. This makes his appearance even bulkier.
The height at the withers is 65 to 75 cm for males and 60 to 68 cm for females. The weight of a bitch is 50 to 60 kilograms. A male weighs 60 to 70 kilograms.

The typical Molosser head is striking. He has a powerful skull and a strong frontal bone. In contrast, the hanging ears are rather small. They are located on the side of the head and lying against it. His facial expression is relaxed and his overall impression is imposing.

But one of the most characteristic features is the skin. It is much too large in proportion to the body and borders on torture breeding. It is very loose and lies in wrinkles and folds. Especially the head is provided with it.
The Neapolitan Mastiff’s coat is short and rough.

There are different color variants: black, blue, brown, gray, tawny, mahogany, brindle. Light color nuances sometimes appear on the chest and paws. As a rule, the original Mastinos are monochromatic dark brown to black colors. Gray occurrences are based on a genetic defect and came later in the breed.
The character of the Neapolitan Mastiff can be described as balanced and calm.

He fits in well with the family. It’s a confident dog. If necessary, he courageously defends his territory and pack.
Good socialization and that he follows commands and rules is important. He must respect the hierarchy within the pack.

He has to accept the human as the leader of the pack one hundred percent. If that doesn’t work, he takes the lead.
Training a Neapolitan Mastiff dog is not easy. It succeeds on the basis of friendly and respectful cooperation. He needs consistency and clear announcements.

Visiting a dog school or dog trainer is recommended.
The self-confident and strong dog breed belongs in the experienced hands of dog owners. Otherwise, the dog may show an overly protective instinct, denial and aggressiveness.
If you want to get an adult dog, good planning is important. Talking to the previous owner or keeper is highly recommended.

You will learn interesting things about the history, socialization and possible problems.

Diet Neapolitan Mastiff

A dog like the Neapolitan Mastiff requires a certain amount and quality of food due to its build. Species-appropriate nutrition is a cost factor. You should consider this before purchasing. Pet food for large breed dogs is suitable. Proper nutrition starts with the puppy.

The nutrients must be adapted to the size, constitution and age.
Large breed puppies must not grow too quickly. It is important to protect the musculoskeletal system. In this way, later illnesses can be contained or avoided.
Of course, your friend will not get leftovers, sweets and grain products.

Bones and high-fat foods should also be avoided. High-quality feed is free from additives, colourings, allergens, flavor enhancers and fat makers. High-quality food consists of animal proteins, all important nutrients and vitamins. Avoid high-fat foods, additives, flavor enhancers and colorings.
A dried beef bridle, tripe or a beef ear brings variety to the dog’s everyday life.

In addition, the chewing muscles are strengthened and the dog feels its teeth. Of course, an accessible bowl with fresh water must always be available.
Gastric torsion should be prevented. It is very painful and can be life threatening for the dog. To do this, you give your four-legged friend several small rations throughout the day.

After eating, the dog should rest and digest.


The Neapolitan Mastiff is not a dog for fast running and sports. Jogging, cycling or competitive sports should be avoided. A walk several times a day in a natural environment. Since he likes to guard, a large garden would be desirable.
Contact with other conspecifics is inevitable for the well-being of every dog.

When socialized well, he is relaxed and easier to handle. The short fur of this four-legged friend does not require any extensive care. Dead hair and skin flakes are to be removed. Brushing once a week is sufficient.
Care of the folds requires special attention.

The severe wrinkling can cause painful infections and itching. The folds in particular should be checked regularly. If necessary, remove dirt with a clean, soft cloth.
Because of its massive build, the Mastino often suffers from bone diseases. Especially in old age, this heavy dog ​​often develops arthrosis or hip dysplasia.

If the eyelids hang far down, problems in the eye area are inevitable. The extremely strong folds on the head and body can lead to chronic inflammation.
There are also said to be members of the dog breed who like the water and enjoy swimming. Such companies can be beneficial to his heavy body. The fur must then be dried well, including in the folds.

In this way you avoid irritation of the skin later.


As the name suggests, the Neapolitan Mastiff comes from southern Italy. In the region around Naples, it was preferred to be kept by the peasants. His duties were to guard and protect the house and yard and the family.
After World War II, dog breeding gained momentum. In 1949 he was discovered and bred by the dog breeder Piero Scanziani.

Furthermore, the color “blue” was crossed into it. It is based on a genetic defect. However, these breeding behaviors are frowned upon today.
The Neapolitan Mastiff belongs to the Molossian group. These were already a respected dog breed in ancient times.

Rulers like Hammurabi used them as war dogs and they were used in military campaigns. It is also said to have been used in arena battles against humans and wild animals.
Today’s Neapolitan Mastiff is also known as the “armour of antiquity”. He is a direct descendant of the Roman Molosser dogs. This served the Roman legions as a fighting dog.

In 1956 the four-legged friend was officially recognized as a pedigree dog by the FCI. Although it is rare in Germany, there is a Molossian club. In some federal states it is on the list of dangerous dog breeds. For this reason, it is only possible to keep it with official approval.

Neapolitan Mastiff Accessories

The Neapolitan Mastiff requires basic dog equipment. When shopping, consider current and future height. For the adult dog, the harness, dog blanket and transport box must be bought later.
In order for the large dog to be able to eat and drink comfortably, it needs height-adjustable bowls. They also reduce the risk of stomach torsion.

6.3Expert Score
Breed characteristics

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