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A Brief History of the Neapolitan Mastiff

These great dogs dug their roots deep into the land of Italy, specifically within the vicinity of Naples, after their creation. They are descended from Roman war dogs, paired with the large British Mastiff. The Neo was treasured for his protective personality, one that would guard the family farm or estate for many years. However, despite their gentle temperament and outstanding guard abilities, the Neo almost went completely extinct around the time of World War II; this end to a beautiful dog was almost brought on by wars and industrialization.


Thankfully, Italy wasn’t ready to give up on the Neapolitan Mastiff. In 1946, at a show in Naples, these dogs were reintroduced to the public thanks to the well-known Italian journalist Piere Scanziana. He took a great interest in the breed and worked to help the Neo become more  commonly well known. By the early 1970’s, the Neo was all over Europe, and even in the United States. While the Neapolitan Mastiff was excellent for guarding estates and farms back in the ancient days, they are now most commonly used in shows and as house pets and family gaurdians. There is no doubt that if you have one of these massive dogs in your home, it will most likely be well protected from any intruder that may try to present himself uninvited.


the standard

Massive is a word which best describes the Neapolitan Mastiff. A large and powerful dog with a massive skull, wrinkled head, huge bone and stocky body. Skin is not adhering to the underlyning tissue, but abundant with slack connective tissue over all parts of the body, especially on the head where it forms wrinkles and folds, and at the neck where it forms the dewlap.

The typical Neapolitan Mastiff male weighs in at about 150lbs, and stands 29in at the withers. Females are somewhat smaller in size, typically at about 130lbs. Adult height is usually reached at about a year of age, though some individuals may grow an inch or so more after that. Adult weight is generally not reached until the dog is 3, to 3 1/2 years of age.

Like all giant breeds, the Neapolitan Mastiff is slow to mature, and his puppyhood is long.

A better description of this majestic beast cannot be found. 


Personality and Temperament

The Neapolitan Mastiff is a loyal gaurdian of his persons and property. They are vigilant, intelligent, noble and majestic beasts and it is not uncommon for the Neapolitan to be stubborn.

You, as the Neapolitan Mastiff owner must always be aware of the thoughts and behavior of your dog, and must combine this awareness with responsible, consistent, discipline.

Neapolitans will seek the companionship of his master more so than that of another dog. He will follow you from room to room and lie at your feet, or lap if you let him, waiting for your next move. 

Neapolitans, by nature, are dominant, alpha dogs and should be handled accordingly.

* It is important to remember that every member of the family, including the children, must outrank the Neapolitan in pack member status! 

We have been asked many times "How are they around kids?" and we can proudly say, that ours are extraordinary...


(Bailey's age in video, 5 years old and Clyde at 1 1/2 years old)

Bailey was almost 4 when she started training Clyde in basic obedience commands and she has successfully came a long way and accomplished a lot with him. With proper guidance and supervision, she is now able to order basic obedience commands. 

It is important that you teach your new puppy what is acceptable and unacceptable behavior, therefore, obedience training for the Neopolitan is a must, and consistency is key.

With the size of the Neapolitan, it is imperative that the owner be in charge at all times.


Feeding your puppy

Puppies should be fed a high-quality, brand-name puppy food.  Premium quality dry food provides a well balanced diet for dogs and may be mixed with water, broth or canned food.  Try to limit "left overs" because it can result in vitamin and mineral imbalances, bone and teeth problems and may cause very picky eating habits and/or obesity. Instead educate yourself on which human quality foods are healthy choices for your pet but only transition them to natural or raw diet if you are willing and able to do this long term. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times and be sure to wash food and water bowls frequently.

Feeding Recommendations:

* Puppies 8-12 weeks old need four meals a day

* Puppies 3-6 months old need three meals a day

* When your dog reaches his first birthday, one meal a day is usually enough

* For some dogs, including larger canines or those prone to bloat, it's better to feed two smaller meals a day




Dogs need exercise to burn calories, stimulate their minds and keep healthy.   Exercise also tends to help dogs avoid boredom, which can lead to destructive behaviors.  Supervised fun and games will satisfy many of your pets instinctual urges to  dig, herd, chew, retrieve, and chase.  Individual exercise needs vary based on breed, age, and level of health.

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