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Neapolitan Mastiff
Neapolitan Mastiff

Country of Origin: Italy

Group: Pinscher and Schnauzer - Molossoid Breeds - Swiss Mountain and Cattle Dogs

Section: Molossoid breeds

Original Function: guardian

Todays Function: guardian, companion

Dimension Male: 65-75 cm

Dimension Female: 60-70 cm

Weight Male: Up to 74 kg

Weight Female: Up to 74 kg

Litter Size: 6-12 puppies, average 7

Life span: 8-10 years (larger individuals tend to live toward the shorter end of the range)

Other Names: Mastino Napoletano

Colors: Gray, blue, black, mahogany and tawny (any lighter and darker shades of these colors are allowed.

Living: This is a dog that does well indoor if the home is dog proofed and saliva proofed. neos can live out



The Neapolitan Mastiff is a serious, powerful, looking dog. It is muscular with a rather rectangular body, massive head, and wrinkled face. The facial wrinkles continue under the chin and down the neck to form a prominent dewlap. The skull is broad and flat on top, and the nose is large. The teeth meet in a scissors or level bite. A tradition was established when the dogs were used in combat to crop the ears short and dock the very thick tail by one third. Many owners opt out of docking and cropping, preferring the natural look, as it is painful for the dog. The short, harsh coat is dense and smooth. The most common coat color is blue, though black is the next most common color. Chocolate dogs are rare. The Neo can be either solid or brindle. The dark colors and brindles help the Neo blend into the night shadows as he waits for the unsuspecting prowler. A little white is permitted on the chest and toes. No white should be on the face. Puppies begin life with blue eyes, which later darken. Adult Neo eyes vary with the color of their coat. Dewclaws should be removed. The Neapolitan Mastiff has a loose, rolling, cat-like gait.


The Neapolitan Mastiff was bred for centuries to guard its family. As such, it is incredibly loyal and devoted to its family, watchful and suspicious of strangers, and tolerant of acquaintances. It is a stay-at-home-type dog. Although it is loving toward children, its sheer size can make accidents possible. It may not get along well with other dogs, especially domineering-type dogs. Because of its size, it should be carefully socialized at an early age.


Neos don"t need a lot of exercise, but they do need a lot of living space. This is a giant breed that should not be expected to squeeze into tight quarters or maneuver around priceless keepsakes. They enjoy the outdoors but do not tolerate warm weather well. As with any giant breed, food, boarding and even veterinary bills can be higher. They drool and can leave a trail of food and water leading from their bowls. This is not a breed for obsessive housekeepers!


These giant, short-haired dogs are easy to groom. Remove loose, dead hair with a rubber brush. This breed is an average shedder.


Major concerns: CHD, cardiomyopathy, demodicosis

Minor concerns: cherry eye, elbow dysplasia

Occasionally seen: none

Suggested tests: hip, elbow, cardiac, eye

Note: breeding often requires artificial insemination.