Despite their frightening size, the Neapolitan mastiff dog breed is a friendly giant who makes an ideal family pet. These dogs are devoted to their people but are distrustful of outsiders. They will undoubtedly protect you from intruders, as their bold and protective behavior is guaranteed to frighten any unwanted guests. Neapolitan mastiffs are often low-maintenance, easy-going pets. These massive dogs, like any pets, have oddities.
Tales and depictions of the Neapolitan mastiff can be traced back to 700 B.C. In fact, you may thank Alexander the Great for their awe-inspiring reverence and beauty. He combined his famed enormous war dogs with short-haired Indian canines in the fourth century B.C. to create the molossus, which he used in combat.
The Romans took notice and later adopted the molossus breed for their own usage in war and hunting, eventually crossing them with other enormous breeds to create the mastino, an even larger and more terrifying canine. Farmers in southern Italy intentionally bred the mastino to create a huge breed with loose, drooping skin and a silky coat.
They also intended to create a dog that was more family-friendly than the mastino while still being an excellent security dog and protector through selective breeding. This breed was dubbed the Neapolitan mastiff from its birthplace of Naples. The dog quickly became a national treasure in Italy, and six of them were said to have competed in the first dog exhibition in Naples in 1946.
Piero Scanziani, an Italian painter, created the breed standard in 1948, and the Italian Kennel Club formally recognized the breed the following year. In the 1970s, the breed spread throughout Europe and quickly found its way to America. In the 1990s, the United States Neapolitan Mastiff Club became the breed’s primary registry, and the American Kennel Club officially recognized the Neapolitan mastiff into the Working Group in 2004.
The silky and silky fur covers the Neapolitan Mastiff’s face, which has loose and deeply wrinkled skin. The rest of his huge bulk is covered by a short coat less than an inch long. Tawny, tan brindle, mahogany, grey, or, most commonly, black coats are available. White markings on the head are a disqualification in the dog show ring, but have no influence on their ability to be a good companion.
The important aspect of grooming a Neo is cleaning the folds on a regular basis. If the folds are not thoroughly cleansed and dried, the dogs might develop skin illnesses known as fold dermatitis. A weekly brushing is all that is required to keep the Neo’s coat in good condition. Baths are only required seasonally or when the dog grows smelly.
It should be noted that Neapolitan Mastiffs drool in large amounts. Slime will be all over your floors, walls, furniture, and even you! It’s important to keep a washcloth on hand to reduce the quantity of housecleaning you’ll need to undertake. When you detect drool dripping from the dog’s jowls, simply wipe it away with a cloth.
The average male Neo weighs between 150 and 200 pounds and is between 26 and 31 inches tall. Females are shorter and weigh between 120 and 175 pounds, standing between 24 and 29 inches tall.
- Weight: 60 to 100 kg
- Coat length: Short
- Amount of shedding: Medium
- Color: Black, blue, mahogany, and tawny
- Pattern: Solid, and brindle
The temperament of the Neapolitan Mastiff should be stable and even. Although he is an exceptional security dog, he is not an attack dog in any manner. Even when the Neo looks to be relaxing or snoozing, he is still awake and aware of his surroundings and his family.
This breed is wary of strangers but will tolerate them if they demonstrate that they have no intention of harming his family. Because the Neapolitan Mastiff is so large and has his own mind, he can take over the house and family in an instant. Training will help the Neo understand his place in the family and make him a great companion.
- Lifespan: 7 to 9 years
- Active: Low
- Intelligence: Medium
- Vocalize: Low
Responsible breeders have strived to maintain the highest quality breed standards as set by kennel clubs such as AKC. Dogs bred according to these standards tend to inherit genetic diseases. Among the diseases that need to be considered include:
- Hip dysplasia: An abnormality in the hip socket, which can cause pain and arthritis
- Elbow dysplasia: An ocular condition that causes the eyelids to roll inward.
- Gastric dilation-volvulus: Bloat
- Cardiomyopathy: A genetic disease of predominantly large and giant breed dogs
- Fold dermatitis
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