Imposing and powerful, the Neapolitan Mastiff's distinctive droopy face will melt your heart on sight. These massive dogs have served as trusted guardians for centuries; many still work protecting their families from harm. Their favorite thing in the world is to be with the people they love.
Originally from Italy, this large-sized and medium-energy breed can grow to between 110-150 pounds and lives an average of 7-9 years. The breed is recognized by the American Kennel Club and classified as a member of the Working group.
AKC Recognized: Y
Breed's Original Pastime: Guardian
Breed Group: Working
Average Lifespan: 7-9 years
Size: Extra Large
Bark Factor: Moderate
Energy level A couch potato
Exercise needs A walk in the park
Playfullness and Games Maybe once a day or every other day
Attachment to People Never leave my side
Behavior with Other Dogs Shy. I may prefer to be the only dog.
Behavior with Other Small Pets I'll probably want to chase or will be shy
Behavior Toward Strangers I'm a single-family or person dog at heart
Trainability I love to please
Watchdog ability I know all that's going on, all the time
Protection ability I can be highly protective
Grooming needs Easy maintenance, brushes and baths
Cold tolerance I just love winter and snow
Heat tolerance Above 70 degrees? Give me winter, please
BEHAVIOR & TRAINING
WHAT IS A NEAPOLITAN MASTIFF'S PERSONALITY LIKE?
Dignified and aristocratic, the Neapolitan Mastiff is devoted and sweet with her chosen people and calmly wary toward strangers. They often love kids but because they're so large, you'll want to be sure to supervise children during play.
WHAT IS NEAPOLITAN MASTIFF BEHAVIOR LIKE?
This breed is fairly mellow, at least when it comes to energy level. Neapolitan Mastiffs are not a particularly active breed. They'll prefer a few shorter walks around the block every day to an hour-long morning jog. This breed responds well to a structured routine.
Threaten a family member, though, and you'll be surprised at how quickly a Neapolitan Mastiff can spring to attention. These are vigilant, territorial and often instinctively protective dogs.
HOW EASY IS IT TO TRAIN A NEAPOLITAN MASTIFF?
This is a dog who knows her own mind. Training a Neapolitan Mastiff requires patience, kindness, and consistency. It's important to socialize your pup early and often to discourage suspicion or trepidation around new people and experiences.
Neapolitan Mastiffs will usually not take guff from other dogs, and as such are probably not a great candidate for dog park play.
CARE & HEALTH
HOW MUCH DO NEAPOLITAN MASTIFFS SHED AND WHAT ARE THEIR GROOMING NEEDS?
A Neapolitan Mastiff's short coat doesn't require much care — though this is a doggy-smelling breed, so you might want to wash them fairly often to manage their natural musk. Be sure to keep those charming wrinkles dry and clean to prevent infection.
They also drool like the dickens, so you might want to carry dog-safe wet wipes or a towel with you when leaving the house with this pup.
WHAT HEALTH PROBLEMS DO NEAPOLITAN MASTIFFS HAVE?
This breed is fairly robust. Some are prone to elbow or hip dysplasia, heart disease, and eye ailments (including cherry eye). Deep-chested dogs like the Neapolitan Mastiff are particularly prone to bloat, a condition that requires immediate attention from your veterinarian. Familiarize yourself with the symptoms of gastric dilatation volvulus (GDV) and contact your vet at once if you suspect your dog might be suffering from this ailment.
Breed history has moved while this section is under construction. Please check out the first tab for fun facts about this breed's history. You can also read on to learn about this breed's ideal family situation.
ARE NEAPOLITAN MASTIFFS GOOD FOR PEOPLE WITH ALLERGIES?
The American Kennel Club doesn't list Neapolitan Mastiffs among its breeds recommended for allergy sufferers.
You can reduce your furry friend's impact on your allergies with frequent baths and brushings to reduce loose hairs and allergy-aggravating proteins in your pet's dander. Use a damp cloth to wipe off your dog after playing outside. Smaller dogs have less surface area, so they produce comparatively less dander than larger breeds — definitely something to keep in mind with a dog as massive as a Neapolitan Mastiff! Remember that no breed is 100% hypoallergenic, and any breed can aggravate allergies.
WHAT IS A NEAPOLITAN MASTIFF'S BEST DAY?
The Neapolitan Mastiff is a lazy Sunday kind of dog every day of the week. Take her for a saunter around your local pond and treat her to a doggie-ice cream dish on the way home.
SHOULD I ADOPT A NEAPOLITAN MASTIFF?
If you've never had a dog before, a Neapolitan Mastiff is probably not the dog to start with. The same goes if you have very small children — this breed loves children, but they're big enough to do serious damage unintentionally. They do quite well in cold weather but tend to be droopy (well, droopier) in the heat. Neapolitan Mastiffs require a serious investment of both time for training and funds for feeding, given this big girl's independent mindset and enormous frame. An experienced dog owner searching for a loving, devoted, and imposing guardian who won't need hours of walks every day would be a great match for this breed.
Have you decided that a Neapolitan Mastiff is the perfect dog for you? Why not be your new best friend's hero and adopt a rescue! Be sure to check out our article on what to expect when you're adopting a dog or cat.