Neapolitan Mastiff

History

The Mastiff breed originates from Tibet some 5,000 years ago, where they were bred for battle and guarding, traits well suited to these large breeds. The Neapolitan or Neo was discovered in Naples, Italy where they were bred with loose skin to protect them from attack, plus dedication and loyalty to their family.

Behaviour

Bred as a watch/guard dog, the Neo is absolutely devoted to their family and will protect them at all costs. They are loyal to the extreme and can become jealous if not properly socialised from a young age. They will want to follow you around at all times and suffer separation anxiety more so than other large breeds. They get on well with children, but due to their sheer size, accidents can happen and small children should be watched when playing with Neos. They are naturally wary of strangers, even when socialised and will be cautious when they enter your home. Neos appear to be very calm, lazy dogs, but they are always aware of what is going on, even if it appears otherwise. Ready at a moments notice if he feels you are under threat. They are rarely aggressive but their size and deep bark is usually enough to deter unwanted attention. Neos love to play with toys but can become possessive, so early training, should solve this problem. Like any large (huge) breed, they will need to attend obedience classes to get them used to other dogs and people. They are slow to learn, but will make you smile when they want to sit on your lap and be close to you. They need a firm, but fair leader and respond well to the positive reinforcement. Some can be stubborn and will require a slightly firmer hand. When young, it is important to not allow them to jump around too much or climb too many stairs, until they reach maturity and their bones settle. Neos need a daily walk, but not an excessive amount of exercise. They don't do well in warm weather, so best walked early in the day. They require more living space than other breeds as they are so big, but less exercise. They drool, spill food and water; not the best breed for the house proud as they tend to leave slobber wherever they go. It is probably best to give them their own sofa to sleep on, as they will try and sit on yours. They don't realise how big they are. When they sleep you will know it, as they snore like a freight train, and fart, however you will never get such a loyal dog by your side.

Their deep face and neck wrinkles make them prone to skin infections, so these need regular cleaning. The coat requires brushing a couple of times a week to remove dead hairs. Health wise, they can be prone to Canine Hip Dysplasia and Cardiomyopathy.

Temperament

Neapolitan Mastiffs have a loyal, loving and protective temperament. They will become devoted to their family and have strong protective instincts. This means they will usually be suspicious of strangers and may lack any enthusiasm in meeting other dogs.

Health Problems

Health problems that may affect Neapolitan Mastiffs include canine hip dysplasia (CHD), elbow dysplasia, heart problems, bloat and some skin conditions (regular cleaning of skin folds is important here).

Breed Details

  • Status: Common
  • Life Expectancy: 7 - 9 years
  • Weight: 50 - 70 kg
  • Height: 24 - 31"
  • Rare: No
  • Coat: Short
  • Grooming Requirements: Once a week
  • Town or Country: Country
  • Minimum Home Size: Large House
  • Minimum Garden Size: Small to Medium Garden
  • Breed Type: Working Dog
  • Size: Giant
  • Energy Level: Medium
  • Exercise Required: Up to 1 hour

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