Neapolitan Mastiff dog breeds are calm and serious large sized dog breeds. Their intimidating appearance and natural protective instincts help them serve as excellent guard dogs. They are fearsome only in appearance not in temperament. In fact, they are highly affectionate and trustworthy dogs.
This ancient breed of dogs is believed to have originated in Italy. Apart from guarding their owners and property, in earlier times, Neapolitan Mastiff dogs were also used for fighting against lions. Some other popular names for these dogs are Italian Mastiff, Neapolitan Bulldog, Mastino Napoletano, Mastino and Neo Mastiff.
Neapolitan Mastiff breed dogs are fairly strong, stocky and muscular in build. They have massive wrinkles and skin folds around the face and on the back accompanied by a large dewlap around the throat. The flat and wide head tends to be larger than the rest of the body.
The eyes are set deep and covered with dropping upper eye lids. The color of the eyes varies from amber to dark brown, depending on the color of the hair coat.
Color: They come in a variety of colors such as blue, black, fawn, mahogany etc. At times, the chest and toes may bear brindle or white markings.
Height: Neapolitan Mastiff dogs are generally 26 to 30 inches in height. Female breeds are a bit shorter, that is, 24 to 28 inches in height.
Weight: Depending upon the height of the dog, the ideal weight of these dogs ranges between 140 to 170 pounds. Some large Neapolitan Mastiffs have also been known to weigh 200 pounds.
Neapolitan Mastiff Dog Breed Health Problems
Some common health problems in Neapolitan Mastiff breed dogs are Bloating, Hypothyroidism, Cardiomyopathy, Hip Dysplasia, Elbow Dysplasia, Skin Fold Dermatitis and other similar health issues. They are also prone to eye problems, particularly Cherry Eye, Progressive Retinal Atrophy, Ectropion and Entropion.
Neapolitan Mastiff puppies are susceptible to Pano Ostiosis that usually goes away on its own. Being a short nosed breed these dogs require special care and attention in warmer conditions.
Life Expectancy: This is a comparatively short lived breed with average life span of about 8 to 10 years.
Litter Size: The average litter size is about 6 to 12 puppies.
Neapolitan Mastiff Dog Grooming Requirements
The short, thick and straight hair coat of a Neapolitan Mastiff requires minimal grooming. It is coarse in texture. Brush and comb the hair coat at least on a weekly basis with the help of a bristle brush to remove loose hair and keep the hair coat in perfect condition.
However, the coat usually requires more attention during the shedding seasons when these dogs shed moderately. In addition, check and clean the skin folds and wrinkles regularly to avoid skin problems.
Make sure you dry your dog’s wrinkles after bathing him. Besides, clip your dog’s nails and clean his eyes and ears from time to time.
Neapolitan Mastiff Dog Temperament
This dog breed is characterized by a gentle, quiet, loving, devoted, loyal and watchful temperament. These dogs are territorial and protective but not aggressive in temperament. These dogs are usually good with children.
However, in case of smaller children, they should not be left unsupervised as they can accidentally hurt small children due to their massive size. Unless properly socialized, these dogs usually do not get along well with other pets, especially other male dogs.
Though the dog can be difficult to train, still train and socialize your Neapolitan Mastiff right from puppyhood to avoid destructive and bossy behavior of the dog and promote stability. These dogs are generally recommended for assertive and experienced, fully dedicated dog owners.
Pros and Cons
Neapolitan Mastiff breed dogs have a tendency to drool excessively, especially during the summer months. Moreover, male tend to drool more as compared to the females. These dogs do well in apartment situation, particularly when given ample amount of space and sufficient physical exercise.
They are relatively inactive indoors and hence need to be taken on regular long walks, twice per day on a daily basis. They enjoying playing outdoors and can tolerate cooler temperatures quite well. Hence, it would be preferable to provide them access to small or average size yard for outdoor activities.