Neopolitan Mastiff


A large sized grey Neapolitan Mastiff
Neaopolitan Mastiff Quick Summary
Also Known As
Height (at withers)24-30in (61-76cm)
Weight150-200lbs (68-91kg)
Hair Colour(s)Varies
Lifespan8-10 years
Energy LevelMedium
Litter size6-12
Barking TendencyMedium
Exercise requirementsLow
Ease of trainingLow
Suitability for kidsMedium
Animal compatabilityMedium
Aggression levelsMedium
Distress if leftLow

The Neapolitan Mastiff is a massive, squarly built dog. The body is thick boned and very muscular, with a broad chest and straight front legs with feet that turn outwards slightly. The wide tail is normally docked by a third of its length. The large head has a huge nose and a well wrinkled face, with folds that continue down to the chin to form a distinctive dewlap. The coat is short and and sleek, and the colouring varies but includes grey, blue, mahogany and black.


Neapolitan Mastiffs are loyal and devoted dogs that are very protective by nature. They will defend their families and loved ones fiercely, and have the courage and determination, not to mention the size and brawn, to back that up. These dogs will be very affectionate towards their family but may often choose to bond more closely with one particular person, and they generally need plenty of attention and affection. Early socialisation is essential to promote stable temperaments, and to reduce the risk of timidity or aggression and to simply minimize the threat brought about by their huge size. They are very intelligent dogs and learn very quickly, but training can be difficult because they can be very independant. For this reason they are suited more to experienced owners rather than novices, as confidence and assertiveness are required. Neapolitan Mastiffs get along well with children they have been raised with, but as they are so large they are not suitable for smaller kids. With early socialisation they also get along with other pets, but can be aggressive with same sex dogs. As these are highly protective dogs they are wary around strangers, and combined with their imposing size, this makes them effective watch dogs and guard dogs.

History & Skills

Neapolitan Mastiffs originate from Italy, specifically the Neapolitan region of the southern part, which explains their name. They have an very long history and were once used as war dogs and fighting dogs in Roman arenas. After almost facing extinction following the Second World War, these days they make popular guard dogs and assist in army and police work in Italy.

Breed Specific Ailments

Neapolitan Mastiffs tend to live between 8-10 years, and some of the health concerns associated with this breed includes OCD, thyroid problems, bloat, entropion, heart disorders, hip and elbow dysplasia, cardiomyopathy, heatstroke, and sensitivity to chemicals and drugs. During their first year and a half they can experience pains due to a condition called pano-ostiosis, which often simply fades away.


Neapolitan Mastiffs are low shedders and so are suitable for those suffering from allergies. Their grooming requirements are low too, and the coat only requires occasional brushing to keep it looking sleek and in good condition. The do have a tendency to drool, however, which will require cleaning up.

Exercise & Environment

Neapolitan Mastiffs are suitable for small homes as long as they are exercised, despite their large size, and can live indoors or out as long as they have access to shelter and dry bedding. They are pretty inactive indoors and so will need a couple of short daily walks and access to a secure ouside area. Despite their burly appearance, this breed can move with considerable speed. They are sensitive to heat and must have access to shade and water. When young they shouldn't be left to exercise or play excessively, as exhaustion while still growing may harm the development of bones and muscles.


FCIFCI - Federation Cynologique Internationale
KCThe Kennel Club (UK)
AKCAKC - American Kennel Club

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