The Neapolitan Mastiff or Neapolitano Mastino is a powerful dog that since ancient times gained fame as an invincible, fearless warrior who fought in the arenas of Ancient Rome. He emerged victorious from fights with wild animals. Now such a dog still has tremendous strength, but it cannot be called uncontrollable and overly aggressive.
This dog has a strong character, nerves of steel. He is friendly and loyal to his family members. A more reliable and adequate watchdog cannot be found. A huge dog by its very appearance and grin of large fangs will scare away unwanted visitors.
The Neapolitan Mastiff is a dog that has been guarding its owner and his property since ancient times. The homeland of this breed is Italy. It is believed that the appearance of the first Neapolitan Mastiff dogs occurred in the south of the Apennine Peninsula.
The ancestors of modern Neapolitan Mastiff dogs took part in the enclosure of wild animals and fought in the arenas of Ancient Rome with their relatives or with predators. In most cases, the fight ended with a victory for the molossus.
It cannot be said that the Neapolitan Mastiff was kept only in the houses of the ancient Roman nobility, although it is worth noting that such pets were a fashionable addition to any rich man. Mastiffs devotedly served ordinary people (watchmen, peasants, shopkeepers). The task of the huge dogs was to protect property, scare off thieves and robbers.
Breeding a Neapolitan Mastiff was not targeted. If the rich people at least somehow watched the purebredity of their molossians, then ordinary people paid attention only to working qualities, to the height, weight of the guard dogs.
The Second World War practically wiped out the purebred Neapolitan Mastiff dogs. When fascism was defeated, it became possible to restore the numbers of these giants. This is exactly what Pietro Scanziani, a connoisseur of the Neapolitans, did in 1946.
He collected 8 representatives of the breed with characteristic features of the exterior. As a result of breeding work in 1949, an exemplary male was bred, which became an example for the approval of the Neapolitan Mastiff breed standard.
Modern Neapolitan Mastiff dogs, instead of battles in arenas, take part in exhibitions. Their strength and intelligence have found application in the police, guard service. Mastiffs have established themselves as bodyguards and guards.
Physical characteristics of the Neapolitan Mastiff
The Neapolitan Mastiff has a strong, stretched-out physique. The musculature is highly developed, it is immediately evident that this dog has extraordinary strength.
Distinctive features of the breed: skin folds on the head and on the muzzle, forming a certain pattern, cheeks with drooping wings.
The weight of adult Neapolitan Mastiff dogs is 50-70 kg., The height is about 60-74 cm.
A massive head rests on a short, wide neck. The ears are thick, drooping, and must be cropped. The color of the almond-shaped eyes corresponds to the color of the coat. The eyelids are heavy, drooping.
The muzzle is square in shape with many deep skin folds. Under it is a volumetric bifurcated suspension. The nose is large with open nostrils. Cheeks with drooping wings.
Important! Do not leave small children unattended near the Neapolitan Mastiff. The dog during the game, unwittingly, can harm the baby. All the fault is his power and sluggishness.
The jaws are powerful, the lips are fleshy, slightly drooping. Scissor or straight bite.
The broad back is of medium length, well-muscled and straight. The chest is strongly developed, in the lower part there is a sag of the skin. The loin is slightly convex. The belly is tucked up.
The tail is rather thick, in the shape of a saber. Docking is allowed.
Legs straight, muscular, not too long.
The Neapolitan Mastiff dog’s coat is short and smooth. Guard hair straight, hard to the touch. In females, the coat resembles a plush, while in males it is much tougher.
The following colors are allowed: black, brindle, gray, brown, lead, blue.
Small white markings on legs, chest and abdomen are allowed.
A defect is a completely spotted color.
Important! The owners must be prepared for the physiological characteristics of the Neapolitan Mastiff: drooling, wheezing and snorting.
Character and temperament of the Neapolitan Mastiff
For its owner and all household members, the Neapolitan Mastiff is a kind, loyal and caring animal. The owner is above all for him. The dog is ready to protect and protect him in any situation. This loyalty has a side effect – jealousy. A Neapolitan Mastiff, with a lack of attention to himself, begins to be jealous of the owner not only of other domestic animals, but also of family members.
The friendliness of this large dog extends to the guests of the house. But if the dog notices the evil intentions on the part of a stranger, do not expect mercy.
Aggression manifests itself in the Neapolitan Mastiff only justifiably. He spends most of his time observing others. Because of this, he was nicknamed “the philosopher.”
The Neapolitan Mastiff gets along well with children. Just leave a huge dog alone with the kids. It can inadvertently harm the baby due to its large size. In general, such a dog is not recommended in families where children are less than 10 years old.
On average the Neapolitan Mastiff can live 9-10 years.
Mastiffs often have the following health problems:
- Demodecosis – affects the skin and internal organs, the pathogens are ticks.
- Joint dysplasia – accompanied by severe pain, lameness and immobility.
- Pyoderma – purulent skin lesions.
- Cardiomyopathy is a disease of the heart muscle and is more common in males.
- Hypothyroidism is a dysfunction of the thyroid gland.
- Entropy is an incorrect position of the eyelid, it is eliminated by surgery.
- Progressive retinal atrophy – If untreated, it can lead to loss of vision.
- Difficult puppy birth – often difficulties arise during childbirth, as a result, you have to resort to cesarean section.
Most diseases are caused by improper care and inattention of the owner to his dog. Usually health problems can be noticed by the condition of the animal. A sick dog becomes lethargic, drowsy, his activity and appetite sharply decrease.
You can avoid many diseases if you vaccinate on time, treat the dog from parasites and show it to a veterinarian for preventive examinations.
Keeping a Neapolitan Mastiff is complex. You need to be a true admirer of this breed in order to endure the clumsiness of such a pet and its eternal drooling. But on the other hand, if you follow all the rules for caring for a Neapolitan Mastiff, there will be no special problems. The main thing is to devote enough time to the dog every day.
You can keep the Neapolitan Mastiff in the warm season in an aviary, in the yard. With the onset of cold weather, the short-haired dog needs warmth. Given the low level of activity, the Neapolitan dog can feel comfortable in the apartment.
Cramped rooms will not suit him, it will be uncomfortable for both owners and a large pet. A large apartment or a spacious private house is suitable for such a dog.
Important! The Neapolitan Mastiff dogs are very fond of drinking. A bowl of fresh water should always be freely available.
The Neapolitan Mastiff dog is often called clumsy, untidy and sloppy. Such definitions correspond to the truth, but the dog behaves inappropriately not at all because of its harmfulness. It’s all about the structural features of the animal’s body.
This dog is not always able to take into account its size, so it can easily touch a vase or other piece of furniture while moving around the room. During feeding, he scatters food and splashes water. This is due to the structure of the muzzle. When deciding where your food and water bowls will stand, choose a place with an easy-to-clean surface.
Another problem of the breed is profuse salivation. You can fight this only with a towel, which should always be at hand with the owner.
In addition to the fact that the Neapolitan Mastiff does not tolerate low temperatures, it can also suffer from extreme heat. In no case should it be left for a long time in a stuffy room, under the scorching sun. A Neapolitan Mastiff can even die from overheating.
Great physical exertion is not required for the mastiff. To maintain health, it will be enough to walk with the pet at a leisurely pace every day.
An important point in keeping the Neapolitan Mastiff is the grooming procedures. They must be carried out according to all the rules and on time:
We comb out the wool 2 times a week, removing dead hairs and epidermis with a brush. During molting, the procedure is carried out every other day.
Skin folds must be cleaned daily of dirt and food debris. Failure to do so can result in skin irritation and infectious diseases.
Bathing for up to a year is not recommended. Adult dogs need bathing no more than 4 times a year. Wash my paws after every walk, checking at the same time for splinters, cuts or other damage.
Neapolitan Mastiff dogs often have dirt and secretions in the corners of the eyes. This leads to inflammation, conjunctivitis. It is important to regularly wipe your eyes with a damp piece of natural cloth.
We clean the ears 1-2 times in 7-8 days using ear sticks and special solutions.
We cut the claws about once a month.
We brush our teeth weekly with a special toothpaste and brush. This procedure is extremely important, as the Neapolitan Mastiff is prone to dental diseases.
We massage the dog 2-3 times a week with a silicone brush. This procedure improves blood circulation and prevents skin diseases.
It is recommended to feed the Neapolitan Mastiff with premium ready-made dry food intended for large breeds.
If you decide to choose a natural way of feeding, make up the diet with your veterinarian. It is very difficult to choose a set of products on your own so that the dog receives all the necessary vitamins and minerals.
It is important not to overfeed the Neapolitan Mastiff, as it is prone to obesity. It is also important to provide him with plenty of clean, cool drinking water every day.
An adult Neapolitan Mastin will need approximately one hour of daily exercise, but puppies of this breed should not be unduly stressed during the growth phase to avoid sprains.
Training and education
Such a large guard dog needs early socialization. The Neapolitan Mastiff will be difficult to keep in public places. Therefore, as early as possible it is necessary to teach him to obey, to the rules of conduct in the house and on the street.
It is also important to take training courses with the mastiff. It is not recommended to train a dog prone to dominance on its own. In this case, the help of an experienced dog handler and classes at a special training ground are required.
Thanks to a sharp mind and excellent memory, the Neapolitan Mastiff quickly learns commands. The trouble is that he is in no hurry to fulfill them. Lessons don’t have to be boring for training to be successful. Avoid monotonous repetitions of the exercise.
Use compliments and sliced treats as rewards. Rough treatment, physical punishment and shouting are unacceptable.
Important! The Neapolitan Mastiff dogs have a good memory, so you should not use rudeness and physical strength in training. A poorly trained dog can turn into a beast that cannot be controlled.
Neapolitan Mastiff Fun Facts
- The Neapolitan Mastiff is one of the oldest breeds in the world.
- Alexander the Great’s favorite dog breed was the Neapolitan Mastiff.
- The Neapolitan Mastiff is a clumsy dog with navigation problems.
- The heaviest dog on earth is the Neapolitan Mastiff with a weight of 128 kg.
Neapolitan Mastiff Breed Highlights
The Neapolitan Mastiff is a serious breed that does not suit everyone. Before buying a puppy of the specified species, check out its main pros and cons.
- The Neapolitan Mastiff is renowned for being a loyal and loving dog.
- It is a wonderful companion.
- It is good with older children.
- It is not too demanding in terms of exercise.
- It is a very impressive guard dog.
- The Neapolitan Mastiff is calm and relaxed around the house.
- It has a low coat.
- This dog breed is not demanding in terms of grooming.
- The Neapolitan Mastiff is not the best choice for new owners.
- It is suspicious of strangers and strangers.
- It is a very big dog and needs enough space to express himself.
- It is very sensitive to heat, so be careful during the hottest summer months.
- The Neapolitan Mastiff has a shorter life.
- It is subject to several health problems so veterinary bills can be high.
- This dog drools a lot and yawns when eating and drinking.
- Feeding a Neapolitan mastiff dog is expensive because they are very big dogs.