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Neapolitan Mastiff

The Neapolitan Mastiff breed profile is sponsored by visit PetWear to custom design your Mastiff's next designer dog collar, leash or more and then let PetWear hand make it and then ship for free!

The Neapolitan Mastiff numbers among the older Mastiff breeds. Artwork from the time of Alexander the Great shows powerful WarDogs assisting the armies of that era, assumption that these dogs descend from those is easy.  As these ancestors would have been dispersed over the ancient world by the various campaigns of these ancient leaders, individual regional variations emerged by the preferences of the natives.  The Neapolitan Mastiff is a true guardian, slow to aggression and about like stopping a freight train once they have.  They are not born with the innate knowledge and judgment of what is a danger versus just unfamiliar so a remarkably dedicated and conscientious home must spend many hours molding and shaping and guiding their puppy to be a manageable and confident adult.  Additionally, because of this breed's innate sense of protection and watchfulness, that home must also be unusually experienced in order to understand the critical aspects of guiding every aspect of their dog's development from cratetraining, obedience, and handling early on to develop a well mannered adult.  Having a dog that jumps on people is annoying.  Having a dog of over 150 pounds that greets people by jumping on them is a serious liability that can result in broken bones, sprains and worse.  Therefore, many issues that the average home would deal with after they appear must be prevented in order to live safely with a dog of the size and type of a Neo.

By Breed Name
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General Information
Group(s): WorkingGuardian Height: 24-31
Weight: 150 pounds or more as adult Longevity: under 10 years
Colors: gray, black, mahoghany and tawny or shades of these colors always solid colored Coat type: smooth
Recognized Registries: NCA, AKC, FCI and others
Overall Appearance: Ponderous, powerful with heavy boning and loose skin all over including dewlaps, wrinkles over body and legs.
Personaility - Behavior - Training
Energy Level: low to moderate
General Nature: Calm, contemplative and certainly not frivolous. Not quick to aggression but difficult to stop if they make that decision.
  with Children: variable
  with other pets: variable
  with dogs: variable
Socialization requirements: EXTREMELY high due to their sheer power and strength as adults.
Ideal home characteristics: HIGHLY experienced in training, socializing with in depth understanding of dominance (versus bullying which is what too many people think it is) and understanding of how training/guidance is always taking place not just a 20 minute a day effort.
Temperament Notes: Loyal, powerful, confident and intense the Neo Mastiff requires a conscientious family who will not inadvertantly train bad behaviors. Even charming puppy behaviors can become a serious hazard in a dog that will weigh over 150 pounds.
Training requirement: Extensive. Let without proper guidance this dog will potentially use their own judgement which in this day and age can lead to tragedy.
Trainer notes: The Neopolitan Mastiff is NOT a fighting breed.  Unfortunately, their sheer power, size and desire to please make them into a hazard when either intentionally or unintentionally guided to aggression.  Heavy socialization, so that they know how to deal with a variety of situations is absolutely critical as no one will convince them of their safety when they are fearful adults of over 150 pounds.  Basic manners training at a minimum is critical so that they can be calm and assured of proper behavior and guided when and wherever they might be.  Unfortunately, due to high likelihood of hip dysplasia and incredible stress on their joints and bones, more advanced activities like Search and Rescue, Agility, Flyball and Advanced Obedience are not advised.
Background Information
Year range of first recognition: 2004 AKC
Country of Origin: Ancient Rome
Original Function: Guardian
History: Presumably dating back to the days of Alexander the Great, the dog was dispersed via war campaigns all over Europe with its size and strength preserved through careful breeding.
Adoption Information
Deviations from Standard:
Health Notes: hip dysplasia, cherry eye, entropion, hypothyroidism, immune issues, heart problems, eye problems
Health Testing: CERF, OFA for hips and heart, Michigan State Thyroid Panel
Questions to ask Breeder:  - The Breeder Questions as listed here provided with explanations and answers you will want to be looking for!

  • How long have you had Neapolitan Mastiffs?
  • Why do you have Neapolitan Mastiffs (show, performance, etc.)?
  • What do you consider to be the most important single characteristic of a Neapolitan Mastiff?
  • What health issues have you seen in the breed?
  • What criteria do you set for your breeding stock?
  • Do you plan to keep a puppy from this litter?
  • How often do you have puppies?
  • Do you have a written contract and puppy guarantee?
  • At what age do you sent your pups to their homes?
  • How would you describe the ideal Neapolitan Mastiff?
  • How would you describe the ideal Neapolitan Mastiff home?
  • Are your puppies whelped in your home?
  • What advice would you offer someone in raising and training a Neapolitan Mastiff?
  • How do you assist or help Neapolitan Mastiffs in need of rescue?
  • Web Sites: Neapolitan Mastiff Rescue

    Other Resources
    Breed standard:  Standard of the Neapolitan Mastiff - UKC Standard of the Neapolitan Mastiff - FCI Standard for the Neapolitan Mastiff - TKC (UK) Standard for the Neapolitan Mastiff

    Breeder Ethics: Code of Ethics for the US Neapolitan Mastiff Club

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