Neapolitan Mastiff

The Neapolitan Mastiff, also called a Mastino/Mastini, originated in Italy and has always been used as a guard and a defender of family and property for centuries. The Neapolitan Mastiff is an ancient dog breed that grows to be a massive size.

Neopolitan Mastiff image

Aside from being very large animals, the Neapolitan Mastiff is covered in loose skin and wrinkles with a coat that can be multiple colors such as black, blue, mahogany and tawny.

Neapolitan Mastiffs are incredibly protective of their home and family. Loving, affectionate and loyal means the Neapolitan Mastiff will protect their family at all cost; a fearless pet.


The Neapolitan Mastiff is a Molosser type of dog and can be traced back for thousands of years. The Neapolitan Mastiff has been trained at one point to bait bulls, bears and jaguars.

The Neapolitan Mastiff was very popular in Europe but, sadly, the breed was almost lost after World War II. After the war, Italian painter Piero Scanziani created a kennel to take the Neapolitan Mastiff-type dog that was running around in southern Italy and to make them into a formal breed. The English Mastiff was used to breed the now official Neapolitan Mastiff.

The Neapolitan Mastiff Club of America was formed in 1973; and in the 1990s, the American Neapolitan Mastiff Association and the United States Neapolitan Mastiff Club were formed. Finally in 2004, the American Kennel Club recognized the breed in 2004.


The Neapolitan Mastiff is considered a giant-sized dog. The average height of a male Neapolitan Mastiff is 26 to 31 inches, while a female is between 24 to 29 inches in height. The weight average for a male Neapolitan Mastiff is 130 to 155 pounds. On the other hand, the Neapolitan Mastiff female averages 110 to 130 pounds.


The Neapolitan Mastiff is not a breed for all owners, and definitely not for a new pet owner. They take time, work, patience, and of course, are very large, which means different ways of living as compared to a smaller dog. As puppies, the Neapolitan Mastiff has a low level of activity, but they still have a lot of energy.

The breed is extremely intelligent and are independent thinkers. They learn quickly, which makes training easy. Socialization skills are very important for a Neapolitan Mastiff otherwise their overly protective characteristics could be a problem for strangers and other animals.

The good news is that Neapolitan Mastiffs may bark, but they don’t do it unless something provokes them. On the other side, Neapolitan Mastiffs drool a lot, especially after drinking or getting very excited.


The Neapolitan Mastiff lives an average of seven years with one in six living past nine years and, like most breeds, has some known health issues such as the following:

Hip dysplasia, Ectropion, Entropion, Elbow dysplasia, Sebaceous adenitis, Progressive retinal atrophy, Hypothyroidism, Cardiomyopathy, Bloat, Pyoderma, and Anesthetic Sensitivity.

The most common of possible healthy issues Cherry eye. Make sure to take your Neapolitan Mastiff to the veterinarian regularly to try and make sure these issues can be taken care of as quickly as possible.


Being such a large and massive dog, the Neapolitan Mastiff can have powerful burst of energy during play. It is important that Neapolitan Mastiffs are able to exercise lightly with walks and some safe training. They may not jump over obstacles often, but they can run around and play just as well.

Because Neapolitan Mastiffs are instinctively protective, they need to get the proper socialization skills, starting early. Also very important for a Neapolitan Mastiff is obedience training; crate training is a great tool for any Neapolitan Mastiff.

Regular grooming is important for a Neapolitan Mastiff due to its many folds in its skin and fur. Bathe your Neapolitan Mastiff as needed and make sure to trim nails one or twice per month.

Make sure to check for injury to a Neapolitan Mastiff; if you think they are injured, make sure to look them over. This is due to the high tolerance level of pain for a Neapolitan Mastiff. They may not show signs of pain or illness the same as other breeds.

It is important for a Neapolitan Mastiff to have the best space for their size. They do the best with a large yard and a fence that is at least five or six feet high.


Here is a link to United States Neapolitan Rescue Club. Please check your local area for other rescues near you or to learn more about this breed.


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