Once you see a Neapolitan Mastiff you’re unlikely to forget it. They’re massive dogs, with folds of skin, pendulous dewlaps and a heavily wrinkled face. Bred as a defender and guard dog, he is loyal to his family and a serious deterrent to others. Because of his size and temperament, this may not be the right breed for families with small children or for first-time pet owners. It’s important to teach your Neapolitan Mastiff puppy basic obedience early while he’s still a manageable 40-60 pounds. He’ll grow up quickly and will do best with owners who are mindful of the specific needs of the breed.
Neapolitan Mastiffs are generally healthy. Like all breeds there may be some health issues, like hip and elbow dysplasia, eye disease, and cardiac disease. One minor problem that often occurs is “cherry eye.” Tissue in the corner of the eye becomes red and inflamed. This looks terrible, but is cured with a minor veterinarian procedure. Despite impressive wrinkles and loose skin, they should not have skin problems. Young Mastini grow very rapidly for the first year or so, and they can develop temporary problems related to this rapid growth, such as panosteitis (growing pains). There are health problems that are common in giant dogs and the Mastino is not immune. Bloat is a mysterious problem of all deep-chested breeds.
- Personality: Watchful and dignified; sweet, steady, and loyal with loved ones, calm but wary with strangers
- Energy Level: Not very active; this placid, lumbering dog should be walked a few times a day
- Good with Children: Better with supervision
- Good with Other Dogs: With supervision
- Shedding: Seasonal
- Grooming: Occasional
- Trainability: May be stubborn
- Height: 26-31 inches (male), 24-29 inches (female)
- Weight: 150 pounds (male), 110 pounds (female)
- Life Expectancy: 7-9 years
- Barking Level: Barks when necessary