The Neapolitan Mastiff Standard says: "The essence of the Neapolitan Mastiff is his beastial appearance, astounding head and imposing size and attitude."
Once you're past the shock of your first impression, you'll be able to better appreciate how quiet, calm, and relaxed this Mastiff is. Just don't mistake his bulk and ambling gait for laziness or clumsiness, for he can shift into his fierce protector's role on a moment's notice.
Solid and serious, the Neapolitan Mastiff boasts strong legs of moderate length, a deep chest for aiding stamina, a broad head with a deep, square-cut muzzle and medium-length pendant ears.
Characteristically robust rather than tall, the Neapolitan Mastiff is impressive in size and stature. The short single coat is typically coloured black, grey, blue, tawny, brindle or mahogany, with chocolate-coloured Mastiffs being particularly rare.
Neapolitan Mastiff puppies should be friendly and trusting, and with proper socialization, become more reserved and discriminating as they mature. As with all mastiffs, socialization is an absolute requirement to avoid either aggression or shyness.
Dog aggression can be a real problem; though many "Neos" will not start fights, they will surely finish them.
If you want a dog who...
- Is massive and powerful, probably the most "beastial-looking" breed in existence, with an enormous head, loose wrinkled skin, and heavy, hanging jowls
- Has a sleek easy-care coat
- Is calm and quiet indoors (as an adult)
If you don't want to deal with...
- A huge dog who takes up a lot of space in your house and car
- A heavy dog who wants to sit on your feet and lean his weight against your leg
- Destructiveness when bored or left alone too much
- Potential aggression or fearfulness toward people in some lines, or when not socialized enough
- Potential aggression toward other animals
The Neapolitan Mastiff is susceptible to certain ailments, including hip dysplasia and associated orthopedic complaints, as well as several optical disorders. Additionally, the Neapolitan is prone to various cancers and mast-cell tumours, as well as cardiac diseases including pulmonic stenosis and mitral dysplasia. Skin allergies are well documented in the breed due to its deeply wrinkled skin that renders it unsuited to particularly warm climates.
As with most large dog breeds, bloat and gastric tortion are very prevalent, two potentially fatal conditions if left untreated for any length of time.