Dog Breeds: Neapolitan Mastiff dog, temperament personality

Neapolitan Mastiff dog

The Neapolitan Mastiff

The Neapolitan Mastiff  has existed for several millennia.  His ancestors go back to 3000 BCE, during the Bronze age and when mastiff dogs emerged from the Tibet.  These massive dogs were war dogs and also served as guard dogs.

The Neapolitan Mastiff was developed in the vicinity of Naples, an Italian southern city.  The Neapolitan breeders developed as a strong, massive dog to protect them and one who was loyal and affectionate to family members.  Lost in obscurity for too many years, journalist Piere Scanzania recognized him as a probable descendant from the mastiffs of Epirus.

Physical characteristics

The body of the Neapolitan Mastiff, or Mastino, as it is also known, is covered in a loose, long skin.  His coat can be tawny, mahogany, black, or blue.  The male stands at 26 to 32 inches tall while the female can be 24 to 29 inches tall.  The male weighs between 150 and 200 lbs and the female has a weight of 120 to 175 pounds.

Temperament and Personality 

This dog is always alert.  It makes a good guardian dog but not an attack dog.  He is fearless and will protect his family.  He is usually not very friendly with strangers or other dogs unless welcomed by his family.  They are very intelligent dogs and will usually try to get their way with things.

Caring for a Neapolitan Mastiff dog

This dog is not likely to escape away but a fenced yard will help establish his area of guarding.  As a puppy, do not over stress him with exercise as it might affect his joints.  Stairs can be difficult for a Neo; they are a bit clumsy, may fall and hurt themselves.

Avoid wrestling or playing rough.  Your Neapolitan Mastiff dog should not think this is normal play. It might be cute while he is a puppy but as an adult, well, let´s just say that you do not want to wrestle a 200-pound dog.


Start his training since day one.  Socialization with people and other dogs is important.  If you can, take him places where he meets people and gets all types of sensations.   This is one strong and steady dog, so make sure training is consistent and firm.

Fun facts

  • This dog drools after he eats, after he drinks, pretty much all the time.  If you are a cleanliness freak, maybe pass this one.
  • These are generally lazy dogs but still require walking outside.  Otherwise, they will grow obese.
  • They are very quiet and usually only bark if they are provoked.
  • Not recommended for toddlers or smaller children. These big mutts might knock them down.

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