All about the neopolitan mastiff
The Neopolitan or Neapolitan Mastiff is a large and power breed. It is not a breed for everyone, The Neopolitan Mastiff requires an owner that can control and train well their pet. Despite their beastly appearance they are actually peaceful animal unless provoked. They are usually calm, serious, and affectionate with their family. They are also good with children, although children should be taught to respect the Neo Mastiff.
The Neopolitan Mastiff is a direct descendent of the Roman Molossus. This breed became extinct throughout most of Europe. However, it survived in Campania despite the war and the weather. Though it has been around for over 2000 years in Campania, it was not officially recognized until 1946. Originally the Neo’s were bred for war and entertainment such as “dog fights” but today they have been used by Italian police, farmers, business owners and others as protectors of property and people. This breed is still quite rare in the United States.
This dog is massive, heavy-boned, and rectangular in proportion. They are known for their loose skin or wrinkles over their entire body, especially their head. The head is large with deep set brown or amber eyes that are nearly hidden under their drooping upper lids. The ears are usually cropped to an equilateral triangle for health reasons. The nose is large with wide nostrils and is the same color as the coat. The coat is short and dense with hairs no longer than one inch. Coats come in gray, black, tawny, and mahogany. Mature male Neo’s can weigh up to 150 pounds while the female is about 110 pounds.
The Neopolitan Mastiff moves rather slowly due to size. Their strides are long, but powerful, because of the long push from the hindquarters and the extension of the forelegs.
The temperament of this breed of Mastiff is calm and steady. They are not apt to bite unless they have a reason. Bred into this dog is the responsibility to protect its owners and property. They are always watchful and are wary of strangers. Obedience training is highly recommended, preferably while young before they get too large to be able to control. Females make better family pets because they are not quite as aggressive as males, however, both are loyal and affectionate with their owners.
They do well in apartments or small yards as long as they are exercised properly. They tend to lounge around and often must be coaxed into exercise as they grow older. They should go for long walks twice a day.
This breed is prone to pano-ostiosis, which is growing pains in puppies 4-18 months, This will generally go away on its own as they mature. Hip dysplasia is another health problem found in Mastiffs. They are alos prone to “cherry eye” where the eye tissue becomes red and inflamed an also protrudes more than normal. This usually requires minor surgery.
The Neopolitan Mastiff is powerful and majestic animal that is also loving and loyal.