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Neapolitan mastiff: The Gentle Giant of the Dog World

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By Anna Grace

Prepare to be captivated by the majestic presence of the Neapolitan Mastiff—a breed that blends an awe-inspiring appearance with unwavering loyalty. In dogs, these gentle giants embody strength, courage, and affection.

The Neapolitan Mastiff is a large, powerful breed of dog originating in Italy. Neapolitan mastiff black is a loyal and protective breed, making them excellent guard dogs. They can weigh up to 150 pounds and stand up to 30 inches tall at the shoulder. Therefore, their coat is short and thick and can come in various colors, including blue, black, and tawny. 

However, despite their intimidating appearance, Neapolitan Mastiffs can be gentle and affectionate with their family. They’re not typically aggressive towards strangers but will protect their families if they sense a threat. After that, training and socialization are important for this breed, as they can be stubborn and strong-willed

Join us on a journey into the remarkable world of the Neapolitan Mastiff, where sheer might meets boundless devotion.

Vital Stats: Neapolitan Mastiff

Certainly! Here are some vital stats for a Neapolitan Mastiff in table form:

StatisticNeapolitan Mastiff
Coat ColorSolid colors, typically gray, black, tawny, or mahogany
Weight140 to 150 pounds (63.5 to 68 kg) or more
Height24 to 31 inches (61 to 79 cm) at the shoulder
Lifespan7 to 9 years
TemperamentProtective, Loyal, Gentle with Family, Reserved with Strangers
Activity LevelLow to Moderate
Grooming NeedsLow to Moderate
TrainabilityModerate to Low
Common UsesGuarding, Family Protection, Companion
Health ConcernsHip Dysplasia, Bloat (Gastric Torsion), Skin Issues
OriginItaly, with ancient roots as a guardian dog
Recognized BreedsRecognized by major kennel clubs and breed associations

Please keep in mind that these statistics are approximate averages and can vary among individual Neapolitan Mastiffs.

About the Breed

neapolitan mastiff vs cane corso

The Mastiff is a big and imposing breed of dog famous for its distinctive wrinkles and loose skin. They are a Mastiff-type breed, originally from the Italian region of Campania, particularly the city of Naples. Above all, the Neapolitan Mastiff is an ancient breed dating back to ancient Rome.

In addition, their thick, loose skin gives them distinctive wrinkles and folds. Their coat is short and dense, and it comes in various colors such as black, blue, mahogany, and tawny. 

In other words, this breed exhibits loyalty and protectiveness towards its family while having a large head with a broad skull, and their ears are typically cropped.

Historical Figure of Neapolitan Mastiff

neapolitan mastiff vs cane corso

Neapolitan Mastiff Puppies, also known as the Mastino Napoletano, is a large, ancient dog originating in Italy. The species has a long and storied history, dating back to the Roman Empire.

It served as a war dog and hunted big game. Noble families and the military employed the Neapolitan as a guard dog during the Middle Ages. 

After that, the breed’s large size, robust build, and fierce loyalty made it well-suited for these roles. In the 19th century, the Mastiff’s popularity began to decline, and by the mid-20th century, the breed was on the brink of quenching. 

According to AKCNeapolitan Mastiff was recognized as a breed by the AKC in 2004. However, a group of dedicated breeders in Italy worked to revive the species. Similarly, the Neapolitan Mastiff still primarily serves as a guard dog today.

Mucky Origin of the Neapolitan Mastiff

The Neapolitan Mastiff has ancient roots, believed to date back to Roman times, where it served as a guardian of estates and homes. Its name derives from its association with Naples, Italy. This breed was crucial in protecting properties from intruders and guarding livestock. 

Over centuries, it evolved into the distinctive mastiff we know today, characterized by its powerful build and heavy wrinkles. Today, the Neapolitan Mastiff is cherished for its loyalty and protective instincts, making it a beloved companion and guardian.

Fun Facts of Neapolitan Mastiff

neapolitan mastiff.

They were used as cattle and sheep protectors and hunting dogs. Their protective instincts are strong today, making them excellent watchdogs and loyal companions. However, Neapolitan Mastiffs exhibit a calm and steady temperament. They’re generally good with children and other pets but can be reserved with strangers. 

To ensure they grow up as well-behaved and well-adjusted adults. Therefore, one must consistently train and socialize them from a young age. In addition, they require a lot of space to move around, and someone needs to provide a large, securely fenced yard to keep them safe. 

Appearance of Neapolitan Mastiff

The species has a massive and muscular build, with thick, loose skin that hangs from its body in wrinkles and folds. The head of the Neapolitan Mastiff is large and broad, with a wide muzzle, drooping jowls, and a black mask that shrouds the face. 

neapolitan mastiff

However, the eyes of the breed are dark and expressive, and the ears are typically small and folded. Therefore, one of the most striking features of the Neapolitan Mastiff is its large size. In addition, this impressive size and its robust build and imposing appearance make the Mastiff formidable.


However, they can weigh anywhere from 120 to 200 pounds, with males typically larger than females. They’re also quite tall, with adults measuring between 24 and 31 inches at the shoulder.

Despite their size, they are not as bulky as some other giant breeds and have a relatively lean and athletic build. Their size is one of the most striking things about the Neapolitan Mastiff. Therefore, they are not just large but also have a distinctive and commanding presence.


They typically weigh between 120-150 pounds for males and 110-130 for females. Threfore, this weight can vary depending on the dog’s diet and exercise regimen.

Neapolitan Mastiffs are famous for their massive, intimidating appearance. On other hand, their weight plays a significant role in this. In addition, their thick, loose skin and wrinkles add to their bulk and make them appear even more effective. 

Coat Colour 

The most common coat color for the Neapolitan Mastiff is blue, which ranges in shade from light silver to dark steel blue. However, other standard coat colors include black, mahogany, and tawny. 

Similarly, the breed’s coat is short and thick, with a soft, dense undercoat and a rough, coarse outer coat. In addition, the skin is easy to care for, requiring only occasional brushing to remove loose hair and dirt

Neapolitan Mastiffs are huge, weighing in at 110–150 pounds and standing 24–31 inches tall. Neapolitan Mastiffs are great with families and children, but they can be wary of strangers and may not get along with other pets.

Neapolitan Mastiff as the National Dog

The Neapolitan Mastiff is not recognized as the national dog of any country. It is, however, a distinctive and ancient breed known for its unique appearance and protective nature.

Stats at the Organizational Level

The Neapolitan Mastiff is recognized by major kennel clubs worldwide, including the American Kennel Club (AKC) and the Federation Cynalogique Internationale (FCI). 

It is classified within the Working Group due to its historically vital role as a guardian and protector. Breed clubs and enthusiasts actively promote responsible ownership and breeding to maintain the breed’s integrity.

Markings of the Neapolitan Mastiff

Neapolitan Mastiffs typically have a solid-colored coat, with accepted colors including grey, black, tawny, and mahogany. They may have minimal white markings on the chest and toes. The breed is known for its loose, wrinkled skin, especially on the face, neck, & shoulders, giving them a distinctive appearance.

Neapolitan Mastiff Temperament & Personality

mastiff neapolitan

This breed exhibits a calm and confident demeanor and typically keeps its distance from strangers. However, people often consider them as natural guard dogs, and they instinctively protect their family and property if they detect any potential threat. 

The Neapolitan Mastiff is a loving and affectionate breed with their family. After that, they are gentle and patient with children and make best family dog

However, due to their size and strength, it is important to properly socialize and train them from a young age to prevent potential behavioral issues. So, they’re also known to be quite stubborn at times, so a firm and consistent training approach is necessary. 

Overall, the Neapolitan Mastiff is a loyal and protective breed with a calm and loving personality. Moreover,  they make great family pets for those with the space and commitment to care for them properly. However, they require consistent training and socialization and must be better suited for apartment living.

First Appearance in the U.S.

The Neapolitan Mastiff first appeared in the United States in the 1970s. Although this breed has a long history in Europe, particularly in Italy, it took some time for them to gain recognition in the U.S. Their unique appearance and protective instincts gradually captured the attention of American dog enthusiasts. 

Today, Neapolitan Mastiffs are recognized by major kennel clubs in the United States, and they continue to be cherished as devoted companions and impressive guardians.

Neapolitan Mastiff Health & Care

neapolitan mastiff mixed with pitbull

This type of dog requires proper health and care to maintain its well-being. These dogs have short, thick coats requiring minimal grooming. Owners should be prepared to have a towel or cloth on hand to wipe the dog’s face because the dog is prone to drooling and slobbering.

Consequently, they’re prone to specific health issues such as hip dysplasia, bloat, and arthritis. In addition, regular exercise is vital to keep these dogs healthy, but it should be moderate and not too strenuous.

We should ensure that we give these dogs access to clean water, provide them with a comfortable place to rest at all times, and allow them to rest well. The Neapolitan Mastiff should be fed a high-quality diet appropriate for their size and activity level. 

So, they may be prone to weight gain, so monitoring their diet and exercise routine is essential to prevent obesity. In addition, owners should also be aware of the potential for food allergies and intolerances and work with their veterinarian to ensure that their dog receives the proper nutrition..

Suitable Accessories for Neapolitan Mastiff

  1. Large, Sturdy Dog Bed: Neapolitan Mastiffs are known for their love of lounging. Invest in a high-quality, large dog bed to support their weight and provide ample comfort.
  2. Durable Toys: These dogs are strong chewers, so opt for tough, durable toys that can withstand their powerful jaws.
  3. Heavy-Duty Leash and Collar: A strong leash and collar are essential for safely walking and controlling your Neapolitan Mastiff due to their size and strength.
  4. Grooming Tools: Their wrinkled skin requires regular care. Soft brushes and wipes designed for dogs can help maintain their skin health.
  5. Raised Food and Water Bowls: Elevating their food and water bowls can reduce the risk of bloat, a condition common in large, deep-chested breeds.

Neapolitan Mastiff Training

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  1. Neapolitan Mastiffs can be territorial and protective by nature, so it’s essential to socialize them early on with other dogs, people, and different environments. 
  2. Positive reinforcement techniques such as praise, treats, and playtime can effectively motivate and encourage good behavior. 
  3. However, start by using a short leash and walking your dog in a quiet, familiar area. Reward your dog for staying by your side and gradually increase the length and complexity of your walks.
  4. Use positive reinforcement techniques and be consistent with your training. So, consider enrolling your dog in a basic obedience class to get a solid foundation in training.
  5. A well-trained Neapolitan Mastiff can be a loyal and loving companion.
  6. In addition, it’s important to approach their training with care and patience.

Neapolitan Mastiff: Relationship With Kids

Neapolitan Mastiffs are often affectionate and protective companions for children when properly socialized and raised in a family environment. Their gentle nature and inherent loyalty make them a great addition to a household with kids. 

However, their large size and protective instincts make early training and supervision crucial to ensure a harmonious relationship. These dogs tend to form strong bonds with their human family members, including children, and can be both loving playmates and vigilant guardians.

Rescue Groups for Adoption

If you’re interested in adopting a Neapolitan Mastiff, several rescue organizations are dedicated to finding loving homes for this magnificent breed. These organizations often deeply understand the breed’s unique needs and can help match you with a Mastiff needing a forever home. 

Some reputable Neapolitan Mastiff rescue groups in the United States include the Neapolitan Mastiff Club of America Rescue and various regional rescue organizations. Adopting through these groups provides a second chance for a deserving dog and allows you to experience the joys of sharing your life with a Neapolitan Mastiff.

Price of Neapolitan Mastiff

neapolitan mastiff weight

Originating in Italy, the Mastiff is a large and powerful dog breed. Because of their impressive size, strength, and protective nature, they are often sought after by individuals who are looking for a guard dog or companion that can deter intruders. 

However, potential owners should be aware that Neapolitan Mastiffs are not suitable for everyone and require significant training and socialization to become well-behaved family pets.

Neapolitan are generally considered a relatively expensive breed when it comes to their price. The cost can vary depending on various factors, such as the dog’s lineage, age, and location. 

Generally, a Neapolitan Mastiff puppy from a reputable breeder can cost anywhere from $1,500 to $5,000 or more. Therefore, some breeders may charge even higher prices for puppies from champion bloodlines or with exceptional physical traits.

Space Requirements for Neapolitan Mastiff

The Neapolitan Mastiff is a large & powerful breed, so providing ample space is essential. They thrive in environments with enough room to move comfortably. 

A spacious yard with secure fencing is highly recommended to accommodate their size. They are not well-suited for small apartments or confined living spaces. Ensuring they have indoor and outdoor areas to stretch and roam is crucial for their well-being.

Pros & Cons of Neapolitan Mastiff

Like any dog breed, the Neapolitan Mastiff has its pros and cons. Here are some of them:

Pros and Cons of Neapolitan Mastiff review 2


  1. Protective: Neapolitan Mastiffs are known for their protective nature. They are fiercely loyal to their families and will do everything possible to protect them from harm.
  2. Gentle: Despite their intimidating appearance, Neapolitan Mastiffs can be very gentle with their family members, especially children. They are affectionate and enjoy spending time with their human family.
  3. Low-energy: Neapolitan are not high-energy dogs and do not require a lot of exercises. They are happy to lounge around the house with their family.
  4. Watchful: Neapolitan Mastiffs are very watchful dogs and will alert their owners if they sense anything unusual.


  1. Health problems: Neapolitan Mastiffs are prone to a number of health problems, including hip dysplasia, bloat, and eye problems. They also have a shorter lifespan than many other dog breeds.
  2. Stubborn: Neapolitan Mastiffs can be stubborn and difficult to train. They require an experienced owner who can provide firm and consistent training.

Frequently Asked Questions

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A Neapolitan Mastiff typically weighs between 110-150 pounds (50-68 kg).

There is no specific reason why the Neapolitan Mastiff may be banned in certain areas. It could be due to a history of aggressive behavior, a high rate of bites or attacks, or breed-specific legislation targeting specific breeds of dogs deemed dangerous.

Mastino Napoletano is a large breed of dog that can weigh between 110 and 150 pounds and stand as tall as 30 inches at the shoulder. They have distinctive wrinkled faces and loose skin, which gives them a unique and imposing appearance.

Training a Neapolitan Mastiff can be a rewarding experience, but it requires patience and consistency. Use positive reinforcement techniques like treats.

Mastiffs, like all breeds, require consistent and patient training to learn proper bathroom etiquette. However, some Mastiffs may take longer to learn due to their size and stubborn nature. Proper crate training and positive reinforcement techniques make the process easier.

Mastiffs can make good pets for first-time owners if they are willing to dedicate the time and effort required to train and care for these large dogs. They’re generally known for their gentle nature and affectionate personality.

Neapolitan Mastiffs do not require special food, but a balanced and nutritious diet is essential for their overall health.

Mastiffs are generally considered a high-maintenance breed due to their size and specific needs. They require regular exercise, grooming, and consistent training to stay healthy and happy.


Neapolitan Mastiffs are also known for their protective nature, in addition to their physical prowess. Therefore, these dogs are highly loyal to their owners and are always on the lookout for potential threats. They are exceptionally protective of children and will go to great extent to keep them safe. 

black neapolitan mastiff

In the modern era, people still value the Neapolitan Mastiff as a guard dog, but they also consider it an excellent family companion. Similarly, these dogs are loyal, protective, and affectionate with their owners, and they are also good with children

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