Neapolitan Mastiff – When we see a person and their dog walking in the park, we can see similarities in their hair, eyes, or simply in their behavior. Neapolitan Mastiffs are one of the largest dog breeds to come across, and their appeal goes beyond their striking size, beautiful coat, and adorable fur folds.


We can’t say that people who adopt a Neapolitan Mastiff are wrinkled giants, so what kind of person should you be if you want to adopt a Neapolitan Mastiff? Do you know this wonderful breed of dog?

  • Size: Large/Giant.
  • Weight: Between 50 and 70kg.
  • Hair type: Very short and smooth.
  • Character: Protective, Stubborn, Fearless, Obedient, Dominant, Endearing
  • Health: Prone to congenital diseases
  • Life expectancy: Between 8 and 10 years.

Origin of the Neapolitan Mastiff

As its name indicates, the Neapolitan Mastiff has its origins in beautiful Italy. It is a guard dog that descends from the Roman Molossus, a breed that at the time was used in combat against lions, elephants, other dogs, and even humans, as a form of entertainment; and the Tibetan Mastiff which was used as the main guardian in the mountain temples in Tibet.

origin of the Neapolitan mastiff

Over the years, Italian farmers crossed different dog breeds to increase the size of the Neapolitan Mastiff. Some people even say that they did their best to increase the wrinkles on it so that their guard dog would have such a fierce figure that no one would dare come near their farm.

While the Neapolitan Mastiff is more of a companion dog today, it used to be said that while a common guard dog could bite into an intruder’s arm, the Neapolitan Mastiff could tear his arm off. There is no doubt that they sought to feed the idea that this breed was truly fierce.

Physical characteristics of the Neapolitan Mastiff

To begin, let’s review a bit, the word mastiff comes from the Latin massive, this can be translated as solid. This adjective is given not only to the Neapolitan Mastiff but to many other equally large dog breeds.

The Italian Mastiff, as it is also known, is a dog that impresses to see it, it is muscular and imposing and its body is thick. What stands out the most is his head, it is enormous although well proportioned with the rest of his body, it is covered in thick wrinkles that go from the frame of the forehead to the chin, and from the eyelids to the lips, forming folds that in Sometimes they can cause some health problems for the dog, such as obstruction of vision.

The muzzle of this Mastiff also has a remarkable feature and that is that it is usually as long as it is wide, which can give it the appearance of being square. The upper lip is large, coming to cover his mouth. Its coat is shiny, short and smooth, and very easy to maintain. We can find it in colors such as black, silvery grey, sand, brown, or mahogany. Its tail is medium and its ears, when not cropped, are long and drooping on each side of the face.

The Neapolitan Mastiff has a life expectancy of between 8 and 10 years and is considered an adult at 3 three years of age. These dogs are known for their imposing size, their weight ranging from 70 to 95 kilograms. Regarding their height, Neapolitan Mastiffs are usually longer than they are tall, although they can measure between 60 and 75 centimeters in height.

Meet other types of mastiffs:

  • Spanish mastiff
  • English Mastiff
  • Tibetan mastiff
  • Italian mastiff

behavior and personality

Probably a dog weighing almost 100 kilograms, with a powerful bark and a grim face, is not a figure we would want to approach. This is the first impression that the Neapolitan Mastiff gives, and precisely for this reason Italian farmers used them to protect their farms, their houses, and their livestock. They certainly look fierce and menacing, but in reality, this is just a facade. The Neapolitan Mastiff is one of the most faithful and peaceful companions we can find, they are like giant babies or cute teddy bears.

neapolitan mastiff puppy

It is a dog like any other and often seeks to win the attention and affection of everyone at home. It will always look for a place on the sofa to watch television with the family, although sometimes its large size makes it difficult for it to live at home. When it comes to children, the Neapolitan Mastiff is careful and affectionate, he has a lot of patience, even to share with small children. It is not recommended to adopt them when you do not have a large house, with a large and fenced garden or patio, because due to their size they need to be in large spaces.

However, the older the Mastiff gets, the less interested he will be in spending his time playing outside, and will instead find ways to be home and rest on the couch or in your bed. They are quite sedentary dogs and do not need much exercise, however, the best thing you can do for your Neapolitan Mastiff is to take him for a walk several times a week so that he maintains a good physical condition.

Although you will not find a very noisy or very physically active dog, the Neapolitan Mastiff should be in an open environment or a large house. Keep in mind that they are guard dogs by nature, so they are very jealous of their territory. If an animal gets too close to what it considers its property, it may become agitated and start barking. And if something characterizes him, it is the strength of his barking.

Diet of the Neapolitan Mastiff

The food we give our pets is a primary factor, it helps them grow big, strong, and healthy when they are puppies. In addition, they get all the vitamins they need to stay in good health. All the food we give our pet is reflected on the outside, the strength it shows, and the shine and softness of its hair, are due to the type of food we give our Neapolitan Mastiff, this breed needs a diet rich in essential oils, and low in fat.

Puppies that grow as large as the Neapolitan Mastiff grow more slowly than other dogs. That is why they are only considered adults when they have reached 3 years of age. Because of this, they need a low-fat diet, since fat provides energy, and being rather slow dogs, this can lead to obesity.

italian mastiff

The Neapolitan Mastiff can be fed a natural diet or large dog food available at the supermarket. If you choose the latter, you must select a complete product for large breeds, low fat and high protein, the light type, or products that help control weight. With natural diets, the most recommended is to feed it with fish, chicken, or turkey, due to its low-fat content and excellent protein content. Some people accompany them with pasta or bread to ensure that along with the protein the dog also receives a good portion of carbohydrates.

Large dog breeds  (such as St. Bernards) tend to develop obesity if not fed properly. This, by itself, is something quite serious, but it can also lead to other health problems at the bone level, in the joints, and at the cardiovascular level, among other problems. It is important that your dog maintain a balanced diet, high in protein and low in fat, also rich in fatty acids, so you can guarantee the good health of the great darling of the house.

Neapolitan Mastiff Puppies

When the female Neapolitan Mastiff becomes pregnant, the pregnancy lasts from 58 to 63 days. The really special thing about her pregnancy is the number of puppies she can give birth to. Being such a large breed, the number of puppies will be numerous. They can have 10 to 14 puppies at a time, which is why births are usually extremely long, especially if the dog is a first-time dog.

Before the bitch begins her labor, she will stop eating and look for a comfortable place to bring the puppies into the world. We must help them in this regard and try to give them the most comfortable place we have at home so that they can go through this stage, remembering that sometimes labor can last up to 36 hours.

It is advisable to have a veterinarian at the time of delivery, the estimated time for the expulsion of the puppies is approximately 30 minutes, and if the time exceeds 90 minutes the puppy could be in danger of suffocation. In these cases, having the number of our veterinarian at hand, or the same doctor on site could save both the puppies and our dog from suffering complications.

Health and care

  • As with every pet, we must periodically take it to the vet. This is to detect any condition from which they may be suffering, as well as to keep their vaccination up to date.
  • His coat is really beautiful, however, it needs the care to keep it healthy and shiny. You don’t need regular baths, receiving a monthly bath will be enough. However, their wrinkles should be cleaned daily with a damp cloth and dried properly, especially after each meal, since they could accumulate between the wrinkles and cause infections or diseases.
  • Their ears should be cleaned with a piece of cotton, never clean their ear canal with a cotton swab, as it could damage them.
  • It is necessary to clean your teeth at least once a week to prevent tartar buildup. Likewise, their nails also need to be properly cared for and trimmed monthly.
  • Remember to take care of your diet with excellent quality food that is low in fat and rich in protein.
  • With age, Neapolitan Mastiffs can become sedentary. They go from puppies who enjoy playing in the yard all day to adults who prefer to lie on the couch or bed for much of the day. It is important that we take them outside for walks a couple of times a day so that they exercise their muscles, their joints, burn energy, and prevent diseases