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Neapolitan Mastiff Mobile

Neapolitan Mastiff

The Neapolitan Mastiff is a truly massive dog, well-built and powerful, and dressed in an oversized skin that forms the iconic loose folds of dewlap and lips the breed is famous for. The coat should be short, dense and hard in texture with a good sheen. Skin should be loose, but not excessively so.

The need-to-know
  • Dog suitable for experienced owners
  • Extra training required
  • Enjoys active walks
  • Enjoys walking an hour a day
  • Giant dog
  • Some drool
  • Requires grooming every other day
  • Non hypoallergenic breed
  • Chatty and vocal dog
  • Guard dog. Barks, alerts and it's physically protective
  • May require training to live with other pets
  • May require training to live with kids

Key Facts

Lifespan: 8 – 10 years
Weight: 50 – 70kg
Height: 58 – 77cm
Colours: Blue, black, all shades of grey, brown, fawn red and brindle. Small white markings may occur on the chest and toes
Size: Large
Kennel Club Group: Working


Family-friendly: 4/5
Exercise needs: 3/5
Easy to train: 3/5
Tolerates being alone: 1/5
Likes other pets: 2/5
Energy level: 3/5
Grooming needs: 4/5
Shedding: 3/5


Whilst the Neo’s background in fighting is long in the past, they remain a vigilant guarding breed. Loyal to family and well known friends, and generally even-tempered, the well trained Neo is still likely to treat strangers in a reserved and aloof manner.

In common with many larger breeds, the Neapolitan Mastiff can be clumsy and seemingly unaware of their size and power, so caution is recommended when it comes to play and games involving wrestling or biting are not recommended at all. Often appearing serious and watchful, they can be affectionate, goofy and silly with their family. Drool is a serious consideration with this breed, it can be flung a long way!

The Neapolitan Mastiff can live happily with other animals if raised with them, but is better off with other dogs of the opposite sex, and due to their size, smaller animals are at risk even from well-intentioned play.

History and Origins

Country of Origin: Italy

The Neapolitan Mastiff’s origins lie in the heavy, loose skinned molosser types favoured by the Romans for fighting lions and humans, guarding all manner of property and even going to war. The modern Neapolitan Mastiff owes much to the Italian artist Piero Scanziani who created the accepted breed standard and was instrumental in gaining official recognition for the breed.

The Neapolitan Mastiff has been used as a police dog and guard dog, but is more typically found as a show dog and companion breed.

Did You Know?

  • Whilst the three headed dog ‘Fang’, loyal companion to Hagrid in the Harry Potter books was meant to be a Great Dane, in the films Fang was played by multiple Neapolitan Mastiffs. Nine dogs were used across the film franchise, and during filming and time on set they would enjoy huge amounts of chicken, tripe and steak every day (in fact they probably ate better - and more - than the actors).
  • Neapolitan Mastiff owners sometimes hold informal ‘drool’ or ‘goober’ competitions with awards for highest fling or longest drool string!
  • They’ve been nicknamed the ‘200-pound lapdog’ due to their affectionate natures.
  • The breed is also known as: Mastini, Mastino, Mastino Napoletano, Italian Molosso, Can’e Presa, Mastino Neapolitano and Italian Mastiff.
  • Due to their roots, they have very high prey drives so you’ll need to be careful when they’re off the lead as recall can’t always be relied upon.
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