Neapolitan Mastiff: We Discover The Characteristics Of This Fabulous Breed

The Neapolitan Mastiff is a powerful-looking animal, exceptional as a guard dog, and with many other characteristics that make it ideal to breed and keep at home. Let’s discover the features and character of this beautiful breed.

Is the Neapolitan Mastiff the biggest dog? The Mastino Napoletano is a large dog with a muscular and powerful appearance. Males can weigh up to 75 kg and reach a height of 75 cm.

Neapolitan Mastiff dog breed information. The first traces of the Neapolitan mastiff are traced back to a group of Molossians that reached Alexander the Great and his army from Tibet, accompanying them during battles. This warrior and fighter temperament remained throughout the Middle Ages, accompanied by the designation of hunting dog.

Mastiffs also accompanied the Bourbons and were protagonists in clashes with brigands, once again proving their loyalty. Many lost their lives during the First World War and even risked extinction.

It was thanks to the writer Piero Scanziani that in 1946, attention was once again focused on this breed, especially in Naples. From then on, breeders began to spread a little throughout Italy as far as England and the United States.

Appearance and Attributes of the Neapolitan Mastiff.

Discover the Largest Mastiff Ever.
The Neapolitan Mastiff makes for an excellent guard dog.

The Neapolitan mastiff is truly imposing compared to the average: the male weighs up to 75 kg and can be 60 to 75 cm tall, and the female is slightly smaller.

The head is also significant, as is its truffle. Its somewhat sly appearance is given by the numerous wrinkles that hang over its big face, giving the impression that it is always sleepy and tired. The lips are inverted V shape; the truffle varies in colour according to the coat. The jaws are powerful, and the teeth close tightly.

Also, slightly sunken eyes may have different colours, but blue speckles are common. The fur may be lead and black, dark grey or tigerish. Under the chest and between the toes of the paws, there is a white spot. The coat is always smooth and short.

You will be astonished at his slowness and laziness watching him walk, but he brings out a unique grit when running and chasing his prey. The body is always well-muscled, with plenty of skin, particularly under the neck.

Physical characteristics

  • Height: 60 to 75 cm
  • Weight: 50 to 75 kg
  • Longevity: 6 to 10 years
  • Colours: grey, lead and black,
  • Fur: fine, smooth, uniform and must not exceed 1.5 cm in length.
  • Coat: Short


The price of a Neapolitan Mastiff can vary depending on the breeder, location, and lineage of the dog. Neapolitan Mastiff puppies can cost anywhere from £600 to £4000.

Here are some factors that can affect the price of a Neapolitan Mastiff:

  • Breeder: Reputable breeders with a good reputation typically charge more for their puppies.
  • Location: The cost of living in an area can also affect the price of a Neapolitan Mastiff. For example, Neapolitan Mastiffs in California may cost more than Neapolitan Mastiffs in Iowa.
  • Lineage: Puppies from champion bloodlines or rare colours typically cost more than puppies from average bloodlines or with standard colours.

If you are looking to adopt a Neapolitan Mastiff, you may be able to find one for a lower price. However, it is crucial to research and ensure that the adoption agency or rescue organisation is reputable.

Here are some additional costs to consider when owning a Neapolitan Mastiff:

  • Food: Neapolitan Mastiffs are large dogs and require a high-quality diet. This can cost upwards of £100 per month.
  • Vet care: Neapolitan Mastiffs are prone to certain health conditions, so a veterinarian must check them regularly. This can cost several hundred dollars per year.
  • Training: Neapolitan Mastiffs can be stubborn, so it is essential to start training them early. This can cost a few hundred pounds for basic obedience training.
  • Grooming: Neapolitan Mastiffs have short, thick coats that require regular brushing. You may also need to take them to a professional groomer for occasional baths and trims. This can cost upwards of £00 per month.

Overall, the cost of owning a Neapolitan Mastiff can be high. However, these dogs are loyal and loving companions who can bring their families years of joy.

Pros and cons of the Neapolitan Mastiffs

Top 5 characteristics:

  • Does not have an inherent tendency to run away
  • Very intelligent. Must be stimulated with training.
  • Has no particular obesity problems
  • Friendly and docile towards children
  • Breed with protective behaviour towards the family.

Most problematic characteristics:

  • Dog to be educated by an experienced owner
  • Large size but relatively calm if well behaved
  • Must be groomed periodically
  • Achilles heel of the Mastiff: drooling.
  • Not suited to hot climate


The Neapolitan Mastiff, once an adult, should spend his time guarding his home and property. For this reason, a few hours alone is not a contraindication to pleasant cohabitation. The Mastiff is dedicated to his mission and will be delighted if his owner assigns him this task in his absence.

The Breed Standard describes the temperament of the Neapolitan Mastiff as follows: “Strong and loyal temperament, not unjustifiably aggressive or biting, defender of property and people, always alert, intelligent, noble and majestic“. As can be deduced from this brief description, the Neapolitan Mastiff is a fine guard breed, calm if there is no apparent danger to the family and owner.

The Neapolitan Mastiff is a careful and capable guardian of family and property, as its historical heritage teaches us. He will particularly love his owner, who must be a competent and confident person in the directions he wants to give and teach. The Mastiff is a gentle breed towards the family but must be brought up with good manners and careful socialisation rules.

The Neapolitan Mastiff is a large dog, guardian par excellence of property but also people; it is of strong, majestic and statuesque structure and knows no fear. Due to this physicality and its character, it is necessary to socialise the Mastiff to have a good relationship with strangers and separate danger from normality. The owner’s presence in the home, in the presence of strangers, is essential.

Neapolitan Mastiff Dog Breed Information.
Neapolitan Mastiffs can also reach up to 90 kilograms.

Socialising him from an early age is the secret to success.

Socialising the puppy with other puppies of its age is advisable to avoid conflicts with adult dogs that may not like to interact with a small one. Due to its size, great care must be taken when interacting with other dogs, as the Mastiff, despite its sociability, may be heavy in play and fight simulation.

This breed has a strong propensity for protection and a great tendency towards territoriality. It does not tend to move away from people or the territory it has to protect, although it might do so out of curiosity. Generally, however, the instinct of protection prevails over that of predation and its natural inclination to learn.

The bite of a Mastiff can be very dangerous, but fortunately, this breed does not have an innate tendency towards aggression. As we have already said, the important thing is that whoever adopts a Mastiff knows what to do and trains it thoughtfully and rigorously, guiding it daily. Such a dog cannot be neglected.

This breed is not particularly interested in predation. Bear in mind, however, that only in appearance can it appear sly; the fighting spirit is, in reality, only dormant, ready to awaken in case of need.

The Neapolitan Mastiff expresses itself by barking, and it is with this that it communicates with its owner. It has a powerful voice that rises in the presence of a breach of its territory. It barks almost exclusively if it deems it necessary to protect its family.

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Neapolitan Mastiffs is an active dog.

Despite its large size and many gaits, the Neapolitan Mastiff is an active, albeit quiet and calm dog. Its morphology might suggest a sluggish dog, but the Neapolitan Mastiff is active and present. A large dog’s playful and particularly suitable for interaction with the family.

The Mastiff is a true warrior and can rival anyone without any problems. The mitigation of this type of interaction stems precisely from the need to turn this dog into a kind of perfect guardian. The condition of cohabitation with a Mastiff is the safety of other family members, children in particular, without distorting its qualities as a dog-warrior that have also made it a protagonist on actual battlefields in the history of humanity.

Despite its fame as a fierce dog, entirely undeserved, the Mastino Napoletano loves to play a lot. Playing is an instinct derived from his tremendous energy and brilliant intelligence. He needs it to relax and to take his mind off his ‘work’, whether it is a fundamental task he is given or a self-assigned role, such as protecting his family.

Education of the Neapolitan Mastiff

The Neapolitan Mastiff is intelligent and well-disposed towards training, education and socialisation. It is very gentle with its owner but needs a soft but consistent, sweet but determined person to understand the rules given to it entirely. It is suitable for guarding property and family and is easily trained with a calm and firm hand. His education will begin as a puppy and will continue forever.

It is imperative to socialise this dog as a puppy with all kinds of stimuli: people, animals, objects and different environments so that it grows up without fears and phobias or reacting incorrectly to certain stimuli. Socialisation is an essential basic procedure for a stable and healthy adult dog. It is also important to avoid harmful situations. For instance, an awful experience between a dog and a car could make the dog aggressive.

Always use positive reinforcement and avoid chastisements, choke collars or physical punishment. A dog should never be forced to do anything. If you think your dog suffers from behavioural problems, take him to a canine educator or ethologist to learn how to handle him.

Neapolitan Mastiff Bad and Good.
Unlike other large breeds, this dog doesn’t require an extensive exercise regimen.

To educate him, you can teach him basic obedience commands, essential for establishing a good relationship between the two of you and between the dog and the rest of the people, animals and environments he frequents. Dedicate 5 to 10 minutes daily to review the commands you have already taught him or add new ones. Using mind-activating games, giving him new experiences and stimulating his physical development will help you to have a happy and healthy dog.


He also loves being with children and is always alert and attentive to everything around him. Although he is considered a gentle giant and should not be frightening despite his size, it is recommended that he is always vigilant when in the company of small children.

As he tends to dominate, educating him early on to be together with other dogs and strangers is advisable, stimulating him to socialise. In this way, he learns to relate to others and understand the good rules of coexistence.

Care and health

Neapolitan Mastiffs are generally healthy dogs, but they are prone to some health conditions, including:

  • Hip dysplasia: This condition affects the hip joints and can cause pain and lameness.
  • Elbow dysplasia: This condition affects the elbow joints and can cause pain and lameness.
  • Gastric torsion (bloat): This life-threatening condition occurs when the stomach twists on itself.
  • Chew injuries: Neapolitan Mastiffs have large jaws and strong teeth, so they can easily chew through objects, including furniture, toys, and even bones. This can lead to injuries to their mouths and gums.
  • Wrinkle infections: Neapolitan Mastiffs have loose skin that can fold over and trap moisture, leading to skin infections.
  • Heatstroke: Neapolitan Mastiffs are susceptible to heatstroke because of their large size and thick coat. It is vital to keep them cool in hot weather.

To help keep your Neapolitan Mastiff healthy, providing them with a high-quality diet, regular exercise, and regular veterinary care is vital. It would be best to watch for any signs of health problems, such as limping, weight loss, or changes in appetite or behaviour.

Here are some tips for caring for a Neapolitan Mastiff:

  • Feed them a high-quality diet: Neapolitan Mastiffs are large dogs and need a diet high in protein and fat. You should also avoid feeding them too many treats, as this can lead to weight gain.
  • Give them regular exercise: Neapolitan Mastiffs need at least an hour of daily routine. This can include walks, playtime in the yard, or swimming.
  • Take them to the vet for regular checkups: Neapolitan Mastiffs are prone to certain health conditions, so taking them to the vet is vital. This will help your vet detect any health problems early on and recommend treatment if necessary.
  • Keep an eye out for skin problems: Neapolitan Mastiffs with loose skin are prone to skin problems such as wrinkle dermatitis. To help prevent this, you should keep their skin clean and dry. You may also need a medicated cream or ointment if you develop a skin infection.
  • Be patient with training: Neapolitan Mastiffs can be stubborn, so patience is essential. Start training them early and use positive reinforcement techniques.

With proper care, Neapolitan Mastiffs can live long and healthy lives. They are loyal and loving companions that can bring years of joy to their families.

Neapolitan Mastiff Grooming Guide.
Neapolitan Mastiffs must have their skin cleaned regularly so their wrinkles stay healthy.


Neapolitan Mastiffs require regular grooming, including brushing their coat weekly to remove dead hair and debris. They should also clean and dry their wrinkles daily to prevent skin infections. Neapolitan Mastiffs need moderate exercise, such as daily walks or play sessions. They should not be over-exercised, significantly as puppies, as this can stress their joints and bones.

The Neapolitan Mastiff has a very short, glassy coat and undergoes two moults yearly. The loss of hair is limited to these times, and it is sufficient, weekly, to pass a hair remover to have your dog with a shiny, clean coat and avoid ending up with filthy carpets and sofas.

The size of this dog is undoubtedly essential, but cleaning it may be accessible even without the services of a professional. Inspecting the ears, eyes, oral cavity, and interdigital spaces at least weekly should be taken to ensure no inflammation or infection. A hair-removing glove will be used for weekly cleaning, and baths will be given as needed. Regarding bathing, it would be best to go to a groomer if you do not have a suitable room.


Due to its size, the Neapolitan Mastiff is not a breed that is adapted to a balanced life. This is not necessarily a deterrent for those who, while having their Mastiff live inside the home, have the time and willingness to walk it often. Indeed, a courtyard or garden would be more than welcome. It would allow the Mastiff to interact with the outside world and be able to move around at will to fulfil its mission: guarding the territory.

The Neapolitan Mastiff is not a breed for neophytes. Its size and its character, which, although mild, is firm, is not suitable for inexperienced people. It is a breed that must be chosen with great responsibility, and one should, at the very least, if one decides on this breed, be assisted by the breeder to ensure that the puppy grows up in the best possible way thanks to his indications and advice.

If you are considering getting a Neapolitan Mastiff, it is crucial to research and find a reputable breeder. You should also be prepared for the cost of care, which can be high due to their size and potential health problems.

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The "Frenchie Breed" website is a blog aimed at dog owners. We regularly publish articles about our four-legged furry friends. Among the contents of our blog, you will find ample space on the latest news in the sector, with information and in-depth analysis dedicated to the world of dogs in all its forms, the latest trends and news of the moment, curious facts, events devoted to dogs, product reviews, as well as an intense activity of information regarding the health and well-being of pets.

Please Note: The articles in the 'Frenchie Breed Blog' are for information purposes only; nothing published can or should be construed as an attempt to offer professional advice or consultation with a physician, veterinary surgeon or another health professional.

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Written by Frenchie Breed

The "Frenchie Breed" website is a blog aimed at dog owners. We regularly publish articles about our four-legged furry friends. Among the contents of our blog, you will find ample space on the latest news in the sector, with information and in-depth analysis dedicated to the world of dogs in all its forms, the latest trends and news of the moment, curious facts, events devoted to dogs, product reviews, as well as an intense activity of information regarding the health and well-being of pets.

Please Note: The articles in the 'Frenchie Breed Blog' are for information purposes only; nothing published can or should be construed as an attempt to offer professional advice or consultation with a physician, veterinary surgeon or another health professional.

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