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Neapolitan Mastiff: Personality, Exercise, Health

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About Neapolitan Mastiff

Country of Origin, History of Neapolitan Mastiffs

All European Mastiffs are descended from the ancient Tibetan Mastiff. The Neapolitan Mastiff is descended from the Roman Molossus. It has existed in Campania for over two thousand years.

The Neapolitan Mastiff was bred for use in war and in Roman arena fights. It has remained a fierce guard and protector through the years. Used by police, the Italian army, farmers, and estate owners, it protects people and property.

Neapolitan Mastiff Tools

Breed Selector Tool - is the Neapolitan Mastiff the right breed for you?

Is the Neapolitan Mastiff the right breed for you and your family?

Find out by using our Free Dog Breed Selector Tool

Check Your Neapolitan Mastiff's Learning Style

Are you aware dogs also have a learning style that can greatly affect their ability to housetrain as well as be trained correctly. Evaluate your Neapolitan Mastiff's learning style and personality using our free Learning Style tool so that you are better able to provide him with the proper Neapolitan Mastiff training methods.

Is your Neapolitan Mastiff dominating over you?

Does your Neapolitan Mastiff bark unnecessarily? Does your Neapolitan Mastiff come to you when you call? Download a FREE Report on Dog Dominance for you and your Neapolitan Mastiff and learn how to control your dog.

Do you make these mistakes with your Neapolitan Mastiff?

Are you inadvertently snow-balling bad behavior in your Neapolitan Mastiff? Evaluate your Dog Training Style from our Free Tool and learn how best to deal with your dog.

Neapolitan Mastiff Calorie Calculator

Do you know how many calories your Neapolitan Mastiff needs every day and how many cups of food you should be giving it every day? Click here to use our Neapolitan Mastiff Calorie Calculator.

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A General Appearance of the Dog

The Neapolitan Mastiff is a serious, powerful, looking dog. It is muscular with a rather rectangular body, massive head, and wrinkled face. The facial wrinkles continue under the chin and down the neck to form a prominent dewlap. The skull is broad and flat on top, and the nose is large. The teeth meet in a scissors or level bite.

According to tradition established when the dogs were used in combat, the ears should be docked short (but many people keep them natural) and the very thick tail is cropped by one third.

Coat Color

The most common coat color is blue, though black is the next most common color.

Coat Type

The short, harsh coat is dense and smooth.


Males 26-30 inches (65-75 cm.)
Females 24-28 inches (60-70 cm.)


Up to 165 pounds (74 kg.) The largest male Neapolitans may be nearly 200 pounds (90 kg.)

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Neapolitan Mastiff Personality Traits

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The Spanish Water Dog is an extremely intelligent, fearless, ever-active, strong, attentive, happy and well balanced versatile working dog with strong herding, hunting and guardian instincts. It is a devoted companion. It is reserved, not shy, with strangers. They can be protective and territorial.

Are they suited to families with kids?

Most of them are good with children and other animals if properly socialized.

Neapolitan Mastiff Activity Level

How Active is the Breed?

Neapolitan Mastiffs do not need large amounts of exercise. It does like walks where it can look around and sniff. Avoid tiring the dog too much.

How Much Exercise Does the Dog Need at every stage of its Life?

Neapolitan Mastiff puppies should not be allowed to get overly tired from running and playing. Avoid rough games during her growth period. This dog needs as much energy as possible to grow healthy bones and muscles.

Adult Neapolitan Mastiffs will enjoy two long walks a day. The Neo's favorite thing to do is lie on the couch and be pampered by its master.


These giant, short-haired dogs are easy to groom. Remove loose, dead hair with a rubber brush. This breed is an average shedder.

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Free Neapolitan Mastiff Training Secrets

Free Course on Neapolitan Mastiff Training & Obedience
Stop All Bad Behavior, Excessive Barking and Biting

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Health and Care

Neapolitan Mastiffs have pano-ostiosis (growing pains), a condition which may occur when the dog is 4-18 months old and generally disappears on its own.

Neos are prone to hip dysplasia because of their size and mass.

Neapolitan Mastiffs are also prone to "cherry eye." The eye tissue protrudes more than normal and becomes red and inflamed. This condition is completely cured with minor surgery.

Because they are prone to bloat, feed 2-3 small meals a day.

Genetic Problems

Hip Dysplasia is a genetic problem.

Other problems include thyroid disorder, intropian, PRA, juvenile cataracts, cardiomyopathy, OCD, and bloat.

Life Span

Short, up to 10 years. If well cared for, some live to 13 years. Because of their size, they develop a number of health problems as they age.

National Breed Clubs

National Breed Clubs

British – The Neapolitan Mastiff Club –
US – United States Neapolitan Mastiff Club –

Other Recognition: CKC, FCI, KCGB, NKC, NZKC, USNMC, APRI, ACR

Group: Working Group.

AKC Popularity Ranking: 102

Also Known As: Italian Mastiff, Neo, Mastino Napoletano, Mastino

Train Your Neapolitan Mastiff To Listen To You

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Sign up for our Free Neapolitan Mastiff Mini Course to have a housebroken, obedient dog that happily comes to you every time you call.

You'll learn new commands to obedience-train your dog as well as how to housebreak your dog in 6 days or less.

You'll also learn how to eliminate bad habits like barking, nipping or biting, jumping, or pulling on the leash.Here's just s small fraction of what else you'll learn in the course:

  • How to lead and think like a pack dog - the new psychology.

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  • One hidden psychological trigger that all Neapolitan Mastiffs have... that practically allows you to "analyze" and "control" your dog's every action.

  • Priority access to the free online seminars conducted by our training experts.

Whereas other dog training related web sites and books offer generic information for dogs in general, ours is the ONLY web site that offers Italian Mastiff information specifically, from a renowned panel of experts - because as you probably know, Italian Mastiffs have their own special training requirements that other dogs don't have.

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Our Dog Experts

The Neapolitan Mastiff training information you will read here was developed by a panel of renowned dog training experts whose combined wisdom represents nearly 100 years of specialist experience training dogs.

Here are a few of our experts:

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