Neapolitan Mastiff Dog Breed Information, Images, Characteristics, Health

Basic Information - Neapolitan Mastiff for Sale

Molosser dogs
Height Male:
60 - 70 cm23 - 28 inches
Height Female:
50 - 60 cm19 - 24 inches
Weight Male:
61 - 79 kg134 - 175 pounds
Weight Female:
51 - 69 kg112 - 153 pounds
Life Span:
7 - 9 Years
Litter Size:
6 - 12
Giant dog
Other Names:
Can'e presa • Italian Mastiff • Italian Molosso • Mastino • Mastino - Mastini plural • Mastino Napoletano • Neo
Colors Available:
black, mahogany and tawny, blue, chocolate, gray
straight, dense, short
Alert, Courageous, Independent, Intelligent, Loyal, Protective, Quiet, Stubborn, Territorial
Moderate maintenance
Kids Friendly:
New Owners Friendly:

History - Neapolitan Mastiff for Sale

neapolitan mastiffAn ancient breed, the Neapolitan Mastiffs are massive dogs with a history of protecting their family and their property. The breed has deep rooted protective instincts and they are very frightening in appearance. The Neapolitan is of the Molosser group of dogs, all of whom probably came from the same line. It is known that all the mastiffs in Europe are descendants of the Tibetan Mastiff. The Tibetan Mastiff is considered the most ancient of all canines.

The Asian Mastiffs came from India to Greece around 300 BC with Alexander the Great. Then the breed was brought to the Romans by the Greeks and then introduced them in their circus in fights. Another possibility is that around 500 BC the mastiffs came to Britain from the Phoenicians. Either way the Roman Molossus is the ancestor of the Neapolitan Mastiff.

The Romans crossed the breed with the English Mastiff around 55 BC and developed a premiere war dog that was called a Mastini.

The breed eventually became extinct in Europe with the exception of Campania. The breed was recognized in 1946 with the standard accepted in 1949. However, it is believed that the Neapolitan Mastiff has been continuously present in Campania for over two thousand years. The breed was initially developed as war dogs and for the Roman coliseum spectacles.

In 1946 Dr. Piero Scanziani established a program to breed them in Italy. He wrote the breed standard in 1949.

Today the Neo is a farm dog, an army dog, a police dog and a guard dog. They were shown in Italy for the first time in 1946 but only in 2004 was the breed recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC). It was 1973 when the Neapolitan Mastiff Club of America was born and 1996 when the standard was approved by the AKC. They are still a rare breed in the United States.

Description - Neapolitan Mastiff for Sale

neapolitan mastiff puppyThe Neapolitan Mastiff is a massive dog , so powerful and very intimidating in his looks. With an incredibly large head and hanging folds and wrinkles, the Neo is an impressive animal. His inner nobility and dignity is evident in his stance and the way he holds himself. He is relaxed, calm, quiet yet imposing none the less. His coat is dark whether black, tawny, gray or mahogany. He is muscular beyond imagination. The Neo is 10-15% longer than he is tall.

On his massive head his eyes are deep set and covered by his eye lids that droop. His eyes are blue as puppies then dark and coordinated with his coat. and his nose is large and the color of his coat. Ears are natural or can be cropped, and they carry their tail straight and curving back. The Neo has round paws and arched toes.

Health Problems - Neapolitan Mastiff for Sale

neapolitan mastiff dogThe Neapolitan Mastiff is prone to many of the same issues as any massive, extra large breed. The most common of these is Cherry Eye.

Other issues include:

  • Hypothyroidism – treated with medication
  • Elbow Dysplasia – can cause lameness or arthritis
  • Hip Dysplasia – can cause lameness or arthritis
  • Cardiomyopathy – heart issues
  • Bloat or Gastric Dilation Volvulus – can be fatal, needs immediate attention
  • Sensitivity to Anesthetics

Caring The Pet - Neapolitan Mastiff for Sale

Feeding the puppy

neapolitan mastiff puppiesNeapolitans grow fast and so don’t overfeed when they are young. Lower protein and higher fat content.

Feeding the adult

Don’t overfeed the adult as they can become obese.

Games and Exercises

This big hearty breed needs exercise but not too much. They overheat easily. The puppy will push himself, so you have to make sure he doesn’t over do it. No tug of war games. They need a long walk twice every day.

Characteristics - Neapolitan Mastiff for Sale

Children friendliness

neapolitan mastiff dogsOlder children in their family. No toddlers or strangers.

Special talents

Protective yet quiet, calm, relaxed


No they won’t adapt well to apartment living or to strangers.

Learning ability

They are intelligent and trainable but must be socialized and know the human is the alpha or they will take over.

Comparison with other breeds

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