Neapolitan Mastiff vs Anatolian Shepherd - Breed Comparison

Neapolitan Mastiff vs Anatolian ShepherdNeapolitan Mastiff is originated from Italy but Anatolian Shepherd is originated from Turkey. Neapolitan Mastiff may grow 6 cm / 2 inches shorter than Anatolian Shepherd. Neapolitan Mastiff may weigh 11 kg / 25 pounds more than Anatolian Shepherd. Both Neapolitan Mastiff and Anatolian Shepherd has almost same life span. Both Neapolitan Mastiff and Anatolian Shepherd has almost same litter size. Both Neapolitan Mastiff and Anatolian Shepherd requires Moderate maintenance.

Basic Information

Group:
Molosser dogs
Working dog
Origin:
Italy
Turkey
Height Male:
60 - 70 cm
23 - 28 inches
71 - 76 cm
27 - 30 inches
Height Female:
50 - 60 cm
19 - 24 inches
66 - 71 cm
25 - 28 inches
Weight Male:
61 - 79 kg
134 - 175 pounds
45 - 68 kg
99 - 150 pounds
Weight Female:
51 - 69 kg
112 - 153 pounds
41 - 59 kg
90 - 131 pounds
Life Span:
7 - 9 Years
10 - 11 Years
Litter Size:
6 - 12
5 - 10
Size:
Giant dog
Giant dog
Other Names:
Can'e presa • Italian Mastiff • Italian Molosso • Mastino • Mastino - Mastini plural • Mastino Napoletano • Neo
Karabaş (Blackhead), Anatolian Blackhead (Anadolulu Karabaş), Kangal Coban Kopegi • Perro de pastor de Anatolia • Anatolischer Hirtenhund • Chien de berger d'Anatolie • Anatolian Shepard Dog or ASD
Colors Available:
black, mahogany and tawny, blue, chocolate, gray
fawn, brindle
Coat:
straight, dense, short
Double, thick, rough
Shedding:
Moderate
Seasonal
Temperament:
Alert, Courageous, Independent, Intelligent, Loyal, Protective, Quiet, Stubborn, Territorial
Alert, Courageous, Detached, Independent, Intelligent, Loving, Loyal, Protective, Quiet, Stubborn, Territorial
Grooming:
Moderate maintenance
Moderate maintenance
Trainability:
Moderate
Easy
Hypoallergenic:
No
No
Kids Friendly:
No
No
New Owners Friendly:
No
No

History

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.

anatolian shepherdUp in the mountains of central Turkey, in the region called Anatolia, a large, strong and rugged dog breed was born and is honored today on a postal stamp. This was the Anatolian Shepard – keeper of the flocks with strength, agility and speed. The Anatolian Shepard is able to pursue and catch any predator that threatens his livestock and they are his livestock. His keen sense of hearing and his excellent sight only add to his prowess as a protector.

The Anatolian is a giant dog, classified as a shepherd by the UKC – Kennel Club of the United Kingdom, while he is classified as a mountain dog or molossus by the Federation Cynologique International. When the breed was created, they were a gift to the farmers in the mountains to guard the livestock from cheetahs. This helped the cheetahs to stop attacking the livestock and prevented the farmers from wiping out the cheetah population by shooting them.

The Anatolian Shepard does have some controversy in his lineage as in some areas he is considered to be either the most closely related or the same breed as the Turkish Kangal Dog. The Anatolian is considered to have a blood line that goes back at least 6000 years.

They are direct descendants of mastiffs and mountain dogs. Yet they have the long legs, agility and aloofness of the sight hounds that are also in their bloodline. Originally called the “Coban Kopegi” or shepherd dog by their Turkish farmers, they were eventually separated into the breed called the Anatolian Shepard. When the breed was first brought into the United Kingdom the line of the Kangal dog was first. Then they were crossed with dogs called Anatolian Shepherds. Many breeders believe that the Anatolian Shepherd is a category that includes the Kangal, Coban Kopegi, Aksaray Malaklisi and the Akbash dog.

So as of January 2012, the Australian National Kennel Club no longer considers the Anatolian Shepard and the Kangal as separate breeds. The UK Kennel Club now recognizes the Kangal and the Anatolian as the same breed. For others they are still clearly separate and distinct breeds with the ASD being their own breed. In fact, the government of Turkey recognizes them as separate breeds and the Kangal Dog as the National Dog of Turkey.

The Anatolian Shepard was already in the United States in when the Anatolian Shepard Club of America came into being because of a young naval officer who had met the dogs in Turkey. They were allowed into the Miscellaneous Class of the American Kennel Club in 1996 after this naval officer had been breeding them in California for years. By 1998 they had moved to the Working Group where they reside today.

Description

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.

anatolian shepherd puppyComing from the mountains and guarding their flock against cheetahs has led the Anatolian Shepherd to be a muscular dog with broad heads and thick necks and sturdy, strong bodies. Their ears drop and are triangular in shape, while their muzzles are rectangular with tight lips. Their double coat is thick and warm fitting for life in the mountain regions. They do blow their coats with excessive shedding twice a year. The fur on their throat is extra thick for their protection.

Muscular, thin, their rib cage is large while their stomach is small. Their tails can be intact or docked. The Anatolian Shepherd is much like the Kuvasz or the Great Pyrenees in their size, shape and responsibilities. He is more agile and slenderer than those two dogs. Their bite is scissors or level, while their eyes are almonds, set apart in their heads.

Health Problems

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

anatolian shepherd dogThis is a healthy breed without a lot of the issues that plaque other giant breeds. In one recent survey the leading cause of death among the ASD is cancer and old age. Skin issues are more prevalent than dysplasia though it does occur. They have a sensitivity to anesthesia and their immune system does take longer to mature so all young ASD should be discussed with vets before any vaccinations are given. Bloat is not as common among this breed either. They should be screened for eyelid inversion or entropion. They are susceptible to Demodectic Mange or demodicosis which is caused by a mite.

Caring The Pet

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.

Feeding

anatolian shepherd puppiesFeed your Anatolian Shepherd a measured amount twice a day and keep him from becoming overweight. It is recommended that you feed her from 4-6 cups of dry, high quality food for the entire day. The more active your dog is, the more she will need to eat. Using treats in training is appropriate but don’t give her too many as these will add to the waist line.

Health issues

As mentioned previously this is a very healthy breed especially when compared with other giant and/or mountain dog breeds. However, they are susceptible but not prone to:

Hip Dysplasia

Should be tested for this condition in which the bones don’t fit well into the joint. Elbow Dysplasia – the same as above except it is the arm bone does not fit well into the joint. Both these conditions can cause arthritis or lameness.

Demodectic Mange

Caused by mites and a weakened immune system it can result in patches of scaly, red skin and hair loss. A generalized version can cover the entire body and can be fatal.

Hypothyroidism

This can result if obesity, hair loss, epilepsy, lethargy and other skin condition. It is easily treatable.

Entropion

Mentioned previously it causes the eyelid to roll inward and requires surgery.

Exercise and games

Your Anatolian Shepherd does not need a lot of exercise despite his size. A large yard with a good fence will do for him as long as he gets a walk daily. If they can run free in a large yard they will be happy. If not, you will need to take them to a dog park, preferable when other dogs are NOT present. You can’t assume he will be ok with other dogs. Never walk them off leash as they love to wander. They need a job to do.

Characteristics

Children friendliness

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

Special talents

Protective yet quiet, calm, relaxed

Adaptability

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.

anatolian shepherd dogsThis breed is independent, stubborn and strong. They are great protectors of their flocks and people, but they are incredibly challenging to own. They are intelligent, loyal dogs who learn quickly when they want to. They key being “when they want to”. The Anatolian Shepard was bred to be nomadic, following the herd and hunting for the herd’s predators. Microchip your ASD because they will roam if they get the chance.

If you want your Anatolian to get along with other dogs, cats or other animals, socialize them together when the ASD is a puppy. If the animal or child is part of his flock the ASD will protect them with his life. Though he is loving, quiet and calm, the Anatolian is just as demanding and dominating. Never let your Anatolian Shepherd believe that he is above the humans in the pack or you will have a major problem controlling him. He will be especially leery of strangers and will not accept your word that the stranger is part of the family. However, if she understands that humans are above her and you are the leader, she will accept any person you accept.

Even if they accept strangers, they will not allow anyone other than the family into the home when the owner is not there. This is a proud, proud dog that can be stubborn, demanding and bossy. Being such a large dog, you need to be in control. This is not a dog for everyone. Be firm, confident, be loving and consistent when training an Anatolian Shepherd. Do not offer your ASD any additional training in protection. He doesn’t need it and it could be detrimental. They will protect children, but they do not respect them. Therefore, supervise their interactions with children.

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