Neapolitan Mastiff vs Bernese Mountain Dog - Breed Comparison

Neapolitan Mastiff vs Bernese Mountain DogNeapolitan Mastiff is originated from Italy but Bernese Mountain Dog is originated from Switzerland. Both Neapolitan Mastiff and Bernese Mountain Dog are having almost same height. Neapolitan Mastiff may weigh 24 kg / 53 pounds more than Bernese Mountain Dog. Both Neapolitan Mastiff and Bernese Mountain Dog has almost same life span. Neapolitan Mastiff may have less litter size than Bernese Mountain Dog. Both Neapolitan Mastiff and Bernese Mountain Dog requires Moderate maintenance.

Basic Information

Group:
Molosser dogs
Working dog
Origin:
Italy
Switzerland
Height Male:
60 - 70 cm
23 - 28 inches
61 - 71 cm
24 - 28 inches
Height Female:
50 - 60 cm
19 - 24 inches
58 - 66 cm
22 - 26 inches
Weight Male:
61 - 79 kg
134 - 175 pounds
35 - 55 kg
77 - 122 pounds
Weight Female:
51 - 69 kg
112 - 153 pounds
30 - 50 kg
66 - 111 pounds
Life Span:
7 - 9 Years
6 - 8 Years
Litter Size:
6 - 12
5 - 15
Size:
Giant dog
Giant dog
Other Names:
Can'e presa • Italian Mastiff • Italian Molosso • Mastino • Mastino - Mastini plural • Mastino Napoletano • Neo
Berner Sennenhund Bernese Cattle Dog - Berner, Bernese
Colors Available:
black, mahogany and tawny, blue, chocolate, gray
Tri-Black,Rust,White
Coat:
straight, dense, short
double, long, thick
Shedding:
Moderate
Seasonal
Temperament:
Alert, Courageous, Independent, Intelligent, Loyal, Protective, Quiet, Stubborn, Territorial
Affectionate, Docile, Friendly, Gentle, Independent, Intelligent, Loving, Loyal, Playful, Quiet, Social, Stubborn, Sweet
Grooming:
Moderate maintenance
Moderate maintenance
Trainability:
Moderate
Easy
Hypoallergenic:
No
No
Kids Friendly:
No
Yes
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.

bernese mountain dogThe Bernese Mountain Dog comes from the Swiss Alps and is one of four separate breeds called Sennenhund or “Alpine pasture dog”. The Name Bernese Mountain Dog indicates the area of Switzerland that the dogs come from – the canton of Bern. These groups of dogs accompanied the dairymen and herders and they were farm dogs. They pulled carts, delivered goods from village to village. The Bernese Mountain Dog was part of this group along with: Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, Appenzeller,Entlebucher Mountain Dog and the Bernese Mountain Dog. It is probably true that the Bernese Mountain Dog has been a part of farm life in the Alps for over 2000 years.

In some regions of the Alps, these dogs were called Durrbachhund after a small town named Durrbah and are said to be rooted in the Molosser breeds. Tin 1902 the Swiss Kennel Club recognized the Bernese Mountain Dog as a separate breed and the first breed club was founded in 1907 in the region of Burgdorf. The first standard for the breed was written and separated the 4 dogs into their own breeds. The Molosser is an ancient breed whose versatility and travels made it expressly influential in the developing of Mastiff dogs like St. Bernards, Great Pyranees, Mastiffs and Swiss Mountain Dogs like the Bernese.

However at the end of the 19th century famers and shepherds began to import other breeds of working dogs, while at the same time automated modes of transportation began to replace the farm dogs. Under these circumstances the number of Bernese Mountain Dog began to decline and the breed faced potential extinction. A group of people were gathered together to save the Berner, including Franz Schertenleib and Albert Heim. Still today the Bernese are in short supply and because of the need and desire to increase the numbers, some breeding practices have not been as good as they should have been. However, today’s Berner is a great family dog and he still loves to work. He is good at carting, herding, search and rescue, watch dog, tracking, and competitive obedience.

The Bernese Mountain Dog came to the US after World War I and was imported to Britain in the 1930’s. The AKC accepted the Berner as a new Working-Class breed in 1937. It was not until 1968 that the Bernese Mountain Dog Club of America was formed. In 1981, the AKC accepted the club as a member and in 1990 they (AKC) adopted the standard used today to judge the Bernese Mountain Dog.

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.

bernese mountain dog puppyThe Bernese Mountain Dog is a large, lovable clown. He has a heavy build with a tri color- mostly black – coat. He should have a white chest and rust coloring on the front of his legs, the sides of his mouth, and above his eyes. His eyes should be dark and blue eyes are a disqualification. His coat is silky, thick and long. He has medium sized triangle shaped ears and a scissors bite. He has round toes and strong, straight legs, He is well suited to cold weather. His skull is broad and flat, his muzzle is straight and strong, his nose must be black, and he does not usually drool.

He is an imposing sight, but he is also as non-aggressive as any breed. He is strong, intelligent, and agile. He should have his dew claws removed. This breed should be self-assured, yet good natured and calm. He is welcoming to strangers and loyal to his people. He needs his people.

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

bernese mountain dog dogEven though it is well known that cancer is the leading cause of dog deaths across the globe, the Bernese Mountain Dog is particularly prone to die of cancer. Half of all Berners compared with 27% of all dogs, die from cancer. The Berner’s life span is also shorter than most dogs his size. IT is also not just one cancer that attacks the Bernese Mountain Dog but rather at least 6 or more including mast cell, osteosarcoma, malignant histiocytosis, fibrosarcoma, and lymphosarcoma. They can also suffer from PRA (Progressive Retinal Atrophy), hypoadrenocorticism, cataracts and histiocytic sarcoma. Another issue that plaques the Berner more than other breeds is musculoskeletal issues that cause mortality. This can include issues such as cruciate ligament rupture, arthritis and hip dysplasia. These types of aliments cause death in 6% of the breed while they are usually the cause of mortality in only 2% of all other dogs.

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

bernese mountain dog puppiesAs with any large purebred dog, the Bernese Mountain Dog needs high quality food that will provide hi with nutrition and keep him from becoming overweight if fed properly. He is however a very large dog with a very large appetite. Watch his calorie intake. It’s ok to use treats if you fit them into the overall calorie intake for the day. Feed him smaller meals twice a day.

Health issues

As previously mentioned the breed has quite a few health challenges to deal with, cancer being the number one issue. The small genetic line is one of, if not the main, culprit in this high mortality rate and short life span of the Bernese Mountain Dog. In addition to the conditions mentioned above, they are also susceptible to bloat (stomach inversion). In addition, they face the conditions mentioned previously and should be tested for dysplasia of the hip and elbow, Von Willebrand’s Disease, Cardiac testing and an eye or ophthalmologist exam.

Exercise and games

The Bernese Mountain Dog is a gentle giant. They have a calm happy demeanor and they love to work. In fact, they need to work. They love children and will quickly give them cart rides. They compete in carting competitions and herding events sponsored by the AKC. They need exercise but not an extreme amount or intense type. A half-hour a day is enough for them. They love long walks or hiking. They are great companions for backpacking or camping. They are also good at tracking, rally, obedience, and agility.

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.

bernese mountain dog dogsWhen reading the AKC standard for the Bernese Mountain Dog you will find that the breed is good natured and self-assured. They are not aggressive, shy or anxious. These are gentle, loving dogs. At the same time, they should be socialized to all kinds of animals, people and children when they are puppies. They are happy outside but need to live in the house with their people. They need exercise and play, and because they are so large, they need this outside. But when it comes to cuddling and sleeping they need to be indoors.

They love children though you should be careful with small children because of the Berner’s size and their not being aware of their size at times. They are extremely loyal to their people and want to be with people. They are intelligent, and they want to please their people. At the same time, they are sensitive. They do not respond well to punishment or harshness. They are imposing but they are lovers at heart.

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