Neapolitan Mastiff vs Billy - Breed Comparison | MyDogBreeds

Neapolitan Mastiff is originated from Italy but Billy is originated from France. Both Neapolitan Mastiff and Billy are having almost same height. Neapolitan Mastiff may weigh 47 kg / 104 pounds more than Billy. Neapolitan Mastiff may live 6 years less than Billy. Neapolitan Mastiff may have more litter size than Billy. Both Neapolitan Mastiff and Billy requires Moderate maintenance.

Basic Information

Group:
Molosser dogs
Hound dog
Origin:
Italy
France
Height Male:
60 - 70 cm
23 - 28 inches
58 - 68 cm
22 - 27 inches
Height Female:
50 - 60 cm
19 - 24 inches
56 - 66 cm
22 - 26 inches
Weight Male:
61 - 79 kg
134 - 175 pounds
22 - 32 kg
48 - 71 pounds
Weight Female:
51 - 69 kg
112 - 153 pounds
20 - 29 kg
44 - 64 pounds
Life Span:
7 - 9 Years
12 - 15 Years
Litter Size:
6 - 12
3 - 5
Size:
Giant dog
Giant dog
Other Names:
Can'e presa • Italian Mastiff • Italian Molosso • Mastino • Mastino - Mastini plural • Mastino Napoletano • Neo
Chien de France-Comte
Colors Available:
black, mahogany and tawny, blue, chocolate, gray
White or off-white; may have orange or lemon patches or mantle.
Coat:
straight, dense, short
harsh, short
Shedding:
Moderate
Moderate
Temperament:
Alert, Courageous, Independent, Intelligent, Loyal, Protective, Quiet, Stubborn, Territorial
Alert, Courageous, Friendly, Independent, Intelligent, Loyal, Outgoing, Stubborn
Grooming:
Moderate maintenance
Moderate maintenance
Trainability:
Moderate
Moderate
Hypoallergenic:
No
No
Kids Friendly:
No
Yes
New Owners Friendly:
No
Yes

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.

The Billy (or Billie) Dog is a rare breed developed in France and mostly still only found in France. Created in the 19th century by Monsieur Gaston Hublot de Rivault and named after his home, Chateau de Billy, he is hunting dog of high quality. The Billy dog was developed by crossing the Poitevin’s original three lines – the Larrye, the Ceris and the Montemboeuf. In developing the Billy, Rivault favored the colors found in the Ceris and Montemboeuf strains as opposed to the tricolors of the Larrye strain. The Billy is a scent hound from all the lines leading back to the monks of the Saint Hubert Monastery in the middle ages, in Belgium, then refined in Gaul (France). The Billy line was considered the most elegant French breed and they were the last breed to come from that large scent hound type that the French nobility and royalty loved to breed.

In 1886 the Federation Cynoloquique Internationale established the standard for the Billy breed. The breed was a great hunter with resilience, speed, scenting and fortitude. The Billy hunted in large packs in pursuit of Wild Boar and Roe Deer. This was accomplished by the crossing of great hunters developed for their specific skills. The Ceris was amazing in its skill to hunt down wolves and hares. The Montemboeuf was a large, elegant dog that hunted wild boar and Larrye for his strong scent ability. Since these three breeds were true French breeds, the Billy was a true aristocratic scent hound in a pure scent hound line.

This gregarious, handsome dog became extremely popular in France in the 19th century. Unfortunately, the World Wars of the 20th century would take their toll on this rare breed and they were almost extinct by the late 1900’. There were only two hounds left by the end of the Second World War. Anthony Rivault, the son of Gaston, set about saving the breed by incorporating the lines of Harrier, the Poilevin and the Porcelaine with the two remaining hounds. From there the breed has been revived and is no longer on the verge of extinction. They are still rare and certainly not “popular”, but they are excellent hunters, especially hunting in packs. Today they are considered one of the breeds used to develop the Grand Anglo-Francais Blanc et Orange in France and there are several packs that hunt roe deer in France, while a couple packs are used to hunt wild boar.

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.

The Billy dog is powerful, beautiful and built extremely well. He is large but he should also be light weight and lean. He has an athletic look, powerful muscles, and strong bones. He has floppy ears, dark eyes with dark rims and a white coat. This breed has a medium size head with a domed forehead and square muzzle. The ears are high on the head, flat and floppy while the neck is long and strong. Shoulders are also long and the back broad, the thighs muscular and the feet round. He has a long fluffy tail. The coat is short and can be seen through to the skin. He has white skin with brown spots and the fur is white or off white. The females are smaller than the males. He is a great family companion as well as a hunter. They have high pitched voices and they can be howlers. They have a strong prey drive and are great hunters. They can be great companion dogs for any family, just watch them with small children and small animals. They are big enough to need a lot of space and a lot of exercise. Scent hounds can be stubborn, and that trait is not lost on the Billy dog.

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

Despite their history of almost becoming extinct the Billy dog is a hearty and healthy group. They do tend to get Bronchitis and colds due to the short, thin coat. Keep them indoors during winter. Another area of concern is the ears. They are prone to ear infections so keep their ears clean. They should not be exposed to cold weather. The Billy life expectancy is 10-14 years which is very good for such a large dog.

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

The Billy dog is large, muscular and lean. Do not overfeed him, but you can safely free feed. Watch to be sure he does not gain too much weight and if he does go to two feedings per day.

Health issues

As previously mentioned this is a healthy, long-lived dog. Watch for ear infections and keep him out of extreme cold.

Exercise/Games

This is a very athletic, active hunter, who needs a lot of exercise. Daily walks are good, but he needs 45 to 60 minutes of exercise every day. Remember he was bred to hunt and loves to do so. Find activities that let him use his athletic skills and strong sense of smell. He needs a big yard to romp in. He will excel at obedience, barn hunt and agility. A lure game might be good also, but he would be happier with a scent oriented “find it” game.

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.

Even though the Billy Breed is very rare and faced potential extinction it is a terrific sporting dog who loves children, other dogs, and adults. He could be a good family dog if his exercise needs are met. He is social, gregarious, and gentle with people. They are happiest in a pack and do not do well in a one dog household. They form extremely strong bonds with their people and household. They are friendly and outgoing. This makes them a poor choice for guard dog. They have an exceptionally well-developed prey drive do they might be aggressive toward any animal smaller than them. This includes the family cat, other smaller dogs, hamsters etc.

Comparison with other breeds

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