Neapolitan Mastiff vs Irish Wolfhound - Breed Comparison

Neapolitan Mastiff vs Irish WolfhoundNeapolitan Mastiff is originated from Italy but Irish Wolfhound is originated from Ireland. Neapolitan Mastiff may grow 16 cm / 6 inches shorter than Irish Wolfhound. Neapolitan Mastiff may weigh 25 kg / 56 pounds more than Irish Wolfhound. Both Neapolitan Mastiff and Irish Wolfhound has almost same life span. Neapolitan Mastiff may have more litter size than Irish Wolfhound. Both Neapolitan Mastiff and Irish Wolfhound requires Moderate maintenance.

Basic Information

Group:
Molosser dogs
Hound dog
Origin:
Italy
Ireland
Height Male:
60 - 70 cm
23 - 28 inches
81 - 86 cm
31 - 34 inches
Height Female:
50 - 60 cm
19 - 24 inches
81 - 86 cm
31 - 34 inches
Weight Male:
61 - 79 kg
134 - 175 pounds
48 - 54 kg
105 - 120 pounds
Weight Female:
51 - 69 kg
112 - 153 pounds
48 - 54 kg
105 - 120 pounds
Life Span:
7 - 9 Years
6 - 10 Years
Litter Size:
6 - 12
3 - 4
Size:
Giant dog
Giant dog
Other Names:
Can'e presa • Italian Mastiff • Italian Molosso • Mastino • Mastino - Mastini plural • Mastino Napoletano • Neo
None
Colors Available:
black, mahogany and tawny, blue, chocolate, gray
red, black or brindle, grey, white, Fawn
Coat:
straight, dense, short
Medium length, straight to wavy and wiry
Shedding:
Moderate
Moderate
Temperament:
Alert, Courageous, Independent, Intelligent, Loyal, Protective, Quiet, Stubborn, Territorial
Affectionate, Alert, Cheerful, Courageous, Curious, Docile, Energetic, Friendly, Gentle, Independent, Intelligent, Lively, Loving, Loyal, Outgoing, Playful, Protective, Quiet, Responsive, Social, Sweet, Territorial
Grooming:
Moderate maintenance
Moderate maintenance
Trainability:
Moderate
Easy
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.

irish wolfhoundIt is believed that the Irish Wolfhound is an ancient breed and that it was brought to Ireland as early as 7000 BC.

These dogs were bred as hunting dogs as well as guard dogs. There was a time when these huge canines were only allowed to be owned by the nobility. The breed died out somewhat, but Scotsman Captain George Augustus Graham made efforts to restore the breed’s numbers.

Captain Graham devoted his life to making sure the Irish Wolfhound’s numbers were built up, and the breeding program included Great Danes, Borzois, English Mastiffs and Scottish Deerhounds.

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.

irish wolfhound puppyThe tallest of the sighthounds, the Irish Wolfhound looks like a large Greyhound, only he has a rough, wiry type of coat.

He is also gracefully built and known as a gentle giant. The double coat which can be fawn, red, white, grey, black or brindle is straight to wavy.

He stands at about 81 to 86cm and weighs roughly 48 to 54kg. This is one of the few dog breeds that you can’t really call social. He loves his own human family, and becomes unhappy and ‘down-in-the-dumps’ when separated from his family members for too long. He is a quiet dog who tends to be somewhat introverted and reserved, while being highly intelligent.

He will require being trained and socialized to make him obedient as he is an independent dog. He takes his role as family protector seriously and even though he is quiet, he is ready to take on anyone who threatens his property.

Temperament:

The Irish Wolfhound is a gentle, quiet, soft-natured, easy-going dog and even though it is such a large dog, it doesn’t throw it’s weight around but is calm and patient around the elderly and children in the home. It can tend to be aggressive with animals he isn’t familiar with.

He is an intelligent dog, but even so he may be quite resistant to training as he is strong-willed and determined to have his own way. These dogs need to be trained and socialized otherwise they just do their own thing.

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

irish wolfhound dogOne wonders why breeders seem so bent on breeding such large dogs when they have health issues and they don't live particularly long. Not only do they cost a fortune to feed, but large dogs like this are more prone to illnesses and won’t live as long as small dog breeds. This big dog can live up to 10 years of age or so.

For starters, just because he is a deep chested dog, bloat or gastric torsion can be a threat. Other illnesses to look out for are dilated cardiomyopathy and bone cancer.

Dilated Cardiomyopathy:

This is a disease of the heart muscle where the enlarged heart won’t function properly. The upper- and lower chambers of the heart are enlarged and the heart isn’t able to pump blood out properly. When the heart’s ventricle doesn’t pump enough blood into the lungs, fluid accumulates in the lungs and this ultimately leads to congestive heart failure.

Older dogs battle more with this heart disease and it is also more common in some dog breeds of which the Irish Wolfhound is one. Your dog will have shortness of breath, coughing and abdominal distension. He will need to get to the vet for medical tests.

Bone Cancer:

Bone cancer can strike any dog, but you’ll find in more commonly with larger dog breeds. It can spread quickly and the long term prognosis isn’t good. It’s not easy to pick the disease up and it can mean joint pain for your pet and even lameness.

Your dog will be tired too. Your vet will do X-rays and other tests, but unfortunately the prognosis isn’t usually good. Big-dog breeders should take this into consideration.

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.

Exercise:

irish wolfhound puppiesThis isn’t a particularly energetic dog and he can tend to become lazy. Don’t allow this as becoming unfit and overweight can be very bad for such large dog. Being so large already puts stress on the dog’s body, and the dog is already susceptible to cardiac and skeletal problems. Allowing him to become lazy and overweight will be a death sentence for this large dog. It is imperative to make sure you take him on walks and play games with him.

Grooming:

The coat of your dog is thick and medium length and he will require being brushed at least twice a week. You may want to also trim the longer hair you find around his face and legs.

When it comes to his ears, you can moisten some cotton wool and wipe the inside of his ears to remove dirt and excess wax. Remember not to probe too deeply to avoid damaging the ear. If you’re uncertain how to do this, your vet can explain to you how its done.

Check his teeth regularly as dental disease can affect other areas of the body too. Don’t allow his nails to get too long as they can cause paw problems and the nails can hook onto things and cause injury.

Diet:

Because this is a giant breed, the puppy will grow for a long time. Speak to your vet about how to ensure you feed your puppy in such a way that he doesn’t grow too quickly.

If you feed your dog a commercially manufactured food, make sure its one of the top quality brands. Include home-made cooked food such as chicken, rice and vegetables into his kibble from time to time, and also try to feed him some raw meat occasionally.

Fresh, cool water must be available to your Irish Wolfhound around the clock.

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.

irish wolfhound dogsThe most notable aspect of the Irish Wolfhound is his amazing height. The legs are long, the body narrow. He is gentle and easy-going but because he is a sighthound he loves to give chase after animals.

He is capable of living in the city or countryside, but your home will need to cater to his size. He isn’t particularly energetic, enjoying a quiet life but he will absolutely need to be exercised.

Provide your gentle giant with everything needed to make him content, and you’ll have a faithful, loving friend for about 10 years.

Comparison with other breeds

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