Neapolitan Mastiff vs Leonberger - Breed Comparison

Neapolitan Mastiff vs LeonbergerNeapolitan Mastiff is originated from Italy but Leonberger is originated from Germany. Neapolitan Mastiff may grow 10 cm / 3 inches shorter than Leonberger. Both Neapolitan Mastiff and Leonberger are having almost same weight. Both Neapolitan Mastiff and Leonberger has almost same life span. Both Neapolitan Mastiff and Leonberger has almost same litter size. Both Neapolitan Mastiff and Leonberger requires Moderate maintenance.

Basic Information

Group:
Molosser dogs
Working dog
Origin:
Italy
Germany
Height Male:
60 - 70 cm
23 - 28 inches
65 - 80 cm
25 - 32 inches
Height Female:
50 - 60 cm
19 - 24 inches
65 - 80 cm
25 - 32 inches
Weight Male:
61 - 79 kg
134 - 175 pounds
40 - 77 kg
88 - 170 pounds
Weight Female:
51 - 69 kg
112 - 153 pounds
40 - 77 kg
88 - 170 pounds
Life Span:
7 - 9 Years
8 - 10 Years
Litter Size:
6 - 12
6 - 14
Size:
Giant dog
Giant dog
Other Names:
Can'e presa • Italian Mastiff • Italian Molosso • Mastino • Mastino - Mastini plural • Mastino Napoletano • Neo
Gentle Leo, Leo, Gentle Giant
Colors Available:
black, mahogany and tawny, blue, chocolate, gray
sandy or yellowish, tan, Reddish-brown
Coat:
straight, dense, short
Thick double-coat - straight or wavy
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, Territorial
Grooming:
Moderate maintenance
Moderate maintenance
Trainability:
Moderate
Easy
Hypoallergenic:
No
No
Kids Friendly:
No
No
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.

leonbergerHailing from Germany, and more specifically the city of Leonberg, the Leonberger is a giant dog breed.

A resident of Leonberg, Germany, was looking to develop a dog that resembled a lion and in 1846 it was announced that such a dog had been developed by crossing a Newfoundland, Saint Bernard and Pyrenean Mountain dog.

It was after 2010, when the Leonberger Club of America joined the American Kennel Club, that the strict breeding rules were no longer mandatory for all Leonbergers.

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.

leonberger puppyAs a giant breed, the Leonberger stands at between 65cm and 80cm in height. He weighs a hefty 40 – 77kg both males and females.

These dogs are described as being dimorphic. It means that there is quite a difference in the looks of the males and females, with the male dogs being heftier and larger than the females.

The head of the dog is large, he has almond-shaped, dark brown eyes and the ears are medium sized and floppy. The tail is long and he has webbed feet which makes him a good swimmer too.

The thick, double coat can be straight or wavy and comes in different colors such as reddish-brown, tan, sandy or yellowish and the hairs can be tipped with black. He sheds quite a bit so will need regular brushing.

The Leonberger can have between 6 – 14 puppies and these puppies are like big, fat, cuddly, fluffy teddy bears. Don’t be tempted to just buy one because of his wonderful looks because they turn out to be huge dogs that eat a lot and the coat can take quite a bit of effort to keep groomed.

Temperament:

Fondly referred to as the Leo, this giant beautiful dog is social and in spite of his size, he should never be left alone in the backyard for long periods of time. He needs to come indoors from time to time to enjoy some interaction with his human family.

He is a family dog, and with training and socialization, he becomes a well-rounded, confident, obedient pet, quiet and content and sensitive to his owner’s moods.

Even though he becomes a great family pet, you need to think twice before you decide to own one of these large dogs as he can be costly to feed.

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

leonberger dogLeonbergers are strong, generally healthy dogs. It is said that very large dogs like this don’t live as long as smaller dogs and they also face more health issues. Orthopedic issues such as hip dysplasia are more common with large breeds.

Hip Dysplasia:

An orthopedic problem like this is a misalignment of a joint. This large dog also tends to develop elbow dysplasia too. Fortunately today, hip- and elbow dysplasia is controlled because of efforts of breeders to have their Leonbergers screened.

Nonetheless it is important to know about this ailment. The word ‘Dysplasia’ is referring to an abnormality of development. With both hip- and elbow dysplasia, there is abnormal development of the joints, and osteoarthritis can build up, causing lameness for your giant canine.

Cancer:

Cancer is sadly a leading cause of death in dogs over the age of 10 years. Lymphoma is a blood-related cancer – a tumor of the lymph nodes. Dogs can develop different forms of lymphoma. The warning signs are a lump or a wound that won’t heal, swelling in the bone and abnormal bleeding.

Luckily cancer is very treatable in dogs, but you need to get your dog to the vet as soon as possible.

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.

leonberger puppiesThat long coat of the Leonberger is going to require some brushing at least twice a week. He is also a moderate shedder and you want to get rid of all that loose hair and to keep him looking well groomed.

Diet:

A proper, nutritious diet is an essential part of having healthy, happy dogs and if you’re unsure about how to feed your giant pet, speak to your veterinarian.

The best diet for dogs is always very debatable, but essentially it needs to be kept simple. Try and invest in the very best commercially manufactured dog food for large breeds. Every dog wants a tasty home-made morsel from time to time. Add in cooked chicken, brown rice as well as cooked or raw vegetables. Raw meat can also be added in from time to time.

You want to avoid feeding the Leonberger puppy a high protein diet as this encourages rapid growth and you want to avoid that.

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.

leonberger dogsDon’t be deceived by the looks of the big Leonberger because he isn’t aggressive, but quiet and calm. Large he may be, but he isn’t sluggish either and he will certainly require exercise such as a long, fairly lively walk every day.

They’re intelligent dogs too and respond well to socialization and training. He is a social dog and wants to enjoy plenty of interaction with his human family members.

These dogs are often used as rescue- and therapy dogs as they are so loving and sensitive. Give him lots of love and good care and you’re going to have the most wonderful pet that lives up to the saying – dogs are man’s best friend.

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