Neapolitan Mastiff vs Moscow Water Dog - Breed Comparison

Neapolitan Mastiff is originated from Italy but Moscow Water Dog is originated from Russia. Neapolitan Mastiff may grow 6 cm / 2 inches shorter than Moscow Water Dog. Neapolitan Mastiff may weigh 24 kg / 53 pounds more than Moscow Water Dog. Neapolitan Mastiff may live 3 years less than Moscow Water Dog. Both Neapolitan Mastiff and Moscow Water Dog has same litter size. Both Neapolitan Mastiff and Moscow Water Dog requires Moderate maintenance.

Basic Information

Group:
Molosser dogs
Working dog
Origin:
Italy
Russia
Height Male:
60 - 70 cm
23 - 28 inches
66 - 76 cm
25 - 30 inches
Height Female:
50 - 60 cm
19 - 24 inches
64 - 74 cm
25 - 30 inches
Weight Male:
61 - 79 kg
134 - 175 pounds
45 - 55 kg
99 - 122 pounds
Weight Female:
51 - 69 kg
112 - 153 pounds
40 - 50 kg
88 - 111 pounds
Life Span:
7 - 9 Years
8 - 12 Years
Litter Size:
6 - 12
5 - 12
Size:
Giant dog
Giant dog
Other Names:
Can'e presa • Italian Mastiff • Italian Molosso • Mastino • Mastino - Mastini plural • Mastino Napoletano • Neo
Moscow River Dog, Московский Водолаз, Moscow Vodolaz, Moskovsky Vodolaz, • Russian Newfoundland,Moscow Diver, Vodolaz, Moscow Retriever,
Colors Available:
black, mahogany and tawny, blue, chocolate, gray
dark brown to black, black
Coat:
straight, dense, short
double coat
Shedding:
Moderate
Moderate
Temperament:
Alert, Courageous, Independent, Intelligent, Loyal, Protective, Quiet, Stubborn, Territorial
Aggressive, Alert, Courageous, Intelligent
Grooming:
Moderate maintenance
Moderate maintenance
Trainability:
Moderate
Moderate
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.

The Moscow Water Dog was developed in the Soviet Union around the same time as other classic Soviet dogs. The Moscow Watchdog and the Black Russian Terrier are a couple of these other dogs. The Water Dog came from crossing the Caucasian Oytcharka with the Newfoundland. The breed is known by many names including the Vodolaz which means “diver of deep Water”. The Moscow Water Dog was only bred in the Russian state’s Red Star Kennels as working dogs for the military.

Following the second World War, most of the working dogs had been destroyed during the war. Not enough dogs could be imported to begin a breeding program for any working breed. So, the Soviet Red Star Kennels began to create several working breeds. Included in this group with the Moscow Water Dog, were the Moscow Newfoundland, the Moscow Great Dane, the Black Russian Terrier, and the Brudasty Hound.

The only really successful breed coming from this program is the Russian Black Terrier. All the rest are either extinct or found only in Russia today. The Moscow Water Dog was supposed to be a life saver/water rescue dog, but the dogs they developed were too aggressive, and the program was scrapped. It seemed that the cross had bred a dog that had too much of the working water dog traits and not enough of the rescue dog traits. The military breeders tried to pass the dogs off as a Russian Newfoundland and sell it to the non-military.

These non-military owners of the few “Russian Newfoundland”, did not try to change the dogs through breeding. Instead over time they bred the Russian Newfoundland with pure bred Newfoundlands almost eliminating the “Russian” portion of the breed. By the early 1980’s the stock had been so diluted with the pure Newfoundland that the Russian Newfoundland was basically extinct.

The Red Army kennel had other breeds with some of the genes of this breed in their lines. This included the Brudasty Hound, the Moscow Great Dane, the Caucasian Oycharka, the Moscow Watchdog and the Russian Black Terrier. The Russian Navy was unhappy with the situation and never again let the army developed the Navy’s waterdog.

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 Moscow Water Dog was intelligent, vigilant, an excellent swimmer, and great in artic waters. However, he was too aggressive and instead of saving the swimmer, they would attack them. The Moscow Water Dog is a tall, balanced and powerful dog. They have a wide muzzle and a square head like the Newfoundland. Their eyes are dark and small while the ears are triangular. The nose and lips are black. He has webbed feet of course and a hanging tail.

The coat on the Moscow Water Dog was of course waterproof and double. The top coat is very dense, straight and soft. It is usually a dark brown with some black and white.

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

Because the breed was around for such a short period there is not a lot of documentation or information regarding genetic or propensity health issues. There are however a few issues that just his heritage and Newfoundland blood would lend itself to.

  • Tendency toward obesity. Do not free feed.
  • Hip and elbow dysplasia – could lead to arthritis.
  • Bloat or gastric torsion – could be fatal.
  • Cardiovascular issues.
  • Addison’s Disease
  • Hypothyroidism

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 puppy

Required high quality food made specifically for large or giant puppies. Feed 3-4 times a day a total of 21/2 -3 cups.

Feeding the adult

Required high quality food made for large or giant dog breeds. Feed twice a day a total of 2 cups.

Games and Exercises

The Moscow Water Dog did not need a high level of exercise, but they did have a lot of stamina. They loved to swim. Not overly active – more of a couch potato.

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.

Children friendliness

yes

Special talents

Swimming and stamina

Adaptability

Yes but needed some land. Better in countryside.

Learning ability

This is an intelligent dog, but he could not be trained out of his aggressiveness.

Comparison with other breeds

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