St. Bernard vs Neapolitan Mastiff - Breed Comparison

St. Bernard vs Neapolitan MastiffSt. Bernard is originated from Switzerland but Neapolitan Mastiff is originated from Italy. Both St. Bernard and Neapolitan Mastiff are having almost same height. St. Bernard may weigh 11 kg / 25 pounds more than Neapolitan Mastiff. Both St. Bernard and Neapolitan Mastiff has almost same life span. St. Bernard may have less litter size than Neapolitan Mastiff. St. Bernard requires High maintenance. But Neapolitan Mastiff requires Moderate maintenance

Basic Information

Group:
Working dog
Molosser dogs
Origin:
Switzerland
Italy
Height Male:
63 - 71 cm
24 - 28 inches
60 - 70 cm
23 - 28 inches
Height Female:
60 - 69 cm
23 - 28 inches
50 - 60 cm
19 - 24 inches
Weight Male:
54 - 90 kg
119 - 199 pounds
61 - 79 kg
134 - 175 pounds
Weight Female:
52 - 85 kg
114 - 188 pounds
51 - 69 kg
112 - 153 pounds
Life Span:
8 - 10 Years
7 - 9 Years
Litter Size:
4 - 9
6 - 12
Size:
Giant dog
Giant dog
Other Names:
St. Bernhardshund Bernhardiner Alpine Mastiff (archaic)
Can'e presa • Italian Mastiff • Italian Molosso • Mastino • Mastino - Mastini plural • Mastino Napoletano • Neo
Colors Available:
redish- Brown and white with a black mask to blond and white with black mask
black, mahogany and tawny, blue, chocolate, gray
Coat:
rough or smooth
straight, dense, short
Shedding:
Constant
Moderate
Temperament:
Affectionate, Friendly, Independent, Intelligent, Loving, Loyal, Outgoing, Protective, Social, Stubborn, Sweet
Alert, Courageous, Independent, Intelligent, Loyal, Protective, Quiet, Stubborn, Territorial
Grooming:
High maintenance
Moderate maintenance
Trainability:
Moderate
Moderate
Hypoallergenic:
No
No
Kids Friendly:
Yes
No
New Owners Friendly:
Yes
No

History

st bernardThe St Bernard breed was once called the Alpine Cattle Dogs or the Alpine Mountain Dogs. They have always been farm dogs and mountain dogs in the French and Swiss Alps. They come from the border land of Switzerland and France. They were herding dogs, hunting, search and rescue, watchdogs and draft dogs.

Their ancestors are considered to include the Sennenhunds and molosser breeds that came to the Alps with the ancient Romans. There are four Sennenhund breeds that are believed to have contributed to the original St. Bernard. These included the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog (Grosser Schweizer Sennenhund), the Appenzeller (Appenzeller Sennenhund), the Bernese Mountain Dog (Berner Sennenhund) and the Entlebucher Mountain Dog (Entlebucher Sennenhund) Today the St. Bernard is considered a Molossoid breed.

The first we know of the St. Bernard in any written records was in 1707 at the Great St. Bernard Pass and Great St. Bernard Hospice run by monks. There were found paintings of the dogs dating back into the late 1600’s. It is told that Barry saved upward of 100 people in the St. Bernard pass, and it is from these stories that the dogs gained their snow rescue reputation.

The St. Bernard of that time did not look like the St. Bernard does today as there was much crossbreeding. Many dogs dies during rescues in the avalanches of the mid 1800’s and so they Saint was crossed with the Newfoundland to preserve the breed. You can today see the resemblance in the build and looks of the two breeds. This cross brought about the long haired St. Bernard whose fur was too heavy for rescues.

The St. Bernards of mountain rescue fame were only about the size of a German Shepherd dog and were short haired. After crossing with the Newfoundland and moving into clubs and dogs shows, they have been bred to be much larger. Before the stud book was closed, it is thought that many larger breeds such as the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, the English Mastiff, the Tibetan Mastiff, the Rottweiler, the Great Pyrenees, the English Bulldog, the Great Dane, the Bernese Mountain Dog, the Boxer and the Caucasian Oycharka all contributed to today’s St. Bernard.

In 1884 The Swiss St. Bernard Club was founded and the breed entered the Swiss Stud book as its first entry in 1884. It was 1888 when the standard was approved and the breed became the national dog of Switzerland. Before the name St. Bernard came to be common, these dogs might be called, Barry Dogs, Alepnmastiff, Noble Steeds or Saint Dogs.

The dogs came to England in the early 1800s and to the United States soon after. They were recognized by the European kennel clubs first and by the early 1900’s they were the most popular breed in the AKC.

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.

Description

st bernard puppyToday’s St. Bernard is not a large dog, he is a giant dog. Weighing in at 140-200 pounds and standing 28 to 35 inches tall, he is a lot of dog. Bred with mastiffs and large mountain dogs, they have proportional and powerful build. They are strong, sturdy and well muscled. They have either a smooth or rough (short or long) coat. Their eyes are brown or occasionally blue. They have tight lids, and square heads and muzzles.

There are two coat types called smooth and rough, or short and long. The smooth shorter coat is tough, flat and close against the body and the long, rough coat is dense, wavy and heavy around the legs, neck and ruff. Both types have long tails that hang low and are heavy. Saints are known to slobber, drool and snore.

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.

Health Problems

st bernard dogThe first problem this breed faces is how fast they grow and gain weight. This can lead to serious health issues if not controlled. Their bones can be damaged by this excessively fast rate of growth. Other issues facing the breed include:

  • Hip and elbow dysplasia – can cause arthritis and lameness.
  • Bloat – can be fatal if not treated immediately.
  • Bone Cancer or Osteosarcoma – tends to be fatal.
  • Entropion and Ectropion – eyelids turn in or out and can be corrected.
  • Epilepsy – controlled by medication
  • Dilated Cardiomyopathy – can be fatal.
  • Eczema – skin disease can be treated.
  • Be careful of extreme heat.

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

Caring The Pet

st bernard puppies1.Feeding the puppy – You want to control their growth. Do not overfeed, and make sure they exercise but not too much. Feed a high quality large breed puppy food 3-4 X a day in small amounts.

2.Feeding the adult – The problem you face with he adult St. Bernard is the potential for Bloat. Don’t over feed. Don’t feed before or after strenuous exercise. Feed 2-3 X a day in smaller amounts to prevent Bloat. Feed a high quality breed specific food if possible or an extra large breed formula.

3.Points for Good Health stamina and strength in cooler weather.

4. Games and Exercises They need exercise but not as much as you might think. The St. Bernard is a laid back lumbering character so don’t over exercise her. They enjoy weight and cart pulling but they are not athletes who enjoy frisbee or agility. Search and rescue trials and tracking trials are perfect athletic endeavors for them.

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.

Characteristics

1Children friendliness excellent

2.Special talents tracking

st bernard dogs3.Adaptability no - these are giant dogs that need a lot of room. A large fenced yard or farm is best. They won’t do well in an apartment. They need exercise every day and loping around a yard is very good for them. They love to play in the snow, carry a backpack or pull a cart. They love to have a “job”

4.Learning ability – They are smart and highly trainable if motivated. They may appear lazy but they are just laid back and need a motivation.

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.

Comparison with other breeds

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