Skip to Content

Get to Know the Neapolitan Mastiff

neapolitan mastiff
Photo by Madrabothair on Depositphotos

The Neapolitan Mastiff is a powerful guard whose strong appearance has intimidated intruders since ancient Rome. The profusely wrinkled Mastino dog is peaceful, sweet, and steady. These majestic guardians are powerful and massive dogs.

Species of the US Neapolitan Mastiff are astounding creatures and have hanging wrinkles, folds, and pendulous lips. This species of dog much resembles the marzipan mastiff. Overall, the inner dignity and nobility of this doggo are beautiful and attractive. Pet lovers love them, readily paying hundreds of dollars for this powerful creature.

Owning this dog species is a privilege. But those who own them have great responsibility because they need a lot of care. Although they need minimum food and shelter, they need a lot of affection from their owner. Thus, buying or adopting this dog means the person makes a commitment to care for it like a child.

About Neapolitan Mastiff

Grey, black and brown puppies breed Neapolitana Mastino. Dog handlers training dogs since childhood.Image via depositphotos.

If you want to know about hardy dogs, Neapolitan Mastiffs are one of them. This cherry eye creature with impressive wrinkles and loose skin is quite friendly. Before adopting this pet, it is crucial for potential owners to know how to take care of it and ways to prevent certain ailments.

Being a short-coated breed of dog, it needs to be bathed frequently, with gentle cleaning of eyes and ears. Also, make sure you clean its face and lips after it finishes a meal.

Other requirements for the Mastiff are its exercise and grooming. For this purpose, it is important to take it for a romp and run. Beware of quick turning or high-speed running because its legs are fairly weak, so joints may easily get fractured. Also, the dog gets overheated easily. Therefore, it is important to be careful in warm weather.

Now, let’s take a look at their characteristic features:


Neapolitan Mastiff
Size110-150 pounds in weight, 24-30 inches in height
Speed and Movement TypeSlow walk and bear like movement
Bite Power750 PSI
Intelligence3 by 5 rating of IQ level
SensesSenses threats immediately
TendenciesDrooling, flatulence, grunting, and wheezing.
Predatory BehaviorShow aggressiveness towards strangers.

Characteristic of the Neapolitan Mastiff

tibetan mastiff dog
Image by Vanessa Serpas via Unsplash

Neapolitan, also nicknamed Neo, is watchful, quiet, and protective of their family. Also, it is friendly to other pets at home. Although this huge dog is deemed a gentle giant, it is not always easy-going; rather, it can be aggressive toward strangers and may act suspiciously.

Neos makes a strong connection with other people and show possessiveness for their family members. These puppies grow very quickly. A 20-pound puppy becomes healthy and huge in size in a matter of a few months.

They grow even more quickly if you feed them properly, give them toys for play and offer them treats. Seems like a lot of work? Yes, they are a handful, but they make friends easily.


neapolitan mastiff
Neapolitan Mastiff running on the meadow. Photo by Madrabothair on Depositphots

The appearance of this dog is powerful and huge with its 150 pounds and massive head. Due to this, it is known as “knuckleheads” by breeders and fans. The breed of this dog is present in many different colors. These include mahogany, black, blue, and tawny brown; usually, the coats are brindle patterned. These puppies are born with blue eyes that later convert to a brown or amber color when they mature.

With regards to its fur, it hangs loose in folds and wrinkles, especially on its face. Some people say it is an ugly dog, while others love its appearance primarily because of the adorable wrinkle characteristics of this unique breed of dog.

Neos have droopy jaws, typically dripping saliva. The excessive saliva excretion is sometimes a turn-off for people, who then opt for a different breed only for this reason.

Neapolitan Mastiff’s Diet

Neapolitan Mastiff
Neapolitan Mastiff vi Unsplash.

Neapolitan Mastiffs are highly likely to put on a few pounds if fed too well, so there is a strong need to pay attention to their diet. To give your dog the best, make sure you add healthy fats, appropriate proteins, ground bones, and vegetables to their diet. Also, a diet rich in minerals and essential vitamins is important for optimum performance and health.

To keep your dog healthy, it is important to give them the correct ratios of ingredients. Giving trawl minces made with ground bone and meat is a good start. Also, giving puppies raw mince can help in keeping the Neo healthy.

Puppy food containing glucosamine and chondroid is especially good for a pupper’s health. This is helpful for the eye development and growth of the puppy’s brain. The amount of food given to a puppy depends on its size and level of activity.

The Neo’s healthy diet must contain 1.5% calcium, 9% fat, and 30% of proteins. The best dog diet includes poultry by-products, wheat, soy, and wheat. Mastiffs also love to eat beef broth, turkey, liver, and potatoes.

Geographical Distribution of the Neapolitan Mastiff

bullmastiff dog
Bullmastiff. Image by Marcell Végh via Pixabay

The Neapolitan Mastiff is an Italian breed that descends from central Italy’s traditional guard dogs. The dog, also known as Molossers, were spread throughout the Roman Empire. It has been said that Molossers were also present in the middle east, central Asia, and Greece and lived among the Alans.

Most people believe that Mastiff dogs originated in Egypt and Mesopotamia. Farmers of this origin used to keep these dogs to protect their herd of sheep, cattle, and goats from wolves, predators, and human raiders.

Mastiffs are guardians and war dogs, so they are often owned by armed forces where there is a need for ultimate protection from criminals. 

The 7 Key Traits of the Neapolitan Mastiff

Adult neapolitan mastiff close up. Pet animals.

The Neapolitan Mastiff is a distinctive-looking breed with short-haired and gray-black, tan, or mahogany coats that make it easy to care for or groom. One can easily brush them to remove dead or loose hair. Their face with heavy, smooth wrinkles and folds can be cleaned and wiped with a damp cloth. Moreover, one must brush their teeth and trim their nails on a regular basis. Also, they shed an average amount.

#1 Size

The Neapolitan Mastiff is a powerful and large dog with a weight range of 110 to 150 pounds, and its height is about 24 to 30 inches. The length of the body is about 15% more than the height.

The size of Neos appears even bigger than what it already is because of its heavy wrinkles. Their coat may be brindled or have minor markings on the toes and chest.

#2 Speed and Movement Type

The movement of the dog is unique and distinctive. It has a slow walking pace and moves like a bear. Thus, its scapulae go up and down. While trotting, it behaves like a large cat and gives a powerful push to the rear legs. The dog cannot cover a large distance at one time; rather it makes shorter sprints.

It has a pacing movement with an amble-type walk, which is known as the breed’s specific feature. Also, Neo shows smooth movement, and there is no jerky movement as compared to other breeds.

#3 Bite Power

The Neapolitan Mastiff is an ancient dog breed with a massive head and drool-covered face. Because of these characteristics, the dog has the strongest bite force amongst other dog breeds, which is about 700 PSI (pounds per square inch) – bearing in mind that the average human bite force is 150 PSI.

The dog has a powerful bite for certain reasons, one of which is its large size. The bigger the dog, the more forceful the bite. Also, Neapolitan has a massive head and large muscle mass; this allows the dog to generate a lot of power when it bites down.

The strong bite force is both a good and a bad thing. This is because these characteristics help them protect their owner from thieves and burglars. In contrast, if it accidentally bites someone it loves, it may cause serious injury.

#4 Intelligence

Neapolitan Mastiffs are loyal and intelligent dogs. They are gentle and affectionate with family members. Calm and steady in nature, these dogs show an intense willingness to please their owners. Moreover, they have strong protective instincts and can protect their family and home.  

These are alpha dogs and show trust, love, and respect for their owners. They develop a good relationship with humans if the master of the dog trains them well and gives them lots of affection. Neapolitans are considered smart dogs and have scored three out of five on IQ tests.

The Neapolitan has different abilities like problem-solving, memory, and recollection of associations. Another ability of Neos that makes them smart is the ability to remember commands with little practice.

Also, they are emotionally intelligent and can sense if their owner is feeling under the weather.

#5 Senses

Dogs have powerful senses to identify threats. They seem laid back but may instantly jump into action when they feel a threat around them. One of the qualities of this dog is that it rarely barks and stays quiet most of the time. In this way, if they do bark, you know there’s a good reason for it.

They stay active and show worry for the family when strangers come close. Therefore, it is important to keep a fence around them because sometimes they may hurt strangers that are not intruders.

This is the breed that makes the best companion for its owners, and its intelligence is legendary. It shows loyalty and a willingness to participate in any activity.

#6 Unattractive Tendencies

The Neapolitan, although a beautiful power dog, it has some tendencies that may become annoying for owners. Some unattractive habits include drooling, grunting, wheezing, flatulence, and slobbering.

Also, Neos are lazy and become obese if they are not kept active enough. Therefore, keeping them active with some games and activities is essential to avoid diseases.

#7 Predator Behaviors

According to Neapolitan standards, “The essence of the Neapolitan Mastiff is his beast-like appearance, astounding head, and imposing size and attitude.” It means this massive animal may display some aggressive predator behavior; it may attack cats, small animals, and human raiders. Although it seems calm, relaxed, and quiet when it sees the predator, eventually, it runs to attack.

One should not mistake its ambling and bulk gate for clumsiness or laziness. It will definitely jump into action when a stranger comes into their space or if it sees a cat in the garden.

Because of its massive size, it is not considered an apartment dog. It needs some space and moderate exercise; otherwise, sluggishness makes it more aggressive. Thus, for personal safety and to keep it friendly, it needs to be socialized and exposed to various environments and situations from an early age. This plays a role in avoiding aggression and shyness.

Are Neapolitan Mastiffs Good Warriors?

neapolitan mastiff
Neapolitan Mastiff running on the meadow. Photo by Madrabothair on Depositphots

Neapolitans acted as warriors during the roman empire, and studies of different historical events clearly reflect the warrior nature of this dog. Romans used to train these dogs and brought them with them during wars.

Neapolitans had their own armor, and they were trained in formation. Also, they were trained to run under horses with spiked chain mains to disembowel the horses. Thus, they can bring the man riding the horse to the ground. In different gladiator arenas, they were used for entertainment purposes and used to fight tigers, people, lions, and elephants.

Are Neapolitans a Threat to Humans?

YouTube video

Neapolitan Mastiffs are a threat to strangers or people who annoy these dogs. Therefore, for those who think Neos are easy dogs, it is not true. For this reason, the Neapolitan Mastiff is not recommended for first-time or timid owners.

There is a need for a trainer who is confident and has experience in training or knows how to deal with powerful dogs. Also, the trainer must be patient, loving, and firm in their training practice. The dog is a bit lazy and takes some time to learn without sufficient encouragement.

Therefore, showing patience, giving a dog time, and continuous training is essential. If the trainer gets annoyed or frustrated, the dog can become dangerous. Thus, being a friend is essential, and then training according to your style.

One more habit of Neos making them threats to humans is their nature of getting bored easily. They can be destructive if they are not given attention. Thus, one should take care of them and give them proper time. For this, regular exercise, training, and social interaction are good for keeping them entertained.

They can step on or be aggressive with children if they don’t know them, so keep children away. Even if they are familiar with kids, they can accidentally step on children when trying to cuddle, but a child may not bear its weight.

Neos are friendly with their caretakers, older children, and people who interact with them frequently but may be grumpy towards strangers and those who show aggressive behavior.


Thank you for reading this article! To learn more about beautiful dog breeds read our posts on the Yorkie Poo or the Chiweenie.

Join our Forum for free today!

Animal Forum
Click Here
Top 10 States With The Most Cougar Top 10 States With The Most Moose Top 10 States With The Most Coyote Top 10 States With The Most Elk Jaguar Is The New Dog’s Best Friend