Also referred to as Mastino, the Neapolitan Mastiff is a large-sized breed of ancient origin, with a massive appearance and a fierce look. Its marked features include a large head, deep-set, brown or amber eyes, triangle-shaped ears placed above its cheekbones, broad chest, lowly set tail hanging straight or assuming an S shape when at rest and a loose, wrinkled skin hanging over its body. Its bestial, mastiff-like appearance and strong protective instincts raise it to the stature of an efficient guard dog.
|Other names||Mastino, Italian Molosso, Mastino Napoletano, Can’e presa, Italian Mastiff, Neo|
|Coat||Short, smooth, dense, loose and hanging giving it a wrinkled appearance|
|Color||Black, tawny, mahogany, blue|
|Average lifespan||7 to 9 years|
|Size (How big do they get)||Large|
|Height||Male: 26 to 31 inches; Female: 24 to 29 inches|
|Weight||Male:150 pounds; Female: 110 pounds|
|Litter size||6 to 12 puppies|
|Behavioral characteristics||Fearless, protective, intelligent, watchful, dignified, loyal|
|Good with children||Okay, preferably older ones|
|Climate Compatibility||Cannot withstand hot climates|
|Braking tendency||Moderately low (barks only when needed)|
|Shedding (Does it shed)||Average|
|Competitive Registration Qualification/Information||AKC, FCI, CKC, ANKC, NZKC, UKC, KC (UK), ACA, KCGB, NAPR,|
Being of an ancient origin, they may have existed 700 B.C. as age old artifacts depict images of dogs bearing a close resemblance to the Mastino. When the Romans ruled, they played the role of war dogs and protectors whose striking look was enough to put the opposition into a difficult position. Though it had attained popularity all over Europe, its numbers declined drastically post the Second World War, putting it almost at the brink of extinction. After the war ended, Piero Scanziani, an Italian painter, took the initiative of reviving this breed and the English Mastiff was also used in this regard. The FCI and Italian Kennel Club recognized it in 1949. Though rare outside its place of origin, it was registered by the AKC in its Working Group in the year 2004. The United States Neapolitan Mastiff Club formed in the mid-90s was the first club to register this breed.
Their robust and appealing personality is sufficient enough to evoke feelings of fear in the minds of the onlookers. However, behind the strong, fierce protector, lay a humble, affectionate and kind family dog with a golden heart, who would bond deeply with their loved ones, following them wherever they go just like their shadow.
Needless to say, because of their protective instincts, they are wary and reserved about strangers, thus excelling to the position of efficient guard and watchdogs, even willing to give up their lives while defending their family. Though they are quiet by nature, they could let out an assertive and deep bark the moment they sense any danger. In spite of their alert and brave disposition, they are highly clumsy dogs who are unable to climb more than a few stairs since the time they are puppies. They are good playmates for children but for the older ones, since owing to their huge size, there are chances of this dog to knock down the smaller kids even if it is in pursuit of play. The Neo would get along well with dogs and cats of the family, especially if raised with them, though they do not share a comfortable rapport with unknown canines and felines.
They are obviously not a good choice for novice or first-time owners and need an experienced hand to deal with them firmly.
Good quality dry dog food would keep your Mastino in the best of health. While feeding them a natural diet, you can include tuna, turkey, lean meat, liver, eggs, oily fish, chicken as well as green vegetables that are boiled. However, limit the amount as overfeeding could cause your Neo to bloat.