© Lukebullit (Lukasz Gonerski) |

Neapolitan Mastiff

Also known as: Italian Mastiff, Italian Bulldog

Nickname: Neo

Breed origin: Italy
Original purpose: Guard and defender of owner and property.

AKC recognized: 2004
AKC group: Working

Size: Weight: males around 150 lbs; females around 110 lbs
Size: Height: males 26 to 31 inches; females 24 to 29 inches
© Pixelcarpenter |
Color: Solid gray (blue), black, mahogany, or tawny, with or without some brindling.

Life span: 7 to 9 years.

General characteristics/temperament: The Neapolitan Mastiff is steady, loyal, watchful, calm, and protective. Because of their massive size and natural guardian instincts, early and extensive socialization and training are a must. They are generally good with children in their family, but because of their size, they can easily knock a young child over unintentionally. In addition, they may protect the children in their family from other visiting children, and are therefore not recommended for families with small children. They bond intensely with their people, and are prone to separation anxiety and to jealousy issues. They do not tolerate the heat, and must be kept cool in hot weather. Neos are extremely protective, but they very rarely bark, and are known to sneak up on instruders instead of giving a warning first.

© Argo74 (Aleksey Gorbatenkov) |
Good with children? Only with older children.

Protective? Yes

OK for inexperienced owners? No

© Mkoudis (Maria Bell) |
Easy to train? No

Energy/Activity Level: Low

Good jogging partner? No

Exercise requirement: They are not an active breed, but puppies and young adults will have some short and powerful bursts of energy and need a secure area to run and play. Because of their weight, too much exercise will cause stress to their joints.

Grooming requirement: The wrinkles must be kept clean and dry. Otherwise they will smell and are prone to skin infections.

Known health problems: Gastric dilatation-volvulus, hip dysplasia, ectropion, entropion, elbow dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy, cancer, hypothyroidism, cardiomyopathy, skin infections, heat stroke, sensitivity to anesthetics.

Additional photos of Neapolitan Mastiff

Recommended books for further reading:

Neapolitan Mastiff (A Comprehensive Owner's Guide)
By Carol Paulsen
Published in 2003
158 pages

Neapolitan Mastiff (A Complete and Reliable Handbook)
By Robert Gravel and Gonnie Schaffer
Published in 2000
96 pages

The Official Book of the Neapolitan Mastiff
By Sherilyn K. Allen
Published in 1996
320 pages

The Ultimate Book of Mastiff Breeds
By Editor Douglas Oliff
Published in 1999
264 pages

Other websites for additional information:

American Kennel Club breed page
United States Neapolitan Mastiff Club
Wikipedia breed information page
United States Neapolitan Mastiff Rescue Program

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Page Last Updated: February 1, 2018

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