Neapolitan Mastiff Breed
Large and powerful, Neapolitan Mastiffs are known for their massiveness – massive head, massive bone, and massive body. Despite their fierce appearance and serious demeanor, Mastini are generally peaceful, steady dogs. The breed’s trademark is the loose skin that covers their bodies, the abundant wrinkles and folds on the head and their rolling and lumbering gait. Their short coat can by gray (blue), black, mahogany and tawny. Some brindling and white markings are allowed.
An ancient breed, the Neapolitan Mastiff’s lineage can be traced back to ancient Egypt, Persia, Mesopotamia and Asia – to the dogs of war used by the Roman army. The breed later existed on estates and farms in northern Italy, designed to be imposing in appearance for use as a defender of owner and property.
Well-bred and socialized Mastini are steady and loyal to their own families but protective around strangers. Due to the breed’s size, strength and temperament, experts do not recommend a Neapolitan Mastiff for first-time dog owners or families with young children. They should receive some form of daily exercise, but beware that they don’t overdo it in hot weather. Their short coats are easy to care for, but potential owners should not be afraid of a little drool!
- Working Group; AKC recognized in 2004.
- Ranging in size from 24 to 31 inches tall at the shoulder; Average weight is 150 pounds for males and 110 pounds for females.
- Guard and protection dog.