A descendent of the Roman Molossus, the history of the Neapolitan Mastiff has two theories. As per the first, the breed originated from the Tibetan Mastiff, and was possibly introduced to the Romans by the Greek; Alexander the Great may have brought the breed from India around 300 BC. Soon the Neapolitan Mastiff was used in circus combats. The second theory, made popular by the English, claims that the Neapolitan Mastiff was introduced in Britain by the Phoenicians in 500 BC. The extreme weather and war resulted in the breed’s near extinction, though it continued to survive in Campania for approximately 2000 years. It was used in gory Roman arena, and has carried forward its reputation as a fearsome guard dog.
The Neapolitan Mastiff is massive in size, and is longer than it is tall. The head is large in comparison to its body, with a face that is mass of wrinkles and pendulum-like lips, blending into a generous dewlap. Eye color the color of the coat; ears set well above the cheekbones; large nose; scissor bite teeth; low set tail; short dense coat in colors like gray (blue), black, mahogany and tawny, and the lighter and darker shades of these colors; these are some of its features. The cropping of ears and docking of tail is banned in some countries.
gray, blue, black, mahogany and tawny (any lighter and darker shades of these colors are allowed.
The intimidating-looking Neapolitan Mastiff is intelligent, fearless, calm and protective. Though wary of strangers, it is very loving towards its family and their friends. The breed does well with considerate children, though females are better & more submissive with kids. Neapolitan Mastiffs don’t bark much and usually sneak up on intruders. The dog is not very good with non-canine pets, unless raised with them. The Neapolitan Mastiff needs a confident owner who can dominate him and not vice-versa. Firm obedience training ensures they are not too protective or willful.
Hip dysplasia, various eye problems, skin infections, Hypothyroidism, Cardiomyopathy etc. are some of the health concerns related to the Neapolitan Mastiff.
CKC, FCI, AKC, NKC, NZKC, APRI, ACR