Neapolitan Mastiff

neapolitan mastiff

A giant-sized dog, the majestic Neapolitan Mastiff is strong and muscular. Slightly longer than he is tall, an adult male stands at 65-75cm and weighs 50-70kg, and females are slightly less. The short, dense coat comes in several colours and shades (black, blue, grey, brown) including brindle and the skin is quite loose over the body and head – though this should not be excessive.

neapolitan mastiff
  • Category size: Giant
  • Grooming requirements: Once a week
neapolitan mastiff
  • Shedding: Moderate
  • Allergies: No
  • Noise: Not too noisy
  • Dog Group Kennel Club: Working
neapolitan mastiff
  • Alone: 1 to 3 hours
  • Other pets: Low
  • Stability as a guard: High


The Neapolitan Mastiff dog breed comes from the ancient Molossus type of dog – a large, fierce guarding breed used by the Romans. They are thought to have been used in the arenas and also as ferocious dogs of war. The Neapolitan Mastiff has been used as a police dog as well as his main role as a guard. It's said that when working on the estates of Naples, he instinctively knew the boundaries he was entrusted to protect and was left free to roam the parameters.


Essentially a guarding breed, the Neapolitan Mastiff is vigilant at all times. Even-tempered, he is loyal to his loved ones and slightly aloof. Given his natural protection tendencies, early socialisation is essential and he needs experienced handlers. If raised with another dog, he will live happily with one, but it may best that they are of the opposite sex. The cost of caring for such a large dog should be seriously considered before purchase.


As with many breeds, the Neapolitan Mastiff can suffer from various hereditary eye disorders, and hip and elbow dysplasia (joint conditions that can be painful and lead to mobility problems). Eye testing and hip scoring of dogs prior to breeding is therefore important. They are also particularly prone to skin infections.


For an adult, about an hour's exercise is needed, but while he is still growing, a puppy should not over-exert himself, in case he strains his joints.


For an adult, about an hour's exercise is needed, but while he is still growing, a puppy should not over-exert himself, in case he strains his joints.


The short coat is low-maintenance, requiring a once-weekly groom. But many times a day you will need to wipe your dog's mouth and any slobber drools left around the house and on furnishings, and his facial folds and mouth area will need cleaning once or twice a week, too.

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Is this the right dog breed for you?

All dogs have their own, unique personality, but some instincts and behaviours they’re born with. Try our breed selector and find out which dog breeds better match your preferences and lifestyle. If you and your dog enjoy similar things, you will be more likely to live a happy, fulfilling life together.


What to Consider next


It is incredibly fulfilling to adopt a dog from an animal shelter or rescue organization. It often means offering them a second chance in life. There are many dogs waiting for a loving family, a forever home. Reputable centers will be very careful about matching the right people with the right dogs. Staff learns all they can about the dogs they take in, and will spend time getting to know you, your family and your lifestyle, before they match you with any of their dogs. They’ll also be happy to give you advice and answer any questions you might have before and after the adoption.

Finding a good breeder

If your heart is set on a pedigree puppy, then your best bet is to find a reputable breeder. Contact The Kennel Club or a breed-club secretary who may have a list of litters available, or should be able to put you in contact with breeders in your area. Try to choose a breeder who is part of the Kennel Club’s assured breeder scheme.Visit dog shows to meet breeders in person and inquire about availability of pups of your chosen breed.

Welcoming your dog home

Whether you’re bringing home a tiny puppy or rehoming an adult dog, this is a hugely exciting time for everyone. While you’re waiting for the big day you might need to distract yourself, so luckily there are a few things you need to sort out before you welcome your new arrival. Click here for more information