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Neapolitan Mastiff – Dog Breed Guide

Breed summary

Size: Giant
Weight: Up to 165 pounds
Height: 26 - 30 inches
Longevity: 10
Bark Tendency: Medium
Aggression: Low
Compatibility to other pets: High

Adopt a Neapolitan Mastiff, Dog Breed Guide


The Neapolitan Mastiff dog breed is from the bloodline of the ancient mastiff dogs used for war. These warrior mastiffs were also used as hunting dogs, guard dogs and even companions by their warrior owners. Today, these dogs are no longer used as “war dogs”. They are kept for protection and guard dog duties. The Neapolitan Mastiff is also a great family dog to the right owners. Watch this cute video from Animal Planet to see how these giant dogs can so darn cute!

Official Name

Neapolitan Mastiff
In Italy, the official name of this dog breed is the Mastino Napoletano. It can also be called simply as the Neo.


Date – Over 2,000 years old as a breed
Country – Italy
Family / Group – Guardian, Working, Mastiff

Recognized By:
Continental Kennel Club
Fédération Cynologique Internationale
Kennel Club of Great Britain
National Kennel Club
New Zealand Kennel Club
United States Neapolitan Mastiff Club
American Pet Registry, Inc.
American Canine Registry
Dog Registry of America, Inc.
American Kennel Club
North American Purebred Registry, Inc.


The Neapolitan Mastiff dog breed can trace its ancestry during the times of the Ancient Roman Empire. These are the descendants of mastiff warrior dogs that were utilized by the Roman Legion as well as in some parts of the Middle East. These ancient mastiffs were not only warrior dogs, but were also bred and kept as versatile working dogs like the ancient Roman soldiers who built roads and constructed engineering projects after conquering an area. These dogs were so versatile that they are known to be hard workers, great hunters, excellent guards and even loyal companion dogs! The Neapolitan Mastiff only got their recognition as a purebred after the devastating Second World War. They reached mainstream consciousness only in the 1970’s when these dogs reach the European and Northern American continents.


The modern Neapolitan Mastiffs are famous for being very loyal family dogs that is powerful and very efficient in protecting their family and property. They may look intimidating, but this dog breed is known to display calmness. They are also known to be naturally independent.

Bred For

Descendants of the ancient mastiff dogs used for war and various multipurpose work such as hunting, herding, guarding and even companionship. Today these dogs are popular for being effective guard dogs. They are also popularly used by police and military units in Italy.


The Neapolitan Mastiff can be good apartment pets regardless of how huge they can get. This will happen only if their owners sufficiently satisfy their exercise needs. They are dogs that will thrive in homes that have at least a small yard where they can move about. If these dogs are kept in warm climates, dehydration may be an issue and it is recommended to have them in a shaded area where water is always available.


The giant Neo Mastiffs are very easy to groom. These are large dogs that shed in average amounts.


The Neapolitan Mastiff can be well trained buy it will take time and will be difficult. They are naturally independent-minded and one of the most stubborn mastiff breeds. The key is confident and positive training methods.


The Neapolitan Mastiff dog breed has a medical history of having heart problems, immune system disorders and the common hip dysplasia. They are dogs that are prone to have cherry eye conditions. These dogs are also sensitive to heat and require special attention in hot climates.


Neapolitan Mastiffs are giant dog that will need a great deal of activity to satisfy their energy needs. Taking these dogs for long walks two times a day is a requirement!