Neapolitan Mastiff Resource

Neapolitan Mastiff

The massive, solid Neapolitan Mastiff is an imposing hulk of a dog, and it’s meant to be. A writer during the days of the Roman Empire described the ideal guard dog for the house as visible during daylight hours and able to fade into the shadows at night to attack without being seen. He called for a head so massive that it seems to be the most important part of the body. The description fits the Neapolitan, whose ancestors may have first been brought to Italy from Greece, where they were much esteemed. The Romans found all sorts of jobs for these mighty dogs. Not only were they employed as guardians of the home, they were also used for hunting, as war dogs and as contestants in Roman Circus events. The breed continued to exist in the Naples area, though it was largely ignored for several centuries. A few fanciers undertook the reconstruction of the breed after World War II and it has steadily attracted a following. Neapolitan Mastiffs may tip the scales at more than 150 pounds, and stand as high as 31 inches. This is a powerful, dominant breed that requires early and ongoing socialization and training. Not the dog for a first-time owner. Choose an experienced, knowledgeable breeder with care.

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Breed Details

Country of Origin:
Large Dog Breed
Gray (blue), black, mahogany and tawny.

Short and dense.


Brush weekly. Clean wrikles regularly.

Life Expectancy:
8 to 10 years.
AKC Group:
Working Group
UKC Group:
24 to 31 inches at the shoulder
110 to 150 pounds
Use Today
Companion, guardian