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Neapolitan Mastiff

You can find the contact details for specific breed societies local to you by going to the Your Territory area.

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Neapolitan Mastiff

OtherNames Mastino Neapolitano, Italian Mastiff, Mastino
Dog Group Kennel Club Working
Breed Classification The Neapolitan Mastiff belongs to the working group. They are today used as watchdogs, family pets and seen in the show ring.
Cost of Ownership
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Average Food Cost
Feeding Requirements
The feeding will cost around £15 per week and, to ensure the well-being of the dog, the diet should include around 24% protein.
Other Expenses
Puppies will vary in price from around £1000 upwards, but do be prepared to spend a lot more if you are looking for a show quality puppy.
Average Puppy Price
9 - 15 years
Average Litter Size
General Physical Description
A truly impressive dog! These large-boned, massive dogs certainly make their presence known! It is not unknown for them to weigh in at 16 stone! The breed’s large head, intelligent expression and abundant loose skin give them a very distinctive profile. All gaits are bear-like and done slowly, but they do cover the ground well in a trot. Rarely will you see them in a gallop.
Height Min Max
Bitch 62cm 72cm
Dog 65cm 75cm
Weight Min Max
Bitch 48kg 68kg
Dog 50kg 70kg
Size Category Giant
Weight Height Range Dogs normally measure between 65 - 75cms and weigh between 50 – 70 kgs. Bitches will be somewhat less.
Ailments The main worries in the breed are Hip & Elbow Dysplacia, OCD and Arthritis. Near-sightedness is known in the breed and they can be sensitive to anesthetics and tranquillisers. They do not suffer heat well and should be kept in the shade and given plenty of water on a hot day.
Common Ailments
Susceptibility To Illness
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History The Breed is thought to be a descendant of the ancient molossian breeds that were transported by the Romans to fight in the arenas as they, the Romans, were so taken with their size and bravery. After the Romans left England, the dogs were kept to guard farms and stock against bears and wolves, being known also as Bandogs. By 1800 the bull, bear and lion baiting had vastly reduced and so the Mastiff breed declined, almost to the point of extinction. However, thanks to Commissioner Thompson of Haifax’s love of the breed, this was reversed and all of today’s Mastiffs can be traced back to his breeding. The first Neos entered the showing in 1946 and were seen by Piero Scanziani who became an avid breeder and only three years later started a breeding programme with the most outstanding stock from Italy which perfected the Neos and proved instrumental in the acceptance of the Breed in the Italian Kennel Club.
Intelligence Because of the very size of the Mastino, training must be started from a very early age and should be done in a consistent and well-balanced way. The Mastino is a very intelligent breed of dog and learns his commands very quickly. They do listen to the command but seem to obey it in there own time!
Show Characteristics The head should be large with a broad short skull and a well pronounced definite stop. The rounded eyes should be set forward and well apart, the rim pigmentation to tone in with the colour of the nose, which should be large with well opened nostrils. The muzzle should be deep showing flews with full and heavy lips. The triangular ears should be small for the size of the head, set forward high on the head and well apart. The mouth should be strong with well developed jaws and a scissor bite, although a level one is tolerated. The neck should be short, stocky and very muscular. The dewflap from the lower jaw should reach the mid-point of the neck. The body should be longer than the height at the withers, with a broad, well-muscled chest. The shoulder should be long, slightly sloping and be well developed and muscular. The elbows should not be too close to the body to allow very free action. The front legs should be straight when viewed from the front and the hind quarters rounded with well developed muscle. The thighs should be long and broad with powerful hocks. Dewclaws should be removed. The feet should be oval with closed arched toes, the pads thick, hard and dark coloured. The nails should be curved, strong and dark. The hindfeet being slightly smaller than the front. The tail is customarily docked by a 1/3, thick at the root and set on lower than the topline, tapering towards the tip. It should be carried level with the topline when moving. If undocked the criteria are the same.
Country Of Origin Italy
Famous Examples
Records Held
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Energy Medium
Overall Exercise 40 - 60 minutes
Distress Caused if Left Alone Medium
Personal Protection High
Suitability As Guard Dog High
Risk of Sheep Worrying Low
Tendency to Bark Low
Ease of Transportation Low
Level of Aggression Low
Compatibility With Other Animals Medium
Suitable For Children
General Character And Temperament This is an extremely affectionate and loyal breed and one which craves human companionship. They are generally very good with children and other household pets provided they have been socialised with them early on in life. They can become dominant with other dogs so early socialisation is important.
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Coat Length Short/Smooth
Grooming Requirement Once a week
Trimming None
Requires Professional Groomer
Grooming As with all short haired breeds a good brushing during moulting is necessary to remove dead and loose hairs. However considerable attention should be paid on hygiene. Mastinos are sloppy eaters and excessive droolers and owners must wipe their mouths after every meal. The breeds loose skin also needs looked after carefully to prevent irritations. Their ears also need inspected regularly and kept clean and dry.
Colour These dogs come in black, blue, all shades of grey, from fawn through to red, all colours can be seen with or without brindling. Small white markings can be seen on the chest and the toes.
Shedding Little
Suffers From Allergies
Tendency to Cause Allergies

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