Developed in the south of Italy as a guard dog and companion, the Neapolitan Mastiff (also called the Neo or Mastino) is now a beloved pet all over the world. This is an alert, loyal, and graceful dog but requires some specialized care on account of its large size.
If you are thinking of bringing home a Neapolitan Mastiff puppy, here’s some important breed information that will help you decide if this dog will be the right fit for your family and lifestyle.
In terms of size, the Neapolitan Mastiff is a jumbo-sized pooch, standing 24-31 inches tall and weighing a whopping 110-150 pounds. The average lifespan of a Neapolitan Mastiff is 7-9 years.
Neapolitan Mastiffs are quite affectionate with family members but not lovey dovey or overly playful. They do reasonably well with young kids but must be supervised given their large size. Neapolitan Mastiffs can get along with other dogs provided they receive early socialization with other animals during puppyhood in a variety of settings.
Neapolitan Mastiffs are watchful by nature and have a strong protective instinct, so they make excellent guard dogs. They are not overly aggressive or reserved with strangers that their owners introduce them to, however.
This is a reasonably adaptable breed that can adjust to some changes in routine. But this is not a breed for apartment dwellers or novice pet owners.
A Neapolitan Mastiff will not bark without reason. This dog has low to moderate energy levels and mental stimulation needs and tends to sleep a lot. Keep in mind that Neos are heavy boned and have a tendency to overheat, so they should be exercised with caution in hot weather. Neapolitan Mastiffs can be trained with gentle but firm reward-based training methods. Adolescent Neapolitan Mastiffs can be a handful and require a person with some experience in handling large dogs.
The Neapolitan Mastiff’s short smooth coat is relatively fuss-free and requires only an occasional bath. However, the coat does shed a fair amount. Prospective owners of Neos should be aware, however, that these dogs are heavy droolers, so you’ll need to have a towel handy at all times.
All in all, Neapolitan Mastiffs are massive and powerful looking dogs with a lumbering gait. They can be intimidating when you first meet them. However, Neapolitan Mastiffs have a dignified demeanor and a sweet and calm temperament.
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