The Neapolitan Mastiff
The Neapolitan Mastiff is often called the Italian Mastiff, the Italian Bulldog, or even Neo, and like all mastiffs they are excellent family dogs. This dog, like many of the Molossers, goes back to the steps of Asia many thousands of years ago.
Neapolitan Mastiffs are characterised by loose skin over their entire bodies, abundant folds on the head and a voluminous dewlap, the prendulous skin underneath its neck. If ever a dog looks dim, it is the Italian mastiff, yet its looks are highly deceptive. He comes in a variety of colors gray, blue, black, tawny and mahogany, amongst farmers the blue is the most coveted, as he can blend into the night shadows.
This dog is the perfect family protector, but they literally pine if separated from their owners and they are known to whimper and howl until they are all returned. This is an extremely even-tempered dog and a loyal companion. The males tend to me more aggressive than the females.
Neapolitan mastiffs are average shedders, they need a brush once a week.
They need two long walks a day, but in summer they need plenty of water when being walked.
The Neapolitan Mastiff may be stubborn, but it does not require repetitious training, it had a desire to please and once it has got the hang of what you want, it obeys.
They can be overly protective and they do benefit from early socializing training and this should be regularly reinforced.
Obedience training is very important in this breed, they must know who is the top dog! The males particularly do not like other males, but if raised with other dogs, they generally accept them.
They tend to suffer from "cherry eye" a condition, which makes the eye tissue, inflamed, it is corrected with minor surgery.
To ensure that the dogs develop healthy bones they should never be over exercised as puppies. They suffer from pano-ostiosis, which means growing pains. This condition is normally only present whilst the dog is between the ages of four and eighteen months, and it rarely requires treatment. However always protect any potential damage by preventing the Neapolitan mastiffs from running and playing for extended periods. They must always be protected from any rough and tumble from children.
Ideal weight: 110-150 pounds/ 50-67 kg
Average height: 24-30 inches / 61-76 cm
Life expectancy: 9 to 11 years, but often under 10 years.