Neapolitan Mastiff Pictures and Information

The Neapolitan Mastiff is a massive, strongly built dog. They have a very distinctive look which is characterized by the loose skin that hangs over the entire body.


Neapolitan Mastiff Description

This loose skin causes many wrinkles and folds, especially on the head and neck. Their coats come in a variety of colors such as gray, black, tawny, Mahagonny, and reverse brindle. Their ears, which are often cropped, stand half pricked naturally. The Neapolitan is an ancient breed that can be traced back to 100 BC. The breed is a descendent of Molossus, a huge war dog of the middle east. The breed was often used in Roman arenas where they would fight lions, bears, and gladiators. One of the most famous Neapolitan Mastiff owners is Alexander the Great who had several. In the 1940s the breed was rediscovered in Naples, Italy and has been gaining popularity ever since.

Neapolitan Mastiff

Also Known As

  • Italian Mastiff
  • Mastino Napoletano

Country of Origin



The Neapolitan Mastiff, despite its past, is a very affectionate and friendly breed. They can be fearless protectors when the situation calls for it. They are wary of strangers at first but seem to warm quickly to humans. They can be stubborn but are not difficult to train. Males tend to be more aggressive and are not recommended for homes with young children. Female Neapolitan Mastiffs are very loving and gentle towards children. It is vital that the breed be socialized early on. Neapolitan Mastiffs often do not realize how large they actually are and need to be taught what is and isn’t appropriate by their owners at an early age. Neapolitan Mastiffs are not the best pet for owners with no dog care experience, simply due to their massive size.

Health Problems

Neapolitan Mastiffs live between nine and eleven years, which is the average lifespan for giant breeds of dog. During their lifetime they may become afflicted with hip dysplasia, which can cause immobility in later years. The most common problem associated with Neapolitan Mastiffs is drooling. They are excessive droolers, which doesn’t cause them any physical harm.


Adult Neapolitan Mastiffs are energetic and need a good deal of exercise. It is better to take  Neapolitan Mastiffs on long walks twice a day rather than play rough games with them. When a Neapolitan Mastiff is younger their exercise needs to be somewhat limited to avoid over-exertion.

Special Grooming Needs

Neapolitan Mastiffs shed an average amount and need to brush with a rubber brush during shedding months. They may require frequent bathing or wiping down of the face and neck area to remove excess dried saliva.