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Neapolitan Mastiff

Group: Utility (Group 6)
Club: Association Of All Mastiff Breeds Of Victoria Inc
Contact: Mrs Sonya Willie
Phone: 9364 5110

Brief History

The Neapolitan Mastiff is a giant guardian breed from southern Italy. His origins date back to ancient Rome, but he was recognised as a breed in the 1940’s. He was originally used as a war dog but now is recognised as an excellent guard dog.

Average Life Span

When considering a dog, please realise that you are taking it on for its lifetime.

The average life span is 8 to 10 years.


Steady and loyal, they are guard dogs of property and its inhabitants. Always vigilant, intelligent, noble and majestic.

General Breed Description

The Neapolitan Mastiff is a large heavy and massive dog with a bulky appearance. The skin is abundant and very loose all over the body. On the head there is wrinkling, and the lower part of the neck has a double dewlap. The colours are grey, lead grey, and black, but also brown and fawn. All these colours may be brindled.

Coat and Care Requirements

The coat is smooth and does a yearly drop. They need care with the coat and skin because of the wrinkles, if the wrinkles are not cleaned regularly, they may suffer from skin conditions and have an odour. A regular, weekly brush, together with the occasional bath when required, will keep the Neo looking smart.


Height: Males: 65 to 75cms, Females 60 to 68cms.

Weight: Males 60 to 70kgs, Females 50 to 60kgs.


All breeds have individual health issues. When speaking to breeders it is recommended you enquire about the breed’s health and what health testing the breeder does. The Neapolitan Mastiff is generally a healthy breed, however health conditions do occur occasionally. These may include Hip Dysplasia (HD), Elbow Dysplasia (ED), Gastric Torsion (Bloat). They can also be prone to a variety of eye conditions.


The Neapolitan Mastiff needs to be an active and included member of the family. He must know his place in the family hierarchy and adults will need to have the upper hand. A young Neo should be well socialised and consistent training should begin early. Exercise during growth should be moderate, and stairs are not recommended. The yard should be appropriately fenced for this large breed. This breed is a guard dog and won’t hesitate to protect its home and is unlikely to let a stranger enter the property when you are away from home. Being a large kind and gentle breed, they can be clumsy and they should be supervised with children at all times.

In Conclusion

Now you know a little more about this breed. If you have decided this is the dog for you and wish to investigate further, please contact the Breed Club or Dogs Victoria. They will be able to give you information about available puppies and also suggest dog events where you can see the breed and speak to breeders. In this way you will gain a better perspective of the breed and its needs. With any breed of dog, it is important to research and determine suitability for your lifestyle before committing to a puppy which will be a part of your family for many years to come.

Whilst many breeds are recommended for families, it is imperative that when children are with dogs they are supervised at all times. Basic obedience training is a vital part of dog ownership.

Dogs Victoria is about the responsible ownership of all dogs and in particular the preservation of pure breeds.

Link to ANKC Breed Standard:

Registered Breeders

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