Neapolitan Mastiff

If you are looking for a unique looking dog that is sure to catch everyone’s attention with its cuteness, then Neapolitan Mastiff is undoubtedly the one. They are large dogs with tons of wrinkles around their face and body that looks beautiful. Majority of the people use these dogs as their guard to keep their home and other places safe.

Moreover, Mastinos are used in multiple movies and mentioned is numerous novels as well. The most widely recognized Neapolitan Mastiff was Fang who was seen in the Harry Potter movies and books. Let’s unravel about this breed further to get a detailed overview.

History

The breed gets its roots from Italy where its ancestors were used by the Roman Army. During that time, the breeders were experimenting by breeding different dog breeds so that they can create a race which can protect their homes and family.

Breeders were looking for a breed that has a large size, loose skin, security guard instincts and a good family member. After different breeding attempts, the final combination that led to its creation was between Neapolitan Mastiff and English Mastiff.

Soon after its creation, many Italians caught the attention of this breed mainly because of its scary appearance and friendly nature, and they started to get this for themselves. Apart from guard dogs, they were also trained to act as a bait for jaguars and bulls. However, the world was still unaware of its existence because of lack of media. In the 1940s, Dr. Piero Scanziani who was a dog breeder at that time got attracted towards this breed and asked the Italian Kennel Club to name this race as Mastino Napoletano which was later changed to Napoleon Mastiff.

In the 1950s, the Italian immigrants took their dog to the United States and different European countries that gave this breed an international recognition. The American Kennel club formed the Neapolitan Mastiff club and categorized this breed into the Working Group.

Napoleon Mastiff

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Napoleon Mastiff Dog By Chanin Suchaxaya/Shutterstock

Size

The size of this breed was one of the factors that led to its creation. An average male Mastino can go up to thirty-one inches high and weigh around sixty to seventy kilograms. On the other hand, a female Mastino can go up to twenty-nine inches tall and weigh about fifty to sixty kilograms.

Personality and Temperament

With those scary looks, anyone could judge that the dog has no patience and is ready to grab that leg to protect its home. They are very possessive and protective of their family and home. However, with all those temperament issues, they are very faithful to their masters and are obedient to their orders. Apart from that, they are utterly fearless when they sense any potential threat.

Training a Neapolitan Mastiff is not a difficult task, but they can sometimes seem to be stubborn and don’t bother to listen to your commands. Moreover, anger is something which should be taken care of. These dogs are filled with aggression and will not think twice while attacking any stranger.

They are like introvert humans who like to keep their friend circle as compact as possible and are not open to friendships. If you are looking to adopt a dog or cat even if you have a Neapolitan Mastiff resting in your house, then you should think once more. They are never ready to accept any new member of the family, especially in the form of a new pet. Sometimes, these dogs can show significant aggression to other dog breeds of both same as well as opposite sex. However, if they are raised with other pets at a younger age, then friendship might not be an issue.

Another thing that you might consider before getting a Neapolitan Mastiff is no matter how friendly your dog is; they are not suitable for children. Their huge size can be a problem when they are with children. They can unintentionally hurt children with their power and injure them. Moreover, as mentioned above that they are not ready to accept new friends, your child’s friends could visit your home, and the dog will ultimately take down that child.

Apart from all that, they love to cuddle and will sit on your lap on every chance they get. However, their huge size and weight make it difficult to make them a lap dog. With their large size, they are among the lazy dogs who don’t like to play too much. Unlike other dog puppies who love to play, the Neapolitan Mastiff puppies don’t indulge in playing at earlier stages as well.

Health

A healthy Mastino is known to live around seven to nine years. Just like other breeds, Neapolitan Mastiff is known to catch many different diseases that may take their life. One of the commonest diseases is bloating which is deadly to a Mastino. Apart from bloating, they can be diagnosed with cancer and heart diseases as well.

The health problems are not limited to that, but they can catch hip dysplasia, ectropion, entropion, anesthetic sensitivity, sebaceous adenitis, progressive retinal atrophy, elbow dysplasia and other skin infections. Cherry eye or red eye is another common illness found in this breed. In this disease, the eye tissue looks inflamed or red giving its name. Though this may look deadly to the owner, it can be treated with one or two vet visits.

Some of them can be easily identified while others may not show even a single symptom unless the dog is fully grown up. It is best to contact the breeder to know whether the dog has been diagnosed with any severe disease in the past. Moreover, you should ask about the dog’s parents and their past with any skin or bone diseases.

The Mastino’s are known to grow a lot faster than other breeds which can cause bone or joint pains at a younger age. Make sure to provide the dog with proper health supplements that can fulfill its nutritional needs.

Care

The Neapolitan Mastiff requires more care than other popular breeds due to its different skin folds and giant size. You need to especially keep in mind its sensitive skin that is known to catch skin infections. Make sure to keep good hygiene around the skin folds and give this dog timely baths.

Apart from that, this dog is not suitable for any small apartment or any other smaller spaces where it cannot fit comfortably. Due to its large size, you need to give this dog as bigger space as possible so that it can roam freely without looking for space. It is best that you only opt for this dog if you have a large lawn or a backyard.

You need to keep in mind that this breed does not like to play, but still it requires regular walks to keep fit. They need a lot of food to keep them running and can go obese if they are not exercised well. The best-proven exercise for a Mastino is swimming. It consumes a lot of efforts, and the best thing is that they like to swim. You can take your dog to any pet-friendly swimming pool and ensure that your dog stays healthy.

While taking for a walk, you need to ensure that you are not exposing your Neapolitan Mastiff to too much sunlight. They have sensitive skin, and hot temperature might cause skin problems to them. Make sure that you are providing enough fresh water to your dog and keep it hydrated.

Another thing that you need to take care of is its training. They might seem stubborn in some and not interested in training. To make sure that you train your dog right, it is best that you begin the training at early stages. Start the training when your dog is a puppy so that it could know the rules and regulations of the house.

Moreover, it will understand the dos and don’ts of the house. For example, a puppy sitting on a couch may look cute, but the same puppy will grow up to be a seventy-kilo dog that will not look as cute as it used. Once it is habitual to sitting on the couch, then there is no going back. Their stubborn attitude will not let them leave that habit quickly.

Also, it is best to make use of the reward based training rather than the dominance method. Reward-based training will work best with this breed as treats act as a motivator to lose their stubborn attitude. On the other hand, the dominance training could bring out their aggression and can also result in damage to the property or the trainer.

Feeding

As they fall under the large group category, their daily feed can go up to one kilogram of food. You can give them meat, bread, rice, and other healthy foods. It is best that you provide your Mastino dry food. The reason behind this is that they are fast and fussy eaters which can cause nose and face infection. If you are giving them wet food, then make sure that you clean its face so that it avoids any infection.

Keep this thing in mind that you are giving good quality and good quantity food to your Mastino as lack of food can cause bloating which can take the life of your dog within hours. You can give your dog pasta and bread as they are a great source of carbohydrates which are necessary for the growth years of the dog. In addition to that, you should never hesitate while giving beef and chicken to your dog. If you are giving meat to a puppy, then make sure that it is entirely boneless as the bones can stick into the dog’s throat.

Before giving dog food to the puppy, check out the protein and fat ratio. Too much protein and fat can make your dog overweight and raise the odds heart diseases. Also, do not overfeed your puppy to rush its growth. The growth process will run at its pace and feed too much food will not benefit your dog.

We have mentioned that Mastino’s are known to catch bone diseases. With that thing in mind, many people give them calcium supplements. Though they are necessary for the growth years of the puppy, it is best that they should be given after consulting a vet. The quantity of the supplement is only determined by the vet and should be given in the recommended quantity only.

Coat

There are very less looking dogs like Neapolitan Mastiff. They are unique looking, and the wrinkles on their face and body make them look fat than they actually are. They have a shaggy coat which comes in different colors including black, brindle, tawny, blue and mahogany.

The coat of the Mastino is the primary thing that differentiates this breed from any other breed, but this coat is complicated to maintain. You need to make sure that you keep its coat clean and hygienic to avoid any infections. Moreover, regular brushing will help you in keeping its hairs out of your bed, couch, carpets, and clothes.

Moreover, this coat doesn’t protect the dog from the mosquitoes which could lead to skin irritation. Also, you need to keep in mind the hair length of the dog. Take it to a dog spa and grooming center and give it a haircut which is necessary especially in summers. Hair grooming will also eliminate any ticks living on your dog’s body. Though they don’t have long hair, still it is necessary to trim them frequently.

Another thing that you might want to know about their care is that you need to trim their nails regularly. Neapolitan Mastiffs have great power, and when combined with sharp nails, they can cause severe damage.

Closing Thoughts

The Neapolitan Mastiff is a complete security guard dog which will protect your house at any cost. However, it is recommended that the first-timers should not choose this breed as training this type of dog could be troublesome. If you have a hands-on experience with other dog breeds, then you can get a Mastino for yourself, and it can safeguard you and your family members.

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