The Neapolitan Mastiff is descended from the Tibetan Mastiff through the large Roman Molossians described by agronomist Columella in the first century. This breed fought with the Roman legions and was spread throughout Europe during the Roman invasion. Has also been used as a circus dog. The breed is the progenitor of many mastiff breeds in other Europian countries, and has survived for centuries. Spanish Mastiff Blood was later introduced and the breed has been selectively bred since 1947.
The coat is short , harsh, thick and smooth and the preferred colouring is grey, lead grey and black, brown, fawn, stag-red, sometimes with white on chest and feet. Bitches weigh in from 50 to 60 kg and dogs 50 to 70 kg. Size: dogs 65 to 75 and bitches 60 to 68 cm. Formidable in appearance and even more fearsome if provoked. Not aggressive and will not bite without cause. Calm, loyal, devoted, very affectionate and gentle with children. Suitable as a guard or police dog as well as a pet.
The Neapolitan Mastiff is one of the Molosser type of dogs, which probably descend from a common stock; whether this was the Molossus attested in antiquity is controversial.Despite centuries of popularity throughout Europe, this type of dog was almost lost after World War II. Soon after the war, Italian painter Piero Scanziani established a breeding kennel to turn the mastiff-type dogs of Italy into a formal breed which was then named the Neapolitan Mastiff and English Mastiff was used to help in this process "Original text can be found at Neapolitan-Mastiff on Wikipedia" Care and maintenance
When it comes to exercise, Neapolitans are not a very active breed as their energy tends to be short lived and their weight causes stress to their joints when excessive. They won't be running any marathons with you, but be aware that they can and will have short, extremely powerful bursts of energy and so will still require an area to run and play, especially as puppies and young adults. Special care should be taken to prevent dogs under one year of age from jumping over or off of things, as this can cause irreparable damage.
The Neapolitan Mastiff is fearless and extremely protective of its home and family. They prefer to be with their family and to remain in and around the home at all times. The Neapolitan Mastiff rarely barks unless under provocation, renowned for sneaking up on intruders as opposed to first alerting them of their presence. Neos, as a breed, are extremely intelligent dogs with a tendency to be independent thinkers. They learn quickly, which is both good and bad, since this guardian breed needs extensive proper socialization to learn to accept strangers, especially within the home; without proper early socialization and training, these dogs are likely to become aggressive towards strangers and unfamiliar dogs. Like with other breeds, forceful training methods, "alpha roles", and a general "dominance" mentality will not work with these dogs, especially since it is difficult to try to physically dominate a dog that is so large as an adult; if you want a well mannered dog, prevent problems before they happen by using positive training methods, beginning socializing early, and continuing socializing throughout life. The Neapolitan Mastiff is not a breed for most people, and certainly not a dog for beginners. As a general rule, Neapolitan Mastiffs are not appropriate for homes with small children, as Neos are large, powerful dogs and don't always know their own strength. Additionally, young children have young friends, and even with extensive socialization and training, Neapolitans will be wary of strangers and protective of their family, which can be disastrous for small children. Additional protection training is unnecessary because they are natural guard dogs and always have been. As with every breed, obedience training is very important.