The Canine Chronicles Directory
The Neapolitan has a short, dense and smooth coat. The coat color is usually blue,
black, mahogany and tawny. Splashes of tan brindle on dark coats and white on the
chest, throat, toes, back of pasterns and underbelly are all permitted when showing
this breed. There should not be any white on the face of the dog. The large, flat
head should have a wide skull, a well pronounced definite stop and a muzzle with
deep flews. The face has dewlap beginning near the mouth and continuing to the middle
of the neck. The wide set eyes are round in shape and slightly set forward. Puppies
are born with blue eyes and as the dog grows the eyes darken. The rim of the eyes
should be the same color as the nose and the nose should be the same color as the
coat. The nose should be large with well opened nostrils. The small ears are triangular
in shape. They sit well apart and slightly forward high on the head. The ears are
traditionally cropped. The jaw should be well developed and the teeth should meet
in a level, slightly undershot or scissor-like bite. The short, stocky neck is very
muscular merging in long, slightly sloping shoulders. The broad chest should be
well-muscled and the underline should have little to no tuck-up. The body is rectangular
in appearance and is heavy-boned. The forelegs should be straight when viewed from
the front and the rounded hindlegs should be well-muscled with powerful hocks. The
rear dewclaws should be removed. The dark colored, oval-shaped feet should have
arched toes with hard, thick pads. The hindfeet should be slightly smaller than
the forefeet and the toenails should be strong, curved and dark in color. The tail
sits slightly lower than the topline and tapers toward the tip. When in motion,
the tail is carried level with the topline, however it is customarily docked by
Though the Neo has a beastly and vicious appearance, he is peaceful and steady.
He was bred to look and act fearsome but is very affectionate with his family and
family friends. He is highly protective and fearless, yet extremely intelligent
and somewhat willful. Neos are much attuned to their master's wishes. They are not
excessive barkers. If they are provoked, they will be fearless and protective. The
males of this breed are more aggressive and dominant than females, making the female
a better family pet. They are good with children provided they are not teased. Males
are very aggressive with same-sex dogs. They are usually good with other pets when
raised with them. The owners should be firm with this breed and capable of controlling
them properly. Owner dominance should be firmly established while the dog is young.
Thorough obedience training is recommended and very necessary with this breed. They
tend to drool more during the warm weather and after drinking water. An adult Neo
can eat 8-10 cups of dog food a day.
Male Height: 26-30" ; Weight: up to 165 lbs. with some males weighing up to 200
Female Height: 24-28" ; Weight: up to 165 lbs.
Neapolitan Mastiffs are susceptible to hip dysplasia, pano-ostiosis, and "cherry
eye", which can be corrected with minor surgery.
Neos can live okay in an apartment if they are given sufficient exercise. An average-sized
yard is fine. They will be more comfortable in a well-padded dog house in the winter
months. They need plenty of shade and water during the summer months.
Limit exercise with younger Neos to prevent growth problems. Adult Neos need plenty
of daily exercising. Take them on a couple of walks per day.
Up to 10 years
The Neapolitan Mastiff is easy to groom because of their short coat. Wipe with a
rubber brush to remove loose hair. This breed is an average shedder.
Neapolitans are direct descendants of the molossus of the Roman arenas, probably
very similar to the old type known 2,000 years ago. Over the centuries, the dog
has been used in war and for police, guard and draft work, as well as being a collaborator
in crime. The Italian standard calls for a dog of "rustic but majestic appearance".
Although the breed has existed in southern Italy since Roman times, the Neapolitan
was first presented to the general public at a Naples dog show in 1946. They so
impressed a painter, Piero Scanziani, that he collected superior animals and started
his own kennel. He is now considered the modern father of the breed. The breed was
not imported to the United States until the 1970s, was recognized by the UKC in
1995, but was not officially recognized by the AKC until 2004.
AKC Working, UKC Guardian Dog