This is very old dog breed from Italy and the breed might go back as far as 700 b.c, which is a time from which some artifacts depicting Neapolitan Mastiffs like dogs were found. The selection of the breed started after the second world war, when Piero Scanziani saw them at the dog exhibition in Naples. After that, he made first Neapolitan Mastiff breed standard, which was accepted by the FCI in 1956.
If we go back in time, to the Roman Empire era, these dogs were used for more purposes, mostly as guards, but also as war dogs and gladiators. Luckily, today, they are only use for the guarding purpose and they are good at it. They are naturally patroling their property and they will deter all the intruders. But do not worry, they are almost never agressive, without a reason.
3) Gentle giant
But this is not only a great intimidating guard. The Neapolitan Mastiff makes extraordinary gentle, calm and devoted family companion. On the other hand, they might be reserved and alert towards strangers, so if you want to have a Neo as a family companion, the socialization with other people and animals is crucial.
The most distinctive part of the Neapolitan Mastiffs is the heavy wrinkled face. The face is made up of velvety, heavy wrinkles and folds. It will be a very hard to find a dog breed with larger and deeper wrinkles. It is important to take care about the wrinkles as it is important to keep them clean and dry to prevent infections.
The Neo has a large, powerful body, that is covered by loose skin. The average height should be between 60-80 cm, which is 24-31 inches and weight between 50-80 kg, which is 110-175 pounds. But it is not uncommon for them to weigh up to 200 pounds. The females are naturally little bit smaller than males.
Well, it is not a typical lapdog, but sometimes, the Neo is nicknamed as 200 pounds lapdog. And indeed, they have low activity level. Even as puppies, they are not hyperactive. The Neo is very calm and mellow indoors and they will prefer in a house with a yard, where they can lounge around. But of course, you should still exercise them, they will definitely like daily walks or other activity. But do not over do it with young Neos and you should avoid rowdy exercise and playtime like jumping or running on stairs, so their joints and bones do not suffer as they grow.
7) Not for novices
This is a poor choice for novice dog owners. They are intelligent, that is true, but they are also strong willed, very powerful and with the wrong training and socialization, they can be very agressive. The socialization is crucial with this breed and they need firm and patiend leader, who can train them to become gentle and loving companions.
8) Lumbering gait
When the Neapolitan Mastiff moves, they do it in a slow and heavy way, as you would probably expect from them. A lot of time, their gait is described as lumbering. But do not be fooled by that, when needed, they can achieve a good speed.
As i already mentioned in the video, you must wipe the Neos wrinkles and keep them clean and dry. Also, limit the exercise with puppies and exercise them in a controlled manner so their bones and joints don't undergo too much stress. The Neapolitan Mastiff do shed, so if you want to minimize the shedding, regular brushing is needed. Other than that, regularly check their eyes, ears and nails and clean them or clip them when needed.
Sadly, just like most of the other giant dog breeds, the lifespan of Neapolitan Mastiff is quite short, only between 8-10 years. They suffer from hip dysplasia, entropion, bloating, cherry eye, cardiomyopathy and fold dermatitis.