Neapolitan Mastiff Mobile

Neapolitan Mastiff

The Neapolitan Mastiff is a truly massive dog, well-built and powerful, and dressed in an oversized skin that forms the iconic loose folds of dewlap and lips the breed is famous for. The coat should be short, dense and hard in texture with a good sheen. Skin should be loose, but not excessively so.

The need-to-know
  • Dog suitable for experienced owners
  • Extra training required
  • Enjoys active walks
  • Enjoys walking an hour a day
  • Giant dog
  • Some drool
  • Requires grooming every other day
  • Non hypoallergenic breed
  • Chatty and vocal dog
  • Guard dog. Barks, alerts and it's physically protective
  • May require training to live with other pets
  • May require training to live with kids

Key Facts

Lifespan: 8 – 10 years
Weight: 50 – 70kg
Height: 58 – 77cm
Colours: Blue, black, all shades of grey, brown, fawn red and brindle. Small white markings may occur on the chest and toes
Size: Large
Kennel Club Group: Working


Family-friendly: 4/5
Exercise needs: 3/5
Easy to train: 3/5
Tolerates being alone: 1/5
Likes other pets: 2/5
Energy level: 3/5
Grooming needs: 4/5
Shedding: 3/5


Whilst the Neo’s background in fighting is long in the past, they remain a vigilant guarding breed. Loyal to family and well known friends, and generally even-tempered, the well trained Neo is still likely to treat strangers in a reserved and aloof manner.

In common with many larger breeds, the Neapolitan Mastiff can be clumsy and seemingly unaware of their size and power, so caution is recommended when it comes to play and games involving wrestling or biting are not recommended at all. Often appearing serious and watchful, they can be affectionate, goofy and silly with their family. Drool is a serious consideration with this breed, it can be flung a long way!

The Neapolitan Mastiff can live happily with other animals if raised with them, but is better off with other dogs of the opposite sex, and due to their size, smaller animals are at risk even from well-intentioned play.

History and Origins

Country of Origin: Italy

The Neapolitan Mastiff’s origins lie in the heavy, loose skinned molosser types favoured by the Romans for fighting lions and humans, guarding all manner of property and even going to war. The modern Neapolitan Mastiff owes much to the Italian artist Piero Scanziani who created the accepted breed standard and was instrumental in gaining official recognition for the breed.

The Neapolitan Mastiff has been used as a police dog and guard dog, but is more typically found as a show dog and companion breed.

Health and Common Issues

Exercise Needs

Space Requirements

Nutrition and Feeding

Grooming Neapolitan Mastiffs

Training Neapolitan Mastiffs

Best Family Dog Breeds

Did You Know?

  • Whilst the three headed dog ‘Fang’, loyal companion to Hagrid in the Harry Potter books was meant to be a Great Dane, in the films Fang was played by multiple Neapolitan Mastiffs. Nine dogs were used across the film franchise, and during filming and time on set they would enjoy huge amounts of chicken, tripe and steak every day (in fact they probably ate better - and more - than the actors).
  • Neapolitan Mastiff owners sometimes hold informal ‘drool’ or ‘goober’ competitions with awards for highest fling or longest drool string!
  • They’ve been nicknamed the ‘200-pound lapdog’ due to their affectionate natures.
  • The breed is also known as: Mastini, Mastino, Mastino Napoletano, Italian Molosso, Can’e Presa, Mastino Neapolitano and Italian Mastiff.
  • Due to their roots, they have very high prey drives so you’ll need to be careful when they’re off the lead as recall can’t always be relied upon.

Finding a dog

Labrador lying next to the sofa
Finding a pet
Is this the right breed for you?
All dogs have their own unique personality! Try our Dog Breed Selector tool and find out which dog breeds better match your preferences and lifestyle.
Puppy walking next to owner on a lead
Finding a pet
Thinking about getting a puppy?
Join Growing Pup for help from our Purina experts on how to find the right puppy and prepare for your new arrival, as well as a discount off one of our puppy ranges.
Dog with red collar sitting next to the owner
Finding a pet
Finding a good breeder
If your heart is set on a pedigree puppy, then your best bet is to find a reputable breeder. Find out what to look for in a puppy breeder with this guide.
Dog with red collar
Finding a pet
Welcoming your dog home
While you're waiting for the big day you may need to distract yourself, so luckily there are a few things you need to sort our before you welcome your new arrival.
Dog with red collar lying
It's incredibly fulfilling to adopt a dog from an animal shelter or rescue organisation. It often means offering them a second chance at life. There are many dogs waiting for a loving family and their forever home, but what can you expect from the process?
Dog with red collar looking out the window
Puppy advice
Everything you need to know
Getting a new puppy is incredibly exciting for all the family, but it can be quite scary for your new pup. Find out how to deal with everything from behaviour to health questions with our expert puppy advice.
Owner checking dogs collar
Finding a pet
Benefits of having a dog
It's known far and wide that dogs are man's best friend, but did you know that there's actually numerous benefits of having a dog? From helping you to get fit to meeting new people, your puppy can actually help to improve your health and social life. Keep reading to discover the benefits of dogs!