There is a special breed of dog that you would be interested
in owning. That is the Neapolitan Mastiff; it is also called by other names as Italian Mastiff, Mastino, or
Mastini (plu.). This huge and ancient canine is a dedicated guard, protector of the family and property because
of its strong instinct of protection and its frightful look. Neopolitan mastiffs were believed to have
accompanied the Roman legions in their campaigns. They were fitted with leather harness filled with blades and
spikes and were trained to go under the horses of their enemies to disembowel them.
The mastini are easily identified by a very loose skin covering their entire body;
their skins are wrinkled and folded all over. These are of four colors: black, gray, mahogany, and
tawny; with an opposite lining of brown, silver and beige; some are white-chested with
white feet but white found anywhere else in their body is unbecoming. Long before, owners could crop the
ears of their Neapolitan mastiffs but since January of 2007, cropped ears and tails had been forbidden in
Italy and Europe.
On the average, Mastino has a height of 26-31 inches (66-79 cms.), weighs 150 lbs. (70kg.) The male is heavier
and taller in height than the female. Their body length is 10 – 15% more than that of their height.
Neopolitan mastiff is brave and always protective of their family and home. It would rather stay inside its
home than running around the neighborhood. Known for its intelligence and independent thinking, the neo seldom
barks but will do so only upon provocation. Forceful negative training is not effective but using the positive
training method will make it the most wonderful pet.
Hardy in constitution and given the right care, the Neapolitan mastiffs seldom get sick. The most common
ailment they suffer is having cherry eyes and hip dysplasia. Their life span is comparable with any other
canine because they live for not more than 10 tears.
Hygiene is important due to their very wrinkle skin. They need extra care and maintenance as bathing face and
the body often. Being droolers, they have to be kept constantly dry so they will not smell. Their hair must be
groomed and the excess removed by using a rubber brush. Unlike the other mastiffs, they are average
Since they are not physically active, they find contentment in living in a just small apartment or home. They
are happy with a small yard and a dry place to sleep. You need to give them a good supply of clean and fresh
water. Because they do not like running around, you have to initiate long walks with them at least twice a
Their diet is about the same as that of any mastiff. Their food must be rich in nutrients with proper diet of
protein, fatty acids, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. They must avoid including these in their meals:
avocadoes, potatoes, citrus products, ocean fish, and any food with preservatives.
Neapolitan mastiff has been the favorite choice for a pet. They are not only fearless, protective and
intelligent; but just the right kind for those living in small apartments or house. And since the Neapolitan
Mastiff seldom barks, you will be able to keep the silence code in your area.