Dogs Breeds Directory

Neapolitan Mastiff: The Gentle Giant with a Wrinkled Heart

Neapolitan Mastiff

Forget the stereotypical ferocious guard dog. The Neapolitan Mastiff, with its signature wrinkles and gentle nature, is a unique giant breed that’s captured the hearts of many.

Quick Facts about Neapolitan Mastiffs

Neapolitan Mastiff
  • Origin: Italy
  • Size: Giant (27-31 inches tall at the shoulder)
  • Breed Group: Working
  • Life span: 7-10 years
  • Coat: Short, dense
  • Temperament: Gentle, loyal, protective
  • Exercise Needs: Moderate
  • Training: Requires early socialization and consistent training
  • Health: Prone to hip dysplasia, bloat, and eye problems
  • Popularity: Moderately popular

“The Neapolitan Mastiff is not just a dog; it’s a furry guardian with a heart of gold.” – Unknown

Neapolitan Mastiffs are truly captivating. But before you fall head over paws for these adorable giants, it’s crucial to understand their unique characteristics, care requirements, and potential challenges of owning one.

Neapolitan Mastiff Characteristics

These colossal canines boast impressive features:

  • Appearance: Their massive size (often exceeding 150 pounds) and heavy bone structure are undeniable. Their signature wrinkles, particularly around the face, give them a distinct, almost wise expression. Their short, dense coat comes in various shades of black, mahogany, and fawn.
  • Temperament: Despite their imposing size, Neapolitan Mastiffs are known for their gentle and loyal nature. They form strong bonds with their families and are surprisingly affectionate. However, their protective instincts require proper socialization and training to ensure they remain calm and well-mannered around strangers.
  • Size and Lifespan: Neapolitan Mastiffs are true giants, reaching an average height of 27-31 inches at the shoulder and weighing a staggering 120-200 pounds. Their lifespan is typically 7-10 years.

Caring for a Neapolitan Mastiff

Owning a Neapolitan Mastiff is a significant commitment. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Training: While Neapolitan Mastiffs are intelligent, their stubborn streak requires early socialization and consistent training. Positive reinforcement methods are crucial to establish a strong bond and ensure they become well-behaved companions.
  • Exercise Needs: Despite their size, have moderate exercise requirements. Daily walks, playtime, and occasional swimming sessions are sufficient to keep them physically and mentally stimulated.
  • Grooming: Their short coat requires minimal grooming, although regular brushing helps remove loose hair and maintain skin health. Their wrinkles need special attention, requiring regular cleaning to prevent infections.
  • Health: Like many giant breeds, Neapolitan Mastiffs are prone to certain health concerns, including hip dysplasia, bloat, and eye problems. Regular veterinary care and preventative measures are essential to ensure their well-being.

Neapolitan Mastiff Cost and Adoption

Neapolitan Mastiff

Wondering about Neapolitan Mastiff price? These gentle giants can be quite expensive. Puppies typically cost between $2,500 and $10,000, with factors like breeder reputation and lineage influencing the price.

Considering adoption? Neapolitan Mastiff adoption is a commendable option. Rescues like Mastino Rescue, Inc. ( specialize in providing loving homes for these magnificent dogs.

Is a Neapolitan Mastiff Right for You?

Neapolitan Mastiffs are not for everyone. Their size, potential health concerns, and exercise needs require an experienced and dedicated owner. If you have the space, time, and resources to provide a loving and responsible environment, can become a cherished member of your family.

Neapolitan Mastiffs are often categorized as Giant dog breeds, alongside breeds like Great Danes and Saint Bernards. They belong to the Working dog group, historically bred for tasks like guarding and hauling. While their size and imposing presence make them natural Guard dogs, primarily known for their gentle nature and loyalty. Their unique, wrinkly dog breed characteristic adds to their charm, but it’s crucial to provide proper care to avoid skin issues. Also classified as brachycephalic dog breeds, meaning they have short snouts that can predispose them to breathing difficulties.

Are Neapolitan Mastiffs aggressive?

Can be protective, proper socialization and training are crucial to prevent aggression. With responsible ownership, they can become loving and well-behaved companions.

How much do Neapolitan Mastiffs shed?

Have a short, dense coat that sheds moderately throughout the year. Regular brushing helps control shedding and maintain a healthy coat.

Are Neapolitan Mastiffs good guard dogs?

Their size and protective instincts make them natural guard dogs. However, proper training and socialization are essential to ensure they are responsible and well-mannered protectors.

What are some famous Neapolitan Mastiffs?

Perhaps the most recognizable is Fang, Hagrid’s loyal companion in the Harry Potter series.

What is the best climate for a Neapolitan Mastiff?

Not well-suited for hot and humid climates due to their short snouts and potential breathing difficulties. Cooler climates are generally more comfortable for these gentle giants.

Neapolitan Mastiff: Life with a Gentle Giant

Living with a puppy is a unique and rewarding experience. These colossal companions offer unwavering loyalty and affection, but their size and specific needs require responsible ownership.

Owning a Neapolitan Mastiff comes with certain considerations:

Neapolitan Mastiff
  • Space: Neapolitan Mastiffs are not suited for small apartments. They require ample space to roam and relax comfortably. A spacious house with a fenced-in yard is ideal for these gentle giants.
  • Exercise: While their exercise needs are moderate, daily walks, playtime, and mental stimulation are crucial for their physical and mental well-being. Activities like swimming or puzzle toys can provide additional engagement.
  • Socialization: Early socialization is essential to develop into well-adjusted companions. Exposing them to various people, animals, and environments from a young age helps prevent potential fear or aggression.
  • Training: Their intelligence and stubborn streak require consistent, positive reinforcement training. Establishing clear boundaries and expectations from the beginning is crucial for a harmonious relationship.

Grooming: Their short coat requires minimal maintenance, but regular brushing helps control shedding and maintain skin health. Their wrinkles need special attention, requiring regular cleaning with gentle products to prevent infections.

Veterinary Care: Benefit from regular veterinary checkups and preventative care. Early detection and management of potential health concerns like hip dysplasia, bloat, and eye problems are crucial for their long-term well-being.

Living with a Neapolitan Mastiff is an enriching experience. Their gentle nature, unwavering loyalty, and unique appearance make them cherished companions. However, their size, specific needs, and potential health concerns require responsible and dedicated ownership. Owning is a lifelong commitment, but for those who can provide a loving and suitable environment, these gentle giants can bring immense joy and companionship.


The Neapolitan Mastiff is a captivating breed that has captured the hearts of many. Their unique appearance, gentle nature, and unwavering loyalty make them cherished companions. However, their size, specific needs, and potential health concerns require careful consideration before welcoming one into your life. With responsible ownership, can become a beloved member of your family for years to come.

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