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Neapolitan Mastiff

History

The Mastiff breed hails from Tibet, where they were used in battle and as guard dogs. Their large size made them well suited for these tasks. The Neapolitan Mastiff, or Neo, was first found in Naples, Italy where they were bred with loose skin to protect them from attacks. They are dedicated and loyal towards their family

Behaviour

Being bred as watch/guard dogs, the Neo is 100% devoted to their family and will go to great lengths to protect them. Their loyalty can cause them to get jealous of other dogs if not socialised from a young age. They will want to follow you around at all times and are prone to separation anxiety, uncommon for large breeds. They get along well with children but due to their size they can accidently hurt them, so small children should be watched over when playing with this breed. Being guard dogs, they have a natural wariness of strangers, even if well socialised.

Neos may seem like a calm and lazy breed, but they always know what’s going on around them, even if it doesn't seem that way. They will be ready at a moment’s notice if they feel that you are under threat. They aren’t usually aggressive, as their large size and deep bark are normally enough to scare any sensible criminal away. Neos have a love for toys, but can become possessive, so early training will be needed to combat this. As with any other large breed, they will need to attend obedience classes to get them used to other dogs and people being around them. They’re not the fastest learners, but they can be trained, it just takes some time. They will need a firm but fair leader for training. They respond well to positive reinforcement. At times they can be stubborn and may require a slightly firmer hand.

As with any other large breed, it is important that they don't run/jump around too much when they are young, as this can lead to bone deformation as they grow. Neos need a daily walk, but aren’t overly energetic and don’t require huge amounts of exercise. They don't react well to hot weather, so during the warmer months it’s best to walk them in the mornings or evenings. Due to their large size they require a lot of living space. They are a messy breed that drool, spill food and drip water after they drink, not the best breed for the house-proud. They’ll need a large bed to sleep on, otherwise they’ll claim the couch as their own. They aren’t fully aware of their own size and can be clumsy at time. They also snore a lot during sleep.

Their loose skin makes them prone to skin infections, so be sure to clean all their nooks and crannies from time to time. Their coats will need brushing a couple times per week to remove any dead hairs.

Temperament

There is no breed quite as loyal as the Neopolitan Mastiff. They are a loving and protective breed. They become fully devoted to their family and have strong protective instincts. This means that they will always be wary of strangers and may not be over the moon when meeting other dogs.

Health Problems

Neos can be prone to Canine Hip Dysplasia, Elbow Dysplasia, Heart Problems, Bloat, and some skin conditions (be sure to regularly clean their skin folds to avoid these).

Breed Details

  • Status: Common
  • Life Expectancy: 7 - 9 years
  • Weight: 110 - 155 lbs
  • Height: 24 - 31"
  • Rare: No
  • Coat: Short
  • Grooming Requirements: Once a week
  • Town or Country: Country
  • Minimum Home Size: Large House
  • Minimum Garden Size: Small to Medium Garden
  • Breed Type: Working Dog
  • Size: Giant
  • Energy Level: Medium
  • Exercise Required: Up to 1 hour

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