Neapolitan Mastiff

The Neapolitan Mastiff, which is also known as the Italian Mastiff, Neo, Mastino Napoletano, and Mastino, is a large dog breed that is renowned for being a heavy drooler. Recognizable by their loose skin and series of hanging wrinkles, this large and powerful dog is not for everyone. As Neapolitan Mastiff puppies can grow up to weigh up to 200 pounds, this muscular and heavy boned dog is not for the weak owner. This is especially considering this dog’s historical use as a war dog, it will need to be carefully trained and socialized. Any owner of a Neapolitan Mastiff must be able to provide firm and consistent training, not punishment based. You should expect your Neapolitan Mastiff puppy to be very intelligent and easy to train, however given the size and dominant nature of this dog, they are not recommended for first time or novice dog owners. Also, given the Neapolitan Mastiff’s massive size and strength, this dog is not recommended for inexperienced first-time dog owners or those families who have, or intend to have, young children. These huge dogs can be aggressive and their size at times can make them a difficult dog to handle. That said, if the Neapolitan Mastiff is given firm and consistent reward based training (not punishment) from an early age, this large dog breed will thrive. As it was bred to do historically, Neapolitan Mastiffs make wonderful guard gods but can be overprotective of their family. This large dog breed must also be socialized properly, or it is prone to aggression towards other dogs and over protective attitudes against his family. Surprisingly given this dog breed’s large size, the Neapolitan Mastiff is relatively inactive indoors. The trademark feature of the Neapolitan Mastiff breed is a massive head with loose skin folds and wrinkles covering the dog’s body.

The trademark feature of the Neapolitan Mastiff breed is the loose skin folds and wrinkles covering the dog’s body.
Although the Neapolitan Mastiff may look intimidating, it is really quite an affectionate dog breed.
American Kennel Club recognized the Neapolitan Mastiff as a working dog breed group in 2004.
Neapolitan Mastiffs are known to be a quiet and gentle dog breed, but are known to be overprotective of their food and toys.
Neapolitan Mastiffs are very intelligent dogs, making them easy to train.
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Neapolitan Mastiffs have been known to weigh up to 200 pounds!


24 to 31 inches (61 to 78.7 cm)


110 to 150 pounds (50.2 to 68.4 kgs)

Life Expectancy:

10 to 11 years


Neapolitan Mastiffs pop up regularly in history, but are traced back to ancient Egypt, Asia, and Persia. In more recent history this large and powerful dog breed was used as a war dog for the Roman army, and later to protect farms and estates in Italy.

Available colors:

Some brindling and white markings are allowed by the AKC.


The Neapolitan Mastiff is:

  • Affectionate
  • Distrustful of strangers
  • Protective
  • Quiet
  • Trainable

Health Concerns

Bloat, Hip dysplasia

Health problems associated with the Neapolitan Mastiff include elbow dysplasia.

Find out more about Puppy Health Concerns

Celebrities with Neapolitan Mastiffs

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