Neapolitan Mastiff: Characteristics, Temperament, Health, Care & Training

Keywords: Neapolitan Mastiff


A pizza sitting on top of a plate of food

Neapolitan Mastiffs are large, muscular dogs that hail from Italy with a history that dates back to ancient times. Neapolitans were bred for war purposes by Hannibal, who used them during his battles in 218 BC to invade the Italian peninsula. Neapolitans later spread across Europe, becoming prized possessions of royalty and aristocracy. In fact, Neapolitans were one of only four breeds allowed to be owned by the European aristocracy during medieval times. Today Neapolitans are still valued by royals and celebrities throughout Europe, particularly in France and England. Neapolitan Mastiffs differ from other large breed dogs in that they have a very gentle nature that makes them suitable for living with families with children or elderly adults who need companionship. Neapolitan Mastiffs are also renowned for their guarding abilities, thanks to their imposing physical stature combined with courage and loyalty


A close up of a dog

The Neopolitan Mastiff is an ancient breed that has its roots in the mastiffs of war used by Hannibal during his attack on Rome in 218 BC where Neapolitans traveled with their army. The Neapolitan Mastiff spread throughout Italy, France, England, Spain, and to countries around the Mediterranean. Neopolitan Mastiffs are one of four breeds allowed to be owned by nobility during medieval times under the feudal system. Neopolitan Mastiff was developed for guarding purposes because these dogs acquired a reputation for fearlessness against predators, criminals, or invaders which gave this dog a strong sense of security to protect what belongs to them


Neapolitan Mastiffs are known for being calm and gentle-natured dogs that are docile around children. Neopolitan Mastiffs will be loyal to one person in the family but they will also maintain good relations with other household members, including guests. Neapolitans are extremely patient and protective of their owners so Neapolitans tend to become fiercely aggressive towards any people or animals that threaten their families. Neopolitan Mastiff puppies may display aggression or dominance towards other pets, although this behavior tends to mellow out as Neopolitan Mastiffs mature. They’re very intelligent dogs that don’t require much training; however, Neopolitan Mastiffs should learn not to bark excessively to avoid irritating neighbors.

Health and care

If you own a Neapolitan mastiff you should know how to care for them properly because they can live for a long time. Neapolitan Mastiffs can live anywhere from 8 to 12 years, sometimes even longer if the Neapolitan is kept healthy and free of disease. Neapolitans should be fed a premium dog food designed for large breeds with an emphasis on protein content since Neapolitans are prone to hip dysplasia and other health problems that can be exacerbated by obesity. Neopolitan Mastiff s will need to be bathed regularly as Neopolitan Mastiffs tend to drool excessively as well as suffer from skin infections that may require frequent bathing. Even though Neapolitans don’t require much exercise they should have access to a yard because Neapolitans were bred as guard dogs so they enjoy being outside protecting their owner’s Neapolitan Mastiffs should also have regular vet visits to monitor the Neopolitan’s weight, provide preventative vaccines and discuss Neapolitan Mastiff’s health.


As a Neapolitan mastiff owner, you should know how to train your Neapolitan properly because they’re very intelligent dogs that don’t require much training. The first command your Neapolitan should learn is “no”. Neapolitans need to be taught not to bark excessively or chase people or animals so it never becomes a problem.

You can teach a Neapolitan Mastiff a quick trick such as sitting down by using a treat as an incentive the first few times your dog performs this task but after two or three times without treats you’ll be able to use the command “sit” without treats To train your Neapolitan Mastiff to sit, keep a few treats handy then say your Neopolitan Mastiff’s name followed by “sit”. When it’s time for the Neapolitan to sit, give them their treat immediately after they obey. You can also use this technique when you want Neapolitan Mastiff to stop bad behavior.

Neapolitans will instinctively be pack dogs so Neapolitans need to understand who the “alpha” is in your household. Neapolitans have a strong sense of loyalty, so Neopolitan obedience training can actually be quite easy if you’re consistent about commanding them and offering treats.

To train Neapolitan Mastiffs to obey their owners, owners need to establish themselves as the leader through firmness and consistency; this means owners should not allow their Neopolitan mastiffs to get away with bad behavior such as chewing on furniture or other pets. As soon as your Neopian Mastiff misbehaves, firmly say “no,” and immediately take the dog out of the area where they’re not supposed to be. Neapolitan Mastiffs need a lot of structure and order or they can become quite destructive.

Subscribe to our monthly Newsletter
Subscribe to our monthly Newsletter