Neapolitan Mastiff

We can follow Neapolitan Mastiff lineage all the way back to ancient Egypt, Persia, Mesopotamia and Asia. Neos were used in times of war by the Roman army and later they were used on farms in northern Italy as guard dogs and defenders of property.

The Neapolitan Mastiff was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 2004.

Sizing up

  • Weight: 110 to 200 lbs.
  • Height: 24 to 31 inches
  • Coat: Short and dense
  • Color: Black, blue, mahogany, and tawny -- sometimes with brindle markings.
  • Life expectancy: 8 to 10 years

What’s the Neapolitan Mastiff like?
The Neapolitan Mastiff? More like the Neapolitan MASSIVE! If you’re looking for a guard dog, the Neo is a perfect fit. Neos form a very close bond with their families so they’re very protective and generally untrusting of strangers. However, because they are so devoted to family, separation anxiety can sometimes develop. 

The Neo has a low activity level so he does not require a lot of exercise, a nice walk every now and then will make him happy. 

The Neapolitan Mastiff will grow quickly so begin training him early. Neos can get bored very easily--keep training sessions short and to the point. You can hold their attention by socializing them with other dogs and giving them rewards while always being firm and consistent. Make sure they know you’re the boss, even though you’ll probably weigh less!

The Neo needs a daily brushing to remove loose and dead hair. He may sometimes have an odor to him, so bathe when necessary. 

The Neapolitan Mastiff may develop any of the following conditions:

Cherry eye

  • An irritable condition that causes a pink mass to protrude from the eye

Progressive retinal atrophy

  • An eye condition that worsens over time and could lead to loss of vision

Hip dysplasia

  • One of the most common diseases seen in dogs, with larger breeds being the most affected. It is ultimately a malfunction of the hip joints.

Elbow dysplasia

  • The development of arthritis in the elbow joint


  • A disease caused by an increase in metabolism


  • A heart muscle disease indicated by an enlarged heart that isn’t functioning properly)


  • A condition during which a dog's stomach rotates and twists and in some cases can lead to cellular damage or organ death


  • The most common bone tumor found in dogs. It is usually seen in larger breeds and can spread rapidly throughout the dog’s body

Takeaway points

  • The Neapolitan Mastiff is best suited to a family with older children.
  • The Neapolitan Mastiff makes an excellent watchdog.
  • The Neapolitan Mastiff needs early training and socialization before he grows up.
  • The Neapolitan Mastiff would love a large, secured fenced-in yard.

If you have any questions or concerns, you should always visit or call your veterinarian -- they are your best resource to ensure the health and well-being of your pets.