Fun Neapolitan Mastiff Facts For Kids | Kidadl


Fun Neapolitan Mastiff Facts For Kids

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Neapolitan Mastiffs are a magnificent breed of dogs that are extremely loving towards their master and can appear intimidating to strangers. These traits are expected as they are descendants of Italian guard dogs. They have loose skin and strong bones, making them the prime choice as guard dogs throughout history.

According to the American Kennel Club, the Neapolitan Mastiff temperament is described as loyal, dignified, and watchful. The Neapolitan Mastiff Club in the U.S. considers the adult Neapolitan Mastiffs' head as "astounding"! Now, they are the perfect choice for any owner who isn't new to training large dogs and someone who knows to assert the fact that they are its master as the trainability of this giant breed is not an easy one. Once a strong relationship is established, you can be sure that they will guard and love their owner and their family unconditionally.

They are generally active when they are young and as they grow, but their energy level is quite moderate. While they love the outdoors, they often prefer to simply hang around the house, finding a nice cozy spot. They also don't require a lot of exercise time and just one daily walk is enough to keep these Neapolitan Mastiffs in shape. Do keep the temperature in check as their body doesn't do well in hot weather, so be sure to provide them with a lot of fresh water when required. They require weekly brushing, although their shedding is medium and owners should also take care of cleaning their skin folds regularly.

Once they are fully grown, these massive but loving creatures become oblivious to their own size and may not pay attention to their surroundings, often causing havoc unintentionally wherever they decide to tread! Therefore, these Neos do need a large area to comfortably go about their day. They are much loved by adults but younger children might find it difficult to navigate these massive animals, and shouldn't be left along with them as children might not even come under the dog's radar while he or she is moving around. For this reason, they are often not the best dog breed for families. Oh, and they also drool all over the place with the occasional fart too. So a closed environment might not be the best idea!

Having said all this, it's easy to fall in love with the Neapolitan Mastiff, who is likely to end up being more like an overprotective family member than a pet. Just like a big brother who keeps the bullies away, the Neapolitan Mastiff will be fiercely protective of his or her family, making them the best companion who is looking for a reliable watchdog.

Find out more about other dog breeds, such as the pocket pitbull and the Chow Lab mix here on Kidadl!

Fun Neapolitan Mastiff Facts For Kids

What do they prey on?


What do they eat?


Average litter size?


How much do they weigh?

54-90 kg (120-200 lb)

How long are they?

27-34 in (69-86 cm)

How tall are they?

24–31 in (60–75 cm)

What do they look like?

Blue, black, brindle, mahogany, and tawny or black-brown

Skin Type


What were their main threats?


What is their conservation status?

Not Evaluated

Where you'll find them?



North America And Europe









Neapolitan Mastiff Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Neapolitan Mastiff?

The Neapolitan Mastiff dog has a history that traces its origin to Tibet, where Mastiffs were used during wars as their thick skin and intimidating appearance made them an ideal choice. Later, in the city of Naples, Italy, when breeders required a dog that could withstand attacks and protect their crew, they created the dog which is now known as the Neapolitan Mastiff. Neapolitan Mastiffs would not have been a hugely popular dog if it were not for a journalist named Piere Scanziana. He attended a dog show in Naples in the year 1946 and was fascinated by these magnificent creatures. He even helped to write their breed standard, and therefore they were named the Mastino Napoletano! The breed was also acknowledged by the Cynologique Internationale in the year 1949.

What class of animal does a Neapolitan Mastiff belong to?

The Neapolitan Mastiff is part of the Mammal class of animals.

How many Neapolitan Mastiffs are there in the world?

Neapolitan Mastiffs have been around since 1947 and have been adopted by several owners around the world. An exact number of the Neos is not known today.

Where does a Neapolitan Mastiff live?

A Neapolitan Mastiff is comfortable in a large living area due to its large size and loves living with his owner and family.

What is a Neapolitan Mastiff's habitat?

The Neapolitan Mastiff is a gentle giant that requires ample space to live with its owner. Moderate exercise, including a walk every day, and the provision of high-quality dog food in its diet keep it healthy and helps it grow to its full size. They are often given the role of the guard dog, and they will happily lay around throughout the day until the postman arrives!

Who do Neapolitan Mastiffs live with?

The Neapolitan Mastiff lives with its owner and family. They are not hugely friendly with other dogs and humans unless they are well acquainted with them right from the beginning.

How long does a Neapolitan Mastiff live?

A healthy Neapolitan Mastiffs' life span is up to nine years on average.

How do they reproduce?

After reaching puberty, a female Neapolitan Mastiff, during her estrous cycle, will be able to reproduce and fall pregnant by mating with a male.

What is their conservation status?

Neapolitan Mastiffs, even though were created to be dogs who can battle and be guard dogs, generally lead a calm life with their owners and families today. Their conservation status is therefore currently Not Evaluated.

Neapolitan Mastiff Fun Facts

What do Neapolitan Mastiffs look like?

The Neapolitan Mastiff dog breed is a huge dog with loose skin in the form of wrinkled folds all over its body and head. The size of an adult dog of this breed can be intimidating as they carry themselves with an attitude of power and they are not meant to be graceful or elegant dogs. Throughout history, they've been known to be used as guard dogs whose imposing stance will keep anyone away from their territory as they lumber around with their massive body. A Neapolitan Mastiffs' rectangular body length is greater than its height. A Neapolitan Mastiff dog grows to about 27-34 in (69-86 cm) in length while weighing in at 54-90 kg (120-200 lb).

A cute Neapolitan Mastiff face is full of wrinkles and folds that almost cover its eyes, but also help to give it a daunting expression. When compared to other dogs, the Neapolitan Mastiffs' face may not look happy or smiling, even if it is amused in some way. This helps them in their role as watchdogs as you do not want a dog guarding your territory to look overly friendly. They also have pendulous lips which probably helps them drool all over the living room!

When it comes to the coat color of a Neopolitan Mastiff, you can find them in gray, black, mahogany, and tawny and sometimes you may find a white patch across its chest area. Neapolitan Mastiff puppies have blue eyes and as they grow they change to a dark brown color.

Fun Neapolitan Mastiff Facts For Kids

How cute are they?

Neapolitan Mastiff puppies are one of the cutest dogs ever, and people love their wrinkled faces and kind eyes, that will win your heart in seconds. These puppies have a cute and clumsy walk that will make you want to pick them up and cuddle them, then set them on the ground to continue to enjoy watching them roll around and try to exercise!

An adult Neopolitan Mastiff may not be as cute as a puppy by its looks but its large appearance is a trait that helps the protective dog and allows him or her to stand tall against intruders. Their loud barks and intimidating stance are often anything but cute. This is important, when it comes to an adult Neapolitan Mastiff, as they are expected to guard their family from strangers. But, don't worry, once they are comfortable around you and your family, they are one of the most loving dogs and you will most definitely find them to be super cute, puppy or not!

How do they communicate?

Unlike a puppy, an adult Neapolitan Mastiff is a mellow creature, who does not require constant attention or entertainment. For a large amount of time, they are happy to simply be by themselves in their cozy corner. When it comes to being protective, they are the best for the task as they will stand tall against strangers and intruders, letting them know that they will not be welcomed near their family and territory. Their loud barks are good to stop any intruders in their stride, making them think twice before treading any further.

How big is a Neapolitan Mastiff?

The Neapolitan Mastiff's height, 24-31 in (60–75 cm), and length, 27-34 in (69-86 cm), are both important factors that make them look their part as guard dogs. They are one of the largest dog breeds being at least four times the size of a Chihuahua! People who love big dogs will love these Italian Mastino Napoletano dogs.

How fast can a Neapolitan Mastiff run?

The Neapolitan Mastiff cannot run fast because of its enormous size and weight. Anything more than a jog, even for a brief period can cause it to overheat quickly and even damage the dog's joints. A light jog in the outdoors is more than enough to keep this Italian dog breed in shape.

How much does a Neapolitan Mastiff weigh?

These majestic creatures on average weigh around 150-200 lb (54-90 kg), giving them that much-needed powerful presence that people love so much.

What are their male and female names of the species?

The Male Neapolitan Mastiff is referred to as a 'dog' and female Neos are referred to as a 'bitch'.

What would you call a baby Neapolitan Mastiff?

A Neapolitan Mastiff puppy can be called by any cute name you'd like, but in general, people simply refer to them as a 'puppy' or 'pup'.

What do they eat?

A Neapolitan Mastiff, like any other pet, should be fed with high-grade dog food and drinking water to keep the dog's health in check. You can also prepare its food at home after consulting your vet. Usually, a good breeder will suggest that you provide a diet that has high-fat content, lower protein content, and that provides moderate energy levels. But do keep in mind that dogs require different amounts of food depending on their breed, exercise, activities, and metabolism rate.

When it comes to feeding your Neapolitan Mastiff, always be mindful of the amount of food you give them each time. They are prone to becoming overweight which can cause a lot of health issues if not noticed early on. Therefore, always make sure you measure the amount of food you give your Neapolitan Mastiff and limit meals to only two times a day, instead of always having a full bowl ready to be eaten. If you do this you are risking an overweight, unhealthy dog.

Are they slobbery?

Neapolitan Mastiff owners should always keep a towel around as these lovely dogs are almost always slobbery and they will leave a trail of drool where ever they go! It's best to clean these drools up quickly to keep them from becoming a mess.

Would they make a good pet?

Before you make the decision of adopting, do take a look at a few Neapolitan Mastiff pictures, to decide if you love the dog's appearance. A Neapolitan Mastiff puppy, given the right training, can grow up to be one of the best pets any family can ever hope for. These breeds protect their family like no other and are the perfect watchdogs.

As a pet owner, lots of grooming needs to be considered and when it comes to grooming your Neapolitan Mastiffs, their skin is a thick coat on their body that is dense with even hairs almost an inch long. They shed like any other pet dogs and therefore, you will need to brush its coat weekly to keep the smooth coat clean and remove any dead hair, along with providing it frequent baths. All of this grooming all be worth it, as this breed's shiny coat color is one of its best traits!

People who own Neapolitan Mastiffs also know how messy they can get with their drooling habits. You may want to keep your dry clothes away from them and always be ready to change the clothes you're wearing after a nice cuddling session. Their drool can remain on your floor and can be hazardous if unnoticed as you could slip and fall. Therefore, be mindful of their favorite spots, and be sure to clean any drool immediately when you get the opportunity.

Keep little children away from these large dogs as these Neos may not be aware of their own size and the space they occupy, often pushing little kids over unintentionally.

When it comes to their trainability, it's important to be stern while you bring them in as a puppy. This helps to establish the master's role in your relationship with your Neapolitan Mastiff. A soft-hearted owner without any commanding abilities will almost surely not become a respectable master in the eyes of the majestic Neapolitan Mastiff.

You should also keep their health in check with frequent visits to the vet and being mindful of their diet, which needs to be of very high quality. Once you get used to the Neapolitan Mastiff, you will be grateful for deciding to adopt this particular breed of dog. You will feel you have another family member instead of a pet and know that you can leave your family at home in the care of this protective gentle giant! The Neo will guard its family with all its might.

Did you know...

The Neapolitan Mastiff dog breed can be an extremely dangerous animal to deal with. Having over 200 pounds of weight, they can cause severe damage to any intruders who make the mistake of entering their territory. They do give a fair warning before the attack though, so it's best to be on your wits. Nevertheless, when trained correctly, they are among the most loving, protective dogs a family can have. Once they notice that you are greeting a stranger into your house, they should calm down and not intimidate them anymore, although you will probably notice them still be wary of them at all times.

Along with being calm and loving towards its family, Neapolitan Mastiffs are a smart breed of dogs and the Neapolitan Mastiff's history dates back all the way back to 3000 BCE, where dogs very similar to Mastiffs were used as guard dogs in Tibet.

By now, you may have realized that the Neapolitan Mastiff is unlike other dogs, and unlike some other dogs, Neos cannot sustain boredom. They can not be left alone for a long time, they must always be surrounded by a loving family, they must be taken out for a walk regularly. Importantly, they must be provided with an optional cuddling session often! Failing to provide these for a long time might invite your Neapolitan Mastiff to go on a destructive rampage.

The Neapolitan Mastiff has its very own club formed in the year 1973 called the Neapolitan Mastiff Club of America (NMCA), which records all of the ownership details and they also provide all the details necessary for taking care of these Neos.

Characteristics and health issues

Neapolitan Mastiffs are usually the type of dogs who are adopted by an owner who knows exactly what he needs and wants. If you own a Neapolitan Mastiff you will know that there is no other dog like it.

When it comes to their characteristics and temperament, you should know that they are generally good pets, but that these huge pets need large living spaces. They are also sensitive to their owner's actions, so do be mindful of how you sound and move around your dog. Train them when they are young, using stern and consistent commands, and remind them that their good behavior will be rewarded with treats. They do not like to be alone, and will always prefer to be among their owner's family. They also cannot tolerate any type of extreme weather. It needs to be just right, not too cold, nor too hot.

As pets, their love towards their family is equally proportional to their hate towards strangers. So a large board stating "beware of the dog" is a must in a Neapolitan Mastiff household. They shed like any other dog but drool like a leaking tap. A really big leaking tap. Hoard up all the paper towels you can get and make sure you clean up their drool as often as possible!

They need to be fed the right diet or they are prone to being overweight or becoming weak due to a lack of nutrition in the diet. When it comes to their health, they do not have any special diseases that are particular to them. They do get the occasional 'cherry eye' where there is inflammation at the corner of the eye. Bloat is another condition that you'll need to keep an eye out for as it can often occur suddenly and can easily turn into a life-threatening situation. They also are prone to hip dysplasia, which is a condition common to most large dogs where the thigh bone doesn't slot into the hip joint.

Owners should regularly clean their folds and make sure it is free from moisture. Failing which they may get a skin infection between the folds causing irritation at the fold and odor. A clean dog is usually a healthy dog and this applies to all pets.

Getting your own Neapolitan Mastiff

Now that you know quite a bit about the Neapolitan Mastiff dog breed, and if you have decided to adopt one, you'll have one of the best pets to take care of your family. Neapolitan Mastiff puppies may cost anywhere between $1500 to $2500 USD each. Some puppies may be available for adoption at Dog Rescue Organizations. They could have ended up there when an owner would have realized that the Neapolitan Mastiff is not his/her cup of tea. This may not be the case all the time and sometimes they maybe give up because of other personal reasons. So don't worry too much about it. If you're confident about your training, you can adopt one from these organizations.

You can also buy this Italian breed from breeders and if you decide to do that, you'll need to check for a few things before proceeding. Firstly, make sure the breeder possesses a certificate for both parents from the Canine Eye Registry Foundation stating that the dog is free of any eye diseases dated within the year. A certificate from the Orthopedic Foundation of America or other relevant foundations stating that the dog has normal hips is also important, as is a certificate from the Orthopedic Foundation of America or other relevant foundations stating that the dog does not have any abnormality in its elbows. A certificate from a trusted veterinary cardiologist dated within the last year stating that the dog has undergone an Advanced Cardiac Exam and has a healthy heart without any noticeable complications in its functions is the final document you will want to see.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other mammals including the Pitbull Chihuahua mix, or the Cheagle.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our Neapolitan Mastiff coloring pages.

Written By
Divya Raghav

Divya Raghav dons many hats, that of a writer, a community manager, and a strategist. She was born and raised in Bangalore. After completing her Bachelor’s in Commerce from Christ University, she is pursuing her MBA at Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies, Bangalore. With diverse experience in finance, administration, and operations, Divya is a diligent worker known for her attention to detail. She loves to bake, dance, and write content and is an avid animal lover.

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