Also known as the Italian Bulldog, Italian Mastiff, Mastini, and Mastino, the Neapolitan Mastiff is a protective and dominant breed. But how do you know whether you are ready to purchase a pet and if this breed is right for you? This information is absolutely necessary in making the decision to purchase a pet.
The origin of the Neapolitan Mastiff can be traced back nearly 3,000 years to the ancient Molossus dog of Epirus, a Greek state between Corfu and Pindus.
Throughout its history, the Neapolitan Mastiff has been used most commonly for guarding, an attack dog during times of war, dog fighting, and even fighting lions, proving its ultimate power and strength.
After World War II, several Italians breeders gathered their specimens and began promoting the breed world wide.
Thanks to the hard work of breeders and enthusiasts alike, the Neapolitan Mastiff was recognized by the Federation Cynologique Internationale in 1949 and become increasingly popular throughout Europe and the United States in the 1970’s.
Today, the Neapolitan Mastiff has earned popularity in underground circles world wide for its unique appearance and behavior. This breed currently remains rare in several areas.
Best known for its protective and dominant nature, the Neapolitan Mastiff is a fiercely territorial breed. These dogs are fearless and will do anything and everything possible to protect their owners and territory. As a pet, this breed is calm, loyal, and affectionate.
While the Neapolitan Mastiff is an intelligent breed, they can prove rather challenging to train. This breed is independent and highly dominant, often believing that he is the master.
Establishing immediate dominance and trust are key to successfully training the Neapolitan Mastiff. Only experienced, strong, and confident trainers should attempt to handle this breed. The Neapolitan Mastiff responds best to a stern and direct approach.
Benefits and Disadvantages of the Breed
There are many benefits to owning a Neapolitan Mastiff. This breed has an impressive appearance and makes an amazing guard dog. These dogs are very protective of their owners and territory and will stop at nothing to disarm an intruder. When properly socialized from a young age, the Neapolitan Mastiff gets along with small children and non-dogs pets. As a family pet or companion, this breed is loyal, affectionate, and loving.
Unfortunately, there are also disadvantages to owning a Neapolitan Mastiff. While these large dogs only require moderate exercise, they do need room to run and play on a daily basis, especially when young. Anyone wishing to purchase this breed lacking the adequate amount of time and space to dedicate to the dog is strongly advised against doing so. A Neapolitan Mastiff not receiving the proper space and exercise will often act out by destroying property, chewing, barking, whining, and ignoring basic training such as housebreaking.
Proper training and socialization is absolutely required with this breed. An untrained Neapolitan Mastiff can become an overly aggressive danger to other pets, children, strangers, and even its owners. This breed is highly dominant and strong and requires very strict obedience training. Professional intervention is sometimes required with this breed.
The Neapolitan Mastiff does not typically get along with other dogs, even when properly socialized. Males especially do not get along with any other male dog breeds.
Due to its unique facial structure, the Neapolitan Mastiff is notorious for large amounts of constant slobber and drool.
As previously mentioned, the Neapolitan Mastiff remains rather rare in certain areas and can prove difficult to obtain. Individuals seeking to purchase this breed often encounter such challenges as inability to locate a breeder, high prices, and being placed on long waiting lists.
Common Health Concerns
Sadly, the Neapolitan Mastiff is victim to a wide array of health problems, generally due to its size, including: hip dysplasia, patellar luxation – dislocation of the knee, elbow dysplasia, ectropian – folding outward of the eye lid, entropian – folding inward of the eye lid, eye problems such as cherry eye and progressive retinal atrophy, hypothyroidism, obesity, bloat, cardiomyopathy – deterioration of the heart muscle, demodex – skin infection between the folds, and sensitivity to anesthesia.
Now that you know all about the breed, do you think you are ready to own a Neapolitan Mastiff? Remember, purchasing a pet is a big decision and should be discussed thoroughly and seriously with your entire family.