Dog Breeds 101: Neapolitan Mastiff

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Dog Breeds 101 – Neapolitan Mastiff
Photo – Wikipedia – lic. under CC 2.0

The Neapolitan Mastiff is said to have been bred to frighten intruders. With its loose skin, dewlap and dark coat, who wouldn’t be alarmed? But looks can be deceiving when it comes to this breed; it is actually quite calm and sensitive despite its scary appearance. This dog is a giant and can grow up to 31 inches tall at the withers. The Neapolitan Mastiffs can weigh between 120 to 200 pounds. Since this is a large breed, it has a shorter life span of 8 to 10 years. The Neo, as it is often called, has a slow, lumbering gait but it can quickly jump into action whenever necessary. [1] [2]

These dogs rarely bark and are notorious for sneaking up on intruders rather than facing them head on. They are intelligent and has a tendency to think and act independently. They don’t need a lot of exercise and will just be content in lounging around the house or yard all day. Although they are inactive, Neapolitan Mastiffs are still not suited to live in apartments or condos because they need a lot of room to sprawl. [3]

The Mastiffs have been around for a long time and are said to come from Tibet. However, the dogs that became the Neapolitan Mastiffs were developed in Southern Italy, particularly in the region of Naples. Breeders back then focused on creating a guard dog that had heavy loose skin that would protect it in case of an attack. They succeeded; they came up with a fearless and protective guard dog that was also extremely loyal and devoted to its family. The Neapolitan Mastiffs remained in obscurity in their homeland until a journalist named Piere Scanziana discovered them in 1946. Scanzania worked hard to make the breed well known and he played a big role in the writing of the Neapolitan Mastiff breed standard. [2]


References:

[1] http://www.petmd.com/dog/breeds/c_dg_neapolitan_mastiff
[2] http://dogtime.com/dog-breeds/neapolitan-mastiff
[3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neapolitan_Mastiff

Photo: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neapolitan_Mastiff#/media/File:Mastino_sylwetka.jpg

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