Breed Information Centre

Neapolitan Mastiff


Illustration of Neapolitan Mastiff

It is said that the Neapolitan Mastiff led legions of the Roman army into war, with his ears cropped and often wearing a broad spiked collar. His appearance would strike fear into the enemy. The forebears of the Neapolitan Mastiff stretch back to ancient civilisation and were used as fighting dogs and as the dogs of war.

The Italian painter Piero Scanziani is credited as the patron of the modern Neapolitan Mastiff, keeping a large kennel and devising a careful breeding plan to stabilise and improve the breed.

It was not until 1946 that the Neapolitan Mastiff reached the show ring in Naples, the home of the breed. In recent years the breed's appearance in films such as Harry Potter brought some commercialisation. Modern-day breeders strive in their breeding programme to maintain breed type whilst reducing the exaggeration of loose skin.

Breed Group
Vulnerable Native Breed
How much exercise?
Up to 1 hour per day
Length of coat
How much grooming?
Once a week
Supposedly sheds? *
Town or Country
Type of home
Large House
Minimum Garden Size
Under 10 Years

* If you are asthmatic or have an allergy, you should consult your medical advisor before considering obtaining a dog. More information can also be found on the Kennel Club website.

The Working Breed Group

Over the centuries these dogs were selectively bred to become guards and search and rescue dogs. Arguably, the working group consists of some of the most heroic canines in the world, aiding humans in many walks of life, including the Boxer, Great Dane and St. Bernard. This group consists of the real specialists in their field who excel in their line of work.

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