4 Facts About Neapolitan Mastiffs

neapolitan mastiff puppy sitting in grass

Neapolitan Mastiffs are large, powerful, and protective dogs. They are loyal and devoted to their families and tend to be sweet and affectionate with them. Here are a few fun facts about Neapolitan Mastiffs:

1. Neapolitan Mastiffs Have Ancient Ancestry

The Neapolitan Mastiff’s ancestors can be traced back to 3000 BCE. Like other mastiffs, they are descended from the Molosser-type dogs of Tibet and the war dogs of the Roman Empire.

Mastiffs maintained popularity throughout Europe for centuries. Much like many dog breeds, they almost disappeared after World War II.

After World War II ended, an Italian reporter and painter rediscovered the breed and developed the Neapolitan Mastiff, or Italian Mastiff, as we know it today.

2. They Tend to be Gentle Giants

Neapolitan Mastiffs may grow to be large, powerful dogs that look intimidating, but they are known to be gentle, loving, and affectionate giants with their families. They tend to act like lap dogs throughout their lives and enjoy spreading out to relax.

These dogs also tend to get along well with children. Their big size and tendency to be clumsy at times can knock over small children. For this reason, they are sometimes considered a better fit for families with older children who won’t be easily injured by an accidental bump from a big dog.

Italian Mastiffs do not tend to warm up to strange animals easily, but they do well with other dogs and other pets they have been raised with. Although their protective nature makes them initially wary of strangers, a well-socialized Neapolitan Mastiff will tend to warm up once they get to know them.

3. Italian Mastiffs Tend to Require a More Experienced Owner

These big lovable dogs love their families and are eager to please. Although they do pick up on things quickly, they are also known to have a strong will and a tendency to be stubborn.

Many of them don’t reach their laid-back maturity until they are about 3-4 years old. Until then, you may experience an extended stubborn streak similar to a rebellious teenager.

Consistent training with firm boundaries and positive reward is key. Still, these dogs do still tend to push boundaries. All of this can be difficult for first-time or novice dog owners to handle and puppy training classes are recommended.

4. They Can be Energetic, Especially as Puppies

Although Neapolitan Mastiffs generally sit in a low to moderate activity range, they can be energetic when they are young and may require more activity to be happy and healthy.

They do eventually settle as they grow and mature, but that can take a few years. Also, they can become couch potatoes later in life if you let them, so it’s important to make sure they continue to get enough exercise.

It’s important to make sure you keep activities low impact until puppies finish growing to avoid damaging developing bones and joints. As a giant dog breed, it will take longer for a Neapolitan Mastiff puppy to finish growing. In fact, it can take up to 2 years or more. Your vet can help you determine when they are done growing and ready to do more.

These are just a few fun facts about Neapolitan Mastiffs. If you think this dog breed could be the right fit for you, learn more about them, and then check out the available Neapolitan Mastiff puppies. Who knows? You could end up finding your new best friend!