The Mastino Napoletano or also known as Neapolitan Mastiff is one of the most impressive dog breeds. Its size and coat design are striking. He has a strong self-confidence and bravely defends his territory. With his calm disposition, he is a cool contemporary.
The Neapolitan Mastiff is a recognized Italian dog breed. It is assigned by FCI to the group 2, Pinscher and Schnauzer and other breeds. In it it belongs to the section 2, Molossoids and dog-like dogs.
This dog stands out for its stocky build and develops strong muscles, especially on the back. With its large body weight, it is a heavy dog. The body length exceeds his shoulder height. This makes his appearance even more massive.
The height at the withers measures 65 to 75 centimeters in males and 60 to 68 cm in females. The weight of a bitch is 50 to 60 kilograms. A male dog weighs 60 to 70 kilograms.
The typical Molosser head is striking. He has a powerful skull and a strong frontal bone. In contrast, the hanging ears are rather small. They are located on the side of the head and lying on. His facial expression is serene and his overall impression is imposing.
But one of the most characteristic features is the skin. It is much too large in proportion to the body and borders on torture breeding. It is very loose and lays in wrinkles and folds. Especially the head is provided with de with it.
The coat of the Mastino Napoletano is short and rough. There are several color variations: black, blue, brown, gray, tawny, mahogany, brindle. Light shades of color sometimes appear on the chest and paws. As a rule, the original Mastinos are solid dark brown to black colors. Gray occurrences are due to a genetic defect and came later in the breed.
The character of the Mastino Napoletano can be described as balanced and calm. He can be well integrated into the family. It is a self-confident dog. If necessary, he courageously defends his territory and pack.
Important is a good socialization and that he follows the commands and rules. He must respect the hierarchy within the pack. He must accept the human as pack leader one hundred percent. If this does not succeed, he takes over the leadership.
Dog training of Mastino Napoletano is not easy. It succeeds on the basis of a friendly and respectful coexistence. It needs consequence and clear announcements. The visit of a dog school or dog trainer is recommended.
The self-confident and strong dog breed belongs in experienced hands of dog owners. Otherwise, the dog may show an exaggerated protective instinct, refusal and aggressiveness.
If you want to acquire an already adult dog, good planning is important. A conversation with the previous owner or the animal keeper is especially advisable. You will learn interesting things about the history, socialization and possible problems.
The right food
A dog like the Mastino Napoletano needs a certain amount and quality of food because of its physique. The species-appropriate nutrition is a cost factor. You should consider this before the acquisition. Suitable is a pet food for dogs of large breeds. Proper nutrition begins with the puppy. The nutrients must be adapted to the size, constitution and age.
Puppies of large breeds must not grow too fast. It is important to spare the musculoskeletal system. This will help to contain or prevent later diseases.
Of course, your friend does not get leftovers, sweets and cereals. Likewise, bones and fatty foods are to be avoided. High quality food is free of additives, dyes, allergens, flavor enhancers and fatteners. High quality food consists of animal proteins, all essential nutrients and vitamins. Foods that are high in fat, additives, flavor enhancers and colorants should be avoided.
A dried beef goat, rumen or a beef ear brings variety into the dog's everyday life. In addition, the chewing muscles are strengthened and the dog feels his teeth. Of course, there must always be an accessible bowl with fresh water.
Gastric torsion must be prevented. It is very painful and can be life-threatening for the dog. For this purpose, give your four-legged friend several small rations spread throughout the day. After eating, the dog should rest and digest.
Neapolitan Mastiff care
The Mastino Napoletano is not a dog for fast running and sports. Jogging, cycling or competitive sports should be avoided. A walk several times a day in a natural environment. Since he likes to guard, a large garden would be desirable.
Contact with other dogs is essential for the well-being of every dog. If he experiences a good socialization he is relaxed and easier to handle. The short coat of this four-legged friend does not require extensive care. Dead hair and dander should be removed. Brushing once a week is sufficient.
Special attention needs the care of wrinkles. The strong formation of wrinkles can cause painful infections and itching. The wrinkles in particular should be checked regularly. If necessary, remove dirt with a clean, soft cloth.
Due to its massive build, the Mastino often suffers from diseases of the bones. Especially in old age, this heavy dog often gets osteoarthritis or hip dysplasia. If the eyelids hang down far, problems at the eye parts are inevitable. The extremely strong folding at the head and body can lead to chronic inflammations.
It is said that there are also members of the dog breed that like the water and love to swim. Such companies can be beneficial to his heavy body. Afterwards, the fur must be dried well, even in the folds. So you avoid later irritation of the skin.
Mastino Napoletano needs the basic equipment for dogs. When shopping, consider the current and future body size. For the adult dog, the running harness, dog blanket, as well as transport box must be purchased later.
In order for the large dog to eat and drink comfortably, it needs height-adjustable bowls. In addition, these reduce the risk of gastric torsion.
Origin & History
As the name suggests, the Mastino Napoletano comes from southern Italy. He was preferably kept by farmers in the region around Naples. His duties were to guard and protect the house and farm and the family.
After the Second World War, the breeding of the dog gained an upswing. In 1949, it was discovered by the dog breeder Piero Scanziani and bred further. Furthermore, one crossed the color "blue" into it. It is based on a genetic defect. However, these breeding behaviors are frowned upon today.
The Mastino Napoletano belongs to the group of Molossians. These were already a respected dog breed in ancient times. Rulers like Hammurabi used them as war dogs and he was used in military campaigns. It is also said to have been used in arena fights against humans and wild animals.
Today's Mastino Napoletano is also known as the "tank of antiquity". He is a direct descendant of the Roman Molossian dogs. This served the Roman legions as a fighting dog.
In 1956, the quadruped was officially recognized by the FCI as a pedigree dog. Although he is rare in Germany, but there is a Molosser - Club. In some federal states he is on the list of dangerous dog breeds. For this reason, its keeping is possible only with official permission.