The Neapolitan Mastiff or Italian Mastiff, is a large, ancient dog breed. This massive breed is often used as a guard and defender of family and property due to their protective instincts and their fearsome appearance.
The Neapolitan Mastiff is not a breed for most people, and certainly not a dog for beginners. Neapolitans must be well socialized with people, especially children, as Neos are large, powerful dogs and do not always know their own strength. Additionally, young children have young friends, and even with extensive socialization and training, Neapolitans will be wary of strangers and protective of their family. Most of the time, they will protect their owners with their lives.
The Neapolitan Mastiff is fearless and extremely protective of its home and family. They prefer to be with their family by staying around the home outside at all times guarding, which is their natural instinct. The Neapolitan Mastiff rarely barks unless under provocation, renowned for sneaking up on intruders as opposed to first alerting them of its presence.
Neapolitan Mastiffs, as a breed, are extremely intelligent dogs with a tendency to be independent thinkers. They learn quickly, which is both good and bad, since this guardian breed needs extensive proper socialization to learn to accept strangers, especially within the home; without proper early socialization and training, these dogs are likely to become aggressive towards strangers and unfamiliar dogs. Like with other breeds, forceful training methods, “alpha roles”, and a general “dominance” mentality will not work with these dogs, especially since it is difficult to try to physically dominate a dog that is nearly as large as an adult human; if one wants a well mannered dog, one should prevent problems before they happen by using positive training methods, beginning socializing early, and continuing socialization throughout life.
The Neo has some specific health concerns. The most common is Cherry eye. Others include hip and elbow dysplasia and pano ostiosis.