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Neapolitan Mastiff - Appearance & Grooming

Source: PetWave, Updated on July 16, 2015
Neapolitan Mastiff


The Neapolitan Masttiff is a muscular, impressive and often imposing dog with a heavy-boned and rectangular body. The massive head is covered in wrinkles and folds that extend from the outside margin of the eyelids to the dewlap, and from under the lower lids to the outer edges of the lips. The muzzle is approximately 1/3 the length of the head and should be as wide as it is long. The nose is large and matches the color of the individual dog's coat. The ears are either natural or cropped into small triangles. The tail is set low and is customarily docked. The coat is short, dense and smooth, and is most commonly found in shades of blue. They may also come in black, mahogany, tawny or reverse brindle. When the Neapolitan Mastiff, or Mastino, as he is affectionately known, walks, his gait is compared to that of a lion or a bear as it is slow, rolling, and lumbering.

Size and Weight

Neapolitan Mastiffs are massive, heavy boned dogs who should be rectangular in proportion, with the length of the body being 10% to 15% greater than the height. Adult males should ideally stand from 26 to 31 inches at the shoulder and weigh 150 pounds. Females should stand 24 to 29 inches and weigh about 110 pounds.

Coat and Color

The skin of the Neapolitan Mastiff is thick and hand in folds and wrinkles around the face and head. The coat is short and dense and is the same length across the body. Neos come in black, gray, mahogany, tawny, or tan brindle. White spots on the feet, chest and undercarriage are allowable. White spots on the head are considered a fault in the show ring but do not affect the dog's personalty or health in any way.

Grooming Needs

Neapolitan Mastiffs are considered average shedders, and weekly brushing will keep the coat clean and reduce flyaway hair. They only need to be bathed as needed, but the wrinkles should be cleaned with a damp cloth and thoroughly dried every day.

The ears should be checked on a regular basis for signs of wax buildup, irritation or infection. Clean them with a cotton ball and a veterinarian-approved cleanser; never use a cotton swab in a dog's ear canal. Teeth should be brushed on a weekly basis to prevent tartar buildup, promote gum health and keep bad breath at bay. Trim nails monthly if the dog does not wear the toenails down naturally outdoors.

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