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Neapolitan Mastiff - Temperament & Personality

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


The Neapolitan Mastiff, weighing in at 200 pounds can be an imposing figure. They move in a slow, lumbered fashion and can strike fear into the hearts of passers-by, but they are really judy big babies with hearts of gold. Make no mistake, the Mastino (as lovers of the breed call them) is a guard dog and will fiercely protect the ones he loves, but day-to-day they are giant love bugs who want nothing more than love and attention. They often want to be lap dogs, and will try their hardest to score a place on the couch or in your bed, despite the fact that they can't fit. Mastinos form deep bonds with their favorite people, following them from room to room like a shadow. They are loving and patient with children, and are happy to provide a place for kids to prop themselves up to watch television. Their massive size isn't for everyone, but for those who have plenty of room and lots of love to give, Mastinos make excellent family companions.

Activity Requirements

As Mastinos grow up, they are much more interested in lounging around the house than romping around outside, and you may have to coax him to get up and move around. They don't require much exercise to maintain health, but you should walk your Neo a few times a day. Though they are quiet and fairly sedentary indoors, they are much too large to live in an apartment or condo, unless you happen to live in a sprawling penthouse.


Mastinos can be quite challenging to train, so lessons should begin as early as possible. This giant breed can exhibit dominance, so firm, calm-assertive leadership is a must at all times. They respond best to lots of adoring praise and treats, and will shut down completely if treated harshly.

Socialization should also begin early. Neos are naturally suspicious of outsiders and have a strong protective urge. It is important that he learn early on how welcome guests behave, so that he knows the difference between friend and foe.

Behavioral Traits

Mastions are not generally aggressive toward other animals, but they will posture and make a lot of noise if an strange animal trespasses on his property. Problems arise when the other dog postures back. Mastinos are not fight starters, but they will not back down if challenged. Socializing your puppy around other animals can help prevent this problem, but it is best that Mastinos not be left off-leash.

Neapolitan Mastiffs make a lot of noise and create a lot of mess. They snort, snore, grunt, slobber and have notoriously offensive flatulence. They make a terrible mess around their water dish and do not make the best housemates for neat freaks.

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