Neapolitan Mastiff Dog Breed

Hey, it's Fang from 'Harry Potter'!
By: PawCulture Editors
Neapolitan Mastiff

About the Neapolitan Mastiff Dog Breed

The Neapolitan Mastiff originated from the ancient Mastiffs about one thousand years ago. It was used for hunting, guarding and herding.

Neapolitan Mastiff Physical Characteristics

Like all Mastiffs, the Neapolitan Mastiff is a rather large and powerful dog. It has a massive head covered in wrinkles and loose skin wrinkles all over the rest of its body. The wrinkles are so numerous on its face that the eyes may even appear to droop. Its ears, meanwhile, are small.


The Neapolitan Mastiff is most commonly seen in gray, black, mahogany, tawny, tawny stag and brindle.



Neapolitan Mastiff Personality and Temperament

Activity Level



The Neapolitan Mastiff is loyal and loving to its human family, though it does better with older children. It also makes for an excellent watchdog.

Things to Consider

The Neapolitan Mastiff is the great protector of its domain. Because of this, it should be trained early in order that it may not become overly aggressive and attack unnecessarily. Additionally, socialization and training techniques will equip it to act appropriately around young children and other dogs.

Neapolitan Mastiff Care

Ideal Living Conditions

The Neapolitan Mastiff fares in the country.

Special Requirements

In order to fend off obesity, the Neapolitan Mastiff requires daily exercise.

Neapolitan Mastiff Health

The following conditions are commonly seen in Neapolitan Mastiffs:


Neapolitan Mastiff History and Background

Large, muscular, and powerful dogs, in the tradition of the giant war dogs of Asia and the Middle East, have existed since ancient times. These dogs were used to guard homes, control livestock, and fight lions, elephants, and men in battle. Alexander the Great (356 to 323 B.C.) distributed some native animals in the regions he conquered and interbred some of them with shorthaired Indian dogs, resulting in the Molossus, which was the progenitor of several modern breeds.

These Molossus dogs were acquired by the Romans after they conquered Greece. And in 55 B.C. the Romans took a liking to the boisterous mastiffs of Britain, which bravely fought to defend their country. These two breeds were crossed to produce an excellent variety of war dog and giant gladiator, commonly referred to as “Mastini.”

The breed was perfected in southern Italy’s Neapolitan area, when they guarded homes and estates. But little of the breed was known in the rest of the world until 1946, when the dog was displayed in a dog show in Naples.

Instantly enamored with the breed, Dr. Piero Scanziani of Italy established a breeding kennel to rescue the dog from obscurity. He later codified the breed’s standard and requested that the FCI (Federation Cynologique Interantionale) and the Italian kennel club recognize the breed as Mastino Napoletano.

By the mid-20th century, Italian immigrants had introduced the breed to several European countries and the United States, but it wasn’t until 1973 that the Neapolitan Mastiff Club of America was formed. The American Kennel Club approved a standard in 1996, and in 2004, the dog was admitted into the Working Group.

National Clubs and/or Organizations

United States Neapolitan Mastiff Club

Fun Fact(s)

The dog Fang in the Harry Potter movies is a Neapolitan Mastiff.