Do Neapolitan Mastiffs
Make Good Pets? 

Your Top Questions Answered

by Ken Alden

Neapolitan Mastiffs are giant dogs, known for their massive heads, wrinkly appearance, and intelligent, soulful eyes. Truly a sight to behold, this dog looks formidable and dangerous. Their large size and bad reputation lead many people to want to know if Neapolitan Mastiffs make good pets. 

Do Neapolitan Mastiffs Make Good Pets?

These gentle giants can become a beloved member of the family with effort and hard work. Neapolitan Mastiffs form an intense bond with their family and will be your constant shadow in hopes of getting attention and cuddles. 

Neapolitan Mastiffs can be a loyal and loving family companion if appropriately raised. However, be aware that this is not a dog breed that will work for every owner. It takes an experienced, consistent pet parent to make the Neapolitan Mastiff a good fit as a member of your family. Keep reading to see what you need to know about having this dog as a pet. Read More Below...

Pro-tip: Ever try lifting a Neapolitan Mastiff? Their weight can hurt not only your back but their joints when they hop down from cars, sofas or even your bed. To protect your back and theirs check out the best Mastiff ramps on now.

Do Neapolitan Mastiffs make good pets?

How Big Do Neapolitan Mastiffs Get? 

Neapolitan Mastiffs are a big dog - really big. An average Neapolitan Mastiff can grow anywhere from 24 to 31 inches (61 to 79 centimeters). And that’s when they’re standing on all four feet, measuring from foot to head. When standing on their hind legs, don’t be surprised if your Mastiff towers over you. 

It’s not uncommon to find your children trying to climb on your Neapolitan’s back to ride him like a horse. He’ll undoubtedly be big enough. However, always discourage your kids from this behavior, as it can cause injury to your child and pooch. 

This breed of dog doesn’t just get tall. They also get heavy. Don’t expect to be toting a Neapolitan around after he’s a few months old. Once fully grown, they can weigh between 110 and 150 pounds (49 to 68 kilograms).  

When this dog sits on you, it can be hard to dislodge him. Never let your Mastiff sit on top of younger children. Their heavyweight can cause suffocation or injury, although that would be a rare instance. For the most part, there is no problem with letting your pooch cuddle with your children under supervision. 

Mastiffs Have Dangerous Body Parts 

Neapolitan Mastiffs have giant feet that can also be a danger. A Neo’s sharp toenails can easily puncture your furniture or leave gouges on your skin. Do not let your pooch get used to jumping up on you. When he’s fully grown, you can easily be injured by accident if he jumps on you and his claws scratch bare skin.  

Mastiffs have massive heads with saggy skin around their jaws and eyes. Their ears are adorably floppy but watch out for their tails, which should be labeled as a deadly weapon. 

Capable of doing maximum damage to your home and self, many Neapolitan pet parents decide to get their pup’s tails clipped when they’re little to avoid the dangers of a wagging deathtrap. 

Are Neapolitan Mastiffs Good Family Dogs? 

When asking do Neapolitan Mastiffs make good pets, Many potential pet parents want to know if this breed would make an excellent addition to their family. This breed of dog is very docile, meaning calm and unruffled by whatever is going on around them.

They do well in homes with older children who know how to love them without being too grabby and aggressive. Their massive size means they need supervision around babies and smaller children. It’s very easy for them to knock a little one down or step on them accidentally. 

But Neapolitan Mastiffs are an affectionate breed, so they love getting cuddles. If your children are willing to love this giant puppy without aggravating them, there will be lots of peace in your home. 

Neapolitans form a strong bond with their family members, including the children, for whom they will become fiercely protective. But they do not do well in a busy house that has a lot of noise and activity going on. It can cause your pet to experience stress or anxiety. Do Neapolitan Mastiffs make good pets?

Neapolitan Mastiffs Have Separation Anxiety 

Most Neapolitan Mastiffs suffer from separation anxiety when they are left home alone. When a Neo gets bored or sad, they can become destructive. With their sharp teeth and powerful jaws, there isn’t much in your house that would survive if your pooch decides to start chewing. 

To reduce damage to your house, be sure you provide a variety of chew toys to keep your pet occupied. Our favorite is the Kong Extreme, which can easily withstand all the chewing your Mastino can do without being destroyed. You can even fill it with a yummy treat to keep your pet interested. Freeze it for even longer play. 

To help ease your pet’s anxiety about being home alone, spend plenty of time with them while you are there, especially right before you leave and right after you get back. Take them for a long walk so they’ll be tired. 

In extreme cases, you might want to crate your Mastino. But if you go this route, be sure you are using a crate that has enough room to house your pooch comfortably. Only use a bed if you know your Mastino isn’t going to destroy it. We recommend the MidWest Homes for Pets XXL Dog Crate

Pro-tip: Neapolitan Mastiff anxiety, aggression, destructive chewing, jumping up, fearfulness, and other behaviors can be controlled with the right training program.

Here’s a great course that addresses these issues along with many other dog training basics: Check it out now!

Are Neapolitan Mastiffs Good Guard Dogs? 

Do Neapolitan Mastiffs make good pets and good guard dogs? Neo's are working dogs, typically used for protecting livestock and guarding houses. These guardianship traits are alive and well in your domesticated pooch. Once you bring this breed into your home, you’ll have a champion for life. 

These dogs are frequently wary of strangers, whether it’s in their home or when they’re out for a walk in the park. Early socialization is the ticket to being sure that your pet knows how to contain his mistrust of unfamiliar people, so he doesn’t become aggressive in his protection. 

Take your pet on frequent outings to different places. This breed needs to be exposed to a variety of people and experiences, so they learn to differentiate between dangerous and normal. That includes people with hats or sunglasses, of different ages, races, and ethnicities, and with various props like umbrellas, bikes, wheelchairs, roller-skates, etc. 

Anything that your pet sees as his territory will be under his guardianship, including his home, family, toys, food, yard, and sometimes, even public areas he’s used to frequenting. Your Mastino must know how to tell friend from foe, and danger from safety. 

Are Neapolitan Mastiffs Aggressive or Dangerous? 

Neapolitan Mastiffs have a terrible reputation for being aggressive dogs. There might even be laws or restrictions about ownership where you live. So check your state’s legislation before adopting a Neo as your own. 

Despite the negative view of these gentle beasts, Neapolitan Mastiffs are not aggressive when properly raised and socialized. This breed rarely shows signs of aggression without cause, such as when warding off a threat. 

However, Neapolitan Mastiffs are known to be aggressive towards other animals if they feel threatened or territorial. While they don’t start fights, they will certainly fight back if they get attacked, even if it’s just playfulness. 

Their giant size can make these Mastiffs dangerous to be left alone with small children or babies. They weigh a lot and can accidentally suffocate an infant if they lay on them while trying to cuddle. 

You’ll want to use caution around people who are unstable on their feet, as being bumped into by a Mastiff can easily topple a grown adult with a mere bump against the back of the legs. do neapolitan mastiffs make good pets

Are Neapolitan Mastiffs Good With Other Dogs and Cats?

When you’re thinking of adopting a Neapolitan Mastiff, an essential factor to consider is how they will get along with other pets you might have in your home. 

Neapolitan Mastiffs are best in a single pet household, as they demand a lot of attention from their pet parents. They don’t like to share that affection with other pets and can be jealous when you’re not acknowledging them. 

If you decide that you want to have a Neapolitan Mastiff in a multiple pet house, it’s crucial to introduce your Mastino to the new pets at a young age. When raised together properly, Neapolitan Mastiffs can live peacefully with other house pets. 

However, be aware that they often don’t do well with pets of the same sex, regardless of if they are both male or female. The breed does not matter either. 

Some Mastinos don’t do well with cats or other small animals as it triggers the Mastiff’s instinct to hunt and give chase. 

Use Caution With Strange Animals 

While you can get your Neapolitan Mastiff to learn how to live together with other pets, it can be challenging to get him to tolerate unfamiliar animals in his territory. 

Most Mastinos won’t do well with puppy dates at your house or having you foster someone’s pets for a few days. They will see any new animals in their space as a threat. 

Instead, consider puppy dates at a dog park, starting at around eight to ten weeks. Your pooch needs interaction with other pets at a young age, so they don’t become aggressive towards other animals. Do Neapolitan Mastiffs make good pets?

Pro-tip: Neopolitan Mastiff's (and their owners) love dog crates…and for good reasons. Crates keep dogs from mischief while you're away, are perfect for house training, for traveling by car, and provide the dog a place to de-stress. Check out the best Mastiff crates on now.

Are Neapolitan Mastiffs Smart and Easy to Train?

neapolitan mastiff running

When asking do Neapolitan Mastiffs make good pets, questions about their trainability inevitably arises. Neo's are an intelligent breed that responds well to training at the hands of someone experienced with dominant dogs.  

Negative training tactics will not work with the Neapolitan Mastiff. They do better with lots of praise and food rewards. You can get your Mastino to do just about anything when you’ve got yummy treats. 

You’ll want to start training your Neapolitan early in their life, as it can be difficult to start teaching basic commands like sit and walk when they are fully grown. 

It’s also a good idea to remember that these dogs have a stubborn streak and like to think they are in control. They require someone who knows how to butt heads with a dominant dog and demand respect.  

Mastinos Require Experienced Pet Parents 

If you’re a new pet owner, you won’t have the experience necessary to properly train and raise a headstrong dog breed like the Neapolitan Mastiff. Trying to have a Neo that doesn’t listen to you can be dangerous. 

When Neapolitan Mastiffs don’t have someone keeping them obedient, they can become aggressive and dangerous. Since Mastinos are so big, even an impatient snip can cause serious injury. 

If adopting this dog is something you want to do, but you’ve never had pets, check your area to see if you can enroll in pet training classes first. 

Many pet parents like to enroll their pets into obedience school or doggy kindergarten. Try looking for classes that allow you to do hands-on training with your pooch so you can get some training tips, and your fur baby builds a bond of respect with you instead of a stranger. 

Do Neapolitan Mastiffs Shed a Lot? 

Neapolitan Mastiffs have short, bristly fur that never requires cutting or shaving. However, they do tend to shed a small amount. The problem with Neo shedding isn’t that there’s a lot to clean up. It’s that their short, stiff hairs imbed into surfaces like your furniture or clothing, and it becomes difficult to remove it. 

Giving your Mastino a gentle brush down once a day or at least a few times a week removes the dead hair, so it doesn’t fall out around the house. We like using hair removing gloves, like these HandsOn Pet Grooming Gloves, that let you groom your pet just by petting him. do neapolitan mastiffs make good pets

Neos do experience a heavy shed once a year, usually when the temperature starts warming, from late spring to summer. During this time, you’ll want to brush every day to reduce the mess left behind. We’ve got the best results with a grooming brush like the Ylong Self Cleaning Slicker Brush, which makes grooming your Neo a breeze. 

Important Grooming Facts to Know About the Neapolitan Mastiff

While your Mastino won’t do a lot of shedding, it’s important to remember that this breed of dog has an oily skin that can put off a foul odor. You’ll want to bath your dog at least once a week to keep her from getting smelly. 

A trademark staple of the Neapolitan Mastiff is their abundance of wrinkles from head to toe. While adorable, it’s crucial to remember that you’ll have to properly clean your dog’s folds with a wet cloth or disposable wipe to avoid skin infections and sores. 

Petribe Large Pet Wipes are great for keeping your Neo’s skin clean and healthy. They even have the option to select wipes with Aloe Vera, which helps soothe itchy dry skin. Or grab the natural if your pet is hypoallergenic.  

You also need to do nail trimmings every two weeks as Mastino’s nails grow quickly and can cause a lot of problems if they become too long. You also need to do weekly checks of your pet’s ears. If you notice any redness or dirt, clean them with a cotton ball soaked in a solution like PetHonesty Dog Ear Cleaner & Infection Treatment or try these PetMD Dog Ear Cleaner Wipes

Do Neapolitan Mastiffs Drool a Lot? 

It’s no secret that large dogs with big heads tend to drool, and the Neapolitan Mastiff is no exception. Before you adopt this type of breed, you should be confident you can handle cleaning up globs of slimy slobber from everywhere, including your body. 

You can expect your pet to drool any time he eats or drinks, smells food, gets hot or tired, or when he sleeps or licks you. And even worse, when they shake their giant heads, their jaws flap and drool flies through the air. Adopting a Neo means you’re prepared to have slobber stains everywhere. 

Many Mastino parents carry around a large towel at all times for cleaning up their Mastino’s face and fur and any mess they cause. 

Compared to other Mastiffs how much do Neo's drool? Find the answer here...

Protect Your Floors During Meal Time 

Neapolitan Mastiffs are messy eaters and drinkers. And they eat a lot. Experienced pet parents have discovered a secret tool to reduce the mess you have to clean up after mealtime. 

There are plenty of companies that make waterproof mats to put under your pet’s food and water bowls, so your floor doesn’t get dirty. Our favorite is the Scirokko 2 Pack Dog Food Mat

These handy rugs are slip-proof and large enough to cover not just the area under your pet’s feeding area, but there’s still enough room for your pet to nap afterward. They’re waterproof, so any mess stays on the run and doesn’t seep through into your floor. 

Neapolitan Mastiffs Are Great Family Pets

In the right home with plenty of room to explore and guard, and under the proper supervision, Neapolitan Mastiffs can be the best breed of pets to adopt. However, they require experienced pet parents that will be able to bring out their loyalty and affection rather than aggression. If you love big slobbery wrinkly pooches with a stubborn but protective streak, a Neapolitan Mastiff could be the perfect pet for your family.

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About Author

About the Author...

Ken Alden, a dedicated Mastiff owner for over eight years, is acclaimed for his expertise in care, grooming, and training. Read more About Me and my dog Shadow.

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