Is a Neapolitan Mastiff Right for Me?
Learn Their Traits, Costs and Issues

by Ken Alden

The Neapolitan Mastiff, also known as Mastino Napoletano, is a large breed dog known for their intense wrinkles and intimidating (but warm) appearance. A well-trained Mastino can make for a fantastic pet. But before bringing that gigantic but charming dog home, it's crucial to consider their attributes, feeding requirements, and overall needs to determine if they’re the perfect new family member for you.

As a general rule, a Neapolitan Mastiff is right for you if you're a hands-on pet parent and can handle things associated with a large dog breed. Consider this…

  • They can cost between $800-$5000 to buy, around $300 to adopt
  • They can cost between $1200-$1600 to feed yearly
  • They’re calm by nature but can get very loud and aggressive when they sense danger
  • They have only a 7-10 year lifespan with health issues associated with large breeds
  • There’s a lot of them to groom
  • This might not be the best breed for you if you have a small living space or small children because of their large size.

Looking to learn more about the Neapolitan Mastiff and whether they’re a perfect addition to the family? If so, you couldn't be in a better place. Read on as we discuss all you need to know about the gigantic Mastino. 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.

Is a Neapolitan Mastiff right for me

Is the Neapolitan Mastiff a Friendly Breed?

Pet parents usually consider several factors before bringing a new dog home. Top on the list of considerations are usually characteristics such as socialization, health, and temperament. Well, if you fancy loud, all-over-the-place type of dogs, then the Mastino probably isn't your cup of tea. 

These dogs are calm, naturally protective, smart, and loving. And although a Mastino isn't known to bark incessantly, they can get quite loud and aggressive if they detect impending danger.

Similar to all dogs, training a Neapolitan Mastiff is best during puppyhood. Failure to train this gigantic dog when young increases the chances of aggressive and destructive behavior during adulthood--and you definitely don't want that!

Socialization and obedience training are two areas that you can't compromise on when dealing with Mastinos. Therefore, be prepared to expose them to as many people and pets as possible immediately after you bring them home. While it's important to train your dog to socialize with other people and household pets, try your best to do it gradually, since overdoing it can overwhelm your little pup, making them rebellious and unresponsive. Is a Neapolitan Mastiff right for me

Therefore, if these training requirements sound like too much for you, then it's best to consider another breed that requires less attention to detail during training.

Neapolitan Mastiff Temperament

Despite being good-natured and easygoing, Neapolitan Mastiffs can become aggressive when frustrated. These dogs are dominant and will try to establish themselves as pack leaders, exactly why maintaining consistency is crucial in training.

Keeping a Neapolitan Mastiff with other pet dogs, especially of the same sex isn't advisable. It isn't abnormal for Mastinos to display aggressive or predatory behavior towards cats and other small animals. Therefore, you should think twice before bringing a Mastino home if you're a parent to several pets.

But if you must bring in a Mastino to live with your other pets, try as much as possible to get a puppy. With the right training, a Neapolitan Mastiff puppy can learn to live with other pets. However, if your plan is to adopt an adult or senior Mastino, then it's best to have them as the only pet in your household.

Be sure to check out the helpful article we've written which talks more in depth  about the temperament of this breed.

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!

Let’s Talk Costs…

When would be owners consider this breed they’re thinking about how well they and they’re family will get along with them and perhaps give only minor thought as to how expensive they are to purchase and feed in the first place.

These are after all a BIG dog and with it tends to come some pretty big expenses, here’s a few to consider… Is a Neapolitan Mastiff right for me

How Much Do Neapolitan Mastiffs Cost?

When adopting, costs can run around $300 to cover care costs before adoption. Should you decide to go through a breeder costs can escalate from $800 to $5000 depending upon their breeding.

How Much Does It Cost To Feed A Neapolitan Mastiff?

Because this is such a large dog be prepared for large food bills. Expect this to cost between $1200 to $1600 yearly depending upon the quality of food purchased. Also expect this to be much higher if they have specific dietary requirements or allergies.

Neos can be an expensive breed to feed. We delve further into the yearly food costs and what to expect so you won't be surprised in our article here.

Neapolitan Mastiff Health Insurance Costs

Large breeds are much more prone to have joint issues from lugging around all that weight as well as bloat which can be a serious, rapid onset health issue. This is why many owners wisely carry pet insurance to save money on their vet bills. A well rounded plan can run anywhere from $50-$100 a month depending upon plan coverage.

Pet insurance is always a wise idea to cover large breeds like Mastiffs so we did an insurance comparison of 3 different carriers to help you find the best cost and coverage.

Health Considerations Of This Breed

Another vital factor to consider before adopting or buying a puppy is health concerns. With an average lifespan of 7-10 years, it's vital to invest in a Mastino's health to prevent them from spending most of their adult life on a treatment table.  

To have a healthy Mastino, you'll need to check on your pup's diet immediately when they get home. 

  • The AKC recommends that Neapolitan Mastiff puppies should feed on high carb but low protein diets due to their fast growth. Overfeeding a puppy can stress their growing limbs, thus increasing the risks of hip and elbow dysplasia.
  • You'll also need to be on the lookout for skin infections. The intense wrinkles and folds make perfect breeding grounds for bacteria, so you'll need to clean your Mastino regularly to keep them healthy and ward off any infection-causing bacteria.
  • Other health concerns that are common in Neapolitan Mastiffs include demodicosis, cardiomyopathy, and cherry eye. PetMD advises Mastino owners to visit the vet and have hip, eye, cardiac and elbow exams undertaken to ensure early detection and treatment of complications before they become severe.

Due to their high healthcare demands, you'll need to be psychologically (and financially) prepared for regular visits to the veterinarian. But if you don't mind the costs associated with examinations and treatment, then the Neapolitan Mastiff might just be your best bet for a household pet. Is a Neapolitan Mastiff right for me

Learn More About The Health Issues Of Mastiffs In Our Articles Here...

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.

Grooming Needs of Neapolitan Mastiffs

Be warned that Neapolitan Mastiffs tend to drool a lot. So if you don't want to move around with a towel wiping saliva from furniture and the floor, then you should avoid the Neapolitan Mastiff.

The good thing with these huge dogs is that they don't shed a lot. Regular bathing and brushing cleaning should keep a Neapolitan Mastiff's coat looking shiny and healthy.

With a Neapolitan Mastiff, it's crucial to clean the ears to remove accumulated dirt and wax. And since a Mastino's nails grow pretty fast, regular trimming (at least twice a month) should be on your to-do list.  

Be warned that the Neapolitan Mastiff requires a lot of attention when it comes to hygiene. So in case you opt for this friendly giant, be prepared to do the 'dirty work' to keep them clean. Take extra care when cleaning the folds to ensure you remove dirt build-up and bacteria, which are notorious for causing infections.

You'll also need to brush a Neapolitan Mastiff's mouth regularly if you don't want their drool and breath to stink.

How Much Exercise Does A Neapolitan Mastiff Need?

Although large and powerful, Neapolitan Mastiffs have fairly weak limbs that shouldn't be stressed, lest they develop joint and hip complications.

Put simply, your Mastino is a giant that requires gentle play. This means no aggressive running and no over-tiring your puppy in the name of training. You should steer clear of the Neapolitan Mastiff if a jogging companion is what you're after.

Instead of jogs and sprints, you should embrace daily walks with your Mastino if you want to keep them healthy, happy, and fit. Since Neapolitan Mastiffs tend to overheat when it's hot and sunny, try your best to train them when the weather is friendly enough.

Therefore, due to their fairly demanding nature when it comes to exercise, the Mastino might not be the best option if you're looking for a jogging or hiking companion. But if you're after a chill buddy to accompany you for those cool (but short) evening walks, the Neapolitan Mastiff might make a perfect pet. Is a Neapolitan Mastiff right for me

Is A Neapolitan Mastiff Right For Me...Final Thoughts

A Neapolitan Mastiff is a gentle giant that'd make a wonderful addition to your family. But despite their unique folds and calm personality, this large breed isn't for everyone.

You should probably avoid a Mastino if you want an active dog that can accompany you on jogs. Also, a Neapolitan Mastiff isn't the right choice if you don't want an excessive drooler. 

But if you fancy a large, mild-mannered dog that requires little exercise, a Neapolitan Mastiff is your best bet. You'll also love the short Mastino coat that's a breeze to maintain.

If you've decided to settle for a Neapolitan Mastiff, be prepared to visit the vet regularly. Try as much as you can to take them in for tests, as this will help discover potential ailments early enough. 

Also, since Mastinos are naturally dominant animals, it's crucial to maintain a high level of consistency, especially during behavioral and obedience training.

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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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