Neapolitan Mastiff Good and Bad
Top 10 Pros & Cons You Should Know About

by Ken Alden

The Neapolitan Mastiff is a heavy-boned dog breed and a descendant of the Roman Molossus — an ancient guard dog of the Roman Empire. Their size and instinct to protect their owner makes them one of the best guard dogs that you can have, but it doesn't mean that they're perfect for everyone.

Neapolitan Mastiff Good And Bad...

Well, they're massive and intimidating, making them excellent guard dogs, but their trainability isn't the best. Proactive defenders with that size make you feel confident, but you'll have to keep a close eye on their health. They don't require regular grooming, but, oh boy, they drool a lot!

As a guard dog, there are only a handful of other breeds that can match them. But as a pet dog, you may want to consider another breed. Still not clear? Stick around as we go through the goods and bads about them! 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.

Neapolitan Mastiff good and bad

Neapolitan Mastiff: What’s Good About Them

Just like any other Canidae, this breed carries a unique set of behavior that makes it great at something. They're one of the few heavy-boned, giant dogs that are cuddly and intimidating at the same time. That's the first reason why you'd want one for your house! 

They Are Massively Intimidating

Did you know that this breed has an average weight of 60 to 70 kg (132 to 154 lbs) for adults? That's what makes them perfect as guard dogs! They're massive and impossible to ignore with their height and girth. Their paws are lion-like, making them one of the most intimidating dog breeds you'll encounter. However, they have wrinkled skin throughout their body, making them look cuddly, and perhaps, bear-like.

With their massive body and thick bones, you can expect that they carry so much power as well. It'll be tough to walk one through the park without him dragging you around.

They Are Very Protective

Some breeds are intimidating, but, often, it ends there. Not with this breed, though. They're great guard dogs because of their size and their highly territorial behavior. Give them a property to watch over, and they'll bite before they bark!

They do bark, yes. But only when on a leash or inside a fence.

If you're planning to raise Neapolitan Mastiffs, it's most likely for this reason. They're people-friendly, but not dog-friendly, and they won't hesitate to take action when they sense that something's off. Have one of these beauties in your property, and you can remain calm that their observant nature and watchful eyes will keep unwanted people and animals off your property. 

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!

They Are Great With Family…But Strangers Beware

There's nothing wrong with a dog being people-friendly, but if you want a guard dog, you don't want it to be playful with everyone — even with strangers.

They are playful, loyal, and create a deep connection with their owners. But, when they face a stranger, they're always suspicious and watchful of their actions. 

This behavior may not be ideal if you want to take it out for a walk. However, you can control your dog's suspicion with strangers through proper training and socialization with other people as he grows. 

So does this breed make for a good pet? This article of ours goes in depth.

They Are Easy To Exercise

Unlike other large breeds, this dog doesn't require an extensive exercise regimen. Their massive physique only needs small amounts of daily stretches. So if you can take them out for short daily walks, they're good to go.

If you have a spacious yard where they can make their rounds, then you can take them out occasionally for a walk in a lively environment. Doing this will help them thrive and get the exercise that they need. 

Although playful at times, their activity levels are, often, low. As they grow, they tend to be more laid back and relaxed, with much of their time spent sleeping.

Just how much exercise does this dog need? Our article explores this as well as offers some creative exercise ideas.

They Require Little Grooming

Aside from the regular treatment of seasonal fleas, this breed doesn't require a lot of grooming. You'll need to clean their ears and eyes regularly to minimize infection, but there's not much to do to keep them groomed.

This breed is perfect for beginners because of their minimal grooming requirements. They're great for people who don't have enough time and skills to groom and take care of high maintenance dogs. neapolitan mastiff good and bad

Neapolitan Mastiff: What’s Bad About Them

This breed may be a champion guard dog, but there are a few reasons why you may not want this dog in your house. Their low trainability is one, but the biggest reason why you'd want them could also be a reason for some people not to have one — their size. 

They Take Up Lots Of Space

Not only do they take up so much space in your house and car, but they also require a large area to thrive. 

Why? Because they tend to get bored quickly. When your dog gets bored and cramped in small spaces, his destruction level goes through the roof.

This breed is also highly territorial, so you have to give them enough space to avoid intimidating other animals. Remember, they'll bite anyone or anything before they bark! 

Low Trainability

We hate to say it but this isn't the smartest breed. In fact, it can be quite a challenge to train them, but it's not impossible. On average, it'll take 4 to 12 weeks of daily repetitions before a puppy can understand new commands or routines.

This breed may excel in guarding territories, but if you're looking for the fun factor of having your dog perform tricks and follow commands with ease, then you might want to reconsider having one.

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.

They Don’t Do Well In Hot Weather

Summer is the main contributing factor to an unhappy dog. They don't thrive well in hot weather, and even if you bring them inside to cool down, you'll have to deal with space issues. 

It's not impossible, though, because some breeders limit their dog's outdoor activity to early in the morning and in the evening. You'll also need to make clean, cold water accessible for them throughout the day.

They’re Prone To Health Issues

Large breeds always come with one distinct disadvantage — life expectancy. On average, this breed can live for 8 to 9 years. They're also susceptible to different health conditions such as pyoderma, progressive retinal atrophy, hip dysplasia, cardiomyopathy, and even bone cancer.

You may have to take them to veterinarians more often than other breeds, and your bill can get expensive quickly. The money that you've saved from minimal grooming requirements is peanuts when compared to the amount you'll spend to watch over their health.

Mastiffs do tend towards having health issues much of which is due to their size. Our article here explores these issues further.

They Drool A Lot! 

If cleanliness is a huge factor for you when choosing the best dog breed, then you may want to reconsider having one of these as a pet. This breed drools a lot! Mind-blowing when you see it for the first time, and when they move their massive heads, saliva splatters in every direction. 

You can reduce it by controlling their food and water intake, but when summer comes, you can expect their drool to reach its peak. They also drool when they feel anxious, and being highly emotional and intolerable with guests can make it worse.

Where does this breed rank on the Drool-o-meter chart when compared to other Mastiff breeds? Find out in this article of ours.

Neapolitan Mastiff Good And Bad...Conclusion

These dogs are beautiful as guard dogs, but you'll have to make compromises with the following:

  • You'll need ample space for your dog to thrive.
  • They're challenging to train, but not impossible.
  • It'll be tough to care for them when summer comes.
  • They're susceptible to various health issues.
  • They drool a lot!

Despite all of these, a lot of breeders still prefer this breed because of the following:

  • Massively intimidating.
  • Protective of their owners.
  • Suspicious of strangers.
  • Minimal exercise requirements.
  • Treat seasonal fleas, and they're good to go.

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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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