Neapolitan Mastiff Potty Training
3 Steps Make Housebreaking Easier 

by Ken Alden

Housebreaking can be challenging and frustrating, even for small puppies with high trainability. But with a giant breed such as the Neapolitan Mastiff, this task can be overwhelming. Add this to the fact that this breed has below average trainability, making them even tougher to potty train.

Neapolitan Mastiff Potty Training Quick Tips...

  • Reward your pup every time they use the bathroom outside. 
  • Train your dog to ring a bell when he needs to potty. 
  • Set an age-based routine that you'll follow until he understands the rules. 
  • Remember that even the smartest Neapolitan Mastiff may need 4 to 12 weeks before training is a habit.

You'll have to be diligent and patient when training a Neapolitan Mastiff because they're strong, stubborn, and laid-back. Lucky for you, housebreaking will be easier with practical training tips. So, stick around and learn some of the routines that you can take when housebreaking your puppy. 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 potty training

Set Up Crates Properly

Housebreaking any dog breed starts with a crate, but it's not as easy as picking the recommended size for adults. An adult Neapolitan Mastiff needs a 54-inch crate, but you can't use it when housebreaking a puppy.

To be successful with housebreaking, you need to pick a crate that has enough space for a Neapolitan Mastiff puppy to turn around, lie down, and rollover. But not large enough for your puppy to defecate on one side, then sleep on the other.

You may have to include toys that he can play with to keep him occupied. Additionally, your Neapolitan Mastiff will spend most of his time inside the crate, so you should include a soft mat, towel, or a bed. You want him to be as comfortable as possible while staying inside it. 

Should you give your Mastiff a larger crate, the extra room will allow it to find a “favorite spot” to relieve itself when where you want it to go is outside.

-Be sure to visit our Neapolitan Mastiff Crate Training page to learn more of what what you need to know.

-Here's a few crate recommendations from our
Best Mastiff Crates page on this site...

How To Potty Train A Neapolitan Mastiff

Housebreaking a Neapolitan Mastiff can be challenging because you'll need to take him out for short walks every couple of hours. However, this may also serve as his daily exercise regimen, so you can expect that your puppy is looking forward to it as well.

Regardless of the breed, puppies need to defecate at least six times a day. It'll be tough to keep a routine of taking your puppy out for a walk every 4 hours. But it's crucial to establish this routine until your dog memorizes and understands where and when it should defecate.

Below are three Neapolitan Mastiff potty training methods that you can use to make housebreaking easier: 

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!

Potty Training Method #1: Rewards + Exercise

This method is the most common way of Neapolitan Mastiff potty training. Like other methods, it'll require a strict routine that you need to follow until your Neapolitan Mastiff remembers the right place to do his thing.

The reason why I prefer to start potty training with this method is because of the congruence that it creates between potty training and exercises. 

Here's how you can start with this technique:

  1. Keep your puppy inside the crate until the time to defecate comes. A four-month-old Neapolitan Mastiff puppy should have a bladder strong enough to hold for four hours.
  2. Take him out of the crate for a walk until he urinates or defecates.
  3. Approach potty training with enthusiasm and high energy, so he remembers it to be a task that can make you happy. Remember, Neapolitan Mastiffs are eager to please their owners, so you can take advantage of it when housebreaking.
  4. Don't talk to him and just let him do his stuff.
  5. Offer small treats or short outdoor play afterward. Short physical activities improve your puppy's health and are an excellent reminder that going out to release is a great job. 

Potty Training Method #2: Teach Your Pup About His Yard

If you have a yard, which you should, and you're raising a Neapolitan Mastiff, this method is perfect for you. It'll train your puppy to go to the same spot every time he needs to release. It prevents him from releasing all over your property and saves you a lot of time from always keeping him in check.

Here's how you can start teaching your puppy about his yard:

  1. Similar to the Reward + Exercises, time your puppy's last potty, but this time, take him to the same spot in your yard. Choose a dedicated space that'll serve as his spot, and keep it free from all distractions.
  2. When playing inside, look for the tell-tale signs that he's about to go. Usually, he'll slow down or speed up, sniff through different areas in the house, and circle as if chasing his tail while playing. 
  3. Take him out five to ten minutes after meals, and it should be in time with the other potty schedules that he has. If he's defecating six times a day, set two meal spots with a 12-hour interim, then spread the other four sessions throughout the day, preferably with a four-hour interval.
  4. Never play with your puppy while in the potty area. You don't want him to associate that area with playtime. Let him focus and stand quietly beside him.
  5. Reward your puppy for a job well-done, but make sure that you only do so when he releases in his potty area. You want him to understand that it's a special place for him to potty, and not any other place in your house. 

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.

Potty Training Method #3: Ring the Bell

This Neapolitan Mastiff housebreaking technique is, perhaps, the most challenging to perfect. You'll have to do it for months, but it'll teach your Neapolitan Mastiff to communicate with you and tell you whenever he needs to potty.

Here's how you can teach your puppy how to ring the bell:

  1. Get a bell for your puppy, which you'll exclusively use for potty training. Introduce it to him; let him sniff and make it ring, then give him a treat. You want your dog to understand how to make a bell ring and that he'll get a reward for ringing it.
  2. Place the bell on the door or where your dog will go through when he needs to go out. It should be low enough for him to reach with his nose or paws.
  3. Watch for any tell-tale sign that your puppy needs to potty, and make sure that you let him ring the bell before going out. It'll take some time before your puppy understands this routine, so you'll have to assist him with it for a few weeks.
  4. Be delighted every time he rings the bell whenever he goes out. Early in your training, these instances may seem random, but showing him that you're happy with what he does encourages your puppy to do it more often.
  5. Take him outside, preferably on the same spot every time, and give him the same treats as the one that you're giving whenever he rings the bell.
  6. Be patient when practicing this method, and before you know it, your dog can call you whenever he needs to go. 

Here's two examples of dog doorbells from

mighty paw potty bell

Mighty Paw Potty Bell 
This bell can be attached to any wall close to a door and all your Mastiff has to do is brush up against it to let you know it has to go out.

great dog door bells

Great Dog Door Bells 
These easily hang on any door knob and all your pal has to do is brush up against them to signal it has to potty…these are best sellers on and need no holes drilled.

Neapolitan Mastiff Potty Training...Conclusion

Housebreaking isn't easy and might take months if you're training a Neapolitan Mastiff. But you can make it easier by choosing one of these three housebreaking techniques and strictly following it:

  • Reward your puppy with a sweet treat of short playtime outside.
  • Take your puppy on the same spot every time he needs to potty.
  • Teach your puppy how to ring a bell whenever he needs to go out.

Patience is key when it comes to Neapolitan Mastiff potty training. This breed isn't the easiest to train, so it may be challenging to do it at first, but nothing can be more rewarding than seeing a well-mannered dog of this size. 

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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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