Neapolitan Mastiffs can make great family members when appropriately raised. But this giant lovable breed requires serious, committed, and experienced pet parents to have a healthy, happy life.
To properly care for a Neapolitan Mastiff puppy, you’ll need to do the following:
Neo puppies have different needs than other
breeds. There’s a lot to know about raising a Neo, which is why we’ve put
together this Neapolitan Mastiff puppy care guide. After reading this, you will
be ready to bring home and raise a healthy Neapolitan Mastiff puppy. Read More Below...
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For the Neapolitan Mastiff, puppyhood lasts longer than other breeds. This breed won’t reach adulthood until sometime between 18 and 24 months. But don’t expect them to finish growing until they’re well past three years old.
Large breeds like the Neapolitan Mastiff need regulated growth while they are still puppies. Allowing your pup to grow too fast can put him at risk of health issues like hip dysplasia or arthritis when he’s older.
You can expect your Mastiff to grow rapidly in height during the first seven to eight months of his life. After the eighth month, he’ll stop growing as much height-wise.
Once he’s reached peak height, your pooch will
start filling out in the body, gaining muscle and weight. Neos usually reach
their full size between 14 to 16 months.
Neapolitan Mastiffs can be stubborn, especially in the puppy stage. If your Neo is not taught the proper obedience and socialization, she can turn out to be aggressive towards strangers, other animals, and even your family.
It would be best to socialize your Mastino with other animals as soon as they finish getting their immunizations. Start by taking your puppy to the park for daily walks where there will be other dogs.
Also, it would help if you considered enrolling your pooch in puppy obedience classes where they learn basic commands and how to get along with other dogs. Check for these classes at your local pet store.
Your Mastino needs to have frequent exposure
to all different types of people and places. But always keep your pet on her leash
when taking them for outings.
Neutering your male Neapolitan Mastiff provides health benefits such as reducing the chance of testicular cancer and aggressive behavior.
Spaying your female Neo Mastiff reduces the chances of her developing breast cancer and uterine infections.
Experts recommend having your pet fixed between four and nine months of age. For male Neos, it’s best to wait until after puberty to reduce aggressive tendencies.
With females, most parents spay before their
first heat. However, some experts believe you should wait until after first
heat, so discuss the issue with your veterinarian to get their opinion.
Pro-tip: Does your Neapolitan Mastiff have issues with anxiety, destructive chewing, aggressiveness, jumping up, barking or fearfulness?
Brain Training For Dogs is an excellent online training course that
addresses these behavioral issues as well as dog training basics.
Giant breed dogs like the Neo need restricted exercise while they are growing. Allowing them to be too active can lead to damage of the soft bones and cause health problems as they age.
You should always do your best to limit your growing puppy’s engagement with high-impact exercises like jumping, running, and climbing stairs.
As a puppy less than eight months old, your Mastino doesn’t need much more exercise than a few daily ten-minute walks and some subdued play in the yard.
Around eight months of age, you can start to increase your pet’s walking time to twenty minutes a day. After one year, Mastiffs don’t need more than forty-five minutes of exercise per day.
Learn even more about Mastiff exercise needs on this page of our site...
Neapolitan Mastiffs can get destructive when they’re bored, scared, or mad. Your puppy needs a wide range of toys to keep them entertained. Here are a few toys that are great for large breed puppies like the Neapolitan Mastiff:
Grooming is a crucial part of your Mastiff’s care that you don’t want to neglect. This breed of dog can get by with going extended periods without a bath - up to three months.
Is your Neo smelling foul, but it’s not the time for his bath? We love using this Natural Pet Cologne by Bodhi Dog. You can be sure your pooch smells good enough to cuddle with between bath times with eight scents to try. I frequently use it after my pup’s spent some time playing outdoors.
But in between the bathing, you’ll need to perform weekly cleanings of your pet’s many wrinkles and folds, especially around the face, to keep your pooch from getting skin irritations or infections. Using disposable wipes like these Deodorizing Hypoallergenic Pet Wipes by BIGA makes clean-ups a breeze.
Here's an article on this site that gives much more in depth grooming guidance.
Neapolitan Mastiffs have short bristly fur that goes through a shed once a year, usually in late spring or summer. The great thing about Mastinos is you’ll never have to worry about getting their hair trimmed or styled.
But you will want to do daily brushings, or at least a few times a week, to remove any dead hair, so you don’t have short bristly fur stuck all over the house. When a Mastino’s hair gets trapped inside the weaves of fabric, it can be a nightmare to remove.
Grooming a dog as big as the Mastino can be
tiresome. There’s a lot of acreage to cover. Make things easy on yourself by
purchasing a grooming mitt like the HandsOn
Pet Grooming Gloves, which lets you brush
your pet with your hand.
It’s a classic two birds, one stone situation. Your Mastiff is sure he’s just getting lots of attention and love, while you’re showing him some love and grooming him at the same time.
Need an actual brush instead of gloves? Look
no further than our favorite Double
Sided Pin & Bristle Brush by Home of Paws.
As for your pet’s feet, we recommend that you do weekly nail trimmings as Mastinos’ nails grow super quick. Many pet parents can do this chore at home using nail trimmers like the Boshel Dog Clippers, which has a safety guard, so you don’t cut short.
However, I’ve found the best success with trimming the nails of large breed dogs like the Mastino by using a grinder, which quickly files your pet’s nails down without putting your pet at risk of having his nails cut too short.
Our favorite for your Mastino is the Casfuy
Dog Nail Grinder, which has different
speeds and can work on a variety of pets.
If you want your Neapolitan Mastiff to have a full lifespan, you must provide the proper care as a puppy. Immunizations are a crucial part of your pet’s care that you cannot omit.
Without vaccinations, your pet will be vulnerable to multiple dangerous illnesses.
All dogs should get the same immunizations at the same age, just like humans. Your vet will help you keep up with these, so you never have to worry about your pooch missing a vaccination. However, if experienced, you can also administer these vaccines at home.
What shots does your Neapolitan Mastiff need, and when? We recommend you talk to your vet to learn which your Neo puppy needs and when.
Parasites like fleas aren't just a nuance that makes your pet, and your family, itch uncontrollably. Allowing your pet to become infested with fleas can lead to multiple medical conditions, including:
Ticks are blood-sucking parasites that are just as dangerous to humans as they are dogs. Some ticks can carry Lyme disease, which can pass to humans. The condition is incurable but manageable.
Ticks can also carry Rocky Mountain spotted fever, which can also affect humans and canines. Both conditions can be fatal. The more your pet is outdoors, especially in rural areas, the more likely they are to get ticks.
Best Products to Use for Parasite Prevention
To protect your dog from parasites like fleas and ticks, your veterinarian can prescribe preventative medicine, or you can buy PetArmor Plus, a topical ointment you put on your puppy's neck once a month.
The Seresto Tick and Flea Collar works as a great long term preventative for large dogs and can be used along with the Frontline to keep your pooch flea and tick free
Learn even more about flea and tick care and prevention from this page on our site.
Pro-tip: Ever try lifting a 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 Amazon.com now.
Neos are an intelligent breed, and they're quick to pick up on what you teach them. But they can also be stubborn, especially once they reach adolescence, around six to seven months.
Training your Neo should begin the day you bring them home. It's easier to teach a small puppy to sit than to push a full-grown Mastino to the ground.
In addition to basic commands and how to walk on a leash, your Mastino will also need to be housebroken - meaning learning to go to the bathroom outside only.
Until your pup has become potty trained to go outside to do his business, it's wise to keep them in a kennel at night, or any time there won't be supervision.
We recommend a wire crate with a removable
plastic bottom for easy cleanings like the MidWest
iCrate Starter Kit, which comes with the
crate, cover, dog bowls, and bed.
When not in the kennel, it's essential to keep a close eye on your pet. You can usually tell when they need to go potty. They'll start sniffing the floor to find the right spot.
Set a schedule to take your pet out every two to three hours until they've learned the discipline of alerting you when they need to go out. Keep the walks short and in the same place if possible, so they get used to the habit.
Puppy pads help reduce the mess you'll have to clean up, but they can backfire in that your pet might think this permits them to go inside the house.
Instead, only use pads early in your training
and eliminate using them once your pet starts getting the hang of going
Offering your Neo a treat every time they potty outside is an excellent incentive for them to do the behavior again.
You should also always praise and tell them they've done an excellent job in a loving voice and affection. Mastinos love pleasing their pet parents.
When accidents do happen inside, do not spank
or yell as your Mastino. They are a sensitive breed of dogs and do not respond
well to negative
You'll find even more great potty training tips on this page of our site...
Finding a high-quality puppy food for a large breed dog like the Neapolitan Mastiff is a vital part of providing the proper care to ensure a long healthy life.
From the beginning, your Neo needs to have a diet of high-protein, low fat, preferably in the form of a high-quality puppy food specially formulated for large breed dogs.
Look for puppy food that contains DHA, an Omega-3 fatty acid found in mother's milk. DHA is crucial
for the healthy development of the brain and eyes.
Your Neapolitan Mastiff's dietary needs will change as he grows. Between the ages of 8 to 12 weeks, you will want your puppy on a wet/dry puppy food combo.
If you're feeding dry kibble, you'll want to soak it in a bit of warm water to make it softer for younger puppies to chew. If mixing with wet dog food, you might not need the water.
Switch to dry kibble only at 12 weeks. Keep
your puppy on the same brand of food from the beginning as long as there are no
problems. Switching brands abruptly can cause digestive distress such as
vomiting, a gassy belly, or diarrhea.
Some general guidelines to follow about feeding Neapolitan Mastiff puppies are:
However, some pet parents divide their pup's daily quota into smaller portions throughout the day. Providing a smaller amount can help ease digestive distress and reduce severe conditions like bloat.
The amount to feed your puppy will vary based
on the brand of puppy food you are using. Each company has its own
recommendations on the amount per serving based on weight and age.
Orijen Puppy Large is a premium-quality puppy food specially formulated for large breeds. The first five ingredients listed are deboned chicken, deboned turkey, flounder, eggs, and whole Atlantic mackerel. And there's 38% protein and 16% fat.
Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula has also been formulated just for large breed puppies. It has DHA and ARA, with the first five ingredients: deboned chicken, chicken meal, brown rice, oatmeal, and barley. It has a protein count of 26% with 15% fat.
Diamond Naturals is full of
antioxidant-rich superfood, glucosamine, and chondroitin - both great for
healthy bones - and DHA. The first five ingredients are lamb, lamb meal, whole
grain brown rice, cracked pearled barley, and ground white rice. It has 27%
protein and 15% fat.
Learn even more about the proper feeding of your Neo puppy on this page of our site...
We've told you everything you need to know about raising a majestic and lovable Neapolitan Mastiff puppy.
Remember that Mastinos need experienced pet parents who know how to handle large dogs that can be stubborn and sensitive.
But with the right family, Neapolitan Mastiffs
make a loyal and affectionate companion. Is a Neo the right puppy to bring into