Neapolitan Mastiff Puppy Care
This Helpful Guide Teaches What You Need To Know

by Ken Alden

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.

Neapolitan Mastiff Puppy Care...The Basics You'll Need

  • Be experienced at handling stubborn dominant dogs
  • Know how to properly train and control a large breed 
  • Provide the proper food to meet the needs of puppies
  • Learn proper grooming techniques for this breed
  • Give your pet the proper socialization and exercise

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...

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 puppy care

Mastiff Puppy Growth: What to Expect 

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. 

Socializing Your Neapolitan Mastiff Puppy

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. 

neapolitan mastiff

Here's a great article of ours on how to socialize your Mastiff which is a very important part of your Neo's development.

When to Neuter or Spay Your Neapolitan Mastiff

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: 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!

Neapolitan Mastiff Exercise Requirements

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...

Give Your Pet Plenty of Toys

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 from that are great for large breed puppies like the Neapolitan Mastiff:

Grooming Tips for Your Mastiff Puppy

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.

Brushing Is Crucial

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.

Nail Trimming

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.

Neapolitan Mastiff Immunizations

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.

neapolitan mastiff  learn more

We've written an in-depth article that covers what you need to know about all the vaccinations and the timings of these shots.

Don’t Forget About Flea and Tick Prevention

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:

  • Flea Allergy Dermatitis (FAD)
  • Flea-Bite Anemia
  • Tapeworms

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. neapolitan mastiff puppy care

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

neapolitan mastiff flea and tick learn more

We thought this topic deserved greater coverage, so we wrote this dedicated article on flea and tick prevention.

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.

Housebreaking Your Neapolitan Mastiff Puppy

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.

Housebreaking Tips

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 outside.  

neapolitan mastiff learn more

We have a whole article dedicated to helping you learn everything you need to know about potty training your Neo.

Use Positive Reinforcement

Offering your Neo a treat every time they potty outside is an excellent incentive for them to do the behavior again. Neapolitan Mastiff puppy care

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 punishments. 

Neapolitan Mastiff Puppy Feeding Guide

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.

How to Feed Your Mastino Puppy

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.

When to Feed Your Neo Puppy

Some general guidelines to follow about feeding Neapolitan Mastiff puppies are:

  • 8-12 weeks = 3 to 4 meals a day
  • 3-6 months = 2 to 3 meals a day
  • Six months to 1 year = 2 meals a day
  • After one year = 1 meal a day

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. neapolitan mastiff puppy care

Three Of The Best Neapolitan Mastiff Puppy Food

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...

neapolitan mastiff puppy feeding learn more

Properly feeding your Neo pup is so important to their development that we've written a dedicated article to just that.
You can find that article here...

Neapolitan Mastiff Puppy Care...Final Thoughts

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 your home? 

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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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