Neapolitan Mastiff

Neapolitan Mastiff

Breed Description +

Large and powerful, Neapolitan Mastiffs are known for their massiveness. Despite their fierce appearance and serious demeanor, Mastini are generally peaceful, steady dogs. The breed’s trademark is the loose skin that covers their bodies and the abundant wrinkles. Their short coat can by gray (blue), black, mahogany and tawny. Some brindling and white markings occur. This breed is steady and loyal to his owner, not aggressive or apt to bite without reason. As a protector of his property and owners, he is always watchful and does not relish intrusion by strangers into his personal space.
  • AKC Name:

    Neapolitan Mastiff

  • Common Name(s):

    Mastino Napoletano, Mastino Napolitano, Italian Mastiff, Mastino, Neo, Italian Bull, Molosso Italiano

  • AKC Group:


  • Genetic Group:


  • Observed Weight:

    90-153 lbs

  • Show Weight:

    100-154 lbs


Identifying Features:

Average Height: 24 - 30 in


The Neapolitan Mastiff is a direct descendent of the great Molossus war dog of antiquity, and evidence of this ancestry can be seen in artworks dating back to 3000 B.C. Alexander the Great is credited with developing the Molossus breed in 330 B.C. by crossing giant war dogs from his native Macedonia with shorthaired dogs from India. The physical similarities between the Molossus of historical record and today’s Neapolitan Mastiff are evident. When the Romans conquered Greece, they became enamored with this unsurpassed warrior canine and began using them to fight men and big game such as lions, tigers and elephants, in gladiatorial entertainment. Over the centuries, breeders of the Mastiff in and around Naples developed the breed into a highly specialized guardian of homes and estates. The dog’s imposing size and appearance alone was considered a deterrent to potential intruders. The Neapolitan Mastiff arrived in America by the 1970s, and was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 2004.

Think your dog might have some Neapolitan Mastiff in it? Find out with a Wisdom Panel test!