First Neo: Mario
My first dog ever was a Neapolitan Mastiff, and I've fallen in love with the breed ever since. Though I currently live with an amazing (but high-maintenance) chihuahua, I wanted to dedicate a quick blog post to the breed that first stole my heart.
My first dog was Mario, a Neapolitan Mastiff we rescued. Since then, my family has rescued two other Neapolitan Mastiffs one after the other. I named Mario after my favorite video game as a kid and because the breed is Italian. We decided to keep Mario's memory alive through Marcello's name, and similarly through Marceza's name, our family's first female Neo.
As you can see from the photos, Mario and Marceza feature the grey color, whereas Marcello the brown color. Those are the two main colors the breed sports. Also, all three dogs feature fairly full tails and ears. It's a tradition to chop off the tails and ears to conform to the official Italian breed style, but we didn't do this. I find that the ears are one of my favorite parts of the dog. I think the dogs would agree, based on how loudly they snore with pleasure when their ears are massaged.
Second Neo: Marcello
The breed is very old, with its name originating from Naples. The history is very rich, with the dog featured in cavemen drawings and playing important roles in both World Wars.
You can read all about it online, including finding tons of photos and videos (I especially love how cute the puppies are). Though the breed is not that well known or popular, it has quite a devout following of admirers. What I want to focus on in this post is what I personally love about the breed myself.
Third Neo: Marceza
Here are the top 5 reasons I love Neapolitan Mastiffs:
1. Super smart: They are incredibly smart and can learn almost anything. All of our dogs have been trained, and though they do have strong personalities at times, they will behave and listen to commands. They also pick up on every nonverbal and situational clue around them, such as when you get dressed or are in a bad mood; they will clearly respond intelligently to this, and that fascinates me.
2. Fun: Though they weigh typically 100-200 lbs., they are extremely fun to play with and not aggressive. They can be aggressive against strangers who surround the home without invitation, but for family and friends, they are extremely fun and gentle. They love to chase balls, play tug of war, chew bones, and perform tricks, like giving a high five or standing up and resting their paws on your shoulders.
3. Loyal and protective: They are extremely protective of their family and will be a great deterrent to anyone considering trespassing. From what I've read of their history, they have helped shepherds and farmers protect their livestock and homes for centuries.
4. Ears: As I mentioned before, their ears are amazing. Oh yeah, they also have great sense of hearing (and smell/nose).
5. Flews: I just learned this word, but apparently that's the name for their mouth/snout/muzzle (the flaps of skin hanging over their lower jaw out of which their whiskers grow). The flews are extremely cute and a hallmark of their look, but they are a double-edged sword. This cuteness comes with a clear price. Though the flews can be very cute while flapping in the wind while the dog is running or sticking its head out of the car window, they are like leaky kitchen sinks after the dog takes a drink of water or is sweating/breathing hard. We keep rags all over the house just to wipe the dog's mouth every time it drinks. It's ok: this price is definitely worth the cuteness.
Overall, I really love this breed and hope others can appreciate it too. Though most people's reaction may be one of hesitancy or fear (because of the dog's size or look), a deeper study and any time spent with the breed will immediately convert you to a lover of the Neapolitan Mastiff for life.
3/5/2011 05:15:16 am
7/31/2011 03:19:47 am
9/21/2011 10:50:29 pm
Max, my wife and I have the large breed dogs, a great pyranees, a bullmasiff (with long hair), and of course a neapolitan. It is without a doubt an amazing breed. Not for everyone but definitely amazing. It may be a blessing in disguise that people are hesitant with this breed because it is different than the neighbors golden. It is very different then my other large dogs too. Great blog, live the breed but please study before purchasing because they get large quick.
9/22/2011 04:44:02 am
Thanks for the comments, guys! I'm glad to see other fans out there.
9/22/2011 10:11:02 pm
Went to my breeder yesterday for a visit and to show off my little lady and it was awesome. The makes are just incredible! It is crazy how thick they get. My female is 16 months and around 115#, but to see her 2 year old male at 180# is a shocker of how much bigger they are. She has like 8 dogs in her breeding program and they are all so friendly and happy. Everybody should have the chance to meet the breed as it is like nothing you have ever seen before. The ferrari of dogs.
9/23/2011 01:03:38 am
Wow! Incredible. Yes, Ferrari is the perfect analogy.
10/2/2011 05:59:39 am
Ferrari meaning you don't see one at every corner and you can't take your eyes off of it. Its the most beautiful car/dog that you have ever seen.
4/18/2012 05:31:13 pm
Mastiffs are good house dogs. They're sweet despite of how they look.
8/6/2012 08:49:12 pm
i love mastiff dog and ican get aone from my country because that breeds are not exsit plz help ???????????
8/7/2012 05:00:56 am
2/21/2013 01:49:59 pm
Aww..I'm getting a neo mastiff next week..I am so excited..I and my husband already have a lab retriever and a Saint Bernard, can't wait to get this chubby neo!!
4/14/2013 04:05:00 am
rhea I have a neapolitan that will be 3 on the 15th of May and she currently lives with a bullmastiff and a great pyrenese and I have to keep her separated from the others. be careful because they are a dominant breed. they are different than anything I've ever had. mine is a gray dog but willl turn in a NewYork second. be very careful because they are explosive fast and don't stop until you stop them. I wish the books I read told me this part. my breeder breeds show dogs and scores quite well so I thought I was safe. alot of money doesn't guarantee anything. good luck!
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