The Neapolitan Mastiff, Italian Mastiff, Mastino or Mastini is a large, ancient dog breed. This massive breed is often used as a guard and defender of family and property due to the protective instincts and their fearsome appearance. The breed is reported to have been used for fighting against lions in the Colosseum and other ancient Roman arenas.Appearance
Neapolitan Mastiffs are characterized by loose skin over their entire bodies, with wrinkle and folds on the head and a large dewlap. Some breeders produce Mastino with vast amounts of skin and wrinkle, large bone size and this is known as W.H.A.M meaning Wrinkle Head And Mass, while others detest this type, preferring a leaner appearance. There are 4 coat colors; Black, Grey(Blue), Mahogany and Tawny (blonde), each color may also come with reverse brindling appearing as brown silver or beige. They can have white on the chest and feet. White anywhere else on the body is a fault. Ears can be cropped or uncropped though since January 1 2007, cropped ears and tails are banned in Italy as it is in the rest of Europe.Size and Proportion
According to the American Kennel Club (AKC) standards, male Neapolitan Mastiffs should measure 26–31 inches (66–79 cm) at the withers, weighing 150 pounds (70 kg), but can easily reach up to 200 pounds (90 kg) for larger males, whilst females should be 24–29 inches (61–74 cm) and weigh around 140 pounds (64kg). Body length should be 10-15% more than that of the height.Temperament
The Neapolitan Mastiff is fearless and extremely protective of its home and family. They prefer to be with their family and to remain in and around the home always. They are not a dog to go and wander off. As a guardian breed, they are very wary of strangers, but usually if seeing that their master is relaxed, will soon accept them. The Neapolitan Mastiff rarely barks unless under provocation, renowned for sneaking upon intruders as opposed to alerting them of their presence first. As a breed the Neapolitan Mastiff can be extremely stubborn, but learns things very quickly. Once it understands what its master wants, it obeys. They have a very dominant attitude and must be taught from puppyhood that its master is the boss, not the other way around.
Males tend to be much more aggressive and dominant than females and at maturity can make another attempt at dominating their master. Females are usually more easy going and tend to be the choice of families with children. Though both sexes are, however, usually very loving with children. Males do not get along with other males of any breed, but the Neapolitan can get along well with non-canine pets if raised with them since puppyhood. Trying to introduce a new pet once your Neapolitan is matured can be extremely hard work as many can be jealous of the new arrivals.
The Neapolitan Mastiff is not a breed for everyone and certainly not a dog for beginners. Children should be taught to respect these dogs. Neapolitan Mastiffs should be well socialized at an early age either at ring craft or puppy clubs organized by your veterinarian to avoid over-protectiveness. They will be very protective even with extensive socialization. Additional protection training is unnecessary because they are natural guard dogs and always have been. Obedience training is very important in this breed. The Mastino is generally very tolerant of pain due to the breed s early fighting background and the fact the skin is loose on the body. They also are renowned for drooling especially after drinking or if they get excited.Source: Wikipedia