Sunday, March 16, 2008

Neapolitan Mastiff Dog Breed

Neapolitan Mastiff Dog Breed

The Neapolitan Mastiff is a large, ancient dog breed that can be traced back to about 168 BC. 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 Colosseo and other ancient Roman arenas. It is muscular with a rather rectangular body, massive head, and wrinkled face. The facial wrinkles continue under the chin and down the neck to form a prominent dewlap. The skull is broad and flat on top, and the nose is large. The teeth meet in a scissors or level bite.

They are highly protective and fearless. It is extremely intelligent and somewhat willful. It does not require repetitious training. Neo's are very attuned to his master's wishes. This breed rarely gives trouble by excessive barking. They are serious, calm and quiet unless provoked. The breed is very wary of strangers. Males can be much more aggressive and dominant than females. The Female makes a better family pet, as she is more submissive to her master and better with children. These dogs, however, usually very love with children, provided they do not tease them. Males do not get along with other males, but the Neo can get along well with non-canine pets if raised with them from puppy hood. The Neapolitan Mastiff is not a breed for everyone.

Physically, a Neapolitan Mastiff is a heavy-boned, massive, awe inspiring dog bred for use as a guard and defender of owner and property. He is characterized by loose skin, over his entire body, abundant, hanging wrinkles and folds on the head and a voluminous dewlap. The essence of the Neapolitan is his bestial appearance, astounding head and imposing size and attitude. Due to his massive structure, his characteristic movement is rolling and lumbering, not elegant or showy.

Neapolitan Mastiff’s neck is slightly arched, rather short, stocky and well-muscled. The length of the dog, measured from the point of the shoulder to the point of buttock is 10 - 15 percent greater than the height of the dog measured from the highest point of the shoulder to the ground. Depth of the ribcage is equal to half the total height of the dog. Ribs are long and well sprung. The coat is short, dense and of uniform length and smoothness all over the body. The hairs are straight and not longer than 1 inch. No fringe anywhere.

Height: Dogs 26-30 inches (65-75 cm.) Bitches 24-28 inches (60-70 cm.)

Weight: Up to 165 pounds (74 kg.)

The largest male Neapolitans may be nearly 200 pounds (90 kg.)

In health, they are usually prone to hip dysplasia, pano-ostiosis (growing pains), a condition which may occur when the dog is 4-18 months old and generally disappears on its own. Also prone to "cherry eye." The eye tissue protrudes more than normal and becomes red and inflamed. This condition is completely cured with minor surgery. Do not let the young, Neapolitan Mastiff run and play too much. Although it does need to be taken on a daily walk, limit its exercise, because it must on no account be over-tired. Avoid rough games in the growing stage and ensure that all its energy is available to make healthy bones and muscles. Adult Neapolitan Mastiffs need a great deal of exercise. He should be taken on daily, long walks twice daily. These giant, short-haired dogs are easy to groom. Remove loose, dead hair with a rubber brush. This breed is an average shedder.

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