While Mastino Napoletano is its given name, it is more well known by Neapolitan Mastiff. This giant breed is quite unique in its appearance and is believed to be related to other breeds such as the Dosa Inu, Tosa Inu, and Dogue de Bordeaux.
This breed has been used as a guard dog, and given its considerable size, one would believe this alone is enough for use as a deterrent. The breed does not bark much and is well known for its ability to sneak up on intruders, which may be hard to believe given its hulking size.
While popular for centuries throughout Europe, the breed was almost lost to extinction after WWII. At this time, Piero Scanziani, an Italian painter, took an interest in the breed and set up a formal breeding program and officially named the breed Neapolitan Mastiff. In his breeding program, he included English Mastiffs to help solidify the stock.
A Neapolitan Mastiff is credited with having the largest known litter of any breed. The litter numbered 24, but 4 did not make it.
Due to its large size, it is often afflicted by the same issues as other large breeds, such as hip dysplasia, heart issues, breathing issues, gastric issues, and climate-related issues such as easily overheating.
Due to the unique characteristics of the Neapolitan Mastiff, a vet specialist is often needed in their care, especially when there is a need for anesthesia. This is a situation that one needs to take great care with, especially when it comes to animal groups that propose sterilization of pets, who often do not educate pet owners on the subsequent risks involved.