Neapolitan Mastino

GENERAL APPEARANCE : Large, heavy and massive, with a bulky appearance. The length of the body is greater in relation to the height at the withers.

Personality:  Loyal, majestic and firm.

Energy Level : Moderately active.

Good with children:  Yes.


Good with other dogs:  With supervision.


Grooming:  Seasonal.


Life expectancy : 8-10  years old.

Bark level:  Bark when necessary.


The Neapolitan Mastiff is a descendant of the great Roman Molosso, described by Columella in the 1st century AD in his work “De re rustica”. Spread throughout Europe by the Roman legions, with which it fought. It is the ancestor of many other Mastiff breeds developed in other European countries. The breed survived for many centuries in the countryside at the foot of Vesuvius and in the Naples region. The Mastino Napoletano reappeared after 1947 thanks to the tenacity and devotion of a group of lovers of the breed.

Country of Origin: Italy.

BEHAVIOR AND TEMPERAMENT:  Firm and loyal, it is not aggressive, nor does it bite without reason, guardian of property and its residents, always vigilant, intelligent, noble and majestic.

HEAD:  Short and massive, with a broad skull at the height of the zygomatic arches. Abundant skin with wrinkles and folds, of which the most typical and best marked goes from the outer corner of the eyelid, down to the lip angle. The upper longitudinal axis of the skull and muzzle is parallel.


Skull: The skull is broad, flat, particularly between the ears; seen from the front it is slightly convex in its anterior part. The zygomatic arcades are very pronounced, but with flat muscles. The bulges of the frontal bones are well developed; the frontal groove is marked; the occipital crest is barely visible.


Stop: Well defined.  




Nose: Located on the extension of the muzzle, it should not be prominent above the vertical line of the lips; it should be voluminous, with large, well-opened nostrils. Its pigmentation varies according to the color of the coat: black in black dogs; dark gray in specimens of other colors and chestnut for brown coats.


Muzzle: Very broad and deep; its length is equal to its width. Its length should be equal to 1/3 of the total length of the head. The side faces are parallel to each other, so that, seen from the front, it looks practically square. The depth of the snout is about twice its length.


Lips: Full , thick and full. The upper lips, viewed from the front, form an inverted “V” where they meet. The lower lateral profile of the muzzle is covered by the upper lip; the lowest part is the labial commissure, with the mucous membranes visible and situated vertically from the outer angle of the eye.

Jaws and  Teeth: Powerful, with strong bones and dental arches that come together perfectly. The jaw should be well developed across its width. White teeth, well developed, regularly aligned and numerically complete. Scissor or pincer bite. Tolerable inverted scissors.


Eyes: Well spaced apart and in a level frontal line; more to round, but never prominent or too deep. The iris color is darker than the coat color, except in dilute color coats where the eye color is lighter. Eye creases should never affect their functionality.


Ears: Small in relation to the size of the dog, triangular in shape, set above the zygomatic arch, flat and close to the cheeks. Ears are natural.


NECK: The upper profile is slightly convex. More short and conical in shape, well muscled. The lower part of the neck is covered by a good amount of loose skin that forms a well-parted double dewlap; not exaggerated. The dewlap starts at the level of the cheeks at the jaw and does not reach the middle of the neck.


  • BODY: The length of the body exceeds the height at the withers by 15%.


Topline: The topline of the back is straight.


Withers: Broad, long and not very prominent.


Back : Broad and about 1/3 of the height at the withers. The lumbar region should harmoniously join the back with well-developed musculature in width.


Croup: Broad, strong and well muscled. The hips are prominent to the point of reaching the topline of the loin. Chest: Broad with well-developed pectoral muscles. The rib cage is big. The tip of the sternum is situated at the level of the scapulohumeral joint.


TAIL: Broad and thick at the root; strong and tapering slightly to the tip. Its length reaches the hock joint. At rest it is carried hanging and curved in the form of a saber; in action, it is raised horizontally or slightly higher than the line of the back.




PREVIOUS:  The forelimbs, from the ground to the point of the elbow, seen in profile and from the front, are vertical, with a strong bone structure in proportion to the size of the dog.


Shoulders: Long and well laid back, with well-developed muscles, long and defined.


Arms: Well angulated, with well-developed shoulders and muscles.


Elbows: Should be parallel to the mid-plane of the body and never turn in or out. Forearms: The length is practically the same as the upper arm. Placed in a perfect vertical position. Strong bone structure, with well-developed and dry muscles.


Carpals: Broad, dry and without nodules, continuing in the vertical line of the forearm.


Pastern: In continuation of the vertical line of the forearm. Moderately angled and long.


Forefeet: Round, broad, toes well arched and well joined. The pads are thin, hard and well pigmented. The nails are strong, curved and dark in color.


HINDQUARTERS:  On the whole, they must be powerful and strong, in proportion to the size of the dog, capable of ensuring the desired propulsion in the movement.


Thigh: In length, it measures 1/3 of the height at the withers and its horizontal obliquity is approximately 60º. They are broad, with thick, prominent and clearly defined muscles. The femur and thigh bones form a 90º angle.


Knees: Femoro-tibial angulation around 110º to 115º.


Legs: Slightly shorter in length than the thigh and with an obliquity of 50º to 55º, with a strong bone structure and clearly visible musculature.


Hocks: The tibio-tarsal joint forms an angle of 140° to 145°. Metatarsals: Strong and thin, almost cylindrical in shape, perfectly straight, parallel and low.


Hind feet: Smaller than the forefeet, round, with well-knit toes. Dry, hard and pigmented pads. Strong, curved and dark colored nails.


  • GAIT/MOVEMENT: It is a typical characteristic of the breed. At step, the movement is of the feline type, with lion strides. It is slow and resembles the gait of bears. The trot is characterized by a strong drive from the hindquarters and a good reach from the forequarters. The dog rarely gallops; Usual movement is step and trot. Camel step is tolerated.


SKIN: Thick, abundant and loose over the whole body, particularly on the head, where numerous folds and wrinkles form, and on the lower part of the neck, where it forms a double dewlap. Never so abundant as to interfere with the dog's health and well-being.


  • COAT


Hair: Short, dense and shiny, of equal length over the entire body. Uniformly short and maximum length of 1.5 cm. It should not show any trace of fringes.


Color: Preferred colors are: grey, lead gray and black, as well as mahogany, fawn and reddish fawn. Allowed small white spots on chest and fingertips. All these colors can be brindle; brown, pigeon gray and isabela tones are tolerated.


SIZE:  Height at the withers: Males: 65 – 75 cm. Females: 60 – 68 cm.


WEIGHT: Males: 60 – 70 kg. Females: 50 - 60 kg

  • FAULTS  

Any deviation from this standard should be considered a fault and penalized in exact proportion to its severity and its effects on the health and well-being of the dog.  



• Aggressiveness or excessive shyness.

• Any dog that shows any sign of physical or behavioral anomaly must be disqualified.

• Atypical dogs.