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Advice Before Choosing The Neapolitan Mastiff Dog Breed

Jun 28, 2008
If you are considering looking for a Neapolitan Mastiff, there are definitely pros and cons that you should know about. Neapolitan Mastiffs are beautiful big dogs. They are very big, up to 170 pounds, with large flat heads, and a box-like body. They have wrinkled saggy skin around their face and neck.

Some have cropped ears and tails, but more and more owners are opting to keep them in their natural state. They come in blue, black or brown and have short, dense coats. They shed more than you'd think for such a short haired dog. Neapolitan Mastiffs can be very good companions, but there are a lot of things to consider before you take on owning one.

The Neapolitan Mastiff needs to be trained very consistently from puppy hood. They are very smart and willful. Obedience and owner dominance need to be instilled from a very young age. You need to be non-wavering in your training approach and should probably seek professional advice. Neapolitan Mastiff's need to be socialized early and often. They are generally intolerant of other dogs.

Males are worse about tolerating other males than females are. Females tend to be a little bit more tolerant all around. Neapolitan Mastiffs are very good watch dogs. Their nature is to be protective and wary of strangers. Socialization is so important with these dogs. They need to be able to recognize who is being friendly. If they aren't properly socialized they can become a huge biting liability.

If you have children in your home, then you need to research carefully before bringing in a Neapolitan Mastiff. If the dog has been brought up with children, then they can be good with them. This dog needs to be exposed to lots of children consistently to teach them to be tolerant.

They do not tolerate teasing or roughhousing. Serious injury or death could occur. Remember that the Neapolitan Mastiff is very protective of its family. If you raise it with only your own kids, then it may try to protect your kids from their friends and relatives, resulting in a real tragedy. Neapolitan Mastiffs are generally not recommended for homes with children mostly because children can be unpredictable.

Neapolitan Mastiffs can be very calm in nature once they reach adulthood. They are mostly quiet indoors and may bark a lot outside. They have an instinct to chase and catch other animals, so proper inclusion is necessary. They need moderate exercise, such as regular walking and occasional running. Intense exercise can seriously damage this big dog's joints.

Neapolitan Mastiffs are susceptible to hip and elbow displasia. This risk is increased if you over-exercise your dog or encourage it to jump from high places, especially as a puppy. Eye problems are also common and include progressive retinal atrophy and cherry eye. Cherry eye is very common. It occurs when the third eyelid, responsible for tear production, becomes prolapsed, visible, inflamed and red. The usual treatment for cherry eye is surgical removal of the gland. It will usually occur early on, during puppy hood. If your Neapolitan Mastiff has to have this gland removed, be prepared for a lifetime of administering eye drops.

Once all things have been considered, you should be able to decide if the Neapolitan Mastiff is the breed for you.
About the Author
Get more info and advice on the Neapolitan Mastiff or a full list of dog breeds at this Dog Behaviour website.
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