In the world which we know,
among the different and primitive geniuses that preside over the evolution of
the several species, there exists not one, excepting that of the dog, that ever
gave a thought to the presence of man.
- Maurice Maeterlinck, 'Our Friend, The
Adele Del Gigante
The Neapolitan Mastiff is
one of the ancient and rare breeds of dogs. He is believed to be descended from the
giant war dogs of Egypt, Persia, Mesopotamia, and Asia. The Neo's
ancestors fought with the Romans in battle, and protected and defended
them on the homefront.
The breed survived mainly around Naples, Italy and
has been recognized as a breed in the modern world since 1949.
Originally bred as a
guardian and defender of owner and property, the Neapolitan Mastiff is a
massive, strongly-built dog standing up to 31 inches at the shoulder.
He may weigh as much as 150 lbs. The
Neapolitan Mastiff's massive head, heavy jowls, and wrinkles are
compelling enough to deter any intruders.
coat is smooth and short and requires minimal grooming. It ranges in
colour from black to light gray and may have white patches on the
chest or toes. The coat may also be tawny or mahogany coloured. The
gray or blue as it is known is the most common colour and the most desirable.
For Neos working a guard dogs, this colouring allows the animal to blend
into the night.
Although originally bred as a protection
dog he has a steady temperament, and is loyal and docile rather than
outwardly aggressive. However, he can be fierce when defending his home. This animal is a stay-at-home type, and is good
with the family. He does require exercise to keep in shape.