The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals® (ASPCA®) was the first humane society to be established in North America and is, today, one of the largest in the world.
Our organization was founded on the belief that animals are entitled to kind and respectful treatment at the hands of humans and must be protected under the law. Headquartered in New York City, the ASPCA maintains a strong local presence, and with programs that extend our anti-cruelty mission across the country, we are recognized as a national animal welfare organization. We are a privately funded 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, and are proud to boast more than 2 million supporters across the country.
The ASPCA’s mission, as stated by founder Henry Bergh in 1866, is “to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States.”
The Furry Critter Network
Mastino Breed Description
Neapolitan Mastiff, Mastino Napoletano, Neo
Approximately 10 years or less.
Average 6-12 Puppies
The Neapolitan Mastiff is a serious, powerful dog. The body of this massive, rather rectangular looking dog has abundant, hanging wrinkles and folds on the head and a very large dewlap. The wide, flat head is large in comparison to the rest of the body. The muzzle is 1/3 the length of the head and is as broad as it is long with a well-defined stop. The large nose has well-open nostrils and a color that coordinates with the coat. The teeth meet in a scissors, pincer or slight undershot bite. The deep-set eyes are almost covered by the dropping upper lids and come in amber to brown, depending on the coat color. Puppies begin life with blue eyes, which later darken. The ears may be cropped or left natural. Many owners opt out of docking and cropping, preferring the natural look, as it is painful for the dog. The tail is carried straight up and curves over the back. The round feet are large with well-arched toes. The straight, dense, short coat comes in gray, blue, black, chocolate, mahogany and tawny, sometimes with brindle and white markings. Chocolate dogs are rare.
Head: Short, massive, imposing. Broad, flat skull. Loose skin with wrinkles and folds. Pronounced stop. Broad, deep muzzle. Powerful jaws. Large nose. Thick, fleshy, pendulous lips.
Ears: Small, triangular, flat, lying against the cheeks. If cropped, they are the shape of an equilateral triangle.
Eyes: Wide set, round, of a darker color that that of the coat.
Body: Massive, longer than tall. Tapered neck with double dewlap. Broad withers (not pronounced). Large brisket. Ribs well sprung.
Tail: Broad and thick at the root, tapering slightly toward the tip. If left natural, tail hangs down reaching the hock joint. Typically, one-third of the tail is removed.
Hair: Short, harsh, hard, thick, and smooth (maximum length 1.5 cm).
Coat: Preferred colors: gray, lead gray and black, brown, fawn, stag-red, sometimes with small white spots on the chest and feet. All colors may be brindle.
Size: Dog: 65 to 75 cm Bitch: 60 to 68 cm
Weight: Dog: 60 to 70 kg Bitch: 50 to 60 kg
The Neapolitan Mastiff is descended from the Tibetan Mastiff through the large Roman molossus described by agronomist Columella in the first century. This breed fought with the Roman legions and was spread throughout Europe during the Roman invasions. The Neapolitan Mastiff has also been used as a circus dog. This breed was the progenitor of many mastiff breeds in other European countries. The breed survived for many centuries. Spanish mastiff blood was later introduced. The breed has been selectively bred since 1947.
As a Neapolitan Mastiff owner, you have selected a guardian breed - one that is steady and loyal to his owner. He is not aggressive or apt to bite without reason. He is a true guardian of his property and to the family entrusted to him. His attitude is calm, yet cautious, and he is majestic and powerful. He is always watchful and does not take pleasure in strangers who intrude into his personal space.
Many times, dogs of any breed may develop behavioral problems which some may refer to as a bad temperament. If your dog barks menacingly or growls and snaps at anyone who comes near his food while eating or while he is resting, or if he is playful and happy one minute and growling and showing aggression or is agitated easily, then he is a candidate for professional behavioral training. Start by calling your breeder and see if he can offer you some training tips. Remember a dog is a pack animal, and you and family are part of the pack. Dogs know that there is always a leader in the pack, and you as the owner, must assume the role of LEADER of the pack. Your Neapolitan Mastiff must never be allowed to dominate you. Dog aggression, if left unchallenged, will get worse and may result in someone getting bitten. If your breeder is not responsive to your concerns, please do not despair. Contact your veterinarian and ask for a reliable reference of behavioral trainers that are familiar with the Neapolitan Mastiff breed.
One of the most important parts of training is constantly taking the time to reinforce that YOU are the pack leader. Training begins the moment you bring your Neapolitan Mastiff home. Do not give into your new friend. Remember that you love your Neapolitan Mastiff and want only what is best for him. You must socialize the Neapolitan Mastiff from an early age. Take your puppy to as many places as you can where there are people and other pets. This is referred to as 'socializing'. (Note: please remember that your puppy must have received the proper amount of vaccinations prior to socializing with other dogs). Also, placing your Neapolitan Mastiff puppy on a leash for the first time can be quite upsetting to him. This is due to the fact that the leash prevents the natural behavior of dogs, which is running. Dogs can demonstrate their lack of acceptance of humans by fighting the leash or running as far as the tether will allow in an attempt to escape human control. Waiting too long before starting socialization may prove to be harmful. Ideally, socialization should begin before 12 weeks of age.
How much socialization is necessary? During the socialization period, the puppy must experience different varieties of human beings and/or situations. Your puppy needs to experience sharing his space with children and adults of various ages. He must become acclimated to seeing people who wear hats, sunglasses, umbrellas, scarves, ties, individuals of different races or even people who wear perfume. Each of these experiences will provide a new socialization opportunity for your puppy. This can be time-consuming, but in the end it is time well-spent. Your Neapolitan Mastiff puppy should get as much socialization as possible through contact with people. Just be careful not to overwhelm the puppy with too many puppy play dates.
Obedience classes are always a must for any breed of canine. Keep in mind when a canine is removed from the regular presence of humans and other dogs during the juvenile period, they can lose their socialization; so again, enroll your Neapolitan Mastiff puppy into obedience class as soon as appropriate.
This massive breed is often used as a guard and defender of family and property due to their protective instincts and their fearsome appearance. In Italy, the Neapolitan Mastiff has been used by police, army, farmers, business owners, estate owners, and of course anyone that wish to protect their property. The breed is very popular in Italy however; it is very rare in the United States.
Prone to cherry eye, hip dysplasia, bloat, pano-ostiosis (joint pain from growth can occur at 4-18 months and usually goes away on its own). Pups are usually born via caesarian section.
"Don't Shop ... Please Adopt"
If you can’t find the pet you’re looking for on Petfinder, don’t give up. Some shelters maintain waiting lists for specific breeds, so don’t be afraid to ask! There are also breed-specific rescues for just about every breed, and most of them post their pets on Petfinder. (Petfinder can even e-mail you when a pet that fits your criteria is posted — just click “Save this Search” at the top of your search results page.)
Jeff Gold, Founder, Rescue Me! Animal Rescue Network
Jeff Gold lives in Watkinsville, Georgia on the same property as Rescue Me's Animal Rehabilitation Center, with 18 rescue animals. Shown with him in the photo to the left are Maggie, Izzie and Cortez. In 2003, after learning there was nobody doing boxer rescue work in Georgia, Gold founded Boxertown, an organization which helped find homes for over 500 boxers during its first two years. Based upon this success, Gold came up with the vision for Rescue Me! ― a network which helps all breeds of dogs, cats and other animals find good homes, anywhere in the world. RescueShelter.com is also a free service of Rescue Me! and provides the world's largest and most up-to-date directory of animal rescue organizations for all breeds of dogs, cats and other animals, including a comprehensive directory of wildlife rehabilitators in over 150 countries.