How big is the Neapolitan Mastiff

Mastino Napoletano Breed Description: Character & Co

Mastino Napoletano Breed Description: Character & Co

The Mastino Napoletano is an intelligent and loyal dog with character. Not that easy to keep, this breed only belongs in the hands of particularly responsible and animal-loving people.

The origin of the Mastino Napoletano

The name already gives it away, this dog originally comes from the warm south of Italy. There it is widespread around the metropolis of Naples as a guard and protection dog. The often very lonely homesteads and a high crime rate required particularly large, terrifying dogs. The mastino has been systematically bred since the end of the Second World War. Its ancestors probably go back to the ancient Roman Molossians. This huge and heavy fighting dog accompanied soldiers to war. Later, Molossians are said to have participated in the famous and very bloody games in the Colosseum in Rome.

The breed characteristics of the Mastino Napoletano

Its body size, the mostly silvery shimmering dark fur and the typical wrinkles give this dog its unmistakable appearance. You have to like the trusty, drooping eyes. Some love him for this special facial expression, others have chosen him as the "ugliest dog in the world".

The Mastino Napoletano "Fang" became world famous and played the giant Hagrid's dog in several episodes of the Harry Potter film.

The Mastino has been officially recognized as a breed by the FCI since 1956. He is listed under group 2, "Molossoids" and further under the "mastiff-like dogs".

  • very large and heavy dog
  • typical drooping eyes
  • Wrinkles and mostly dark shimmering fur
  • famous as "Catch" from Harry Potter
  • belongs to the mastiff-like dogs
  • very eye-catching optics
Banner image: / Erik Lam
alternative name Neapolitan Molossian
origin Italy
Life expectancy 8-10 years
Care requirements easy to care for
Activity level average
FCI Molossoids
AKC Working group
KC Working group


The typical characteristics of the Mastino Napoletano

One would think that these dogs would be consistently cozy and peaceful. However, if you have ever seen a Mastino Napoletano in a rage or playing wildly, you know that this is a mistake!

This dog likes to bond with a person and with a house. With his origins in the south of Italy, he is more used to being led by men. If you are a woman and want to have such a dog, you should be assertive and have a lot of dog experience. The Mastino Napoletano is by nature neither aggressive nor snappy. He only protects and is very vigilant. He never gets angry without good reason. Nevertheless, he knows how to get his head around and does so using all his strength. You should give a Mastino Napoletano puppy a strong and intelligent upbringing from an early age. He has to know where his limits are and be able to confidently join the owner.

  • not just cozy
  • can be very spirited
  • easier to lead by men
  • intelligent and sometimes very stubborn
  • needs clear upbringing and boundaries


Diseases typical of the breed of the Mastino Napoletano

For many years, breeding relied far too much on extreme wrinkles and overweight types. In the 1970s, the breed was so overbred that it would be called a torture breed today. The dogs degenerated into huge mountains of meat that could hardly move and suffered from coat problems. Fortunately, those times are over and the new, strict breeding selection has long since taken hold in Italy as well. Nevertheless, to this day there are a few dogs that still show this heavy legacy and an excess of wrinkles.

If this dog gets used to couch potato, he can get serious problems with his joints at an early age.

  • tends to be overweight
  • Skin problems from having too many wrinkles
  • Problems with the joints

Breeding and acquisition of a Mastino Napoletano

Mastino Napoletano breeders need to be extremely responsible people. In Germany, the breed is supervised by the "Club for Molosser" ( The number of puppies is around 60 to 80 animals per year. If you want to buy a Mastino Napoletano, you have to reckon with around 1000 euros for a healthy puppy with papers.

Please note, however, that the Mastino Napoletano can still be on the list of dangerous dogs throughout Germany. Keeping them is either completely forbidden or only possible under certain conditions. The regulations are so different depending on the municipality and federal state that you have to ask your local citizen office.

In Austria, the Mastino Napoletano is on the list in Vienna and Vorarlberg. You can take an aptitude test in Vienna. If you live in Vorarlberg you need the express permission of your municipality to be able to keep this dog.

The Swiss cantons of Geneva and Valais have completely banned imports, breeding and keeping. You need a permit in the cantons of Friborg, Schaffhausen, Solothurn and Ticino.

  1. only a few puppies per year
  2. from 1000 euros purchase price
  3. is regionally classified as dangerous
  4. Keeping often requires a permit or is prohibited
We have 3 more photos of Mastino Napoletano
  • A Mastino Napoletano costs around 1800 euros.

  • Guessed correctly. Hagrid's dog is Harry Potter is the Mastino Napoletano breed.

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