theBreed Standard

  • General Appearance

    The Neapolitan Mastiff is a heavy-boned, massive, awe inspiring dog bred for use as a guard and defender of owner and property. He is characterized by loose skin, over his entire body, abundant, hanging wrinkles and folds on the head and a voluminous dewlap. The essence of the Neapolitan is his bestial appearance, astounding head and imposing size and attitude. Due to his massive structure, his characteristic movement is rolling and lumbering, not elegant or showy.

  • Head

    Large in comparison to the body. Differentiated from that of other mastiff breeds by more extensive wrinkling and pendulous lips which blend into an ample dewlap. Toplines of cranium and the muzzle must be parallel. The face is made up of heavy wrinkles and folds. Required folds are those extending from the outside margin of the eyelids to the dewlap, and from under the lower lids to the outer edges of the lips. Severe Faults - Toplines of the cranium and muzzle not parallel. Disqualifications - Absence of wrinkles and folds. Expression - Wistful at rest, intimidating when alert. Penetrating stare.

  • Body

    The length of the dog, measured from the point of the shoulder to the point of buttock is 10 to 15 percent greater than the height of the dog measured from the highest point of the shoulder to the ground. Depth of the ribcage is equal to half the total height of the dog. Ribs are long and well sprung. Chest - Broad and deep, well muscled. Underline and tuckup - The underline of the abdomen is practically horizontal. There is little or no tuckup. Back - Wide and strong. Highest part of shoulder blade barely rising above the strong, level topline of the back. Loin - Well-muscled, and harmoniously joined to the back. Croup - Wide, strong, muscular and slightly sloped. The top of the croup rises slightly and is level with the highest point of the shoulder.

  • Forelegs

    Heavily built, muscular, and in balance with the hindquarters. Shoulders - Long, well-muscled, sloping and powerful. Upper arms - Strongly muscled, powerful. In length, almost 1/3 the height of the dog. Elbows - Covered with abundant and loose skin; held parallel to the ribcage, neither tied in nor loose. Forelegs - Thick, straight, heavy bone, well muscled, exemplifying strength. About the same length as the upper arms. Set well apart. Pasterns - Thick and flattened from front to back, moderately sloping forward from the leg. Dewclaws - Front dewclaws are not removed. Feet - Round and noticeably large with arched, strong toes. Nails strong, curved and preferably dark-colored. Slight turn out of the front feet is characteristic.

  • Coat

    The coat is short, dense and of uniform length and smoothness all over the body. The hairs are straight and not longer than 1 inch. No fringe anywhere.

  • Hindquarters

    As a whole, they must be powerful and strong, in harmony with the forequarters. Thighs - About the same length as the forearms, broad, muscular. Stifles - Moderate angle, strong. Legs - Heavy and thick boned, well-muscled. Slightly shorter than thigh bones. Hocks - Powerful and long. Rear pasterns (metatarsus) - Heavy thick bones. Viewed from the side, they are perpendicular to the ground. Viewed from the rear, parallel to each other. Rear dewclaws - Any dewclaws must be removed. Hind feet - Same as the front feet but slightly smaller.