This large and impressive breed stems from traditional catch and guard dogs of central Italy in the mid 20th century. Despite their size and power, they are renowned for being friendly and offering incredible companionship to their owners. They can be exacting the amount of space and exercise required, but for a committed and caring dog owner, there are few breeds that offer the rewards of the Neapolitan Mastiff.
Head and Skull
The breed should boast a reasonably large head and a broad but short skull, broad across the cheeks. Guide for proportion is the skull length being two thirds to muzzle one third, with the skull flat and parallel to muzzle topline. A definitive stop, with the nose not extending beyond the vertical line of the muzzle. A lar ge nose with well open nostrils; thick well fleshed lips with the inverted lips forming an inverted V when viewed from front. Again, when viewed from the front, the muzzle should appear deep and square.
Well distanced, noticeable rounded, clean and set forward, with rims being tight and without haw. Pigmentation of rims should be to tone with nose colour.
Relative to the size of the head, the ears are quite small. They should be triangular, set forward, high and well apart whilst hanging flalyt towards the cheeks, without reaching beyond the line of the throat.
The upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth in a scissor bite and be set square to the jaws. Teeth should appear white and regular with noticeably strong well developed jaws.
Relatively short but very muscular.
Shoulder long, slightly sloping with well-developed and definitive muscle. Elbows not too close to the body, allowing free action. Pasterns slightly sloping, legs vertical when viewed from the front.
Longer than height at withers. Broad, noticeable muscled chest, ribcage reaching at least to elbow. Ribs long and well sprung. Topline should be straight, sloping slightly from the withers, line of belly to be parallel to the topline.
The loin should be broad and well let into backline, exhibiting slight rounding and accompanied by well developed musculature. Croup broad, muscular and a slight slope. Thighs long, broad, moderate stifle, powerful hocks.
The pads should be thick and hard with a dark colour. Similarly, nails should be dark, strong and curved. Feet should be oval with arched toes and rear feet slightly smaller than forefeet.
There should be noticeable tapering towards the tip, with the tail never carried up or over the back, but level with the topline when in motion. The tail should be thick at the root, set slightly lower than topline.
Slow, free, with a. slow trot and long steps which cover the ground well and seldom galloping.
Short, dense, even and fine, with a hard texture and a good sheen. No fringe.
All greys, blue, black and browns ranging from fawn to red with brindling on the latter colours. White on toes and small star on chest are acceptable.
Height: 65-75 cms (25½-29½ ins); Weight: 50-70 kgs. Bitches somewhat less.
Any deviation from the above description will be penalized in accordance to the extent of the deviation.
Absence of wrinkles and folds and dewlap.
Lack of tail or a short tail, being less than ⅓ the length from point of insertion of the tail to the hock.
White markings on any part of the body not mentioned.