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Neapolitan Mastiff Vs Bullmastiff

Neapolitan Mastiff vs Bullmastiff: A Comparison of Two Powerful Breeds

When it comes to choosing a large and powerful dog breed, two popular options that often come to mind are the Neapolitan Mastiff and the Bullmastiff. Both breeds have a strong and imposing presence, but there are key differences between them that potential owners should consider before making a decision. In this article, we will delve into the characteristics, temperament, and history of these two magnificent breeds to help you determine which one may be the right fit for you.

Neapolitan Mastiff:

The Neapolitan Mastiff, also known as the Mastino Napoletano, is an ancient breed that originated in Italy. These massive dogs were originally bred for guarding and protecting their owners and property. They are known for their loose, wrinkled skin, which gives them a unique and somewhat intimidating appearance. Neapolitan Mastiffs are very loyal, affectionate, and protective of their families, making them excellent guard dogs.


On the other hand, the Bullmastiff is a crossbreed between the English Mastiff and the Bulldog. They were originally bred to track down and apprehend poachers on English estates. Bullmastiffs are known for their gentle and affectionate nature towards their families, but they can be wary of strangers and exhibit a strong protective instinct when necessary. They are a versatile breed that can excel in a variety of roles, including as family pets, guard dogs, and even therapy dogs.


One of the key differences between the Neapolitan Mastiff and the Bullmastiff is their physical appearance. Neapolitan Mastiffs are larger and heavier than Bullmastiffs, with males typically weighing between 150-200 pounds, while Bullmastiffs usually weigh between 100-130 pounds. Neapolitan Mastiffs have a distinctive wrinkled and droopy skin, while Bullmastiffs have a shorter coat that requires less grooming.


In terms of temperament, both breeds are known for their loyalty and protectiveness towards their families. However, Neapolitan Mastiffs tend to be more aloof and reserved with strangers, while Bullmastiffs are generally more outgoing and sociable. Neapolitan Mastiffs require early socialization and training to prevent them from becoming overly protective or aggressive towards unfamiliar people or animals.


The Neapolitan Mastiff has a long and storied history, dating back to ancient Roman times when they were used as war dogs and gladiators. They were also employed as guard dogs in Italian estates and farms to protect against intruders and predators. Bullmastiffs, on the other hand, were developed in 19th century England for the specific purpose of tracking down and detaining poachers on private estates. Their strong hunting instincts and protective nature make them well-suited for this role.


1. “In recent years, we have seen a growing interest in both the Neapolitan Mastiff and the Bullmastiff as family pets and companions. Their loyal and protective nature makes them excellent choices for households with children or other pets.” – Professional Dog Trainer

2. “There has been a trend towards greater awareness of responsible breeding practices in both the Neapolitan Mastiff and Bullmastiff communities. Breeders are focusing on health, temperament, and conformation to ensure that future generations of these breeds are strong and healthy.” – Professional Breeder

3. “With the rise of social media and online platforms, we have seen an increase in the popularity of both the Neapolitan Mastiff and the Bullmastiff as influencers and ambassadors for their respective breeds. Their unique appearance and personalities make them a hit with followers and fans alike.” – Professional Pet Influencer

4. “As more people seek out large and imposing guard dogs for protection and security, the demand for Neapolitan Mastiffs and Bullmastiffs has been on the rise. These breeds offer a powerful deterrent to potential intruders and can provide peace of mind for their owners.” – Professional Security Consultant

Common Concerns:

1. Are Neapolitan Mastiffs good with children?

Both Neapolitan Mastiffs and Bullmastiffs can be good with children when properly socialized and trained. However, due to their size and protective nature, it is important to supervise interactions between the dogs and children to prevent any accidents.

2. Do Bullmastiffs have health issues?

Like all purebred dogs, Bullmastiffs can be prone to certain health issues, such as hip dysplasia, bloat, and heart problems. It is important to work with a reputable breeder who conducts health screenings on their breeding stock to minimize the risk of hereditary conditions.

3. How much exercise do Neapolitan Mastiffs need?

Neapolitan Mastiffs are not overly active dogs and do not require a lot of exercise. A daily walk or play session in the yard is usually sufficient to keep them happy and healthy. However, they do enjoy mental stimulation, such as training sessions or puzzle toys.

4. Are Neapolitan Mastiffs aggressive?

Neapolitan Mastiffs can be aloof and suspicious of strangers, which can sometimes be mistaken for aggression. Early socialization and training are essential to ensure that they are well-adjusted and confident around people and other animals.

5. Do Bullmastiffs bark a lot?

Bullmastiffs are not known to be excessive barkers, but they will alert their owners to the presence of strangers or unusual noises. They are generally quiet and reserved dogs that prefer to observe their surroundings before reacting.

6. How do Neapolitan Mastiffs get along with other pets?

Neapolitan Mastiffs can coexist peacefully with other pets, but they may exhibit dominant behavior towards smaller animals. Proper introductions and supervision are key to ensuring a harmonious relationship between a Neapolitan Mastiff and other pets in the household.

7. Are Bullmastiffs easy to train?

Bullmastiffs are intelligent and eager to please, which makes them relatively easy to train. Positive reinforcement methods, such as treats and praise, work best with this breed. Consistency and patience are key to successfully training a Bullmastiff.

8. Do Neapolitan Mastiffs drool a lot?

Neapolitan Mastiffs are known for their loose and wrinkled skin, which can trap moisture and lead to excessive drooling. Regular cleaning and maintenance of their skin folds can help to minimize drool and prevent skin infections.

9. Are Bullmastiffs good guard dogs?

Bullmastiffs are excellent guard dogs due to their protective nature and strong instinct to defend their families and territory. They are vigilant and alert, making them an effective deterrent against intruders.

10. How do Neapolitan Mastiffs handle hot weather?

Neapolitan Mastiffs have a short coat and are sensitive to extreme temperatures, especially heat. It is important to provide them with plenty of shade, fresh water, and air conditioning during hot weather to prevent heat-related illnesses.

11. Can Bullmastiffs be left alone for long periods?

Bullmastiffs are social animals that thrive on human companionship, so they may become anxious or destructive if left alone for extended periods. It is best to provide them with mental stimulation, such as toys and puzzles, to keep them entertained while you are away.

12. Are Neapolitan Mastiffs good apartment dogs?

Neapolitan Mastiffs are large and powerful dogs that require plenty of space to move around comfortably. They are not well-suited to apartment living due to their size and exercise needs. A house with a fenced yard is more suitable for a Neapolitan Mastiff.

13. Do Bullmastiffs shed a lot?

Bullmastiffs have a short coat that sheds moderately throughout the year. Regular grooming, such as brushing and bathing, can help to control shedding and keep their coat healthy and shiny.

14. How do Neapolitan Mastiffs behave around strangers?

Neapolitan Mastiffs can be aloof and reserved around strangers, especially if they are not properly socialized. Early exposure to different people, places, and situations can help to build their confidence and reduce any fear or aggression towards unfamiliar individuals.

15. Are Bullmastiffs good with other dogs?

Bullmastiffs can get along well with other dogs, especially if they are raised together from a young age. They have a strong pack instinct and usually enjoy the company of other canines. Proper introductions and supervision are important to prevent any conflicts or misunderstandings.

In conclusion, both the Neapolitan Mastiff and the Bullmastiff are magnificent breeds with unique characteristics and qualities that make them excellent companions and protectors. Whether you are drawn to the Neapolitan Mastiff’s imposing appearance and loyal nature or the Bullmastiff’s gentle demeanor and versatility, either breed can make a wonderful addition to your family. It is important to consider your lifestyle, living situation, and experience with large breeds before choosing the right dog for you. With proper care, training, and socialization, both the Neapolitan Mastiff and the Bullmastiff can thrive and bring joy and companionship to their owners for many years to come.