by Kathy Dannel Vitcak 1 min read

A Bit of Neapolitan Mastiff History

Beneath that gentle exterior beats the heart of a genuine canine gladiator! As you probably know, the Neapolitan Mastiff has been around for thousands of years and most of that time was fighting, guarding or protecting. Some say they have been around for over 5000 years, with origins in Tibet, and are the basis for all giant, mastiff-type breeds. Others say the breed originated in ancient Egypt. Who knows!

The ancestors of the Neo had many names: Macedonian Dog, Assyrian Dog, Sumerian Molossians, Bandogs, Dogues, and the Roman Molossus

The names were different, but they were all heavy bodied, big-heads, short muzzled dog with pendulous dewlaps, overly wrinkled foreheads, cropped ears to the point of amputation, and massively, heavy legs.

Can you imagine how intimidating these dogs were to foot soldiers as they faced them in battle. All I can think of is that Monty Python bit where they ran from battle screaming, "Run away! Run away!"

A Few Quick Neapolitan Mastiff History Factoids

  • Though they are an ancient breed with roots back to the Roman armies, the Neo wasn't accepted into AKC until 2004
  • The word "mastiff" has its roots in the Latin word “masssivus,” meaning massive
  • Like many other European dog breeds, especially the giant ones, the Neo was almost lost after WW II. Luckily, a devoted band of fanciers pulled this living history lesson back from extinction.

Below are a few images of dogs thought to be ancestors of the Neapolitan Mastiff. No matter who their descendants are...these dogs are intimidating.

neapolitan mastiff history



Also in The Blissful Dog News

nasal hyperkeratosis
Nasak Hyperkeratosis in Dogs

by Kathy Dannel Vitcak 4 min read

WARM NOSE = SICK DOG Nasal Hyperkeratosis in Dogs “Your dog’s nose is dry, he must be sick.” As kids we all had some well-meaning relative who took it upon themselves to be the dog know-it-all in the family. They would make statements about your dog, the neighbors dog,  heck, about all dogs in such […]

The post NASAL HYPERKERATOSIS IN DOGS appeared first on The Blissful Dog® Inc..

Read More
caring senior dogs
Caring For Our Senior Dogs

by Kathy Dannel Vitcak 2 min read

I am sitting here looking at a gaggle of old French Bulldogs. A couple have grey faces, one has grey LEGS, Vegas just looks like a little granny dog and a couple just are not moving as fast as they used to (I can sympathize!). Like many breeders, I have reached a stage where I […]

The post Caring For the Seniors appeared first on The Blissful Dog® Inc..

Read More
Philosophical Ponderings  aka Why Dogs Eat Horse Poo???
Philosophical Ponderings aka Why Dogs Eat Horse Poo???

by Kathy Dannel Vitcak 4 min read

Whether one ponders Existentialism, Solipsism, Confucianism, Dadaism, Objectivism, Futurism, Surrealism, Nihilism, Epicureanism, Utilitarianism or any of the other profound isms, there is one question that brings all students of the deeper philosophical mindset to a screeching halt. That question is this...
Read More