Neapolitan Mastiff - Breed and Grooming Tips

Unless you’ve been to Jurassic Park, you’ve never seen anything like a Neapolitan Mastiff. These majestic guardians of startling appearance are massive, powerful dogs. The U.S. Neapolitan Mastiff Club describes their dog’s head as “astounding”—and give them credit for hitting upon just the right adjective. The profuse hanging wrinkles and folds, and pendulous lips, make the Neapolitan Mastiff look like a marzipan Mastiff that’s been out in the sun too long. And yet, the breed’s inner dignity and nobility can only be described as beautiful.

Right breed for you?

It’s fun inventing new ways to describe this astonishing dog, but acquiring a Mastino should be the product of serious consideration. If you've read our pages devoted to other big protective breeds, you already know how important it is to apply firm training and socialization early, while the pup is still small enough to handle. Mastinos might not be a good fit for novice dog owners. But for experienced big-dog owners looking for something different, the Mastino is as different as it gets.

Source: American Kennel Club


Bathing and General Grooming

The Neapolitan Mastiff does require regular bathing and grooming. This gentle dog can be bathed weekly up to every six to eight weeks depending on his activity level and lifestyle. With this short and dense coated breed, regular bathing is essential to minimize shedding and to maintain healthy skin and coat.

Before bathing, it is recommended to go over the dog’s entire body with a high-velocity dryer to facilitate the removal of any loose coat, and to loosen any dirt and debris from this dense coat. If you do not have access to a high-velocity dryer, a slicker brush would be the next best option. Lightly card the coat to help accelerate shedding as well. Now, it’s bath time! Make sure to wipe out the facial folds using a facial and a soft cloth.

Recommended Products:

Hypoallergenic Shampoo: A natural, tearless solution for pets that is chocked full of Organic Aloe, Coconut, and Vitamins A, D, and E.

Oatmeal Baking Soda Facial Cleanser: A pre-wash specifically formulated for the facial area that will help clean and remove odors that are trapped in the facial folds with gently cleaning and soothing any irritated areas.

Argan Oil Shampoo: A blend of argan oil and silk protein to provide maximum hydration while cleaning the skin and coat.

Energee Plus Shampoo: A natural degreasing and deodorizing shampoo that is chocked full of organic aloe to keep the skin and coat hydrated.

Luxury Remoisturizer Conditioner: A deep penetrating coat conditioner to help restore moisture. Can dilute up to 50:1 and use as a leave-in conditioner.

Finishing the Dog: Tools and Finish Grooming

They should be bathed and groomed on a regular basis in order to keep the coat in prime condition, the faces odor free with all of the facial folds, and to minimize shedding. Shedding is a natural process and cannot be stopped. Regular baths and blow outs along with brushing will accelerate the shedding process. It is always beneficial to use a hydrating spray after the bath and drying process. This allows the skin and coat to lock in moisture in order to maintain perfect hydration. As a finishing touch, before using the hydrating spray, use a grooming mitt and massage in a circular motion to stimulate the release of natural oils in addition to the removal of any loose hairs. Then finish with hydrating spray. Once the dog is dry, clip inside the ear using a #15 up to a #40 blade. Edge the ears using small safety shears keeping the tips of the shears toward the tips of the ears.

Recommended Products:

Aloe Hydrating Spray: Formulated to provide extreme hydration allowing the skin’s healthy natural oils to permeate the skin by adding a luxurious shine to the coat.

High Sheen Spray: A final touch to help bring in the radiant shine.

General Healthcare

Prep work is the foundation of all grooming. Prep work includes ear cleaning, nail trimming, anal glands, and proper dental hygiene. Mastering these skills sets the professional pet stylist apart from the rest. Prep work should be done before every bathing and grooming appointment. All dogs need to have their ears checked and cleaned on a regular basis. Proper nail care is also very important. Long, unsightly nails are uncomfortable for the dog, as well as anyone they might jump on. Long nails also compromise the shape of the foot. Trimming the pads of the foot helps give the dog good traction on different surfaces,and can minimize the amount of dirt the dog tracks into the house. It also affords the opportunity to treat and condition the paws from cracks and abrasions. Anal glands should also be checked and expressed if they are full. Some caring pet owners prefer to have the anal glands done by their veterinarian. Good dental hygiene is essential for a healthy pet as well.

Recommended Products:

Ear Care: This ear cleaner has a blend of natural oils to remove dirt, debris, and wax.

Paw Balm: Use weekly to keep paws pliable and soft. Paw Balm will aid in the prevention of pads to dry out and crack.

3 in 1 Healing Cream: If your pet gets a wound, this cream promotes cell regeneration and healing. It is formulated with Bitrex to discourage licking and chewing.

Hot Spot Foam: Soothing Aloe, Tea Tree Oil, and Chamomile relieves itching and burning while promoting and accelerating healing.

Nutritional Care

In order to maintain healthy skin and coat as well as overall health, it is important to provide good nutrition to your dog through a well-balanced diet, vitamins, and healthy treats.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What products do I need if I just purchased a puppy?

Puppy Shampoo

Luxury Remoisturizing Conditioner

Plum Perfect Facial Cleanser

Aloe Hydrating Spray

Ear Care Aloe  Wipes

2. Do they require a lot of grooming?

They require minimal grooming. Routine baths and brush outs are recommended to minimize shedding and keep the skin and coat in good condition.

3. What are the common problems in the breed?

Some issues in the breed that are more common are Hip and Elbow Dysplasia, Gastric Torsion (Bloat), and Visceral Leishmaniasis (LV).

4. Do they shed or cause allergies?

They do shed year around. Frequent baths and blowouts will help accelerate the shedding process and help keep the skin and coat in good condition.

5. Are they good with children?

The Neapolitan Mastiff is loving and affectionate toward his family. His calm demeanor makes him a good companion for older children. However, the breed is not recommended for toddlers because of his size.

6. What if I have a show dog?

Whether you have a show dog or a companion dog, the same basic care is given regarding nutrition, socialization, and hygiene. The difference is the conditioning of the dog and conformation training. It is always quite helpful if your breeder can help mentor you to lead you in the right direction upon entering the wonderful world of dog shows. A great place to start is the United States Neapolitan Mastiff Club,

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