Neapolitan Mastiff: Fang from Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2003)
Aside from his enormous size, Fang appears to be an entirely ordinary dog. While his appearance is intimidating, he is, in Hagrid’s words, “a bloody coward”. Boisterous and loving with people he knows, he seems especially fond of Harry and at times, Hermione. Fang, like Hagrid, is not as fierce as he looks. In Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone he accompanied Harry, Hagrid, Draco Malfoy, Hermione and Neville into the Forbidden Forest to look for an injured unicorn. In the following book, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, he joined Harry and Ron into the forest where he was scared stiff. Ironically, Neapolitan Mastiffs were used in Gladiator fights in the past. They were bred as fighting dogs. However, these giant creatures have developed into more lovable creatures. Fang’s fear is not in proportion to his immense size and history, of being a fighter dog. He is thus, lovable even more. Not to mention, a half-giant like Hagrid, would have hardly looked very “professional” as a game-keeper, with a lap- dog by his side!
Okay, you’re seriously thinking about buying a Neapolitan Mastiff, but before you do, you might want to take some of the following points into consideration to make sure you get the one that is the most suitable for you. After all, it’s a big decision, and the better informed you are, the easier the choice.
Who is suited to this breed?
This breeds originates from Italy a very long time ago (Antiquity) and was first used for dog fighting and livestock guarding. Today this Mastino is mainly used for companionship and security. It does not need frequent exercise and not so athletic, but its messy eating manners, drooling and sheer size make it a difficult dog to keep inside a home. It is better suited to a small yard with an adequate doghouse or property such as a place to protect as it is excellent at this task (you may not find much better). It is suited to an owner that is prepared to spend plenty of quality time, and has a real enthusiasm for this large, intelligent and beautiful breed. It is often said for good reason, that this breed is best in the hands of experienced dog handlers.
Male or female?
This breed can be dominant and this especially applies to males! A dominant alpha male can be very tough case indeed. Neutering can settle it down somewhat but may not solve all problems. The Neapolitan Mastiff needs early socialization and obedience training whether male or female to alleviate future problems. This is very important! Many owners will find a female Neo cleaner (not marking its territory on every available occasion) and easier to handle with a more relaxed/submissive disposition. This would make for a possible better family choice, while the male as a courageous guardian. The male being noticeably bigger as a rule, highlights better the true Neo traits, which is a big draw card for some. Some males may get up to 90kg (200lbs) as big Marco below.
Basically it is just a matter of personal choice. Often there can be white on the tips of their toes and a patch on the chest.
-Blue (often referred to as grey and the most common and popular color)
-Brown (known as tawny or mahogany. Very rare and more expensive)
These colors can have some brindle through them also, where the coat is streaked, not a solid color.
Often conformation (shape) is overlooked and color and markings take preference. However, conformation is very important and here are some traits to notice when buying your puppy (Although changing fast at a young age, these early traits are likely to be carried through). Good puppies usually have plenty of facial wrinkle on a large head and loose skin on the body, especially around the neck and chest area. A downside to this wrinkle is that more care and cleaning is required by the owner and it can lead to problems such as cherry eye (the eye tissue protrudes more than normal and becomes red and inflamed). A short muzzle on a puppy is an important factor to look for along with a dense/thick bone structure. Being a large breed, it should take a rectangular shape, but not to be as long as a train so to speak. Many people look for large feet as an omen for big things to come. Early large size can also have a downside as too much weight on the legs and hips at this important growing stage can lead to problems such as dysplacia later (HD/ED). Below is a blue pup that illustrates many of the characteristics to look for.
People will buy this breed to show, guard, breed or just as a family pet. Regardless of purpose, it pays to get a Neo true to the breed standards and attractive. This is one breed where there is quite a difference between top and bottom shelf and there is no shortage of not so good looking dogs out there unfortunately. It is neither a cheap dog to buy nor care for. There is a tendency that the best ones come from Europe or have strong European heritage.
I hope this helps your decision? If still unsure or ready to get your dog, Contact Euro Puppy and check out our Neapolitan Mastiff puppies for sale!
Each Tuesday we will share a photo we received claiming to be the World’s Largest Dog. A lot of you might have seen these photos. We couldn’t verify the source so we leave it up to you to believe it or not. Photoshop can make look anything big. Let us know what you think. Have you seen any of these dogs in person? Do you have a photo that you want to share with us?
3) The Largest Neapolitan Mastiff:
This is a Neapolitan Mastiff. Without any doubt, this is the worst fake World’s Largest Dog Photo I have ever seen. While Neapolitan Mastiff is indeed a large breed and can weight over 200 pounds, they don’t grow this big… or if they would they could not walk.
No, this dog does not have Arnold Schwarzenegger’s genes and no ….she hasn’t even spent a day at the gym. That’s right. She. Meet Wendy. The Whippet. Not exactly the most feminine representative of her breed, Wendy is a result of a genetic mutation. I first thought she was the best altered digital photo of the century, but (sadly?) she is real! Wendy – the dog whose appearance is a long way from the usual long, lean and sleek look of her breed- lives on a farm in Victoria, Vancouver Island, Canada and is what scientists refer to as : “ double-muscled” or a ” Bully Whippet”. Due to the genetic defect, nature rewarded her with twice the muscle size compared to the other representatives of her breed. Resembling the cross between Schwarzenegger and the Incredible Hulk, Wendy still has the heart, lungs and head of a normal-sized Whippet. Only her musculature is twice that of her breed.
Her weight is 4st4lb (28 kg). It doesn’t sound that bad, but it is twice that of the normal weight of a Whippet. Her neck muscles, rippling shoulders and huge hindquarters would be the envy of any body-builder on steroids. Although her looks raise a lot of eyebrows, she is unaware of her large size and mutant form and is happy and even under the circumstances, a healthy Whippet. Her proud and loving owner, Ingrid Hansen says: “She doesn’t know she’s got a genetic defect. She might give you a nasty lick, that’s all.” She doesn’t have more testosterone than other normal Whippet females and is not aggressive at all. Sadly, with her genetic defects, 4 year old Wendy might not live for too long. Although the fellow dogs in her breed are bred for hunting, racing and showing, Wendy enjoys a slower pace of life.
Geneticists have even examined her to find out why she developed this defect. They found two mutated Myostatin genes. Myostatin is a growth protein that limits muscle tissue growth. She likes nothing better than to spend her days prowling around the fields, chasing (or scaring?) other dogs and horses and sleeping on her owner’s bed. Although she is a pedigree, who is fondly nicknamed Arnold Schwarzenegger, she would probably never win “best of breed” at any show. Believe it. She’s no hoax. Hansen, the owner, has received calls from media around the world, including the Japanese television, the New York Times and the National Enquirer. Wendy really is one whopper of a Whippet! Nature works in mysterious ways…
It seems even the fastest Whippets have a mutant gene for the Myostatin. Bully Whippets, like Wendy have 2 genes for this mutant gene. It takes breeding two fast Whippets to bring out the bully in them, it seems….
Healthy and Happy Puppies Find Loving Homes in the Far-East!
While successfully integrating itself into the Middle-Eastern minds, the Far-East has also proved to be a market with wonderful potentials for Euro Puppy. With many success stories in Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, China (Hong Kong) and Japan, Euro Puppy can now safely say, that they are the top provider of the highest quality European puppies from the best European breeders! A satisfied customer saw the arrival of his much-awaited French Bulldog in Singapore. Although regulations made it impossible for him to immediately take his puppy home, as one month quarantine was compulsory, the little French Bulldog found a loving home with his Singaporean family after 30 days. Euro Puppy has a loyal customer in Hong Kong as well, who has come back not once, not twice, but four times to Euro Puppy, to expand her “collection” Tibetan Mastiffs! She is often stopped by locals, and she is told that her dogs are some of the best Tibetan Mastiffs in Hong Kong! The satisfied owner remarks: “I am very proud to say that my four Tibetan Mastiffs are the top of their breed, here in Hong Kong. Euro Puppy only gives the Best. I am lucky to have found Euro Puppy and I am happy to have this wonderful breed!” Her dogs are non-aggressive as well, while the ones born in China seem to be. Euro Puppy’s top European breeders have taken the aggression out of this mammoth-sized breed to make them loving family members and astute guard-dogs as well. Another Euro Puppy puppy to have arrived to Hong Kong is the rather rare and large Hungarian Komondor breed that goes by the name of “White Rock”. He remains one of the few if not the only one of his kind in the whole of Hong Kong!
Recently two Irish Wolfhounds arrived to their Japanese home as well. After some red-tape, the Japanese Government finally approved the importation of these goliath dogs that originate from Ireland. Japan has very strict regulations about canines, due to their fear of rabies. But these muscular and massive dogs have finally arrived to their destination after waiting three months for the “go-ahead” to come from Japan! One must definitely also mention the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel that found a very loving home in Thailand. This little dog found fame overnight! Upon his arrival, he became the cover of the best-selling pet magazine in Thailand! “Anton” is the name he answers to and he has not only appeared in shows but he has won numerous titles as well. Apart from this little guy, other large-bodied breeds like the Neapolitan Mastiff have also found wonderful new homes on numerous occasions in Thailand and the rest of the Far-East. The fact that the beautiful, healthy puppies that customers find through Euro Puppy is only further evidence that the puppies for sale do indeed come from not only the best stock, but they are specially cared for as well by the top breeders of Europe. The shipping of all the puppies to the Far–East occurs via strict and hygienic conditions! Despite the lengthy paperwork, that often accompanies the puppies to the Far-East, Euro Puppy is always excited to know that the top quality puppies from Euro Puppy do indeed put a smile on faces around the globe…and this time in the Far- East as well!