The Neapolitan Mastiff is a breed of dog whose origins can be traced back to Italy. This large and imposing dog was originally bred as a guard dog and for being used by the armed forces of the Roman Empire.
It is believed that the breed is a descendant of the Molossus breed, which was used by the Romans for hunting, guarding and fighting. The Neapolitan Mastiff became more prevalent in the region of Naples during the 16th century.
The exact origins of the breed remain unclear as there are no written records of its development. However, the breed has been depicted in artwork that dates back to the middle ages, such as frescoes, paintings and sculptures.
During the 1940s, the breed was in danger of becoming extinct due to the destruction that Italy faced during World War II. However, a group of breed enthusiasts worked tirelessly to save the breed from extinction by breeding and promoting the breed.
In 1946, these enthusiasts formed the Societa Amatori dello Molosso Napolentano, and in 1949, the breed was officially recognized by the Italian kennel club.
The breed was introduced to the United States in the 1970s, and the first Neapolitan Mastiff Club was formed in 1973. The breed was officially recognized by the American Kennel Club in 2004.
Today, the Neapolitan Mastiff is still used as a guard dog and as a companion. It is known for its loyalty, protectiveness, and affection towards its family members. The breed is recognized for its massive size, powerful build, and wrinkled face, which gives it its unique appearance.
Overall, the history of the Neapolitan Mastiff is one of resilience and dedication from breed enthusiasts to preserve the breed for future generations to appreciate their temperament and majesty.