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neopolitan mastiff

July 15th, 2004, 04:35 PM
Lovable, cuddly and 140 lbs (still growing too!), but very aggressive outside on his leash around other dogs...HELP!!!! Would appreciate any suggestions on how to curb his behaviour or what might be best to control him on his leash!

July 15th, 2004, 04:47 PM
Tell me what type of aggressions he is exhibiting. I have owned a Neapolitan unfortunatley he had to be put down in December. They are great dogs. Have you had him since a pup or is he adopted or rescue. The more you can tellme about him the more I can try to help you. This breed will try and be the alpha in the house you can not allow this, if you do you will have many more problems if you catch this early you will have a big cuddly baby. If he was a rescue do you know what his situation was prior to rescue. By chance is this blue from the humane society on river street.

Lucky Rescue
July 15th, 2004, 05:27 PM
On leash aggression is not uncommon. Did you do a lot of research before bringing home your NeApolitan mastiff?

There is a GREAT Molosser message board where you may want to discuss this dog, and of course mastifflover will be able to help you.

Molosser Talk (

July 23rd, 2004, 05:07 PM
Hi, and thanks for the reply!

I only just acquired him about four months back. He is approximately 2-1/2 years of age. I have been a dog owner all my life and familiar with most dogs large and small.

My brother was at a pet food/grooming location in Pickering where the owner of the store asked if he knew anyone wanting a really big dog. TA DA, he thought of me!

I contacted the person, who informed me...(very little in hidsight) that he had the dog since a puppy, bought it from a reputable kennel and had to get rid of him because he was separating and couldn't keep him. He told me about him, and seemed quite knowledgable about the breed and so forth.

I made arrangements to go and see the dog and at first sight!!!!
Of course, the dog made strange with me at first, but spending most of the afternoon there and seeing how things went, it seemed all great. Took him there on the spot with the promise from the former owner providing of all breeding background and vet information once he got his life sorted out.

We stayed in a semi-kind of contact, which I found odd because he told me how much he adored him and would miss him. Hmmm, he never once contacted me, it was me contacting him to try and find things out. I've tried to contact him several times and was assured he would get back to me and only a few (two) times has he returned my calls.

So, now to the real story. Brought him home and, of course, totally understanding that he was going to be strange and aggitated in his new surroundings. He was, but surprisingly very little. He seemed to take to his new home well and was trained for things like not getting on furniture, etc. (of course no keeping him out of the toilet water!!!!) he adapted really quickly and well.

I have two children...well, 24 and, neither living with me, but he took to them like a duck to water, a little stand-off'ish at first, but then just loving it, and adores them to bits, and even the wee grandbaby, which, by the way, was a big concern. Born May 29th, this year and well, when he came to visit the first time we kind of let him smell the new little one and he smelled him from head to toe and then in pure doggie style, ONE BIG ASS LICK from head to toe and that baby was his and nobody better mess with it!

So, enough said about that, he adores the family and is very protective of us. Barks when the door knocks, will try to steal food from your plate if you are not looking, but all things considered, just a sweetheart.

Now, to the problem! On the leash!!! The fellow who we got him from said "Oh yes, he is great on the leash!!! stays right by your side". (In fact when I went to first see the dog, his companion was a little toy poodle) Well, now in hindsight, I can remember seeing a really torn up backyard and he gave him to me, in the car, with not even a leash, bowl, food, nothing!!!!!! I had to go right away to a Pet Value and get a leash and food and some chewy things for him and hoped I wouldn't be a chewy thing when I got back in the car!

Well, upon walking him the first time, OMG, he is not only strong (only 125 lbs when we got him), but very strong!!! Understanding that this is a new neighbourhood and he had a lot of smelling to do, I went with it. But after a period of what I thought was a good readjustment time, he is a wildman on the leash. Has no sense of heeling, or leash for that matter. Can't tell you the number of times I've been pulled over, my other half or my big huge 24 year old son!

He is now probably about 140 lbs, we have been feeding him according to what I have been reading and his needs. My problem is, and as I have read, he still has some growing to do, perhaps another 25 lbs. On a leash he is very strong, let's say 4 on the floor! If he wants to go that way, he will! We are trying very hard and I have been recommended to get a halty.

But when other dogs come near him on a leash. He starts to growl, bark, and about pulls us over. We have become very mindful of watching for all things because we just don't know. I mean he was kind of aggressive in the beginning when he would see kids on the paths in the ravine with rollerblades, skateboards, etc., but now he has totally adjusted to that and pays no mind.

The real problem is when other dogs approach, he starts to pull. His sense of smell is incredible and he knows they are coming long before we do! He will sometimes growl, bark and charge. Other times, just stand and sniff and bark! I just don't know if he wants to play and don't want to find out the hard way that it is an act of aggression...oh, and by the way, he is not neutered. The fellow told me that by neutering him before three he wouldn't reach his full growth potential.

I am very mindful because I lived in Stouffville, Ont. before coming back to Toronto and I remember a wee girl killed by a neo and was a very sad thing. I don't want to be an irresponsible pet owner, therefore I need to know how to curb this behaviour! I don't want to put other people/pets at risk and I'm not sure that he just doesn't miss his former playmate or wants to play or attack. Please any advice would be appreciated!

So sorry for the long ramble and really appreciate the reply, any advice would be appreciated



Lucky Rescue
July 23rd, 2004, 05:36 PM
Live and learn! First of all, if the dog came from a reputable breeder, that breeder would take the dog back at any period in his lifetime.

And people LIE when they want to dump animals. They lie about everything. You can see how much he "adored" this dog. :rolleyes:

Also, get him neutered now! ASAP. Never mind that "growth" thing.

Is this dog aggressive to other dogs only? The case of the little girl who was attacked had everything to do with irresponsible ownership and the grandmother was entirely responsible for the girl's injuries.

Start calling around to trainers and find one who is knowledgeable about this breed and get the dog into classes so you can learn how to handle him. Do this after he is neutered.

I also suggest you go to the board I posted for you.

August 3rd, 2004, 11:08 AM
I am not a big advocate of pinch collars but having owned a Neo and at the time was not as educated about the breed asked a lot of Neo owners about leash training. I recieved a general concensus from them that training a matured neo that was a real puller to use a pinch collar. It is not mean or cruel to use these. Neo's are big strong and have a lot of skin (dewlaps and jowls) and choke chains do not really work on them because of all the skin in the way. I started using the pinch collar on walks and lo and behold a dog that would listen to me and stopped pulling. I was now in control. I used the collar off and on if he was forgetting his manners but these guys are smart and will catch on very quick. I switched him back to a regular collar and was walking a very well behaved boy. P.S. the little girl was not killed and they were Dogue de Bordeaux (French Mastiff) not Neos, and the grandmother not the dogs were to blame.

August 4th, 2004, 03:16 PM
Thanks for replying, it's reassuring to know I am not the only one with a real puller on the leash. I wish I could express what a love he is inside the house, just a sweetheart. Once he warms up to a guest, well, let's just say they become drool-material.

I have heard good and bad about the claw-pinch collars and was really not quite sure, but I think that is the way to go. I do want him as well behaved outside as he is inside and have him a pleasure to walk instead of dreading what might be around the next bend in the path.

Having said that, my next question would be how do I go about getting one? I have tried a few of the pet suppliers in my area and they won't carry them on the grounds that they consider them cruel. More cruel would be if something worse happened. So, any ideas where I could obtain one?

Much thanks

August 4th, 2004, 03:19 PM
Where are you located. I have one and no longer need it I also have a few add on pieces to lengthen it. I live in Toronto. Check your private messages.