General Information

The Neapolitan Mastiff Standard


The original Italian Neapolitan Mastiff Standard was written in 1946, rewritten in 1967 and modified and rewritten again in 1989. It is known as the official ENCI version of the Neapolitan Mastiff Standard. Also in 1989 to 1991, the Italian standard was translated into French, German, Spanish, and finally English, because these four languages are the official languages of the FCI which is the mother organization of which ENCI is a part. If you go to ENCI’s Web site you will find the standards worded in the 5 languages. You will note, however, that the Standard written in Italian differs considerably in its wording, not necessarily in its overall meaning, from the standards in the other four languages. The standards written in the other 4 languages are worded basically the same.

History of the Neapolitan Mastiff Standard in the United States

pic4.gif When the Neapolitan Mastiff was imported to the States, and when various groups of people startedtheir own Neapolitan Mastiff clubs in the US, starting in the early 1970′s, these groups wrote up their own
standards for the breed. By 1991, when the USNMC was formed, there were lots of mastino and rare breed club standards for the Neapolitan Mastiff floating around and in print. None of them was similar in content to the Italian Standards. The USNMC adopted as its
standard for the breed, the Italian Standards as written in 1967 and 1989. This confused people because one standard was very long and one was quite short and there were subtle differences between them.

As the USNMC was pursuing AKC recognition of the breed, (and it was vigorously backed in this effort by ENCI and the FCI), it had to fulfill the AKC requirement of producing a standard of the breed in AKC format and lingo. In other words, the AKC for mat and philosophy of standard writing differed considerably from the FCI format and philosophy of standard writing. It was the duty of the USNMC, and primarily myself as head of the standards committee, to format a standard in AKC lingo that was in content a correct and current description of the Neapolitan Mastiff in Italy today.

This process of rewriting the FCI standard of the breed to AKC specifications in format and language took 4 years. This 4 years of work was based on acute study of the breed in Italy and the breed standard for a decade previously. The current USNMC standard is the result of 4 years of writing, and rewriting, and submitting the rewritten versions of the standard to both the Italians and the AKC. It was rehashed and modified by various individuals in the USNMC standards committee, and sent back again to the AKC and Italy. During these 4 years, the USNMC version of the standard went back and forth across continents umpteen times until the current wo rding was settled on by all sides.

Finally, the standard was approved both by the AKC and by ENCI. When this occurred, the USNMC membership adopted this newly approved standard as the one by which it would abide. It is printed here in its entirety. In some cases, it is more specific in its description of the Neo than the earlier existent standards. If you read it and compare it with the other 3 Italian standards and the FCI standards as written in 4 other languages, you will see that the ultimate description of the dog as it is in Italy today is preserved and clarified.

The Neapolitan Mastiff is now recognized by the AKC, and the AKC adopted standard is now official.

The USNMC & AKC Approved Standard of the Neapolitan Mastiff

Clubs and Shows

If you are interested in joining a Neo club, look up the USNMC website.

You may access the USNMC website by going to

As of July, 2004, the Neapolitan Mastiff is officially accepted by the American Kennel Club and may be shown at official AKC shows. The Neapolitan Mastiff is part of the Working Group. For information on showing Neos, and all AKC events, go to the AKC website or contact the AKC.


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