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The Neapolitan Mastiff, or mastino as called in it’s country of origin, is very much the property guard dog of Italy. It’s roots go back to the war dogs of Italy used by the Romans in battle who would send the dogs in against the attack of the oncoming foe and even further back to the massive molossus dogs of Alexander. Today's mastino is a great guardian for the estate, home and the family. It is said that the Italians purposely created a dog to astonish and amaze the onlooker, and consequently the mastino looks and moves like no other dog. It is also said by many that the mastino’s fantastic wrinkle and head, massive bones and lumbering movement create an incredible and indeed astonishing animal whose looks alone, just as a glance are quite enough to stop an intruder firmly in his tracks.

Being brought up with dogs from a young age created a lifetime fascination for me. As a child we had many dogs that I loved dearly and as I grew older I rescued a crossbreed bitch and purchased a German Shepherd dog: I also had a wonderful English mastiff called Alfie.

So it came as no surprise one day back in 1987, whilst reading through a newly purchased dog book ('Breeds of the World') that I stopped at a very strange picture. It was the picture of a Neapolitan Mastiff.

"Not a good bitch by today's standards but interesting enough to grab my attention for the next 30 years: We have come a long way from here."

©2012 Rayvonley Mastini