Also known as the Italian Mastiff, bred as a dog of war for the Roman army, the Neo as he is referred to, is listed in the working group which suits this breed well as he is bred as a guard dog and he takes his job very seriously. Intimidating in both size and reputation, the Neo weighs 80-150 pounds and stands 23-30 inches tall at the shoulder, with lots of loose skin and wrinkles to add to his fierce, yet endearing appearance. The Neo is a large dog of great proportions, his head alone is massive in size and shocking at first sight. His thick legs and massive amounts of loose skin make him seem almost a caricature at first glance. His ears and tail can be either natural or cropped and docked. He is not the right breed choice for the average pet owner as he requires a firm and consistent owner to provide early training and socialization to ensure a well rounded dog of good nature.
The personality of the Neo is that of a loyal and fierce protector. He is naturally wary of strangers, quiet, and requires a lot of socialization at an early age. The breed is powerful, aloof, and dignified. He is both a quiet gentleman and fearsome adversary. In fact, it is said that he was bred to be so loathsome in appearance so that his looks alone would frighten off would be intruders.
Caring for this mammoth is no easy task. While the coat is short, sheds moderately and is easy to care for by simply brushing to remove dead undercoat, the excessive skin and wrinkles need frequent cleaning and care to prevent skin infections from developing. In addition, his jowls are long and loose, allowing large quantities of drool to escape from his mouth and be cleaned up by his humans. For anyone up to the task of owning such an incredible loving and intense beast of a dog, the reward will be a loyal and loving pet.
Coloring varies from Black, Brindle, Blue, Fawn, Tawny, and Mahogany. The Neo average lifespan is 7-11 years.
As this is a brachycephalic (short faced) breed, it is important to understand the needs of this type of breed prior to purchase to ensure that this breed suits your lifestyle and climate, and to provide proper care during hot weather or excessive activities for the health and well being of the dog.