Planning to purchase a Neapolitan Mastiff is a big decision, one that you mustn’t get into lightly. Owning this large dog breed is a huge responsibility. Sure, you might fall for that cute little puppy playing about but you must not forget that this little bundle of joy will be a fully grown dog that needs plenty of exercise, training, food, and attention.
The weight of a male Neapolitan Mastiff is between 60 and 70 kilos (about 154 lb!) and it measures up to 31 inches tall. Females weigh around 60 kilos or 132 lb. and measure about 29 inches at withers.
The breed was the official guard dog in central Italy. It was first developed in 1947 and selectively bred using massive mastiff dogs with loose folds of skin. The resulting breed was named after the city where it was created.
In the breed’s early days, it was used to ferociously guard farms, flock, and entranceways to large estates. Today, they are mainly used as companion dogs and watchdogs on ranches and farms.
Neos -as they are fondly known by fanciers – need plenty of exercises. They also have an aggressive streak in them which requires firm handling and training to overcome. But don’t let their large sizes fool you – these dogs are as capable of giving love and affection as any other family dog breed. So, if you have decided that the Neo is right for you, it is a fine decision indeed.
However, it is important to analyze your finances before you go ahead and buy your puppy. The purchase price isn’t the only thing to deal with; there will be many expenses throughout the dog’s lifetime. To help you get an idea:
Let us take a look at these costs:
How Much Does a Neapolitan Mastiff Puppy Cost in USD?
After you have done your preliminary research about the care and needs of a Neapolitan Mastiff, it is time to decide where to buy your puppy from. You have several options before you.
Also called backyard breeders, these individuals may keep mixed breed and purebred Neapolitan mastiffs and other related breeds.
The advantage of buying from a backyard breeder is that the pups will be socialized to humans. They will also be well cared for. The price will be about as much as registered AKC breeders will charge – around $2400 per pup.
The downside to buying from backyard breeders is they may not have checked the parent dogs for hereditary conditions.
These are usually non-profit agents and generally, work towards the welfare of the breed. Reputable breeders also offer health guarantees for their pups. You will also sign a contract that states you cannot re-sale the puppy but will return it to the breeder if for some reason it does not adjust to your home.
The downside to buying from breeders is the higher price – almost $4500 for show dogs or winner progeny. Also, some breeders make owners spay/neuter the dog instead of allowing them to breed.
Puppy mills/pet shops
These places breed dogs indiscriminately to the point that many dogs end up with health issues. They are also kept in unhygienic conditions. Often, the dogs end up with behavioral problems like aggression or fear/timidity. The cost of pet shop dogs is between $800 and $1500.
You could also consider adopting an abandoned Neapolitan Mastiff. The advantage is that many rescued dogs are housetrained and obedience trained. Some may be neutered and spayed too. Also, the cost of adoption (around $400 to $500) is a lot less than the price you’d pay a breeder.
Here is a table showing the price of Neapolitan Mastiff puppy/adult dogs
|The minimum price of a Neapolitan Mastiff puppy||$800|
|The maximum price of a Neapolitan Mastiff puppy||$4500|
|Price range||$2400 and $4500|
|National median price||$3000|
|Adoption fees||$400 to $500|
Basic Supplies for your Neapolitan Mastiff
Whether you are purchasing a Neapolitan puppy or adopting a mature dog, you will need some equipment in your home to make its life more pleasant. By keeping this equipment on hand, your dog will have much less stress as it adjusts to its new surroundings.
A crate will provide your Neo puppy with a safe and secure place to rest. It can be a wire crate or a sturdy plastic crate. The cost is between $50 and $100. Add in some blankets, crate pads, and toys to make it more comfortable.
Chew toys and outdoor toys
Invest in high-quality chew toys that are safe for your mastiff to chew. Kong toys, Nylabone, and rope toys are good choices. You’d also need some balls and outdoor toys. Dog toys should not cost more than $50.
Select non-tip and non-skid food and water bowls. Heavy-duty plastic or ceramic bowls work best but even stainless steel bowls are a good choice. These should not cost more than $30.
Neos do not need a whole lot of grooming but you’d still need to invest in some basics like a toothbrush and dog toothpaste, a brush, dog shampoo, some wipes, and nail clippers. These will help you keep your pet in good condition. This costs around $50-$75.
Leash and collars
You will need these once your vet gives you the go-ahead to take your buddy on walks. Select a sturdy, no-pull harness or collar with ID tags. The leash can be made of nylon or leather. The approximate cost is $30.
Here is a table showing these costs:
|Baby gates to limit your pet’s entry in parts of your house||$40|
|Chew toys and outdoor toys||$3-$50|
|Collapsible crate||$50 to $100|
|Mats for containing food messes||$10|
|Grooming tools – brush, comb, dental supplies, shampoo, nail clippers, etc.||$75|
|Potty pads for indoor training||$10|
Neapolitan Mastiff Training Costs
Basic obedience training is the foundation for solving and preventing many behavioral issues in dogs. Training is very important for the breed. Remember: Neapolitan mastiffs were bred to be working dogs. So, they often show the inherent need to guard and even herd small animals and kids. That is why firm training and handling are a must right from the start.
There are many types of dog training programs available for your puppy that can suit your lifestyle. If you’re unsure which program is right for your pet, you can also have a consultation with an expert dog trainer in your area. He can help you determine which training will work for your pet.
Here are your options:
Basic obedience training /private training
A dog trainer will work with you and your pet. You will learn how to give the command and your Neo will learn to follow those commands. It will learn heel, sit, quiet, come when called, leave it or drop it, and other basic commands. The cost of basic private training is between $40 and $120 per hour.
Four-week training while boarding
This is a great option for training and can even help with potty training. Your Neopolitan Mastiff will learn on and off-leash obedience, overcome annoying behaviors like digging, getting into the trash, etc. During the last two days of boarding, you will work with the trainer and your dog so you can continue the same training at home. The cost of a weekly board-and-train option is between $500 and $1250 per week.
Group classes/puppy obedience training school
If you want your Neo pup to socialize with other dogs, then this is a good option. It is also slightly cheaper than other types of dog training. Puppy obedience schools charge between 430 and $80 per class with the national average being $50 per class.
|Group training (cost per class)||$30-$80 per class|
|Private obedience school (cost per session)||$40.00 to $120|
|Dog boot camp||weekly about $500 to $1250|
|Minimum online training program price||$99.00|
|Minimum puppy basic training cost (total)||$500.00|
|Maximum puppy basic training cost with boarding (total)||$2000.00|
Neapolitan Mastiff Food Costs
Your vet will guide you to the right food portions based on your dog’s age and activity levels. For a healthy adult Neapolitan, the recommended food quantity is 4-6 cups of high-quality dog food per day. You can divide this into two meals. If your dog is very active, then you need to increase the food quantity accordingly.
You can also feed it wet or canned food – naturally, a dog will need more wet food since it mostly contains water.
Other options – when it comes to feeding your Neapolitan Mastiff – include freeze-dried food and even raw food. Raw or the BARF diet is very popular among dog owners these days.
It closely mimics what dogs (or their ancestors- wolves) eat in the wild and that makes it very healthy for them. As a general rule, your Neapolitan will need at least 2-5% of its body weight if you choose to feed raw. You’d also need to supplement their diet with nutrients that the raw food cannot provide completely. A vet can guide you.
For puppies, it is best that you feed the same food that the breeder/shelter was feeding them. This will minimize any digestive upsets and also prevent stressing your buddy too much. As your dog grows, your vet can guide you to the right feeding quantity and also the right type of food.
A lactating or pregnant bitch will also need different food and portions.
Here is a table showing monthly food quantity to purchase and approximate costs:
|Type||Quantity per month||Amount/month|
|Dry dog food or kibble||75 lb.||$100 to $150|
|Wet or canned food||250 lb.||$200 to $300|
|Raw food + Supplements||100 lb.||$100-$200|
Neapolitan Mastiff – Dog Food Comparison
The best food for a Neapolitan Mastiff contains protein sources like chicken, turkey, fish, or lamb. You can cook these separately and mix them with kibble or dry food. If you select raw feeding, then include plenty of chicken feet, gizzards, cow ears, along with berries and vegetables.
Oily fish is also a great source of protein and healthy fats for your Neapolitan Mastiff. You can also add flaxseed and linseed to its diet to provide your dog with healthy fats and oils. These help keep its joints supple and pain-free.
Puppies will need different food – one packed with DHA and EPA for promoting a healthy brain, and calcium and other minerals for bone development.
Avoid commercial dog foods that are packed with grains, fillers, corn, wheat, soy, and artificial ingredients. These do not provide any nutrition and can even lead to digestive issues.
Based on these guidelines, we have some top-rated dog foods that are a good choice for your Neapolitan Mastiff.
|Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Natural Adult Dry Dog Food||Real meat and antioxidant-rich natural dog food||$1.9/lb.|
|Wellness Complete Health Dry Dog Food, Large Breed, Adult, Chicken & Brown Rice, Natural Pet Food||High-protein dog food, made in the USA, free from by-products, fillers, and artificial preservatives||$2.17/lb.|
|Purina ONE SmartBlend Natural Large Breed Formula Adult Dry Dog Food||Real chicken is its #1 ingredient, natural dog food specially formulated for large dog breeds||$1.5/lb.|
|Holistic Select Natural Dry Dog Food Large & Giant Breed Adult
|Optimal levels of pre and pro-biotics, digestive enzymes, and joint supporting ingredients||$2.27/lb.|
Neapolitan Mastiff Medical Costs
You should get your Neapolitan examined by a vet as soon as you bring it home from the breeder. Carry a record of the vaccinations and deworming schedule followed by the breeder. Your vet will then provide you with the schedule for the reaming shots and boosters.
Vaccines are important for your Neapolitan – it needs these shots to prevent certain diseases. Most vaccinations cost between $40 and $100 depending on the types covered. Your vet might even recommend certain non-core shots based on where you live. For example, your dog will need the Lyme disease vaccine if you live in a heavily tick-infested region.
Here is a table showing vaccination age and costs:
|Age of puppy||Core vaccination/ preventive treatment||Non-core vaccination||Cost**|
|6-8 weeks||Parvo, distemper, adenovirus (hepatitis)||Distemper vaccine alone costs (first year) $20-$30. The total cost of vaccination is between $75 and $100|
|10-12 weeks||Parvo, distemper, adenovirus (hepatitis) rabies and leptospirosis||Distemper + measles combo and Giardia||Rabies vaccine in the first year $15 to $25
Distemper – $20 to $30- total between $75 and $100
|12-16 weeks||Parvo, distemper, adenovirus (hepatitis), leptospirosis||total between $75 and $100|
|26-52 weeks||Boosters for the above, rabies||Lyme if present in your region||total between $75 and $100. Lyme disease vaccine costs between $20-$40|
|Every 6 months||Bordetella, parainfluenza||$20-$50|
|Every 3 years||Rabies||Influenza||$20-$50|
|Every 2 weeks until 12 weeks, then monthly until 6 months||Deworming||Annual cost – $80-$200|
|Monthly after 12 weeks||Flea and tick prevention||Annual cost $40-$200|
If you do not plan to breed your Neapolitan Mastiff, then it is best to get your pet desexed. This can prevent certain canine cancers as well as bad behaviors like trying to run away or excessive territory marking, etc.
Spaying surgery usually costs around $400 whereas neutering costs around $100 to $300 depending on the vet’s practice.
Other Medical Expenses
In addition to vaccinations, spaying/neutering, flea and tick, and deworming, a dog owner may also want to prepare for some unexpected medical expenses.
A single trip to a vet’s clinic, even for a routine check-up, can cost around $40. Your Neapolitan Mastiff will need at least 2-3 such trips per year.
A simple blood test could cost around $100 and X-rays can cost up to $200. Heartworm tests can cost between $40 and $50. An ear infection can set you back by $150 to $200. Allergy testing can cost up to $300.
Fractures are also very expensive to treat – almost $400. A single night’s hospitalization can cost $1000 and emergency surgeries can cost up to $2000.
Common Health Issues in Neapolitan Mastiff
Some common health issues are recurrently seen in the Neapolitan Mastiff. These include:
Canine hip dysplasia
Canine hip and elbow dysplasia are some of the most common orthopedic issues seen in the breed. However, these diseases are preventable, to an extent. Since they are inherited, it is vital to buy your puppy from reputed breeders. Good breeders conduct health checks on their dogs and prevent breeding ones that could have these diseases. The cost of treating hip dysplasia can be as high as $2000 to $4000 per hip.
The symptoms of DCM in dogs include lethargy, labored breathing, sudden collapse, etc. The initial diagnostics and tests can cost up to $400 and maintenance treatment can cost between $100 and $400 per month.
Deep-chested dogs like the Neapolitan Mastiff are known to suffer from gastric torsion. It is important to not let the dogs eat too fast – right after strenuous exercise. Slow feeders and elevated bowls too can help prevent the condition. In gastric torsion, the dog’s stomach can twist due to the presence of gases and acids. It requires an emergency surgery which can cost almost $2000 to $5000.
Pet Insurance – Should You Buy It For Your Neapolitan Mastiff?
As can be seen, your Neapolitan Mastiff could need expensive medical care over its lifetime. Even basic vaccinations and routine check-ups can amount to hundreds of dollars. Emergency care treatment can set back dog owners by thousands of dollars.
Vet treatments have undergone significant advancements over the past few years. This can help prolong our beloved pets’ lives. Naturally, these treatments come at a cost.
As your Neo ages, the need for medical treatments may also increase. Naturally, as a responsible owner, you must make sure to save up for these unforeseen expenses.
Pet insurance can help cover some or all of these costs. Many pet insurance plans even cover preventive treatments such as flea and tick treatments, spaying/neutering, and disease-preventing immunizations. Some insurance companies also pay the vet directly so you don’t have to pay upfront. All this can be of great convenience and will be worth the heavy premium you pay.
Also, there are many pet insurance companies offering insurance plans at affordable rates. Some plans actually cost just $7 a month. Of course, it is important that you read the fine print and know what all the plans cover. This way, your pet can receive the treatment it deserves.
Here are 2022’s top-rated insurance plans for dogs:
|Name of the insurance company||Features||Cost|
|Pet Assure||Considered 2022’s best overall pet insurance||$11.95/month|
|Pet First/MetLife||Best for routine care||$15/month|
|Embrace||Best for emergency care||$145/year|
|Figo||Best for holistic care||$92/year|
Additional Costs of Owning a Neapolitan Mastiff
As a dog owner, you also have the following responsibilities towards your pet and these come at a cost:
Will you bring your Neo with you or have someone over to provide the care it needs? Perhaps, it is best to board your dog at a pet boarding facility. If your dog is well-behaved, it can come on a cage but that can cost almost $300 per trip. You need to even invest in a dog carrier.
Should you choose to have someone come over and dog ‘sit’ your pet, then the charges are almost $50 to $75 per day. Boarding your dog can also cost around $300 for a duration of 4-5 days.
Microchipping is a great way to permanently identify your Neapolitan Mastiff. It involves the placement of a small chip just under its skin. A vet can do this procedure any time and it won’t cost more than $50.
Dog walking services
Neapolitans need a fair amount of exercise on a day-to-day basis. You may want to walk your dog at least twice a day. If your schedule won’t permit this, then hire a dog walker. These charge between $10 and $50 for a short walk of 30-minutes. The monthly expense can come to $200 if you choose to have someone walk your dog twice a day.
The loose folds of skin can become breeding grounds for bacteria. That is why your pet needs monthly baths and routine grooming. Some owners choose to have their pets groomed professionally once every 3-4 months. Simple grooming can cost around $40 while special grooming and medicated baths can cost around $75.
Key Takeaways – How Much Does a Neapolitan Mastiff Cost?
As can be seen, the Neo is not an inexpensive dog to own. The giant dog breed can cost quite a lot and we aren’t just referring to the puppy’s price. Here is a summary of all the costs you will incur:
The initial investment includes the puppy’s price – which can be nearly $3500 depending on the breeder. You will also spend on the basic supplies, preventive medical costs like immunizations, and spaying/neutering. This can come to almost $5000.
Apart from the purchase price, medical costs, and basic supplies, the first-year expenses will include training costs, pet insurance, flea and tick prevention, and food costs. If you add grooming and travel costs, then the first-year expense can come to almost $1000. Add in the puppy’s purchase and initial cost, and you might spend up to $6000 in all in the first year.
After the first year, the cost of owning a Neapolitan mastiff can come to around $3000 mainly spent on food, insurance, travel, routine medical costs, worming, flea-tick prevention, and grooming.
The Neapolitan mastiff lives between 8 and 10 years. So, you can expect to spend almost $25,000-$40,000 over your dog’s lifetime.
These are just estimates and the actual cost will vary greatly based on where you live and also your style of dog parenting.
We hope this cost guide helps you estimate the actual finances and also decide whether owning a giant dog like the Neapolitan Mastiff is right for you.