New Neapolitan Mastiff Check List
Feel free to print this out and discuss with your family, although this is intended to use before your new family member arrives, it can be used at any time. The purpose is to generate thoughtful discussions and awareness of the responsiblity of owning a Neapolitan Mastiff.
Where will our Neo Sleep? Where is the Neo's bedroom?
Where will we purchase our Neapolitan Mastiff Puppy ?
Talk to your breeder honestly about your lifestyle and expectations.
What do we need to purchase before our Neapolitan Mastiff Puppy Arrives ? - Stainless steel bowls - plastic tends to retain bacteria
- Collar and Leash - start with cheap nylon collars as your puppy will grow quickly
- Baby Gate - to restrict access to stairs, or other potentially dangerous areas.
- Crate - a #300 Vari Kennel is a good beginning
- First Aid Kit - see First Aid in the Neapolitan Health Section
- Grooming - soft brush, nail clippers, puppy shampoo
- Toys - Careful to inspect toys, neo's are strong chewers and will quickly destroy and swallow cheap toys. Go for Nylabones, Kongs and such. See Pet Supplies for more ideas.
Choosing a Doctor for our New baby
- See Choosing a Vet in the Neapolitan Mastiff Health Section
- Consider purchasing Pet Insurance, neapolitans are big dogs and when they need anything at the vet it is going to be expensive.
Ok, so now the Pre - Neapolitan Home Invasion stuff is over.
Let's get down to the real questions....
Where will our New Baby Sleep?
When you look into those big eyes, and feel those soft wrinkles and smell that puppy breath it is almost too much love to handle ! Of course he will sleep in bed with you, right ?
NO - I know it is tough, but you cannot start habits now that you don't want two years from now. This same cute puppy will depost two cups of drool on your pillow in two years, snore at deafining decibles, and umm....lets just say periodically toot under the covers and leave you reaching for the oxygen.
The Neapolitan Mastiff is a regal, majestic creature. He deserves his own space. Begin Crate training immediatley. Don't wait until he is 100 pounds. The Neapolitan Mastiff is also a dramatic super star, the first attempts at crate training will break your heart. He will scream and whine just enough to get you to open the door. Most Neo's are better trainers then their human counterparts.
Crate Training Links:
The crate should be in a quite place, where you envision it in two years. Think of it as the dogs bedroom.
Where will the Neapolitan Mastiff eat ?
It's so cute to watch a puppy eat, little face expressions, tail wagging ! Oh my !
Wait, its two years later...... Big dog, slobber... wait..... head shake coming ...drool flys for 10 feet.
A large Neo eating is almost an event in of itself. Where will this take place ?
It shouldn't be on carpet that is for sure.
This is an important area to discuss and think about.
Points to consider:
You want the dog to be able to eat without interruption.
You want the dog to not develop food aggression.
You want food eaten in one sitting - do not leave food, do not "free feed".
If you have small children, or might have small children one day - you need to have a seperate and perhaps isolated eating area.
"I prefer to feed my dogs in their crate, dog enters crate, gets food, eats and outside to go potty. It is a safe, clean and excellent routine." - Lisa Cinciripini
Point to Ponder -
Many Neapolitans enter Rescue or Animal Shelters because the human owners are having a baby. If the possibilty of having a human child is in your future, then please take this into consideration NOW.
Where is the Neapolitan Mastiff Allowed ? What is Acceptable ?
House Manners 101
There is nothing better than a puppy lying on your chest, gazing in your eyes, slowing falling asleep while you watch TV.
But, will he be allowed on you and on the couch at 2 years of age ?
Bottom line is - if he is not allowed on the couch then he is not allowed on the couch. You can't be inconsistent and allow it sometimes and not others.
For instance - Is he allowed on the couch with you but not your mother n law ?
Sorry but that doesn't work.
Points to Consider:
- Will he be allowed in the bedrooms ?
- What are the off limit areas ? Begin boundary limitations with a baby gate, although adult neos can destroy a baby gate if you begin with these early he will learn his boundaries.
- Is he allowed to chew socks ? Don't tye a knot in sock and say this sock is OK but not the others.
- Is he allowed to lay under the dinner table while you eat ? or sit beside you drooling and begging for a piece ? Don't feed from the table if you don't want him to develop begging behavior.
- How are house guests greeted ?
Do you want him to warn\bark when someone knocks then wait for you to say its Ok ?
you need to develop a command \ routine to let the dog know you 'know' the person is here, and they are welcome.
- Do you want him to jump on the company ? or jump on you ?
If you are not going to allow jumping up, then teach him "off" - don't say "down" unless you have another command for when you want the dog to lay down.
Cinciripini's Steeler, a full grown male mastino pushing 200 pounds. He was taught to be "gentle", when he got excited and rough I would lower my voice, slow my hands and say "gentle". Steeler would immediatly calm down and become a soft gentle giant. "Manners" were taught from the moment he was born...the results a well trained, well mannered mastino. - Lisa Cinciripini
If We go on vacation - Where will our Neapolitan go ?
Most of us will usually take our pets with us. However, there are family emergencies and other times when taking our pets with us is not feasible.
Consider visiting boarding kennels now, check with your vet about their boarding facilities. If boarding is going to be a regular part of your Neapolitans life, then I would recommend that you locate a boarder and take your Neo there once a month regardless if you are leaving or not. This will allow him to be somewhat familiar with the environment and allow the staff to become familiar with your Neapolitan as well.
Puppy Pre-School - Jr. High - High School and maybe College
A responsible owner will provide their Neapolitan Mastiff with a strong education.
Take the time to locate puppy classes and a trainer.
Classes also provide an excellent opportunity to teach children how to properly interact with dogs.
Research The Neapolitan Mastiff Prior to Purchase
Properly Train and Socialize your Neapolitan
Obtain excellent Health Insurance and a good Vet
Have lots of drool towels and take lots of pictures