I have held many discussions over the years and have been asked the questions numerous times, what is the most important thing in a Neapolitan Mastiff or American Molossus?
It’s a great question and it's an important one. This question will be answered many different ways by many people and all will probably be great answers by most and all will have great merit.
I will try to discuss many aspects of importance of the Neapolitan Mastiff and American Molossus but will end it with what is ultimately most important to me personally.
The 1st answer and is covered most in discussions is the look. How should they look. There are many people that will say with conviction what the dog should look like and what’s most important. Type, wrinkle, bones, movement, size big or small, color, head size etc. This is a very hot topic right now as there seems to be a divide from people preferring a more wrinkled, extreme version of the breed and a tighter skinned, more athletic type dog. I personally understand both sides, have seen Neapolitan Mastiffs on both sides that I have liked but will always prefer and stick to the standard as it was written by the ENCI prior to the recent change and the AKC standard as it is currently written as of 2017. I will most likely never convince people that are fixed on an ideal of what they prefer that are unwilling to remain open to ideas but I will contend that the overall look of the standard is correct.
The 2nd most important quality discussed at length is the working ability of the breed. This one is quite easy to answer but not easily understood by people that follow other working breeds and terrier breeds. They are a large, intimidating, close quarter guardian. Very protective, a pack guardian, loyal and will do what is needed to guard and ward off unknown people and animals.
They are not hunters, they are not fighting dogs, they are not dogs bred for agility, long distance travelling, game dogs or bait dogs. There are many dogs bred specifically for each of those types of working and although some can work to have one of these dogs do 1 or more of these types of work, it’s not what it was bred for.
I will say that having a dog like this, with their sheer size, with a loyal, fearless guardian characteristic is an incredible fundamental innate characteristic that I love.
The 3rd most important topic is health. This is very important because without health, nothing else will matter. The type, the look, the working ability all are nothing without health. This is a long, in-depth topic that can take up a blog all by itself and it is not one that I will go in depth with here but I believe is clear that this is a must and probably shouldn't be a topic but a standard of expectancy that we as breeders should strive for.
4th and the final topic of this blog and is my personal most important thing in a Neapolitan Mastiff and American Molossus. It is the loyal, unwavering love of this magnificent companion. I feel that all the previous topics are important excluding health as it should be a MUST. Looks, type, top lines, bites, eyes, size, color, show wins are all nice but what the dog does and what they mean to their owners is number one for me. I love these dogs with all my heart. I’ve owned, raised and bred them for almost 18 years and I can tell you that there is nothing like them. The look in their eye when they see you in the morning, the wag of their tail and butt when they are filled with excitement for nothing but your attention. The way they think of me as the greatest thing on the entire earth. The way they are always around me to protect and love. The way they can be so loving yet protect and go to beast mode in a split second. If there is one thing I want to share with those that have read this, is all of the topics I've covered that mean a lot to people are important but don’t ever forget that these guys have a beating heart, a mind and a soul, they love us unconditionally and they think the world of us. In a world that Vanity and appearance rules these days, there is something quite special about a living creature that doesn't steal from you, cheat on you, talk bad about you but simply loves you and thinks you are the greatest all day, everyday. They love us and protect us till they die and it’s the most important quality in a Neapolitan Mastiff and American Molossus.
I hope this was a blog you enjoyed and hope to see you in the ring 1 day:-)