Neapolitan Mastiff Breed Magazine - Showsight

“There have been judges who have actually disqualified a young Mastino FOR, IN THEIR OPINION, NOT DISPLAYING ENOUGH WRINKLING.”

penalize them for not having enough wrin- kling. Th ere have been judges who have actually disquali fi ed a young Mastino for, in their opinion, not displaying enough wrinkling. Th ere are those quintessential wrinkles over the skull, muzzle, dewlap, and shoulders that are paramount in the breed standard. Anything more is truly consid- ered an exaggeration of the standard and is to be faulted to degree of severity. Th e loose skin and wrinkling in the Neapolitan Masti ff develops gradually over time and should never overcome the skeletal bone in this breed. A young dog with exces- sive dewlap and skin in his hindquarters is not a good example of the breed standard and this condition will become even more excessive with age. It is more desirable to see a youngster with excellent bone construction and correct movement who is still develop- ing skin than a lighter boned adult with an unnecessarily excessive load of skin through- out the head and body. One needs to evaluate correct “thickness of skin” by simply lifting and feeling the skin between the thumb and fore fi nger. Th e density of the skin should feel thick and healthy— not thin or diseased. As the Neapolitan was a breed used as a war dog and protector of the estate, the loose thick skin served the speci fi c function of pro- tecting the vital arteries of the neck, as well as creating the classical intimidating and formi- dable look to ward o ff any potential enemy. Th ink of the skin of the Neapolitan as his armor; if the skin is too light and thin to

the touch or too tight, he is de fi cient in the armor that is to protect him in battle against his opponent. If his skin is too excessive and exaggerated, hanging all over the body, he is most likely unhealthy. Th is exaggerated and excessive skin type often is combined with relaxed ligaments, weak joints, and a weakened lymphatic condition leading to disease that has cursed this breed for years. Th e skin must appear to be attached to sub- cutaneous tissues, and the muscle of the body and its appearance should be healthy, and in harmony and balance with the body. One does not have to start pulling or stretching the skin during the hands-on portion of the exam. Once the Neapolitan takes his fi rst steps around the ring you will see the bones of articulation begin to undulate under the loose connective tissue and folds. Equally important when you evaluate the movement of the young Neo the skin in the young Mas- tino should be noticeably more connected to the body; as stated before, this skin will loosen up gradually with age. Th e overall make and shape of the Nea- politan Masti ff is that of a rectangular dog. We look for a specimen that is literally rect- angular in outline. Our standard calls for the length to exceed 10-15% of their height. We look for a dog that leans to the greater of 15% giving him his rectangular outline. He is a massive, powerful, heavy boned, awe- inspiring dog with a bestial appearance that is created by thick delineated folds of skin giving him his formidable looks! He has a

level topline and stands with equal propor- tions of body depth to length of leg when measured from the ground to the withers. He comes in a variety of solid coat colors ranging from gray (blue), black, mahogany, and tawny. Some brindling may be present in all colors, and some white markings on the feet, pasterns, belly, penis, and chest up to the throat. White should never to be seen on the trunk of the body or head as this would be an immediate DQ. Th e head and expression of the Neapoli- tan Masti ff is unique to this breed. It should be a massive Brachycephalic head, support- ing cubic bone structures, with planes of perfect parallelism embodied by a balanced delineation of folds and wrinkles that do not interfere with his ability to see and or perform his duty to bite and hold. Exces- sive wrinkling over the eyes that impedes his ability to see his opponent is a huge fault in the breed. While the eye is deep-set and protected by the skeletal frontal bones, in no way should the Neapolitan Masti ff not have a clear view of his surroundings. You must be able to see into the eye of the Neo when judging and the eye should be free from entropion disease or ulcers. Th e exposed haw on the Neo does give him a bit of a “devil look”, but the haw should not be so exposed as to give the appearance of being unhealthy. Th e tighter the rims of the eye, thus exposing less haw of the eye, the better! Th e skin load will often give way to a partially exposed haw due to gravity;

The eye must be visible in the Neapolitan Mastiff.

Example of ideal head study.

Proportions of muzzle to skull 1/3 to 2/3. Parallel planes of muzzle and skull.

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