symmetrical. Each side of the dewlap will extend below the corner of the lips and must NOT drape or extend in exaggera- tion as to take away from the balance of skin surrounding the head. Typically if the dewlap is extended to or below the prosternum, the dog is Hypertypical in this area. When this excessive amount of skin is present you must remember to pri- oritize your judging to select the specimen that has the best overall balance of loose skin and wrinkle to body mass. Th e bite ranges from scissors to pincer (level), and a slight undershot is allowed. All of these bites are acceptable and the reversed scissors bite is the most e ff ective for biting and holding onto the opponent. A serious fault is an undershot jaw that protrudes or disrupts the outline of the lower jaw causing the expression to look bulldoggish. Do not reward this type of bite!! Th e tail of the Neo has been a nightmare for many to comprehend. Our standard says the tail is to be docked by 1/3. Th is is pretty ambiguous because as a judge you were not there to witness what 1/3 of a fully intact tail was when it was docked. As well, the stan- dard does not speak to a DQ for too long of a tail — only for too short of one. Th e rea- soning behind this was to keep those breed- ers from trying to hide a kinked tail and by docking it so short you would not know it ever existed at birth. Here is a really simple Rule of Th umb: just make a mental note that the tail should not be less than 1/3 in length from the point of insertion to the hock-joint. Th e easiest barometer for measuring is to use the reproductive organs as your guide it should clearly cover them when the tail is hanging in repose, or you just have too short of a tail, and it must be disquali fi ed! We do not want to see a tail that is car- ried over the back and curled like that of a monkey or a hound. When in action the tail can be carried just slightly higher than the horizontal aspect of the topline. Th e fully intact tail will have a slight curve at the end and may be carried slightly curved towards the midline or o ff to one side when gaiting. While in repose the tail hangs in a slight “S” shape or straight. Finally, we come back to the misnomer that the Neapolitan Masti ff is not revered as a sound moving dog by our American
Above: The expression and Bone structure is present as early as 7 weeks. Right: This photo demonstrates a beautifully balanced head with a muzzle that is square “cubic” nicely truncated into a square “cubic” skull. Take note the expression is keen, alert, and above all the dog can see you and you can see into his eyes. The wrinkle pattern displaced on the skull is not disorganized but rather symmetrical and organized. The function of the wrinkling is to direct bloodshed during battle away from the eyes and nostrils. Note the eye set and placement wide and deep set. The wrinkles and folds create the formidable looks the Neapolitan Mastiff is known for throughout History without EXAGGERATION!
this is normal, but should not occur to the extent of exaggeration! When examining the head of the Nea- politan you must keep in mind that the head is slightly larger than the body, but not to the extent that it is out of proportion to the mas- sive frame of the Neo. Th ere are two clearly de fi ned geometrical shapes of the muzzle and skull. You should view the dog from the front and easily see a cube on a cube e ff ect. Th e muzzle is the fi rst cube and the skull is the second. Th e head is Brachycephalic (meaning short and massive); the width of the head must be equal to its length. Th e muzzle width is almost equal to its length, and the depth is about double its length. Most impor- tant are the planes of the muzzle and skull… the Neapolitan Masti ff has complete parallel- ism from every view both laterally and frontal- ly. Th ere is no divergence or convergence of the head planes and the stop is well-pronounced, forming nearly a right angle. Th e proportions of muzzle to skull are 1/3 to 2/3rds and the prominent frontal bones are positioned just above the eyes, and are well-pronounced, sup-
porting the muscle and skin, thus preventing the eyes from taking on an expression of being closed or shut down! Th ere has been a great deal of discussion on the ear of the Neo. Th e ear is set on high, and you will see a variety of ear crops rang- ing from large equilateral triangles folded over the skull to what most of us call a teddy bear ear that stands erect just above the ear canal. Th e ear of the Neo can also be natu- ral (uncropped), triangular in shape, and you should pay close attention to the outer mar- gin which is slightly fl ared, and the interior margin should be framing the cheek. Th e ear should never to be “houndy” or fl eshy, creased or folded, and should not extend beyond the margin of the throat. Th e lips of the Neapolitan are heavy, thick, and long; the upper lips join beneath the nostrils to form an inverted ‘V”. Th is is the classical “Lily” formation of the lips detailing the expression of the Neapolitan Masti ff s head. In congruence with the lips of the Neo, we fi nd an ample dewlap that has to be fully divided and
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