When properly cared for, the Neapolitan Mastiff is a docile and intelligent breed. These are bonus characteristics for a dog whose brute strength could otherwise be very dangerous. As the Neo is a unique type of canine, its owner should be of a distinctive character as well. Level headed and with a good sense of self, the responsible owner is one that knows he or she will always need to be one step ahead of their dog. This, along with good training and socialization, is what creates a happy, healthy environment for the Neapolitan Mastiff. It is those who venture into this breed without any forethought that will likely end up becoming overwhelmed and intimidated; and the Neo, in search of boundaries that make it feel safe, will likely end up running the show.
As mentioned, early training and socialization is a must for the Neapolitan Mastiff. It does not take long for Neo pups to realize that their strength can be used to their advantage. Owners must learn how to temper this force from the beginning. Those who decide to wait until their Neo is one hundred pounds or more to teach them to stay off the bed will likely have quite a power struggle on their hands. Blind obedience is simply not a trait inherent to the Neapolitan Mastiff. This is not to say that the Neo cannot be taught any new tricks. It only means that getting a Neo to stay off the bed will be a non issue when the ground rules are set at an early age. This will make life much less stressful for the Neo and his or her owner.
The Neo will always be a guard dog at heart but its days as a savage attack dog are over. Unless kept by an irresponsible owner, the breed's temperament progressively mellows with age. They are often likened to having a one hundred pound toddler in the home that will let out in long, sad vocalizations when feeling isolated or left out. Though they can be standoffish to strangers or other animals, early and extensive socialization only further ensures their first reaction will be anything but overly aggressive. Though their size is intimidating, they themselves are anything but. The breed does best around older children as Neo's have been known to hurt younger children by accidentally bumping into them.
The Neo is a large dog that lives large with little room for delicacy and daintiness. Those who are put off at the idea of having a home that is anything less than spotlessness should probably opt for a different breed. Not only will the Neo's big paws track in its share of dirt or mud, their slobber is likely to end up pasted to walls and parts of furniture. Strategically placed drool rags and a simple spot cleaning from time to time is all it takes to keep things looking spic and span.