These great dogs dug their roots deep into the land of Italy, specifically within the vicinity of Naples, after their creation. They are descended from Roman war dogs paired with the large British Mastiff. There is no doubt, that while a little droopy looking, these majestic dogs are beautiful on the inside. The Neo was treasured for his protective personality, one that would guard the family farm or estate for many years. Because of this, they were known as the “big dogs for little men”. With such a name as that, it’s easy to see how these dogs had stolen the hearts of those they lived with. However, despite their gentle temperament and outstanding guard abilities, the Neo almost went completely extinct around the time of World War II; this end to a beautiful dog was almost brought on by wars and industrialization. Thankfully, Italy wasn’t ready to give up on the Neapolitan Mastiff. In 1946, at a show in Naples, these dogs were reintroduced to the public thanks to the well-known Italian journalist Piere Scanziana. He took a great interest in the breed and worked to help the Neo become more well known. By the early 1970’s, the Neo was all over Europe and even in the United States. While the Neapolitan Mastiff was excellent for guarding estates and farms back in the ancient days, they are now most commonly used in shows and as house pets. There is no doubt, however, that if you have one of these massive dogs in your home, it will most likely be well protected from any intruder that may try to present himself uninvited. Just keep in mind that these dogs will require a lot of socialization and patience in order to learn the proper way to treat your loved ones, strangers, and other dogs.