Philippa Drake

Have you had any other breeds prior to the Neapolitan Mastiff?
As a child my family had Jack Russell’s then I went on to own an English Bull Terrier. My boyfriend Paul’s family kept and showed English Setters for many years as well as Labradors and then a big male Newfoundland who cemented my love of giant breeds.
What made you decide on this breed?
I actually initially wanted a Bullmastiff. It was a breed I loved the look of then when I was reading up on Mastiffs in general I started to learn more about Neapolitan Mastiffs and decided in my late teens that one day I would have one. It took quite some persuading to bring my boyfriend round to the idea as gundogs were more his cup of tea but I took him to see some adults and got there in the end!
What do you love most about this breed?
I love that no matter how big they are (which they don’t seem aware of half the time) they will still happily clamber on you and curl up next to you on the sofa. You can give them proper man size hugs and are always aware of their presence. Hiding isn’t their forte! I would say research as much as possible, read books (some of which are expensive and out of print but definitely worth the money).
What advice would you give to people interested in this breed?
Join the Club, speak to other owners and breeders where possible. We went to Crufts so we could see some in the flesh and went to Hugo’s breeder a year before we were ready to get a puppy just so we could get hands on experience and a better understanding of what we were taking on. I’d advice those who want to keep theirs indoors as I do that battling the slobber is a losing battle! My two have their own extensive towel collection and eat strictly outside. Do not underestimate the cost involved – the purchase price is a very small consideration to take into account. They are a very demanding, sensitive and challenging bred but well worth all the stained clothing, empty bank accounts and slobbery walls and cushions!
How has living with the Neapolitan Mastiff changed your lifestyle?
Living with the Neapolitan Mastiff has turned my life upside down and has been an epic journey and very steep learning curve. We’ve bought a house with the dog in mind, both changed our cars with the dog in mind, then bought a new Neapolitan Mastiff to keep the first one company but we wouldn’t change a thing!