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New Arrivals — Lucky 13 for Dee Dee

They’ve arrived! Dr. Bek’s Neapolitan Mastiff, Dee Dee, has given birth to thirteen (yep, thirteen!) beautiful puppies.

Dee Dee, one of Dr. Bek's own Neapolitan Mastiffs, gives birth to 13 beautiful puppies

Updated 11 April 2013

One of Dee Dee's new puppies, only minutes after arrival in the world.Dee Dee’s new family includes three girls and ten boys. All of the new arrivals are healthy and doing well and run the gamut of the typical colours of the breed. The birth was a marathon effort for Dee Dee, who managed to produce seven puppies naturally. The other six were delivered by c-section.

The birth was exhausting for Mum — Neos produce big pups! — and Dee Dee is not yet producing enough milk to feed them all. To help her recovery it will be all hands to the pump at the clinic over the next few days as the pups are hand-fed until Mum gets her strength back. For Dr. Bek it will mean some long nights hand feeding thirteen hungry mouths and checking on Dee Dee throughout the night.


Dee Dee's final ultrasound at Alpine Animal DoctorsThere’s much excitement in the clinic at the moment, and not a little anxiety. Five-year-old Dee Dee, one of Dr. Bek’s own Neapolitan Mastiffs, is just days away from giving birth and, like all expectant Mums, is currently the centre of attention.

Weighing in at more than 60 kg Dee Dee is too heavy to be lifted onto the examination table and, for her final ultrasound exam today, had to suffer the indignity of being examined on the floor of the ultrasound room. Not that she was concerned, her thoughts are probably more concentrated on the eight or so puppies the ultrasound identified.

Dee Dee’s regular examinations show that everything looks fine for Mum, and the puppies all look healthy, but even with the most modern ultrasound equipment it’s not always possible to be certain. Dr. Bek will be hovering anxiously for the next few days, waiting for Dee Dee’s new family to arrive in the world. We’ll keep you posted on developments, here on the website and on the Alpine Animal Hospital Facebook page at

Many of our clients know that Alpine Animal Doctors offer specialist veterinary services for breeders, including genetic testing and PennHIP testing. Not as many are aware that, for the last few years, Dr. Bek has also run her own Neapolitan Mastiff breeding programme. Peritas Mastini has sourced its sires from around the world, carefully selecting for genetic soundness and temperament and bred them with carefully selected dams to produce some of the finest examples of this exceptional breed of dog.

With the hospital getting busier all the time, Dr. Bek’s current workload is reaching the point where she will be unable to give sufficient time to breeding these dogs and also retain the high client/patient service levels that’s the hallmark of Alpine Animal Doctors. Dee Dee’s puppies will almost certainly be the last of the Peritas lines to be born at the hospital. Dr. Bek’s adult Neos will remain at Porepunkah as much-loved family members.

The Neapolitan Mastiff (Mastino Napoletano) is a large, ancient breed. The favoured dog of Alexander the Great, Neos grow as tall as 70-plus centimetres and can weigh up to 80 kilograms. They’re an extremely intelligent dog with a tendency to independent thinking. Often used as a guard dog in the past, the Neo is fearless and naturally protective of its home and family. Despite their great size and their history of being bred to serve the armies of ancient Rome, the modern Neapolitan Mastiff is placid in nature, a gentle giant rather than an aggressive fighter.

The Neo is not for everyone. Although they are easy going and even tempered in general they are also very big, very strong and often clumsy. They’re fine with families but not recommended around young children simply because of their huge size and strength. Dr. Bek is always happy to advise anyone considering bringing a Neapolitan Mastiff into their family.