Super-Sized Sentinel

With his imposing size and awe-inspiring appearance, the loyal Neapolitan Mastiff protects his people.

Early one afternoon last summer, Leah Kinzinger and her 2-year-old Neapolitan Mastiff Rooster Cogburn, a guide-dog trainee, were out walking a country road near their home in Pennsylvania. When a man in a truck pulled alongside them, shouting for directions, “I felt uncomfortable, and Rooster growled softly to let me know there was something different I should be aware of,” recalls Kinzinger, who is vision-impaired.

“The truck stopped, and Rooster let out a deep growl. He got between me and the truck, and when the man tried to get out, Rooster was ready his body was in a perfect stance, ears and tail up, eyes on the man,” she says. “He growled once more, and the man quickly got back into the truck and left.”

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