Breed Organization United Kennel Club Website:
http://www.ukcdogs.com Native Country Brazil Other Names Brazilian Mastiff, Brazilian Molosser, Cao de Fila Life Expectancy Approximately 9-12 Years Litter Size No Information Available Breed Group FCI - Mastiff
Breed Appearance He is a large working breed of dog developed in
Brazil. It is known for its superb tracking ability, aggressiveness
and an unforgiving impetuous temperament. When a Fila Brasileiro
finds its quarry, it does not attack it, but rather holds it at bay
until the hunter arrives. Owing to these qualities, the Fila
Brasileiro is used as a guard dog, as a shepard dog for herding
livestock and as a hunting dog for tracking and controlling large
prey. When slavery was legal in Brazil, the Fila Brasileiro was
used to return fugitives unharmed to their slave masters.
Owing to its size, temperament and potential for aggression, the
Fila Brasileiro has been banned in many countries.
Breed Description Head: Large, square, capacious. Broad
skull. Stop not pronounced. Strong, broad, deep muzzle. Broad nose. Ears: Large, thick, v-shaped, drop. Eyes: Medium size, almond. Deep chestnut to yellow color. Lids
are often drooping. Body: Strong, longer than tall. Very strong neck with dewlap.
Chest broad and well let down. Thick, loose skin. Tail: Thick at the base and tapering to a point reaching the
hock joint. Hair: Short, thick, soft, lying close to the skin.Short, thick,
soft, lying close to the skin. Coat: Any solid color (except white, mouse-gray, black and tan,
or blue), brindle with moderately dark streaking. With or without a
black mask. White markings on the feet, chest, and tip of the tail
are permissible provided they cover no more than a quarter of the
body. Size: Dog: 65 to 75 cm Bitch: 60 to 70 cm. Weight: Dog: at least 50 kg Bitch: at least 40 kg.
History Spanish and Portuguese conquistadors brought
mastiffs, scenthounds, and Bloodhounds to Brazil in the seventeenth
century. These breeds were crossed with Brazilian dogs to create the
Fila Brasileiro. The Fila was originally used to track escaped
slaves. Later, the breed was used as a guard and to drive cattle.
The Fila Brasileiro was recognized in 1950.
Behavior The Fila Brasileiro is a courageous, powerful
mastiff. It is amenable with its human family, making a very loyal
loving companion. Extremely dedicated to his owner. A Fila will
protect you without a moment’s hesitation. He feels that is why he
is there. Once you bond with your Fila, you and your family will
become his whole world. You do not teach your Fila to protect you,
as he does this on his own. It is the breed’s nature to be loyal and
protective of his family. They love kids in their own family and
take a lot of abuse from them. Filas make great family pets and are
gentle, loving, loyal and very protective. They will also bond with
other pets in your home. Outstanding courage, determination and
bravery are part of his characteristics. He is docile and obedient
to his owners and family and extremely tolerant with children in his
own family. He shows a calm disposition, self-assurance and
self-confidence, not being disturbed by strange noises nor when
facing a new environment. An unsurpassed guardian of property, he is
also inclined, by instinct, to hunt big game and to herd cattle.
Bold and wary with strangers, this breed makes a wonderful guard
The Fila Brasileiro are known to be naturally
protective. It is also known for its extreme wariness of strangers
and agility when protecting or defending its master. The dedication
and obedience of the Fila Brasileiro has found its way into
Brazilian saying "As faithful as a Fila".
The socialization period - about the first two to four months - of
the dog's life is crucial to the temperament of the individual dog.
If the pup is exposed to a lot of people in a positive manner and
keeping in mind the dog's aggressive instincts (known as
'socializing'), the pup can be encouraged to behave in a calmer
manner, but only to a point. Lack of all socialization with
strangers at a young age will result in a dog which is very
anti-social and aggressive towards strangers, a behaviour often
called Ojeriza ("Ojeriza" means detestation, aversion). Many Fila
owners prefer the dog due to its "Ojeriza" towards strangers.
Health Hip dysplasia and Bloat (gastric torsion;
twisted stomach). Bloat is a health issue to most dogs, being the
second largest killer of dogs other than cancer, but Fila
Brasileiros can be particularly susceptible to it because of their
Advice This breed does not adapt well to urban living.
He needs wide open spaces and plenty of exercise. The Fila is not a
suitable pet for a first time dog owner. As mentioned, this breed
will be gentle with the family but it would need a family who will
understand the quirky nature of the Fila. The owner has to be
dominant and must be able to show the dog that he is the leader of
Function Cattle Driver, Guard Dog, Hunting Dog (large