The impressive Brazilian Mastiff, or Fila Brasileiro, traces its roots back over 500 years to early breeding programs in Brazil. Its ancestors likely included English Mastiffs, Bloodhounds, and Rafeiros do Alentejo brought to Brazil by early Portuguese settlers. Over centuries, Brazilian cattle ranchers selectively bred the Fila for its strong guarding instincts, ferocious protectiveness, and muscular power. They became integral partners in guarding vast plantations. The breed remains a beloved symbol of Brazilian culture today.
Filas boast a towering yet agile frame with incredible strength and stamina. Males stand 26-30 inches tall and weigh 90-100 pounds on average. Their broad head has loose folds and wrinkles across the forehead and powerful, drooping jowls. Pendulous triangular ears frame alert, self-assured eyes. The short, smooth coat comes in solid colors of black, fawn, or brindle. Their imposing appearance complements their guardian temperament.
Temperament and Care
Despite their intimidating bulk, Filas are devoted gentle giants with their families, including children. However, they are inherently distrustful of strangers and have strong territorial instincts. Early extensive socialization and obedience training are essential to manage their guarding tendencies. Filas need experienced owners who establish themselves as firm, confident pack leaders.
Mental and physical exercise are crucial daily requirements to prevent boredom and destructive behaviors. A multipurpose estate guardian, Filas have high exercise needs. Secure leashed walks, jogs, interactive play, and swimming satisfy their active, athletic temperament. Their short coat requires only minimal grooming but wrinkles need regular cleaning. With proper leadership and activity, the Fila makes a loyal guardian.
The Ultimate Estate Protector
For those seeking an intimidating sentinel to watch over family and property, the Fila Brasileiro is truly without equal. Their innate protectiveness and unmatched power deter ill-intentioned intruders. Early, intensive socialization creates a steadfast, discriminating guardian. With their astounding devotion and legendary guarding abilities, Filas represent the peak of protection dogs. Their majestic presence and Brazilian roots make Filas a uniquely captivating breed suited only for the most experienced owners. For the right household, they are the ultimate estate protector.
Fila Brasileiro require extensive obedience training starting from a very young age. Their intelligent yet willful nature demands a confident trainer who establishes clear structure, boundaries, and expectations. Reward-based positive reinforcement training methods work best. Puppies should be introduced early on to new people, animals, places, and situations to develop crucial socialization skills. Ongoing training is essential to reinforce proper behaviors and prevent problem aggression or dominance. Well-trained Filas can obtain Canine Good Citizen certification demonstrating their proper manners.
The Fila’s short, dense coat requires minimal grooming. Occasional brushing to remove loose hair is all that is needed. Bathing should only be done when truly dirty. Care for the facial wrinkles includes gently wiping and drying the skin folds daily to prevent moisture buildup that can cause infections. Also clean ears, trim nails, and brush teeth regularly. Their minimal grooming needs make the Fila Brasileiro quite easy to maintain for such a large, powerful breed.
Filas are generally quite healthy and athletic with few genetic issues. Reputable breeders screen for hip and elbow dysplasia. Some potential concerns to be aware of include gastric dilatation volvulus, deafness, heart disorders, and eye conditions like entropion or ectropion. Overall, the breed has excellent health and longevity, commonly living 10-12 years. Providing excellent nutrition, exercise, and veterinary care will optimize your Fila’s health.
Finding a Responsible Breeder
It is crucial to acquire your Brazilian Mastiff from an ethical, conscientious breeder. Seek breeders who health test, carefully screen buyers, prioritize breed preservation, and breed to better the Fila standard. Establish a relationship and assess whether their breeding dogs have sound guardian temperaments. Be prepared for waitlists. Avoid dubious online sellers or puppy mills just trying to profit off the breed’s popularity. Do your homework to get a healthy, well-socialized Fila puppy.
Please let me know if you need any other topics expanded on this magnificent Brazilian breed! I can provide more details on their history, purpose, care, and traits.