The Fila Brasileiro mastiff is a canine with large bones and a bulky build. This dog breed is also known as the Brazilian mastiff.
This breed possesses a unique blend of prowess and strength when it comes to movement. When something catches the attention of a Fila Brasileiro dog, the canine will appear alert and firm.
This dog fits right into the working dog title; this breed is known for its excellent tracking skills, pack-leading abilities, and intelligence.
Are you interested in learning more about the Fila Brasileiro? Here you will find a lot of good and helpful information on this dog breed from its health, exercise needs, and much more.
Fila Brasileiro Appearance
Their bodies are rectangular in shape, and though they are big, they are very agile. The back and neck region is well-muscled, and the chest is deep and broad.
The dog is very similar to other mastiffs because of its saggy face, which includes hanging skin. This skin is accompanied with wrinkles that will need to be cleaned during your grooming routine.
Fila Brasileiro dogs are also level backs. If you have never heard the term before, it means that the dog’s back end is higher up than the shoulders level. This is a very interesting feature of this dog breeds appearance.
This is a bigger dog breed, so you need to be aware of this before purchasing one of these dogs. A small apartment would be too cramped for this type of dog breed.
Fila Brasileiro History
The lineage of Fila Brasileiro mastiffs begins with a number of other breeds. It is believed that this canine was created by breeding the Bloodhound, Bulldog, Mastiff, and Rafeiro do Alentejo together.
These breeds were selected to create a canine that could chase down cattle, jaguars, and other animals, even runaway slaves in Brazil. This type of behavior is often observed in young Fila Brasileiro puppies while at play.
The Brazilian Army used the Fila Brasileiro while in the jungle to observe its aggressiveness, temperament, energy, intelligence, strength, and other factors in a hostile environment. In addition, the five-year study resulted in a comparison to the better-known breeds like the German Shepherd and Doberman Pinscher.
Coat of a Fila Brasileiro
This breed will have very short hair and very smooth. However, the hair will shed, so this is not a preferred breed for allergy suffers. To help get rid of some of that hair, you can often brush your dog to remove loose hair.
Even though you will have to deal with some shedding from your dog, it is still considered a low-maintenance coat. Below you will find the colors that your dog’s coat will come in.
What Colors do Fila Brasileiros Come In?
Acceptable Fila Brasileiro dog colors include any solid or brindle colors that are:
Most likely your dog will have a traditional black mask as this is standard for this dog breed.
Fila Brasileiro’s temperament is generally good, with a loving disposition and complete devotion to its master. This breed is very protective of its pack and will defend if needed and at a moment’s notice. Once bonded, the Fila Brasileiro is completely committed to their family.
They adore children in the household and will take quite a lot from them as far as physical interaction and boisterous behavior. However, they are very gentle, making them ideal family pets. Fila Brasileiro mastiffs will also bond with other animals in the home as long as they are well socialized with them.
The unique practice of stopping all socialization after four months of age is widespread among Fila Brasileiro dog enthusiasts. While the canine socializes well when given the opportunity, stopping interaction from this age on will mold the dog’s temperament into a more anti-social direction.
The idea is that this creates the trademark attitude towards strangers that the breed is often known for. The Brazilian word “Ojeriza” means a dislike of strangers; this dog embodies that word. So basically, if your dog is not friendly around strangers, you may want to purchase one of those “beware of dog” signs.
Height & Weight
Fila Brasileiro puppies will grow into large dogs that measure between 25.5 and 29.5 inches (65 and 75 cm) for males. Females stand between 23.5 and 27.5 inches (60 to 70 cm) on average.
Males usually weigh between 110 and 180 pounds while females are a little lighter, with an average of at least 90 pounds.
Health Problems of the Fila Brasileiro
Fila Brasileiro rescue organizations and breeders will usually advise potential owners that this breed is prone to the health conditions typical of bigger canines. Some of these health problems are:
Hip Dysplasia – This is a really common condition that most dog breeds can suffer from. This is caused when the dog’s hip bone is not grown properly, and it doesn’t fit inside the socket area like it is supposed to.
Bloat – Bloat can be a very serious condition that can threaten your dog’s life if you are not careful. This is when the dog’s stomach twists and can cause digestion issues for your dog. This condition will usually have to be fixed by a veterinarian and could require surgery.
If you want to prevent bloat, make sure that you give your Fila Brasileiro two or three small meals throughout the day instead of one giant one. You will be able to reduce the risk of your dog getting bloat when following those steps.
Entropion – This is a common eye condition in dogs with droopy eyes. This makes the eyelid on your dog roll forward, which can cause irritation from it rubbing against the eye.
PRA – PRA stands for progressive retinal atrophy. This will affect your dog’s photoreceptor cells. This will end up making your dog’s cells deteriorate, and this will take several years. This can make your dog blind eventually.
Elbow Dysplasia – This condition is very similar to hip dysplasia, but it isn’t as common as that condition. This condition is when the elbow joint is actually much smaller than it is supposed to be, so it slides in and out of place.
The average Fila Brasileiro dog has a life expectancy of 9 to 11 years. This is quite a good amount of time for a dog of this size.
If you are taking proper care of your dog, you should expect them to be with you for the same amount of time as that life expectancy range.
Remember always to take your dog to a veterinarian if you think something might be wrong.
The Fila Brasileiro mastiff is not recommended for first-time dog owners due to its size and strength.
Anyone adopting Fila Brasileiro puppies must remember that this breed gets quite large. It is not suited to living in an urban setting or limited spaces.
The dog requires room to stretch its long legs and get the exercise it needs to manage energy levels. Fenced-in yards in the country are ideal.
You can probably get away with having such a big dog like this in a city atmosphere as long as you take your dog on walks regularly; that way, they have room to roam around before going back home to a small space.
Fila Brasileiros are big dogs that can build up a lot of energy. They need lots of daily exercise to maintain good health and a manageable mental state. They can appear lazy while indoors but still, require regular walks and playtime.
The Fila Brasileiro will need sixty minutes of exercise each day. You do not need to provide your dog with this much exercise all at once. If you can, I suggest giving your dog thirty minutes of exercise in the morning and thirty minutes in the evening.
There are a variety of different fun activities that you can do with your dog to give it some exercise. A few examples would be taking your dog to the dog park, walking through the neighborhood, or even a fun activity like paddleboarding with your dog.
If you do not have the time to get your Fila Brasileiro outside to play, you may experience unwanted bad behavior from your dog. This can be anything from barking to the destruction of your home.
Fila Brasileiro Diet
You will need to purchase high-protein dog food that has a protein listed in the first few ingredients. Your dog will need three cups of food each day that should be broken down into three smaller meals.
Your Fila Brasileiro will need to break its meals into smaller meals to avoid getting the health condition bloat. You can use a mixture of wet and dry dog food.
Based upon what dog food you buy, you will be looking at an average cost of $1.50-$2.00 a day on food for your dog.
If your dog is extremely active and gets more than the required amount of exercise, then it may eat more than three cups per day. Keep in mind that you should ask your veterinarian first before you give your dog more than the required amount of food.
This will help to prevent your Fila Brasileiro from becoming obese. Obesity can happen in large dogs, just like small dogs. If you give your dog treats, keep it to a minimum to prevent obesity.
Grooming a Fila Brasileiro
The Fila Brasileiro mastiff has a short coat that is smooth and very easy to manage. Light grooming should be provided regularly. Owners should have at least one firm bristle brush on hand. Wiping the canine down with a chamois or soft cloth can help maintain a sleek shine.
This breed is an average-level shedder. Bathes and dry shampoo should only be given when required. Find a shampoo that works for sensitive skin and keeps those natural oils on the dog’s coat. Remember to clean the natural folds on your dog’s face as the fold can harbor bacteria if not kept clean.
There are a few other places that you should clean on your Fila Brasileiro, such as the ears. Dog ears can get infections easily, so it is important to check the inside and see if there is any gunk in there.
Remember to trim your dog’s nails too. This will keep your dog comfortable while they walk around. Sometimes dogs can file down their own nails when they are exercising, but you should always double-check them.
Cool Traits / Characteristics
This dog was used in Brazil for hunting as well as drafting, which means cart pulling. The Fila Brasileiro mastiff was bred to chase and corner rather than directly attack.
They are very easy to groom and take care of coat-wise. This dog is not for people who have dog allergies. Their hair can cause allergic reactions to allergy suffers, and they do shed quite a lot.
Fila Brasileiro Training
This canine is enormous and has a lot of power as well as agility. It’s great with children, but still requires guidance from a leader with experience and knowledge of the breed.
The Fila Brasileiro can be quite easy to train compared to some other dog breeds because it is a quite intelligent dog breed. If you have some treats to give out to your dog while training, it will make it easier.
Start training your Fila Brasileiro puppy at a young age. This will get your puppy used to training and listening to your commands.
They are not very friendly with strangers, even if you really work with your dog. They are naturally very protective, and this can be very overwhelming to a first-time dog owner.
Fila Brasileiro Puppies
Even though this is a purebred dog breed, it can be very hard to find as it is not one of the common dog breeds people usually get. It may take you a while to find a really good reputable breeder to get you a Fila Brasileiro puppy.
Generally, this dog breed can cost between $1,000 and $1,500. This number will truly all depend on the breeder and their bloodlines. Make sure you choose a breeder that you can trust and depend on to deliver you a very healthy puppy.
The puppies need milk for a while first until they can transition to large breed puppy food. They will need to eat this until the puppies are eighteen months old. This dog breed grows very large, so it takes longer for the puppies to develop to adult size.
Fila Brasileiro Litter Size
This is a very large dog breed which means a female will have quite a lot of puppies in a single litter. A female Fila Brasileiro can have between four to ten puppies.
Below are some common questions people have about the Fila Brasileiro dog breed.
This is not a dog breed for beginners, and it can be a very powerful dog breed due to its very large size. It can also have a very dominant or strong-willed temperament, making it seem like a scary dog to strangers. Dogs are not inherently aggressive; it is the owners who teach the dog to act this way.
This dog breed is actually exceptionally fast, running up to 35 MPH. They can make an exceptional working dog contributing to their fast speed if running from place to place.
Yes, even though the Fila Brasileiro can be temperamental to strangers, it is absolutely friendly around its owners. Even homes that have children can thrive with this type of dog breed. Of course, you can always train and work with your dog to continue to make it friendlier as well.
Below you will find the key takeaways from this article. These are just some important points that should know if you want to get a Fila Brasileiro.
- This is a very large dog breed but also a very friendly, gentle one.
- The Fila Brasileiro is actually banned in some countries but allowed in the United States.
- This is a very protective dog breed and can have guard dog tendencies.
- The Fila Brasileiro is a natural and excellent working dog.
- Exercise is an absolute must for this dog and must be done to avoid destructive behavior.
- Large dog breeds eat alot which requires more money than smaller dog breeds.
- Apartments are not the best home situation for the Fila Brasileiro.
There are no currently recognized Fila Brasileiro mixes.
Close Relatives of the Fila Brasileiro
Here are a few relatives of the Fila Brasileiro: