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208 Breeds, 422 Health Conditions  |  Find a Vet

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Fila Brasileiro


Fila Brasileiro Facts

  • Group
  • Working
  • Affiliations
  • CKC
  • Height
  • 23.5" - 29.5"
  • Weight
  • 125-175 lbs.
  • Lifespan
  • 10 years | Add yours

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  • Exercise Requirement
  • Moderate - This breed enjoys typical daily activity
  • Training Requirement
  • Average Training Time
  • Grooming Requirement
  • Easy
  • Colors
    • Various Colors
  • Breed Characteristics
    • Can be trained as a watch dog or guard dog
    • Can be trained for defense
    • Guide dog for the blind
    • Tendency to bite

True Cost Of Ownership

Alternate Names

Brazilian Mastiff


The Fila Brasileiro originated in Brazil.

Date Of Origin

This breed developed in the 1800's.


The true history of the Fila brasileiro reamins a mystery. What we do know is that during the 1800's, the Portuguese nobility searched for refuge in Brazil during the Napoleonic conquest. King Jo?o VI came to the colony escorted by the English navy. As a consequence, the English dogs became popular in Brazil, especially after the opening of the Brazilian ports to the free flood of commerce with England. The English influence became very strong in Brazil following that period, when King Jo?o VI signed a contract with England giving complete priority to the English crown until 1844.

During the period of 1815 Portugal and Brazil were declared a single nation. Maybe the Portuguese dog, the Fila Terceirence, who left the legacy of the "crooked tail" to the Filas, was introduced during this period together with other Portuguese herding and cattle droving dogs. This possibility has caused a great controversy among Brazilian authors. As any other breed, there are many misconceptions and suppositions involving the history of the breed.


This is a powerful dog with a massive head. There is a broad, deep muzzle with pendulous lips. The nose is wide and black and the yellow to dark chestnut eyes are medium to large and almond shaped. The drop ears are large, V-shaped, and broad. There is a strong neck; deep chest; and thick, natural tail. The skin is thick and loose, especially at the neck, and the coat is short and smooth. It is any solid color, except white, or brindle. There may be a dark mask.


This is a courageous, stoic dog, that is faithful and tolerant with its family, including children, but extremely wary with strangers. It is said to exhibit extreme distrust, or ojeriza, of those it does not know.


Because it has an acute sense of smell, it was used in the past to find fugitive slaves in the forest. Later it proved to be an excellent herd dog and guard dog. Although it has a good disposition it is not suited to city life, since its vigorous body must work off energy in the freedom of the country. Its gait is measured and elastic, like that of a cat. It can run up to 35 miles pet hour.

Health Concerns

Bloat, hip dysplasia.

Additional Information

This dog requires constant socialization from a very young age throughout its entire life.

Show Sources & Contributors +


The Howell Book Of Dogs

Publisher: Wiley Publishing Inc, 2007

Website: http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/

Author: Liz Palika

Dog Bible

Publisher: BowTie Press, 2005

Website: http://www.bowtiepress.com/bowtie/

Authors: Kristin Meuh-Roe, Jarelle S. Stein

Simon & Schusters Guide to Dogs

Publisher: Simon & Schuster inc, 1980

Website: http://www.simonandschuster.com

Author: Elizabeth Meriwether Schuler

The New Encyclopedia of the Dog

Publisher: Dorling Kindersley Publishing, 2000

Website: http://www.dk.com

Author: Bruce Fogle


Publisher: WikiMedia Foundation, On Going

Website: http://en.wikipedia.org/

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