Fila Brasileiro | Dog Breed Information & Facts – Pictures

Fila Brasileiro

Among the few Brazilian dogs that exist, the Fila Brasileiro undoubtedly stands out as one of the most important. This breed, originally from Brazil, is known in its country of origin as the Fila Brasileiro, and about its appearance there are several theories, difficult to prove today.

The Fila Brasileiro or Brazilian Mastiff is a large and powerful dog, which is used in his home country as a guardian of property, hunter of large prey and protector of livestock. When slavery was legal in Brazil, it was also used to capture escaped slaves.

Dog sheet Fila Brasileiro

Fila Brasileiro photos

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Physical characteristics

The Fila Brasileiro, like other mastiff breeds, has a massive bone structure and a powerful physique. The peculiarity of the appearance is a large number of folds on the body and a sad, melancholy look. These dogs are said to have the body of a Mastiff and the face of a Bloodhound.

According to the standard, the growth of a Fila Brasileiro male is 65-75 cm, and the weight should be at least 63 kg, it can reach 82 kg. Females are slightly smaller at 60 – 70 cm and weigh between 56 and 72 kg.


Distinctive features

  • Head: heavy, broad skull, proportionate to the body. The muzzle is voluminous, deep. There is a black mask on the muzzle.
  • Jaws: Wide. The teeth are strong and sharp. Scissor bite.
  • Ears: Large, pendulous, voluminous at the base. They can be black.
  • Eyes: Medium sized, wide set. The eyelids are droopy. The color is dark yellow or hazelnut.
  • Torso: Massive, powerful, dense. Deep chest, protruding ribs. Muscular neck, skin hanging from the throat. The back is straight. Strong tail, medium attachment. Skin thick, hanging freely.
  • Legs: Thick, oval pads. Profit fingers are removed. On the legs, the muscles are pronounced, smooth, parallel. Bones are strong.
  • Coat: Short, close to the body, dense. The coloring is yellow, ashy, brindle, white with spots.

Character and behavior

The breed has an aggressive streak that needs to be channeled in the right direction or uncontrolled aggression can cause problems. The dog will be hostile and possibly even aggressive if not properly trained, both towards strangers and other street dogs.

Socialization is an essential requirement, and it must be achieved from an early age. In addition, there are certain nuances in working with the Fila Brasileiro breed. In particular, you cannot leave the dog alone with strangers or a person, whether at home or at a party. Even if this person is well known to the dog, and visits you almost every day.

Within his family, the dog is distinguished by his friendliness, open-mindedness and becomes the best companion and the most sincere, affectionate and patient friend. They are very hardy animals that can easily take a hike, a long walk, or even a world tour with you. Your friend will be a faithful companion and will never let you down.

With the children

Children are seen normally if they are children of their own family, but it is better not to leave small children under the age of six alone. In addition, the child must learn the rules of behavior with animals.

With other animals

It is recommended to keep only one dog. If the puppy grew up in the company of other animals, he considers them members of his pack and protects them. However, this does not apply to the rest and he may just attack someone else’s cat.


The Fila Brasileiro has a high resistance to hereditary diseases. His health and his immune defense are very strong. But without the support of the owner, the pet is at risk of more frequent health problems.

Despite the strong immunity, the Fila Brasileiro is predisposed to certain diseases:

  • Joint dysplasia is a disease that causes severe pain to the animal, partially blocks its movements, at the last stage the dog may completely lose its ability to move.
  • Gastrointestinal diseases – bloating, intestinal upset. Contributes to these problems, the structure of the stomach is Brazilian. Diseases are very serious; in just a few hours they can be fatal.
  • Cardiac ischemia.
  • Eye diseases – inversion, eversion of the eyelid.
  • Otitis and other ear diseases.

Life expectancy

Fila Brasileiro has a lifespan of 9 to 11 years.


The Fila Brasileiro breed has a short coat that requires little to no grooming. You can comb once a week and this is enough, bathing is done once a month. Ears are cleaned 2-3 times a week, eyes are cleaned daily. The nails are cut about 3 times a month.


No need to worry that the dog is cold, representatives of the breed are able to tolerate temperature changes, their coat protects from heat and cold.


Although it is not an extremely active dog, the Fila Brasileiro needs long walks and exercise sessions. Its main behavior problem is aggression towards foreigners. However, it is a characteristic of the breed.

This dog needs moderate exercise to spend all the energy it has. A good dose of mental exercise with some home intelligence games will help the Fila Brasileiro to be more attentive and happier.

Fun facts

  • There is some controversy with the breed standards of the Fila Brasileiro – Brazilian Mastiff. The Brazilian Confederation of Cynophilia (CBKC) promotes the standards adopted by the FCI. However, there is another breed club not affiliated with the FCI which claims that the CBKC standards are very different from the characteristics of the original Fila Brasileiro.
  • The Fila Brasileiro’s Enhancement Club or CAFIB has developed breed standards based on the old phenotype of the dog. Unfortunately, these are the FCI standards that are often awarded by breeders around the world.
  • At exhibition shows, excessive aggressiveness of Fila Brasileiro dogs is not considered a disadvantage, and judges are not recommended to touch dogs in order not to provoke.
  • Fila is able to overcome long distances without much fatigue, not only due to endurance, but also thanks to a special camel step. Representatives of the breed move simultaneously with two limbs on one side. This is a distinctive feature of the breed.
  • The Fila Brasileiro is the owner of one of the most pronounced aggressive behavioral archetypes on the globe.

History of the breed

Due to the need for the first settlers in Brazil to have an energetic and strong working dog, the Fila Brasileiro appeared. The earliest historical records of this breed of dogs date back to 1671, but the specific origins of Fila Brasileiro are unknown. Nevertheless, everyone agrees that they emerged through the crossing of 3 different breeds of dogs: old dogs of prey or bulldogs, English mastiffs and bloodhounds. Although it is also believed that the third row also participated in this breed cross and from there was born the current Fila Brasileiro breed.

Among the old Bulldogs like the engelsen doggen, the Fila Brasileiro dogs have inherited their raised ears, fur colors and a higher cross rump, as well as a stubborn and aggressive temperament. In exchange for the old English Mastiffs, these dogs have inherited their size and stoutness, with a broad and solid head, a short neck and a curved rump. And the Fila Brasileiro has inherited the Bloodhounds their magnificent abilities of dogs of tracking, as well as their most remarkable physical characteristics for that, such as the lips and the jowls suspended, the drooping lips or the loose skin.

The first official breed standard was drafted in 1968 and since then some have been used as show dogs. In 1982, Fila Brasileiro became considered the most popular dog breed in Brazil. Currently, this dog can be seen as a show dog but mostly as a pet.


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