The Fila Brasileiro originally comes from Brazil. The dog has a pronounced protective instinct. It is very affectionate and tends to be suspicious of strangers. This makes the Fila Brasileiro particularly suitable as a guard dog. However, it is not a dog for kennels or city apartments. The animals need plenty of exercise. As they are very large and strong dogs, they require consistent leadership and training. The Fila Brasileiro needs the love and recognition of its caregivers. It is therefore well suited as a family dog.
The Fila Brasileiro is a large dog. Males can grow to between 65 and 75 cm. Females are somewhat smaller. They reach a shoulder height of between 60 and 70 cm.
Males weigh up to 50 kg on average. A female dog reaches an average weight of 40 kg. With good care, the animals live to be between 10 and 14 years old.
The coat of the Fila Brasileiro is short, smooth and dense. It grows very densely and lies close to the body. The animals come in all colors. However, there are no white, gray or pied dogs. The Fila Brasileiro is usually solid-colored or lightly striped. Some animals also have black or white markings on the chest, paws or tail.
The dogs have thick, soft skin that loosely covers the body.
The Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) classifies the Fila Brasileiro as a Molosser. This is due to its compact, rectangular build. Its head appears beefy, its muzzle strong. Nevertheless, the Fila Brasileiro is well proportioned.
The tail is of medium length and strong. When the Fila Brasileiro is excited or alert, it carries its tail high and slightly curved.
The Fila Brasileiro is very sporty and athletically elegant. Despite its size and weight, it is very agile.
The front legs are strong and grow parallel. The hind legs are very muscular.
The Fila Brasileiro usually behaves very calmly. The animals have a high tolerance. It is difficult to really tease a Fila Brasileiro. However, they are very courageous and determined. Fila Brasileiro are very loyal and reliable animals. They are very protective of you and your loved ones.
The Fila Brasileiro loves to cuddle. That's why it will be very popular with your children. Affection and recognition are very important to the Fila Brasileiro. They want to be part of the family. He will be happy to build up an emotional bond with you.
However, the Fila Brasileiro usually gives strangers the cold shoulder. The Fila Brasileiro does not want to play or cuddle with dogs or people it does not know. It is therefore ideal as a guard or protection dog.
Its compact build does not prevent it from doing sport with you. However, it is not as enduring as some hunting dogs. So you shouldn't overtax him. But that is difficult.
The Fila Brasileiro instinctively wants to defend his family or his pack. As he is very suspicious of strangers, he must be well socialized from an early age. The Fila Brasileiro can then be easily trained.
The right food
When choosing food, make sure that it contains high-quality ingredients, is balanced and meets your dog's requirements. Age, size or weight, activity and health status play an important role. You should follow the manufacturer's recommendations for the amount of food.
Treats should only be fed in moderation and deducted from the basic diet to avoid obesity.
Puppies can be fed 4-6 times a day. The number of meals should be gradually reduced to 2 per day until the dog is fully grown. A rest period should be observed after meals.
Compared to other dog breeds, the Fila Brasileiro has an increased risk of hip joint disease. Therefore, make sure that your four-legged friend stays slim. Especially during the growth phase, you should pay attention to the quantity and quality of the food. Growing too fast or weighing too much can have a negative effect on the hip joints.
Health & Care
The Fila Brasileiro is not very demanding to care for. Nevertheless, there are a few points that should be borne in mind.
Weekly brushing is sufficient for grooming. You should pay particular attention to the floppy ears. These must be regularly checked for deposits and dirt and cleaned.
Especially before buying a Fila Brasileiro, you should be aware that it is a very large animal. It needs a lot of exercise and activity. Therefore, a Fila Brasileiro is not suitable for a city apartment on the 5th floor. Especially if the house does not have an elevator. It is quite difficult for such large dogs to walk up many steep steps.
You may be able to carry the puppy at first. But as a Fila Brasileiro can weigh up to 50 kg on average, this will soon change.
It's good if you can offer him regular exercise and lots of movement. A large plot of land where he can make a name for himself as a guard dog would be ideal. Nevertheless, you should exercise your Fila Brasileiro regularly. You should also keep him mentally challenged.
The Fila Brasileiro is an animal that values social bonds and friendships. It is therefore well suited as a family dog. Give him the opportunity to make close friends. He will love it. He doesn't like seeing new companions or other four-legged friends at his side all the time.
As the Fila Brasileiro is emotionally very affectionate and needs a lot of exercise, it is not possible to keep him in a kennel. He would wither away there.
When training your Fila Brasileiro, you should make sure that you socialize him as early as possible. This will make training easier later on. The only obstacle is their distance from strangers. This is why these animals often show exaggerated protective behavior. Be consistent and try not to let this behavior get out of hand. Then you won't have any social problems with your Fila Brasileiro.
But always be aware of how much power such a large animal possesses. It should obey you unconditionally at all times. It is not an advantage to have no control over such a powerhouse. Physically, you will hardly be able to stop this animal.
Take good care of your Fila Brasileiro and show him enough appreciation. Then he can live up to 14 years.
When buying accessories, you should think about the future size of your pet.
For example, buy a stand for the food and water bowl. You should also buy baskets and blankets in the size the animal will be when it is fully grown. The lying or sleeping area should be well padded due to the heavy weight. This will prevent calluses.
Buy a brush to comb your four-legged friend's coat.
A lead and collar should also be part of the basic equipment. Also a sturdy transport box.
Otherwise, you should always consider the financial aspect of large dogs. Ideally before you buy. Large dogs, for example, eat considerably more than their smaller counterparts.
Other accessories that are part of every dog's basic equipment: water and food bowl, tick tweezers, claw clippers, mild dog shampoo, toothbrush and toothpaste for dogs and a first aid kit. Ask your vet what belongs in the first aid kit.
Origin & History
The Fila Brasileiro originally comes from Brazil. There it is considered the national dog.
He used to serve as a guard dog for the owners of large estates. The farmers held him in high esteem. The Fila Brasileiro was an attentive and loyal guardian. It defended the property and livestock against all kinds of predators and intruders.
The Fila Brasileiro was even versatile. For example, it was also suitable for driving herds of cattle to their destination. A difficult task. Sometimes it was even used to hunt wild boar. He also tracked down and pursued runaway slaves.
However, the Fila Brasileiro was only used in such a versatile way in South America.
In Europe, it was used exclusively as a loyal companion and guard dog. However, he was also an excellent family dog. This is the reason for its calm nature today.
Breeding of the Fila Brasileiro began in 1947 and a short time later it also appeared in Germany.
The breed was finally recognized by the FCI in 1960.
The first Fila Brasileiro club was founded in Germany in 1961. However, it had to close down again and was re-established in 1986. This association still looks after the breeding of the Fila Brasileiro breed today.
This dog breed therefore also has a long tradition in Germany.