Fila Brasileiro Description
The Fila Brasileiro is a fiercely loyal and proud dog, with clear indications of bloodhound ancestry in its distinct appearance. It possesses a short, soft coat which is evenly spread over a muscular body.
One of the first things you'll notice about the Fila is the large muzzle. It's hard to miss with the heavy upper lips. Breeders take great pride in the skin of the dog, and it is preferred to be hanging loosely from the bulky body.
The dog is blessed with a mighty back, and the ability to generate great power, although it isn't in the temperament of the Fila to use it. The back rises up slowly to meet the hindquarters, and the camels gait is seen as one of the unique selling points which distinguish the breed.
When in motion, the dog moves forward with both legs on one side, before moving the others. This makes for a distinct walk, and adds to the harsh impression that the dog is lazy or slow off the mark.
The Fila Brasileiro is not for everyone. This breed is very powerful and can prove to be quite a handful for the average pet owner. They are courageous, fearless, attentive and impetuous. They are suspicious towards strangers, but devoted and loving towards family, with whom they are close and faithful as well as tolerant. Proper breeding is a must to create a mild-tempered dog. The Fila Brasileiro can become aggressive if he feels threatened.
Brushing with a firm bristle brush will be sufficient for this shorthaired breed. Average shedding, a wipe down with a damp washcloth should remove any loose hair. Bathe only when necessary.
The Fila Brasileiro is banned in some countries, yet it has a history of good behavior and well rounded discipline. Its ancestors date back to the 1400's in the form of the old English Mastiff.
In fact, the Brasileiro has developed slowly over time, taking from other notable breeds in the process. Traits taken belong to the Bloodhound, the Rafeiros and even the Bulldog.
The dog has traditionally been used to manipulate livestock. It has always possessed a threatening demeanor but is rarely violent unless provoked. Such false claims of unmerited aggression have lead to the breed being banned from certain countries, looking past several key jobs that the dog has previously performed.
The Fila used to return slaves to their captors in Brazil, without harming them in the process. It appears that this has gone forgotten in recent time. The breed eventually spread across North America and gained popularity in Europe, where it is still adored today.
Always keep the dog on a leash in public, not just to guarantee the safety of those around you, but to rule out the threat of dognappers who have routinely taken them in the past. The dogs are then sold in to pit fights for great profit.
The Fila Brasileiro is a powerful dog that is not recommended for a first time trainer. Obedience classes are recommended, and required at times. The Fila Brasileiro can be difficult to control. Dominant owner required if dog is to be well mannered and obedient.
They require firm but positive training and socialization as puppies.
Like other large breeds, they are prone to certain ailments. Beware of hip dysplasia. These dogs are prone to bloat, feed two or three small meals a day, instead of one large one. Also prone to CHD, gastric torsion, elbow dysplasia and PRA.