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Fila Brasileiro Essential Dog Breed Info

Jun 21, 2008
The Fila Brasileiro is a dog which has served as a working and guarding dog in the Central American region since the sixteenth century. This breed is believed to have originated from the Mastiff types of dogs brought to Central America by the Spanish Conquistadors. These dogs along with the Spanish Bulldog were crossed with the Bloodhound to produce the Fila Brasileiro.

The Fila served first and foremost as a fierce guarding dog which was used for driving and protecting the large herds of untamed and equally fierce wild cattle. He has always been noted for having a strong bonding with one family unit or master and a courageous and unswerving loyalty. The dog played an important part in the history of Brazil during its struggle for independence, being used as a war dog by the resistance. Stories are also told of how this dog was used for the tracking of runaway slaves.

He has long been valued as an instinctive guarding breed with excellent tracking abilities. Indeed, The Fila of today has become a favorite of big game hunters as it has a proven ability to not only track but bring to ground such varied animals as the Jaguar and the wild boar. It appears that nothing is too big or too fierce for this dog to take on.

The Fila has a reputation of being supremely loyal to one master or family and extremely wary of strangers and will not hesitate to attack any human or animal if he is even the least bit suspicious that they will harm his family.

Prospective owners of Filas of today must be made aware that this is a dog that can not be kept as a pet by those who do not understand his history and his instinctive ability to maintain a guarding presence in the household. He will attack without hesitation anything or anyone which he perceives is a threat to his family. On the other hand, he demonstrates remarkable patience with his own human children and tolerates almost anything from them, being absolutely trustworthy as their protector.

The Fila is a large dog with a distinctive bloodhound appearance. His face, muzzle and throat are well equipped with pendulous folds of skin, (dewlaps) often extending up to both sides of the face and down to the entire chest. The folds of skin serve as a protection against predator attacks. The color of this breed can range from brindle to fawn to various shades of tan and brown. He is a member of the F.C.I. group 2. The average height of this breed is 24-30 inches at the shoulder and the weight is anywhere over 100 pounds.

There are breed clubs within the Central Americas and the United States which actively promote the outstanding virtues of this breed but which also inform those buyers of the potential that this breed can be dangerous. It is not a dog for the average pet owner, those people who make the best owners are people with a strong alpha character and a good understanding of canine behavior and training.
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For more information on the fila brasileiro or a complete list of dog breeds visit this Dog Behaviour website.
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