The Fila Brasileiro was bred in Brazil as a guard and hunting dog. It used to catch both animals and humans, back in the 16th century. Around the 1500s, breeders made efforts to add new characteristics in the local dog, like the sense of smell, ability to live in rough conditions, etc. They took some foreign dogs into consideration, for example the Portuguese watchdog, Bloodhound and Bulldog. Hence, the Cao de Fila or the Fila Brasileiro was formed and became popular all over Brazil. Post 1884, many slave-tracking dogs became extinct due to the abolishment of slavery. But this breed continued to serve as a watchdog.
Also known as Cao de Brazil, this is the national dog of Brazil
Due to their loyalty to their master, there is a Brazilian proverb, “as reliable as a Fila Dog”
Their aggressive nature has made many countries like Denmark and Cyprus to ban it
Temperament & Personality
This is a difficult dog to handle, and only owners with ample experience with headstrong dogs should buy this one. It is affectionate and loyal to its master. The dog is better suited to a place where there are fewer people so that it gets enough attention from its owner. Homes where people continuously surround it are not preferable. These animals have a loud bark, one of the reasons why they are excellent as guard dogs. It is not a good family dog as it was bred to be aggressive. Xenophobia is also a part of their character, and this makes conversing with them very challenging.
Cao de Filas need space to play and train outdoors, so they are not suited to apartment life. Daily activities and play sessions are essential to keep these active dogs in shape. Mental stimulation is also necessary. Ensure that it gets at least 45 minutes of exercise every day. Access to a fenced area will be useful to let it walk without a leash. Visits to dog parks must be supervised.
The short coat makes them easy to maintain, and regular brushing will keep the skin healthy. There will be lots of loose hair as it is an average shedder. Keep the wrinkles dry and clean to avoid infections. Bathe the Fila Brasileiro using a dog shampoo, only when it gets dirty. Clip the long nails with the right tools and wipe the ears weekly.
Although a healthy breed, minor concerns include joint dysplasia, bloat, flatulence, patellar luxation, and eye problems.
Training the Fila Brasileiro is tough so start from puppyhood. A confident, firm and able owner is essential to guide them properly. The dog’s stubbornness is a cause of worry as it creates many problems. Teach them socialization and obedience skills so that they can mingle well with others. With negative methods and a casual attitude of the owner, the animal will become violent.
Till they are twelve weeks old, these working dogs need four cups of good quality food every day. The amount of food depends on its age and metabolism. Do not overfeed them as it results to bloating. You can also give them dog food mixed with soup or water. Cottage cheese, fruits, cooked eggs, and vegetables can also be fed to them but in small amounts.