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Brazilian Mastiff (Fila Brasileiro)

Brazilian Mastiff

Country of origin:

Domestic dog, protection dog

Various coat colours are allowed except white, mouse grey, black and spotted.

Courageous, determined, distrustful of strangers, fearless, loyal and obedient to his owner, understanding, reserved

60-75 cm

40-60 kg (sometimes up to 70 kg)

9-11 years

Other names:
Fila Brasileiro


Brazilian Mastiff also known as Fila Brasileiro. These are   massive dogs that are banned from breeding by many cynological organisations and are subject to many restrictions by law enforcement (in Lithuania, these dogs are listed as dangerous breeds). However, despite their rather intimidating appearance, Brazilian Mastiffs make excellent family companions and are very talented watchdogs, reacting with lightning speed when needed. These dogs are best suited to people with a strong character who are willing to train the dog from a young age – they are really receptive to this.

History of the breed

The Brazilian Mastiff – is one of the two breeds of dog originating from Brazil. The breed was bred from a cross between Spanish and Portuguese Mastiffs and Bladhunds, and its original purpose was tracking and hunting large animals. Brazilian Mastiffs were particularly valued for the fact that they did not grab their prey, but would hunt until the hunter arrived. This characteristic also led to the use of Brazilian Mastiffs during slavery – the dogs returned slaves who tried to escape unharmed. These dogs are versatile – they can herd cattle, hunt or search. Brazilian Mastiffs are very massive dogs, but they are very fast – they can run at around 56 kilometres per hour. It is not known when the breed was formed, but its first standard was described quite late – only in 1956. Although the breed is listed as an aggressive dog, Brazilian researchers compared three dog breeds over a period of five years – Dobermans, German Shepherds and Brazilian Mastiffs, and found that of the three breeds, Dobermans were the most aggressive (Brazilian Mastiffs were in the middle).

Brazilian Mastiff: appearance

The Brazilian Mastiff – a strong and very muscular dog. Males are 65-75 cm tall at the withers and females 60-70 cm. The minimum weight for females should be 40 kg and for males – at least 50 kg (the weight can be as high as 70 kg). The Brazilian Mastiff has a massive head, but proportionate to the body, with a trapezoidal head when viewed from above. The muzzle is of medium length, broad, tapering slightly towards the end. Nose large, black, with wide nostrils. Lips slightly cool and drooping. A scissor bite is desirable but may also be smooth. Eyes are almond-shaped, may be medium or large, brown (colour may vary from yellow to hazel). Ears are large, broad, tapering to a point, rounded, held down near the cheeks. Neck thick and strong, with a hump. Back straight, chest broad and deep, waist of medium length, considerably narrower than the chest. Legs strong-boned, parallel, straight. Paws large, with curved toes. Tail long, reaching the ankles, tapering towards the rear. Coat short, smooth, close-fitting. Various coat colours are allowed, except white, mouse grey, black and spotted.

Brazilian Mastiff: character

Brazilian Mastiffs are affectionate towards their owners and very protective. The breed is characterised by a muffled bark that can be heard from a distance. They are fearless dogs that are always ready to defend their owners and the territory in which they live. Brazilian Mastiffs are characterised by their quick reaction to threats: if the breed senses that its owner is in danger, it will lightning-fast attack the enemy.

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