Fila Brasileiro

History of the Fila Brasileiro Dog Breed

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Faithful as Fila, Brave as a Bloodhound
The Fila Brasileiro has a long history as one of the world’s fiercest guard dogs. Although the Fila Brasileiro’s origins are somewhat uncertain, it is believed this massive Brazilian guard dog was originally trained by Brazilian plantation owners to hunt down stray cattle and jaguars. The name “Fila” is, in fact, derived from the Portuguese word “filar,” which literally means to grab, arrest, and hold. This ancient tendency to attack and restrain prey is still prevalent in the modern Fila Brasileiro and is one of the primary traits that makes this breed ideal for anyone in search of an extremely defensive guard dog.
Known for its ferocity towards strangers, the Fila Brasileiro is equally revered for its extreme loyalty towards its own family. Indeed, the allegiance and devotion shown by this guard dog towards its “pack” inspired the old Brazilian proverb, “Faithful as a Fila dog.” In general, the Fila’s temperament is calm and tranquil when with its owner and family. While one could mistake the massive bulk and melancholy expression of this dog as indicative of sluggishness, the Fila actually exhibits fantastic agility and remarkable speed when provoked. One of the typical characteristics of the Fila is their powerful and smooth “cat-like” movement displayed in the dog’s low and lengthy stride. The Fila possesses a distinctive pace known as a camel’s gate in which the dog moves two legs of one side simultaneously before shifting its movement to the other side. This unique rolling stride makes the Fila a surprisingly fast animal that can shift direction rapidly in order to pursue its prey. The Fila Brasileiro can, in fact, run at speeds of up to 35 miles an hour—a trait that was traditionally used by Brazilian farmers to help hunt runaway pigs and quickly patrol the perimeter of large farms. The huge frame and massive bulk of muscle possessed by the Fila Brasileiro combined with this guard dog’s speed and loyalty make this breed an excellent guardian by instinct.
In appearance, the Fila Brasileiro resembles the guard dogs they breed emerged from. Traits from each of the three breeds (Bloodhounds, Ancient Bulldogs, and 15th century English Mastiff) the Fila descend from the combine to create the ultimate protector. The Fila’s Bloodhound lineage is displayed physically in the dog’s large and sturdy head, short neck, and in the coloring of its smooth, short coat. The Fila shares the iconic black mask, loose jowls, and skin, and drooping lips that constitute the well-loved “hangdog” expression typical of the Bloodhound. In temperament, the Fila Brasileiro possesses the resolute determination and courage that give the Bloodhound its reputation as a relentless pursuer. Sometimes referred to as “the Brazilian Mastiff,” the Fila likewise share the traditional Old English Mastiff’s tendency towards persistence. This combination of the Bloodhound’s courage and the Old English Mastiff’s determination makes the Fila Brasileiro a relentless hunter and guard dog. The loyal nature of the Fila is derived from its Ancient Bulldog bloodlines. Like the bulldog, the Fila is a stubborn protector fiercely devoted to its master.
The Fila Brasileiro demonstrates many of the traits desired in guard dogs—but does the combination of Bloodhound, Bulldog, and Mastiff combine to create a breed superior to other personal protection dogs for sale? To find this out, the Brazilian army conducted a five-year study to measure this breed against Doberman Pinschers and German Shepherds. After observing all three breeds in the jungle while enduring extremely hostile conditions, the guard dogs were measured for traits such as intelligence, strength, temperament, energy, and aggressiveness. While Doberman Pinschers displayed the highest levels of aggression and German Shepherds proved to be the most intelligent of the breeds, the Fila Brasileiro was determined to be superior in every other category measured by the Brazilian Army.
The Fila Brasileiro’s ferocity, loyalty, speed, and bulk combine to make this breed one of the most ideal personal guard dogs for sale today. Perhaps one of the most attractive traits of this dog breed is its calm exterior and ability to swiftly transition from a loving and loyal family dog to a strong and intense protector. For those looking for a guard dog to protect the family, the Fila Brasileiro can be a good choice because of its extreme tolerance towards children and its generally docile, tranquil demeanor. Those lucky enough to be in the protection of this massive dog will find themselves a loyal companion for life. While the Fila is revered for its ability to protect and serve its master, it is loved for its companionability and desire to be near its own pack. Known to Brazilians over 400 years ago as a hunter of jaguar and a protector of farms, this steadfast breed has remained an option for those looking to purchase a brave and loyal companion and protector!

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