Facts about Brazilian Mastiff (Fila Brasileiro) Puppies

Are you unsure how to care for Brazilian Mastiff puppies, or just want to learn more about this breed?

Maybe you are thinking about buying a dog and want to know if this is the right breed for you?

No matter what your situation may be, you will find the answers to your questions right here!



Brazilian Mastiff Information and History

The breed, whose correct name is the Fila Brasileiro, originated in Brazil. It's believed to have evolved from crosses of the Mastiff, old Bulldogs (more closely related to the American Bulldog than the modern English Bulldog), and the Bloodhound.

The Brazilian Mastiff has an excellent sense of smell and is a skillful tracker.

These skills made them very valuable on farms and plantations where they lived. The breed was used to track, and return unharmed, escaped slaves and other fugitives.

In addition to tracking slaves, the breed was used for hunting, controlling semi-wild cattle, protection and guarding.

All the qualities the breed is known for can be attributed to 3 of its ancestors. It inherited its tracking abilities from the Bloodhound. The guarding instinct came from the Mastiff, while the spontaneousness and aggression came from old Bulldog types.

Due to their potential for aggression, Brazilian Mastiffs are banned in a number of countries, including Great Britain, Australia and Israel.

Physical Characteristics of Fila Brasileiro Puppies

This is a powerful and muscular dog with large bones, deep chest, and strong neck.

It has a large head with a broad muzzle, pendulous lips, large drop ears and a wide and black nose. The eyes are almond shaped. The tail is thick.

The hind legs are longer and less angulated than his front legs, giving a downhill appearance.

The skin is thick and loose, especially at the neck.

The coat is short and smooth, and comes in solid colors, except white, or mouse-grey. Small white markings are permitted on the feet, chest, and the tip of the tail. There may be a dark mask.

Though solidly built, the Brazilian Mastiff should weigh about 45 pounds less than an English Mastiff of comparable height.

This breed tends to drool.

    Height Weight
  Male 27 - 29.5 inches 110+ pounds
  Female 24 - 27.5 inches 90+ pounds


The Brazilian Mastiff is a courageous and stoic dog.

It has a calm, noble, and self-assured expression when it's relaxed, and a determined, alert one when at attention.

It's loyal and totally dedicated to its family. There is an old Brazilian proverb that states: "Faithful as a Fila dog". It loves children from its family and will play gently with them.

The Brazilian Mastiff has a very strong instinct to protect and doesn't require any additional training. Once it becomes a part of the family, it will not hesitate to protect its owners.

The breed is wary of strangers. Even those it knows well, but are not part of the family, should not expect a lot of affection from these dogs. In fact, caution must be taken when you have visitors.

Filas, as they are called by their owners, get along well with family pets.

Properly socializing your dog and basic dog obedience training while your pet is still a puppy is highly recommended. That said, some owners stop socialization training early to preserve the breed's natural mistrust of strangers. I don't recommend that for an average dog owner.

With proper leadership and training, this can be a very good family pet and companion.

Best Owner / Living Conditions

The Brazilian Mastiff is not for everyone.

The breed requires a firm and experienced owner who can establish his or her dominance while the dog is still young.

If you like to entertain, or have a lot of visitors to your home, this is not the breed for you. This is also not a breed for an apartment lifestyle. If fact, it's probably not a breed for a city lifestyle.

It will do best in a suburban setting. I highly recommend a secure fence around your backyard to keep your pet in and the strangers out.

Most Fila Brasileiro breeders will interview prospective owners to make sure this is the right breed for them.

Activity and Exercise

The Brazilian Mastiff is a moderately active dog.

If you have a fenced yard, your pet can get plenty of exercise by playing and running outdoors. An electronic dog fencing (also known as an invisible fence) will probably not have much of an effect on this breed.

At a minimum, take your pet for several brisk walks every day.


Brazilian Mastiffs are average shedders.

Brush once or twice a week with a firm bristle brush. Wipe over with a towel for a gleaming finish. Bathe only when absolutely necessary.

Health Concerns

Like all dog breeds, the Brazilian Mastiff is susceptible to complications caused by parasites such as dog ticks, fleas, and puppy worms, including tapeworms, roundworms, and heartworms.

Other common health problems include hip and elbow dysplasia, and PRA. Another concern involves bloating. Try to feed your pet several smaller meals instead of one large one. Visit dog health problems for more information about dog diseases and health problems.

To reduce the risk of the above and many other health problems, buy only from reputable Brazilian Mastiff breeders (visit dog breeders to learn how to identify responsible dog breeders).

No matter how small the risk of health problems is, any puppy may get sick or injured. Many health problems will require an immediate attention from your Vet, but there are many others that will not, and you may handle them on your own.

To save time and money, learn how to diagnose and treat dog health problems that don't require your Vet's attention.

Life Expectancy

The average life expectancy for healthy Brazilian Mastiff dogs is between 10 and 12 years.

Did you ever consider adopting your next pet?

If this is the breed you are interested in, and adoption appeals to you, consider contacting your local Fila Brasileiro rescue. There are thousands of pets waiting for a loving home and, yes, it's possible to adopt a purebred dog.

Puppy Training

Not happy with your pet's behavior? Need help with training your dog for obedience? Then check this dog behavior and obedience training guide.

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