Breed Information: Fila Brasileiro
Cao de Fila
The modern Fila Brasileiro exists today as a result of an evolution of dogs crossed with English Mastiffs, ancient Bulldogs and Bloodhounds, and the basic influence of Portuguese herders brought to Brazil at colonial times. They acquired their aggressive temperament, stubbornness, colors, typical rose-ear, higher hind legs and higher croup than the withers from the ancient fighting dogs (the Engelsen Doggen or ancient Bulldogs). From the Mastiff, they inherited the large heavy head, strong maxilars, short neck, the substance, the slightly curved croup, moderated tail set, their courage, the black mask and the basic Mastiff colors. The abundant loose skin, the pronounced occipital peak, pendulous lips, hanging flews and dewlaps, the moderated tuck up, the fabulous scent, and the way of barking in a crescendo tune all come from the Bloodhound. The origin of the Fila is still very obscure, but it is generally believed that it is the result of crossing English Mastiffs, Bloodhounds, ancient Bulldogs, Fila Terceirense, as well as many other breeds.
In archaic Portuguese, the word Fila means, "to hold." From each of his ancestors, the Fila acquired characteristics that established a large, muscular built working dog capable of using his strength, scent, perseverance and courage to perform his duties. He has been used extensively as a guard dog, in police work as a tracker and sniffer, a hunter of jaguars, and even as a guide for the blind. Filas are considered to be the most reliable and loyal guard dogs due to their natural desire to protect their family and territory.
The natural protective instinct that has been lost through the ages in most guard dogs is very much alive in the Fila. Their natural aggressiveness towards strangers is surprising for a dog that is very humble and docile towards its owners. The Fila is very intelligent and sensitive as well. He is the first one to know when you are in a bad mood or ill. He will follow you in his gentle and smooth way, placing his big head on your lap or poke you with his nose. No one can tell by looking at this gentle and large dog that he will react with great aggressiveness if he feels that someone or something in a menace to his owner or his territory.
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