The Fila Brasileiro, also called the Brazilian Mastiff, the Brazilian Guard Dog, the Brazilian Molosser, the Dogue Brasiliero and the Cao de Fila, is an old breed dating back to the 1600s, when it was used by Brazilian ranchers for all types of hunting, guarding and herding. Originally developed to hunt large game, including wild boar and jaguar, this breed is naturally distrustful of strangers and can be extremely aggressive. Filas bond closely and strongly with their people and are not recommended for novice dog owners.
The mature male Fila should be between 25½ and 29½ inches at the withers, with females ranging from 23½ to 27½ inches in height. Males should weigh 100 pounds or more, with the minimum weight for females being 88 pounds under the Brazilian breed standard. The Fila’s coat is short, smooth and dense, coming in brindle and all solid colors except white, mouse-gray or blue. An unusual feature of this breed is that its hind legs are longer than its front legs, giving it a “going downhill” appearance. The Fila Brasileiro is not recognized by the American Kennel Club. It is recognized by the American Rare Breed Association and by the Federation Cynologique Internationale.