Upon first glance, it is easy to see that the Fila Brasileiro has Bloodhound and Mastiff in his ancestry. The sheer bulk and build of the dog screams Mastiff, but the face is that of a giant Bloodhound. The skin hangs loosely from the body and the muzzle is large, with heavy upper lips, but is proportional to the rest of the body. The nose is black and has broad nostrils. The eyes are wide set, almond-shaped and large. The color ranges from yellow to chestnut, and should harmonize with the coat coloring. The ears of the Fila are pendant, large, thick, V-shaped, broad at the base and tapering at the end with rounded tip. The back is strong and powerful and rises up to meet the hindquarters. The gait is a hallmark of the breed, and is described as a camels gait. The Fila's feet are large and should point forward. The tail is wide at the root, and tapers toward the tip. It is medium set, held high, but should not curl.
Size and Weight
Male Filas should ideally stand from 25.5 to 29.5 inches at the withers and tip the scales around 110 pounds. Females should stand 23.5 to 27.5 inches and weigh approximately 90 pounds.
Coat and Color
The Fila sports a dense, smooth coat, usually in fawn or brindle but they may also be solid black, brown, chestnut or yellow. Stripes of differing shades are fairly common. The coat is rough to touch, and there is not a lot of hair around the ears or muzzle. There may be some white markings on the chest, feet and tail, although this isn't desirable per some breed standards.
Filas are considered average shedders, and they lose hair year-round. Weekly brushing with a rough bristle brush can keep flyaways under control and give the coat a healthy shine. Bathe a Fila as needed. The individual activity level of the dog will determine how often baths are necessary.
Check the ears on a regular basis for signs of wax buildup, irritation or infection. Clean the ears with a cotton ball and a veterinarian-approved cleanser; never use a cotton swab in a dog's ear canal. Teeth should be brushed on a weekly basis to prevent tartar buildup, promote gum health and keep bad breath at bay. Trim nails monthly if the dog does not wear the toenails down naturally outdoors.