Fila Brasileiro

Fila Brasileiro Breed description: Character & Co


What is the origin of the Fila Brasileiro?

The Fila Brasileiro originally comes from Brazil in South America and is therefore also called the Brazilian Mastiff. It is very well known and popular there as a working dog and is considered the national dog, so to speak.

It was probably created by crossing different breeds such as Bloodhound and Mastiff. Duke Albrecht of Bavaria brought the Fila Brasileiro to Germany in the 1960s as a hunting dog.

What are the breed characteristics of the Fila Brasileiro?

The breed of the Fila Brasileiro is recognized by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale, FCI for short, the worldwide cynological umbrella organization, and is listed under standard number 225. Here, both the external characteristics of the breed as well as its nature and character are defined.

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Alternate Name Brazilian Mastiff
Origin Brazil
Life expectancy 9 - 11 years
Care requirements low-maintenance
Activity level average
FCI group Molossian type
AKC group Foundation Stock Service
KC group not recognised

Fila Brasileiro mixes


What are the typical character traits of the Fila Brasileiro?

The Fila Brasileiro is known for its courageous and determined nature and for its above-average bravery. Once it has joined its master and its family, it is forever loyal and docile to them, although this makes it difficult to change owners later on. The Brazilian Mastiff is very self-confident and rather reserved towards strangers. However, the dog always has everything in view and is extremely alert.

Use of the Fila Brasileiro

The Fila Brasileiro is a popular dog in its homeland, which performs a variety of tasks. It guards the sometimes huge properties and farms, protects and drives herds of cattle or hunts big game like wild boars.

In Germany, Austria and Switzerland the Fila Brasileiro is also used as a guard dog, although not as often as other breeds. By its size and mass alone, it is already an imposing appearance.

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What are typical diseases of the Fila Brasileiro?

The Fila Brasileiro is a quite robust dog breed, of which no typical breed diseases are known. However, since it is quite large and heavy, you should pay attention to the diet in order to spare your four-legged friend unnecessary stress due to additional weight.

Husbandry of the Fila Brasileiro

When choosing a Fila Brasileiro, you should be aware that it is a dog that needs a close bond with its family. It is not suitable for kennels, although it can be used as a guard dog. Of course, you will need to make sure your dog gets plenty of exercise, after all, it is used to running over huge areas in its native Brazil.

The Brazilian Mastiff does not require a lot of grooming. Since the coat is quite short and smooth, it is sufficient to brush or comb the dog occasionally.

Fila Brasileiro breeding - where, how, what?

Although Fila Brasileiro puppies are not as common in Germany or Austria as other breeds, you can still find reputable breeders where excellent health and a good temperament of the dogs are paramount.

If you want to buy a Fila Brasileiro, you should inform yourself in detail about the breeder beforehand. You should avoid puppies that are not well socialized or puppies from sick or unhealthy parents in order to avoid disappointment yourself and also to avoid supporting dubious breeders.

The Verband for the Deutsche Hundewesen (VDH) e. V. (German Kennel Club) has compiled a list with some contact addresses of clubs and breeders. If you are interested in a Fila Brasileiro puppy, you will certainly find one here!

Special features of the Fila Brasileiro

In some countries or federal states the Fila Brasileiro is considered a so-called fighting dog or a listed dog and may therefore only be kept under certain conditions. In some German or Austrian federal states there are no restrictions at all, while in others the keeping of a Fila Brasileiro requires, for example, a dog license. Also in Switzerland the keeping of a Fila is partly subject to approval or even completely forbidden.

If you want to buy or take in a Fila Brasileiro, you should ask your local public order office, for example, how exactly the requirements for keeping a dog of this breed are, because the legal requirements in the individual countries and federal states are very different and therefore require more or less time and financial effort. Because the classification as a dangerous breed usually also brings an increased dog tax rate with it.

Even if the breed is not widespread in Germany, there is the possibility to take in a Fila Brasileiro in need. Partly these dogs are mediated from abroad or they can be found at national animal welfare organizations and clubs. However, this possibility is rather something for connoisseurs of the breed who know how to deal with the characteristics of the Fila Brasileiro.

Fila Brasileiro, Black Mastiff, Mastiff from Brazil, South American Dog Breed, Large Dog Breed

The Fila Brasileiro belongs to the so-called Molossers. These are particularly massive and muscular dogs. Also the bones are very powerful and underline the compact appearance. Nevertheless, the females appear altogether more feminine and are so well to be distinguished from the males.

Particularly typical of the Brazilian Mastiff is the loose and wrinkled skin, which is especially noticeable on the face and chest.

The Fila Brasileiro has short and smooth fur, which is nevertheless very dense. The following colors are permitted:

  • black
  • fawn
  • brindle

A black mask may be present, but is not a must. White markings on chest, paws or tip of tail are also permitted. In other places, however, they are considered as faults.

How big is a Fila Brasileiro?

The Fila Brasileiro belongs to the very large dog breeds.

According to the breed standard, males should have a withers height of at least 65 cm and at most 75 cm. Bitches should be between 60 cm and 70 cm tall.

How much does a Fila Brasileiro weigh?

As a Molossian, a Fila Brasileiro is a very massive and heavy dog.

The desired weight is at least 50 kg for males and at least 40 kg for females.

How old does a Fila Brasileiro become?

Naturally, large dog breeds have a slightly lower life expectancy compared to the smaller breeds. A Brazilian Mastiff will live about 9 to 11 years.

Fur length short
Fur flat coated
Ear shape Floppy Ear
Tail lang
Anatomy massive
Size ♀ 65 - 75 cm
Weight ♀ 40 - 66 kg
Size ♂ 65 - 75 cm
Weight ♂ 50 - 77 kg
Suitable For -


Dog,Mammal,Vertebrate,Dog breed,Canidae,Carnivore,Great dane,Puppy,Fila brasileiro,Sporting Group,
tigered Fila Brasileiro, brazilian dog breed, special dog breed, colouring like a tiger in a dog, tigered dog, puppy, brazilian dog with stripes
Puppy Fila Brasileiro Mastiff, Brown Mastiff Puppy, Lots of Skin in Puppy, Large Dog Breed, Brazilian Dog Breed, Breed from America, South American Dogs
  • Overweight

    Often, unfortunately, the dogs very much under excess weight. But the dogs themselves are never to blame!

Sources and relevant links


Accessed on 06.04.2023


Accessed on 06.04.2023

Hans Räber (2014). Enzyklopädie der Rassehunde, Band 1. Franckh-Kosmos Verlags-Gmbh & Company KG.

Marlene Zwettler (2016). The Great Book Of Bulldogs Bull Terrier and Molosser. epubli.

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