Also known as the Fila Brasileiro, Cao de Fila, and simply the Fila, the Brazilian Mastiff is a loyal and protective breed. But how do you know whether you are ready to purchase a pet and if this breed is right for you? This information is absolutely necessary in making the decision to purchase a pet.
The origin of the Brazilian Mastiff can be traced back to late 19th century Brazil. The early history of the breed has been greatly disputed for years. Enthusiasts believe the Brazilian Mastiff to date back as far as the 15th century, though this is yet to be proven scientifically or otherwise.
Throughout its history, the Brazilian Mastiff has been most commonly used for herding, hunting and tracking large game, and as a watch and guard dog, proving its superior abilities to work while providing protection and gentle companionship.
Today, while the Brazilian Mastiff has attained a regional popularity as a working and companion dog, the breed remains rather rare outside of South America.
Best known for its loyal and protective nature, the Brazilian Mastiff is willing to do anything necessary in order to protect its owner and property, including giving its own life. This breed is highly intelligent, yet overly dominant, stubborn, and independent, creating difficulty in training. As a pet, the Brazilian Mastiff is obedient, loyal, loving, and affectionate. These large dogs are not suited for apartment or full-time indoor living, as they enjoy spending time outdoors, taking long walks, and playing games such as fetch and tug-of-war.
Due to its dominant, independent, and stubborn attitude, the Brazilian Mastiff can prove quite challenging to train. This breed is known for being especially difficult to housebreak, and for growing bored and even annoyed with repetitive exercises and tasks.
Establishing immediate dominance, trust, and respect is key to successfully training the Brazilian Mastiff. These dogs require an experienced, patient, and confident handler with a stern and serious approach to repetitive exercises.
Benefits and Disadvantages of the Breed
There are many benefits to owning a Brazilian Mastiff, such as its no hassle, low maintenance coat. When properly socialized from a young age, this breed gets along well with children and other pets, known for its gentle and caring approach to small children. These dogs are highly protective, dominant, and territorial, making excellent watch and guard dogs, announcing the arrival of guests and unwanted visitors, as well as serving as a deterrent to would-be intruders. The Brazilian Mastiff is obedient, loyal, loving, and affectionate, making an excellent working dog, family pet, and companion alike.
Unfortunately, there are also disadvantages to owning a Brazilian Mastiff. This energetic breed requires large amounts of daily exercise and room to run and play outdoors, especially when under two years of age. Anyone wishing to purchase this breed lacking the adequate amount of time and space to dedicate to the dog is strongly advised against doing so. A Brazilian Mastiff not receiving the proper amount of exercise and space will often act out by destroying property, chewing, barking, whining, and ignoring basic training such as housebreaking.
The Brazilian Mastiff has a strong instinct to hunt and herd, and will occasionally indulge in a good chase. When on the run, these large dogs are surprisingly quick, and may pose a threat to other animals, neighborhood pets, and small woodland creatures. The Brazilian Mastiff must be leashed or properly secured at all times when outdoors.
Sadly, the public views the Brazilian Mastiff, along with many other large breeds, as a blood-thirsty man-eater. This irrational view has created many difficulties in owning Mastiff breeds, such as breed bans and the need for additional insurance policies. It is advised to check state and local laws before purchasing a Brazilian Mastiff.
As previously mentioned, the Brazilian Mastiff remains rather rare outside of South American and can prove difficult to obtain. Individuals seeking to purchase this breed often encounter such challenges as inability to locate a breeder, high prices, and being placed on long waiting lists.
Common Health Concerns
While the Brazilian Mastiff is typically known as a healthy and hearty breed, they do suffer from a few health problems, including: hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, patellar luxation – dislocation of the knee, sensitivity to anesthesia, skin allergies and sensitivity, cryptorchidism – failure of one of both testicles to fully descend, obesity, and bloat.
Now that you know all about the breed, do you think you are ready to own a Brazilian Mastiff? Remember, purchasing a pet is a big decision and should be discussed thoroughly and seriously with your entire family.