Pet Advisor Blog

Fila Brasileiro – Dog Breed Guide

Breed summary

Size: Giant
Weight: 90 - 110 pounds
Height: 25.5 - 29.5 inches
Longevity: 11
Bark Tendency: Low
Aggression: Medium
Compatibility to other pets: Medium

Adopt a Fila Brasileiro, Dog Breed Guide


Fila Brasileiro is a dog breed thought to be the end result of crossing mastiffs, bloodhounds, and old Spanish Bulldogs. It is believed to have been bred by Spanish conquistadors to hunt down fugitive slaves throughout the Spanish conquest of the New World. When slavery was legal in Brazil, the Fila was used to return fugitives unharmed to their slave masters.

Official Name

Fila Brasileiro
Other Name – Brazilian Mastiff, Brazilian Molosser, Cão de Fila


Date – 15th Century / Country – Brazil
Family / Group – Mastiff, Guardian

Recognized By

Fédération Cynologique Internationale
Club for the improvement of the Fila Brasileiro
Continental Kennel Club
National Kennel Club
American Pet Registry, Inc.
American Canine Registry
Dog Registry of America, Inc.


The Fila Brasileiro is a progeny of the 15th-century English Mastiff, Bloodhound, Bulldog. These Brazilian guard dog benefitted from these dog breeds, inheriting that loose skin and a hyper sense of scent, and tracking proficiency from the Bloodhound, getting the mastiff’s solid physique, bravery and ever vigilant temperament, as well as inheriting the Bulldog’s remorseless and impulsive nature. This made the Fila a great jungle tracker, intimidating watchdog and has commanding power over his target. The Fila’s great tracking capability led to its existence in North America and Europe. Due to its size and probable for violent behavior, it is unjustly forbidden in a number of countries.


This is a gutsy, stoic dog that is faithful and open-minded with its family, including children. These dogs are tremendously cautious with unfamiliar faces and strangers. It is said to display intense mistrust, or “ojeriza”, a Spanish expression for ill will or spite, to strangers.

Bred For

Tracking and holding down fugitive slaves who escaped their master during the Spanish conquest of Latin America.


This breed is not suited to city life, as its vigorous body must work off energy in the freedom of the country. It needs a fenced-in yard with room to run.


The smooth, shorthaired coat is easy to groom. This breed is an average shedder.


The objective in training this dog is to achieve pack leader status, but otherwise, they are moderately easy to train.


The Fila dogs of Brazil are prone to obesity as well as the usual hip dysplasia disease plaguing larger dogs like them.


The Fila needs plenty of opportunities to exercise. They may appear as lethargic, Fila dogs must be taken on daily walks.