The name stands for confidence, loyalty and courage
to those of us who are familiar with the breed. The qualities of the ideal
Fila Brasiliero is postulated to have resulted from breeding of
Bloodhound, Old English Mastiff and a type of Bulldog called Bullenbesser
which is now extinct.
They have been in existence since at least 1671. This
breed was introduced into Brazil by the Portuguese settlers who arrived
there with their dogs. The huge Brazilian ranches had cattle that had to
be saved from jaguars and they wanted a saviour � the found the ideal
combination in the Fila. They were strong and heavy but agile, brave, with
a strong sense of smell. The genetic recombination amongst the hound,
mastiff and the bulldog brought out just the right qualities in this
Fila in Dutch meant �grab and hold�. The Brazilian
ranches had slaves who were caught and held till the masters arrived. They
would not harm them.
The Fila character:
The adorable Fila is known by a proverb in Brazil �As faithful as a Fila�.
They love the family including the children. They have to be introduced to
the family members early and they would give their lives to save them.
They cannot be frightened away by any sight or sound! They can charge
instantaneously to save the lives of their beloved. Hence they make
perfect watch dogs.
They love to be around with the owners. In fact,
when our Fila is taken out for a walk, he or she would love to walk
between two of us � always comforting us with a lick now and then, also
waiting to protect us from the villains on the streets. With a Fila
around, there is never a lonely moment. As far as a Fila walk is
concerned, one has to be cautious. They may pounce on an unaware stranger
They definitely do not like strangers; this quality
will be evident in a puppy as old as a year. They can attack a postman or
an electrician if they come in casually when the Fila is free. There are
two schools of thoughts. One prefers to train the Fila to socialize from
their younger days so that they are not so fierce with the strangers while
other prefers not to train them as it changes their basic character. We
now prefer the latter ideology of not training them to socialize. But the
basic habits may be taught by the owner.
Their looks with their wrinkled foreheads are
instantaneously pleasing to most dog lovers. But the strangers have to be
told not to be taken away by their lovely looks. They should never venture
near Fila alone without the owner. Moreover Fila is particularly provoked
when a stranger stares at him in the eye for a long time. The poor guy may
only be admiring his great looks but the Fila would think otherwise and
assume the innocent guy is challenging him to a duel and waits to attack
him. In fact a judge in a dog show, who is familiar with Fila will not
touch the specimen himself. He will only view him from a distance. Also
Fila that charges a judge is also not banned for the same reason! He is
only demonstrating his basic character which cannot be changed for the
sake of a dog show.
Fila puppy less than a year is shy and an introvert.
Between 12 � 18 months, they get their full fledged adult Fila character �
the courage, the bonding with the family, the craving for company. They
definitely dog like animals and unlike other types of Mastiffs, they are
energetic, active and alert. Our Filas are awake at the slightest activity
around them. They have a strong sense of smell too. Their strong sense of
smell brings them to the kitchen door sniffing and demanding our home made
They are easy to be taken care off. Their short coat
makes grooming easy. The only thing that needs attention is their drooling
� they can bathe a person in a couple of minutes.
We, at Bhat kennels, are pleased to announce that our
lives have changed for the better with the introduction of Fila in our
household. We got our first from U.S. through a friend. We are the first
to introduce the breed in India, as far as our knowledge goes. If we have
been mistaken, we would like to hear from the concerned individuals. For
further information you may contact us through
email@example.com; mobile no. +91 98400 95506.
Manuscript written by
Dr. Latha Balakkrushna Bhat