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Fila Brasileiro

Country/Date of Origin: Brazil/1800s

The Fila developed as an all-around working dog on the great cattle estancias of Brazil. They descend from Portuguese herding dogs that were introduced in colonial times, English Mastiffs, old style Bulldogs and Bloodhounds. The resultant mixture is a tough, bold guardian that can also hunt jaguar, drive cattle and act as a tracker in police work. Still little known outside of its native Brazil, the Fila has a reputation for being fierce. It is banned in England under the Dangerous Dogs Act.

FCI Group: 2 (Working)

Other Names Body Type Personality Coat Health Concerns

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Brazilian Mastiff

AKC Group: Miscellaneous

Breed Club:

Rescue Club:

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Body Type:

  • A robust, short coated dog of the mastiff type
  • Height: 24-30 inches (at shoulder)
  • Weight: 100 pounds minimum
  • Ears are triangular and hang flat against the face
  • Tail is moderately long and not altered
  • The Bloodhound influence is evident in heavy dewlap and pronounced lip flews
  • Hind legs are longer than the forelegs giving the dog the appearance of going downhill when it is standing


  • Characterized by an intense loyalty to its master
  • Territorial and will guard its property with being told
  • Aggressive towards strangers
  • Not a suitable breed for children


  • Short, dense, and harsh to the touch
  • All colors and combinations of colors allowed with the exception of solid white. Brindle is the most common
  • Low grooming requirements

Health Concerns:

  • Hip dysplasia
  • Bloat
  • Bone cancer
  • Heart problems
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Tasty Tidbits:
  • Call these dogs Fee-luh in the Brazilian manner
  • This is too much dog for the average person. Bold, aggressive and dominant, the Fila will walk all over an owner if given an inch. Professional obedience lessons are a must to get a puppy under control
  • Many insurance companies will not provide you with liability coverage if you own a Fila. Check with your insurance agent before purchasing a puppy
  • Filas should be protected from dognappers who could steal them for use in pit fights

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