Fila Brasileiro: 21 Facts You Won’t Believe!

Fila Brasileiro facts like they are large, muscular working dogs are interesting

As you can probably tell by its name, the Fila Brasileiro was originally comes from Brazil. Also known as the Brazilian Mastiff, Filas are a breed of working dog. Over the centuries, their cat-like agility and excellent tracking ability made them useful to hunters when chasing prey. They were also helpful to farmers for herding and tracking cattle on large farms.

Today, these Brazilian Mastiffs make very loyal guard dogs—which is why they have the saying “faithful as a Fila” in Brazil. But because of their large size, they need a lot of time outdoors to meet their daily exercise requirements. The famous Fila Brasileiro temperament also doesn’t allow them to get along easily with strangers, small children and other pets. In fact, many countries have banned the Fila Brasileiro because they are considered aggressive.

Filas need a lot of training from an experienced owner and a lot of early experiences in the company of children and pets. In the right home, the Fila can make a very devoted and loving companion. Like other large dog breeds, Fila Brasileiro is also prone to some illnesses. The most common of these are hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, and gastric torsion.

By the end of this article, you'll have knowledge about Fila Brasileiro weight, Fila Brasileiro price, Fila Brasileiro brindle, Fila Brasileiro tigrado, Fila Brasileiro mastiff breeder, Fila Brasileiro training, Fila dog breeds, Fila Brasileiro's short smooth coat.

You may also check out the fact files on Dorkie and Bedlington Terrier from Kidadl.

Fila Brasileiro

Fact File

What do they prey on?


What do they eat?


Average litter size?


How much do they weigh?

90-180 lb (40.8-81.6 kg)

How long are they?


How tall are they?

24-30 in (60.9 - 76.2 cm)

What do they look like?

Fawn, brindle or black coat

Skin Type

Fur (short-haired)

What are their main threats?

Health problems such as hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, entropion and gastric torsion

What is their conservation status?


Where you'll find them

Farms and ranches in countries with a tropical climate







Scientific Name

Canis lupus familiaris





Fila Brasileiro Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Fila Brasileiro?

The Fila Brasileiro or Brazilian Mastiff is a dog breed.

What class of animal does a Fila Brasileiro belong to?

The Fila Brasileiro belongs to the class mammalia.

How many Fila Brasileiros are there in the world?

Accurate count not available.

Where does a Fila Brasileiro live?

Fila Brasileiros usually live in a large space like a farm or a ranch.  

What is a Fila Brasileiro's habitat?

Fila Brasileiros are able to tolerate hot climates, and can live in the tropical rainforest.

Who do Fila Brasileiros live with?

As domestic dogs, Fila Brasileiros usually live with people.

How long does a Fila Brasileiro live?

Fila Brasileiros usually have a lifespan of 9 - 11 years.

How do they reproduce?

Like most mammals, Fila Brasileiros reproduce through sexual intercourse. The gestation period of around 63 days. Fila Brasileiro puppies are generally born in litters, with 4 - 10 puppies in a litter.

What is their conservation status?

Since Fila Brasileiro is a breed of domestic dog. They’re not considered an endangered species.

Fila Brasileiro Fun Facts

What do Fila Brasileiros look like?

Fila Brasileiros are calm and gentle with family, but quick to attack strangers.

Quite similar to other Mastiff dog breeds in terms of their looks, Brazilian Mastiffs are large, powerful dogs with rectangular bodies. They have big bones and well developed muscles. Their short, smooth coat requires very little grooming. Their coat color is usually black, brindle or fawn, although some can be grey, tan or red. Some Filas have a black mask. They do shed a considerable amount, so you may have to do quite a bit of vacuuming!

Like bloodhounds, they have a lot of loose skin, especially around the face and neck, which makes their bodies appear very wrinkly. Other breed characteristics include a short muzzle, almond-shaped eyes, and large, hanging ears. The color of the eyes depends on the color of the Fila’s coat.

How cute are they?

A Fila Brasileiro puppy is as cute as any other. It may just be a bit more wrinkly because of all the loose skin. Adult Filas have a very calm and loving temperament with their families, but they can be quite big and quite scary looking. And if they think their family is in danger, you had better run away! These gentle creatures can quickly turn into fierce predators at the first sign of a threat to their loved ones. In the face of danger, they are brave and determined, and won’t back down until they are sure their family is safe.

How do they communicate?

Like most dogs, Filas mainly communicate by barking. They bark often, and their bark can be very deep, loud and persistent, especially when they feel under threat. Other ways dogs communicate happiness or fear can include wagging their tails, licking, jumping, baring their teeth, snapping, growling, whining, howling, ear movements.

How big is a Fila Brasileiro?

Fila Brasileiros are usually 24 - 30 in (60.9 - 76.2 cm) at the shoulder. This makes them just a little shorter than the average Great Dane which measures 32 in (81.2 cm) at the shoulder. The world’s tallest dog according to the Guinness Book of World Records, Freddy the Great Dane, was 40 in (101.6 cm) at the shoulder.

How fast can a Fila Brasileiro run?

At first glance, you may not think the Fila Brasileiro is a very fast dog. Filas can seem like slow, lumbering animals when they are calm and relaxed. But if they sense that a member of their family is in danger, they are very quick to attack. Filas are nimble when chasing prey and can run at speeds of up to 35 mph (56 kph).

How much does a Fila Brasileiro weigh?

A male Fila Brasileiro dog usually weighs 110-160 lb  (49.8-72.5 kg) and females usually weigh 90-120 lb (40.8-54.4 kg). These dogs are just a bit shorter in height than the English Mastiff, but tend to weigh about half as much.

What are the male and female names of the species?

Like with any other dog breed, males are called dogs and females are called bitches. If a male has fathered a litter of puppies, he is called a stud or a sire. While a bitch is pregnant, she is called a dam. Once she has given birth to a litter of puppies, she is called a bitch again.

What would you call a baby Fila Brasileiro?

A baby Fila Brasileiro is called a puppy.

What do they eat?

As in the case of most domesticated dog breeds, Filas who live with their human owners usually eat dry dog food or kibble. However, this dog breed is known for being gassy and frequently suffering from gastric torsion. Many owners find that a natural or raw diet works better for their Fila.

Filas are essentially a hunting dog and have the instinct to chase and catch animals smaller than themselves, including unknown pets. Historically, the breed has been used by hunters to help catch large predators such as jaguars and wild boar.

Are they slobbery?

Yes! Filas have a big mouth and nose, with lips and jowls that hang. They can be very slobbery, especially when they have just finished a meal or had a drink of water. This might be annoying if you’ve just returned home and they want to welcome you by licking your face!

Would they make a good pet?

While the Fila Brasileiro can make an excellent guard dog in the right home, it is not a good choice of pet for most families.

As a breed, Filas have a very loving temperament. They are extremely loyal towards their human companions and very suspicious of strangers. Unfortunately, this means that strangers visiting or approaching you at the park can cause Filas to think their family is being threatened and attack. This tendency is part of the Fila’s breed standard. Because of their size, agility and strong willed nature, Fila Brasileiro attacks can be very scary and dangerous. This makes them a poor fit in houses with frequent visitors, or families with children and other dogs or cats. For this reason, owning a Fila is banned or restricted in many countries around the world.

A good family for the large and energetic Fila is one that lives on a large rural property like a farm. This would allow them to get enough daily exercise through running and play. It would also have to be a family that doesn’t get a lot of surprise visitors. Owning a Fila is a commitment. Filas don’t adapt easily to being touched or handled by people outside their immediate family, such as extended family, pet sitters, or the staff at a dog kennel facility.

To lower its aggressive instinct, a Fila Brasileiro puppy should be allowed to spend a lot of time with children and other animals for the first 6 - 8 months of its life. If they have grown up around a child or pet, they will see them as part of the family. They will be very gentle and loving towards them.

Despite socialization as a puppy, it takes a lot of time, effort, training and experience for a family to manage life with a strong willed breed like the Fila. Even if they accept some humans and pets as part of their family, an adult Fila should not be left alone with strangers. Children and other people’s pets should also be kept away.

Apart from their fierce protective instinct though, these dogs make playful, curious companions with their own quirky personalities.

Did you know...

The Fila’s walk is quite distinctive and resembles the walk of a camel. Observed closely, the walk of other dog breeds alternates between right and left leg. But when the Fila walks, both right legs move forward together, followed by both left legs moving forward together. This creates a rolling lateral movement, which is even more noticeable when the dog has its tail raised.

To the untrained observer, the Fila looks like a lethargic, slow-moving dog because of its large size. But in reality, these dogs move with great agility and grace - just like the big cats. And it is all because of their distinctive walk. This style of walking is what allows them to quickly change direction when they are on the hunt. It also allows them to rapidly pick up their pace when they need to, sometimes attaining speeds of up to 35 mph (56 kph), which is surprising for such a large dog.

These attributes are part of what makes the Fila Brasileiro an excellent hunting and catching dog.

What does a Fila Brasileiro's name mean?

Besides Brazilian Mastiff, the Fila Brasileiro has many other names like Brazilian Bloodhound, Cão de Brasil, Cão de Fila and Brazilian Molosser. In Portuguese, the national language of Brazil, “Filar” means “hold” and “Cão” means “dog”. So its name literally translates to “a dog that bites and doesn’t let go.”

What were Fila Brasileiros originally bred for?

The breeders of the Brazilian Mastiff originally meant for it to be a hunting dog. Despite their large size, these dogs are extremely agile and can run at speeds of up to 35 mph (56 kph). In the 1600s, plantation owners in Brazil would use them to hunt large and dangerous prey, like jaguars. These dogs were able to catch and hold the animals by the neck, preventing them from fleeing, until the hunters arrived on the scene.  These skills also made this dog breed good for tracking down and herding lost cattle.

These dogs have been bred to have an excellent sense of smell, a great tracking ability, resistance to many tropical diseases, a high tolerance to heat and humidity, and fierce aggression.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these Welsh Terrier facts and Dogo Argentino facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable fila brasileiros coloring pages.



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