Information: Breed History

Information
– Breed History
What goes without question is the number of variations from multiple sources of the origins of any breed. The best that can be done is to research as much information from as many different areas and draw educated conclusions. So stating, the origin of the Fila Brasileiro starts during Brazil’s colonial days. This breed “appeared” from a basic need for a strong and large dog, effective in herding cows and warding off jaguars and other predators that menaced the herds; and also, withstand the very rustic conditions of the Fazendas. “The Fila Brasileiros survival throughout the centuries was due to its hard working determination and unmatched courage as well as an uncanny loyalty and jealousy of its owner and territory. Making the Fila a very sought after asset to their farms and lifestyles.”
Three basic breeds are recognized to have produced such a dog (although there is still much debate):
  • the Old English Mastiff, which contributed to its heavy frame, strength, courage and protective nature;
  • the Bloodhound, giving the Fila the abundant and loose skin, plus an excellent sense of smell, and;
  • the Old English Bulldog (Engelsen Doggen), that set the aggressive temperament, its herding instincts
and a stubborn persistence.
It is not clear what other breeds defined this distinct Brazilian breed, but it was its aptitude that prolonged its existence. The Fila Brasileiro is a breed that me the needs of the people of Brazil. These early colonists needed a hard-working dog that could perform many tasks. They needed a guard dog, a herding dog, a hunter and a loyal companion. All of these traits, and many more, are found in the Fila Brasileiro. The Colonial period in Brazil was a time of grand sugar plantations. Many workers were needed to keep these plantations going, so African slaves were brought to Brazil. The average annual importation of slaves during this period was around 30,000. Filas were used to guard the salves, often over 200 per plantation, and to discourage escape. If a slave did escape, the Filas were used to track them down. Unlike their ancestor, the Bloodhound, the Fila Brasileiro will grab and hold at the end of the trail. The word “fila” actually translates “to hold” in the Portuguese language. Slavery ended in 1888 in Brazil, but the Fila continued to perform many other duties. The early Filas also served as hunting dogs. Filas were used for centuries to hunt large prey, such as wild boar and jaguars. The dense jungles of Brazil posed little problem for these robust dogs, which were even able to withstand the assaults of mosquitoes and other insects that inhabit the jungle. The Fila Brasileiro also put his hunting skills to use on the large ranches in Brazil, protecting the livestock and ranch owners. These large ranches employed many Filas, not only as livestock guardians but also as cattle drovers. A powerful, trustworthy dog was needed to drive the cattle over the open areas of Brazil. The Fila Brasileiro has a natural herding instinct, much like his abilities as a guard dog. The Fila Brasileiro’s natural dislike of strangers, coupled with a proverbial faithfulness to his master, made it a natural choice as a guard dog for the people of Brazil. As time went on, and more people were moving to the big cities, the Filas went with them. The Filas’ aggressiveness toward burglars made them a popular choice with property owners in the cities. The modern Fila Brasileiro exhibits the same temperament toward strangers and is a popular choice for the guard dog today. It wasn’t until the 1900’s that the “fezenderos” began a more or less careful selection of the Fila Brasileiro, in order to not lose its proven qualities. But not until 1946 that it was finally registered in the “Kennel Clube Paulista” of Sao Paulo Brazil. Since then, our challenge as breeders has been and must be, to fix in our dogs genes the correct characteristics in type and temperament, as well as to obtain healthy well structured dogs that will live up to their expectations at work, as fierce protectors and; in the home, as stable and loving friends.

What goes without question is the number of variations from multiple sources of the origins of any breed. The best that can be done is to research as much information from as many different areas and draw educated conclusions. So stating, the origin of the Fila Brasileiro starts during Brazil’s colonial days. This breed “appeared” from a basic need for a strong and large dog, effective in herding cows and warding off jaguars and other predators that menaced the herds; and also, withstand the very rustic conditions of the Fazendas. “The Fila Brasileiros survival throughout the centuries was due to its hard working determination and unmatched courage as well as an uncanny loyalty and jealousy of its owner and territory. Making the Fila a very sought after asset to their farms and lifestyles.”
Three basic breeds are recognized to have produced such a dog (although there is still much debate):

info-breedhistory

  • the Old English Mastiff, which contributed to its heavy frame, strength, courage and protective nature;
  • the Bloodhound, giving the Fila the abundant and loose skin, plus an excellent sense of smell, and;
  • the Old English Bulldog (Engelsen Doggen), that set the aggressive temperament, its herding instincts and a stubborn persistence.

It is not clear what other breeds defined this distinct Brazilian breed, but it was its aptitude that prolonged its existence. The Fila Brasileiro is a breed that me the needs of the people of Brazil. These early colonists needed a hard-working dog that could perform many tasks. They needed a guard dog, a herding dog, a hunter and a loyal companion. All of these traits, and many more, are found in the Fila Brasileiro. The Colonial period in Brazil was a time of grand sugar plantations. Many workers were needed to keep these plantations going, so African slaves were brought to Brazil. The average annual importation of slaves during this period was around 30,000. Filas were used to guard the salves, often over 200 per plantation, and to discourage escape. If a slave did escape, the Filas were used to track them down. Unlike their ancestor, the Bloodhound, the Fila Brasileiro will grab and hold at the end of the trail. The word “fila” actually translates “to hold” in the Portuguese language. Slavery ended in 1888 in Brazil, but the Fila continued to perform many other duties. The early Filas also served as hunting dogs. Filas were used for centuries to hunt large prey, such as wild boar and jaguars. The dense jungles of Brazil posed little problem for these robust dogs, which were even able to withstand the assaults of mosquitoes and other insects that inhabit the jungle. The Fila Brasileiro also put his hunting skills to use on the large ranches in Brazil, protecting the livestock and ranch owners. These large ranches employed many Filas, not only as livestock guardians but also as cattle drovers. A powerful, trustworthy dog was needed to drive the cattle over the open areas of Brazil. The Fila Brasileiro has a natural herding instinct, much like his abilities as a guard dog. The Fila Brasileiro’s natural dislike of strangers, coupled with a proverbial faithfulness to his master, made it a natural choice as a guard dog for the people of Brazil. As time went on, and more people were moving to the big cities, the Filas went with them. The Filas’ aggressiveness toward burglars made them a popular choice with property owners in the cities. The modern Fila Brasileiro exhibits the same temperament toward strangers and is a popular choice for the guard dog today. It wasn’t until the 1900’s that the “fezenderos” began a more or less careful selection of the Fila Brasileiro, in order to not lose its proven qualities. But not until 1946 that it was finally registered in the “Kennel Clube Paulista” of Sao Paulo Brazil. Since then, our challenge as breeders has been and must be, to fix in our dogs genes the correct characteristics in type and temperament, as well as to obtain healthy well structured dogs that will live up to their expectations at work, as fierce protectors and; in the home, as stable and loving friends.