How To Picture The Brazilian Mastiff

bySam Daniels

Some people have said that the Brazilian Mastiff is similar to a cross between a Bloodhound and a Mastiff. And, that might actually give you a good mental picture of what the Brazilian Mastiff is like. This breed of Mastiff is also known as the Fila Brasileiro.

Originally bred for protecting the plantations in Brazil, it is not surprising that the ancestors of this large breed of dog did include bulldogs, bloodhounds, and Mastiffs originally from Europe. These ancestors were brought by Conquistadors to South America several centuries ago.

The resulting characteristics of this combination is a breed of dog with the Bloodhound's great scent tracking ability, and the great guarding instincts of the Mastiff. This combination also made the Brazilian Mastiff extremely well suited to defend the cattle in the ranches of Minas Gerais and the surrounding regions. These dogs were very adept to defending the steers from wild jaguars in the area, as well as warding off cattle rustlers.

The Brazilian Mastiff's history also includes their use onhunting excursions. They were not only used to track prey, but also to attack, if necessary, and hold them until the dog's owner arrived. At one point in this Mastiff's breed history, they were even used to track down and capture runaway slaves.

One of the physical characteristics that helps to make the Brazilian Mastiff such a great tracking dog, is that the dog's joints are loose, allowing him to quickly change direction even if he is running full-out.

One of the unique characteristics for which this breed of Mastiff is still known today, is it's wariness and dislike of strangers. When it was need for guarding, this dog was chosen for this trait. It has carried through the breeding to this day. During dog shows and competitions, they are tested for their suspicion of people they are not familiar with, as well as their instinct to posture for attack.

Though it seems contrary to what you would normally expect to see at a dog show, the standard judging of the Brazilian Mastiff says that the dog should not allow the judge, being a stranger, to touch it. And, even more surprising, if the judge is actually attacked by the Mastiff, it may be given a fault, but also a "confirmation of its temperament." Even though they can be fierce with strangers, they are gentle and loving with their families. This trait is true with other types of Mastiffs. They are protective and loyal to the families that they know and love.

Like his other Mastiff cousins, the Brazilian Mastiff is huge! They weigh over 100 pounds and stand an average of 28 inches at the shoulder. The females may be smaller, but only slightly. They usually weigh around 90 pounds, and stand between 24 and 28 inches high.

The Brazilian Mastiff has a coat that is smooth and short haired. Their colors range from solid yellow to black, and even brindled colors in between. Though the Brazilian Mastiff can be a loving, family dog, if you are considering owning one, you should be well aware of this dog's strong guarding instincts, and remember that they may need more supervision around strangers than other types of the Mastiff breed.

About The Author: Sam Daniels is a dog trainer and enthusiast. Learn more through his extensive Mastiff Care Secrets course free of charge. It is jam-packed full of must-have information for Mastiff owners and those looking for a Brazilian Mastiff.

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