For someone who is looking for the ultimate guard dog, the Fila Mastiff is one good choice.
Also called Fila Brasileiro these dogs are so fiercely loyal to their owners that there is a saying in Brazil: Faithful as a Fila.
Working Fila Brasileiro
A mix of English Mastiff and Bloodhound, these dogs were used as guard dogs and as hunting companions. Because of the Bloodhound, Fila Brasileiros have a great ability to follow a scent. They are also known for holding the prey – rather than destroying it – until the hunter arrives.
While the Fila is not the largest of Mastiff breeds, it is big enough to be imposing. The males are typically between 110 and 180 pounds. The female are a bit smaller with average weights of between 90 and 130 pounds.
They have a large head and the muzzle is rather deep. The droopy jowls are a reminder of the bloodhound that is in the mix. The dogs have muscular bodies, but they are very agile despite their stockiness.
Colors are fawn, red, black and brindle. Sometimes the dog will have a black mask. The coats are short and require little grooming.
This dog, like most Mastiffs, can be a wonderful addition to a family IF it is properly trained and socialized from an early age. That being said, the Fila Brasileiros are fearless and very intolerant of strangers. This is something that is not likely to change throughout the Fila’s life.
Because of the dog’s loyalty, courage and protectiveness of its environment, they make a perfect choice for guarding a yard or large piece of property.
It is the dog’s protectiveness of its owner that makes it a great guard dog – in the right hands. If not properly trained, the result can be a nervous and dangerous dog that must be kept isolated from everyone except the owner.
Not For Everyone
While the Fila Mastiff is a great guard dog, it is not the best choice for everyone.
First time dog owners should not even consider this pet, because it takes a lot of knowledge about dogs in order to be able to handle and train it correctly.
Here are some other things to consider:
• Anyone who tends to have a lot guests coming and going should not choose this breed due to its intolerance to strangers.
• This dog needs plenty of space and will require a good amount of exercise.
• The best owners will have experience with this breed or with similar breeds.
• Owners without this experience must be willing to pay for training from a qualified expert.
• Failing to socialize the dog properly will likely result in a dog that is aggressive.
• While the Fila will enjoy affection from its owners, it is very important that the owner maintains a position as the alpha.
Two Fila Mastiffs