The Fila has bloodhound ancestry, and is apparent in its long muzzle, pendulous skin, and superb tracking ability. It's heavy muzzle with pendulous upper lips giving it a mastiff appearance. It's neck is very thick with dewlap. The skin is of the most important breed characteristics, it is thick and loose over most of it's body, chiefly at the neck, forming pronounced dewlaps and in many individuals the folds proceed down to the chest and abdomen. Some dogs show a fold at the side of the head and also at the withers descending to the shoulders. The coat is short, smooth, soft and dense. This breed may be any colour from solid to brindle, mouse grey, tan and black except white. Typical colours though are fawn, black or brindle.  black mask may or not be present. In all colours any white markings must be limited to toes chest and tip of tail to be show standard. The back is strong and straight rising gently towards the hindquarters. It's gait is long and elastic like that of a cat. His main characteristic is its pace  (camel's gait)moving two legs of one side first followed by the two legs of the other side , which causes a rolling lateral movement on the thorax and hindquarters accentuated when the tail is held high. During the walk he holds his head lower than the back line. This fascinating carriage has earned it much success at shows. Despite his size he is very agile.

The Fila Brasileiro is a courageous, powerful mastiff.It is amenable with it's human family, making a very loyal, loving companion. He is extremely dedicated to his family. He will protect you without a moments hesitation. Once you bond with him you and your family becomes his whole world, you do not need to teach him to protect you, he will do this naturally, it's in the breeds nature. They love children in their own family and they are very patient, extremely loyal and protective of them. They usually bond very well with other pets within the home. Some Filas drool especially after drinking.They are bold and wary with strangers making them a great guard dog. He needs a strong owner, proper socialisation and understanding of the breed instincts. Do NOT allow this breed to take over, he needs a handler with natural authority, be firm, confident and consistent. Passive owners WILL encounter dominance issues. You must make it clear to this dog that you are the leader. 

The Fila is not a breed for an average owner , they need constant socialisation so they are not distrustful of stranger.

This breed is not suited to city life, it needs plenty of exercise to run off energy so would be more suited to country living. It needs secure fencing with height, and room to run around. Even if they appear to be a couch potato they still need daily exercise. 

The Fila is a descendant of the 15th century English Mastiff, Bloodhound, bulldog and rafeiros. From the bloodhound he inherited the loose skin, and great sense of smell. The Mastiff contributed to it's compact body, , courage and ever alert disposition. When the Fila finds its quarry it does not kill but holds it at bay til the hunter arrives. The bulldog its impetuous temperament. Due to it's size and potential for aggression the Fila Brasileiro is a banned dog. The RSPCA is trying to get the dangerous dog act changed so dogs are banned for their behaviour not their breed. 

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