Fila Mastiff, French Mastiff Puppy, Bull Mastiff Pictures

The Fila Mastiff


fila mastiff

The Fila Mastiff which is also known as the Fila Brasileiro, Brazilian Mastiff and also Cão de Fila is a wonderful breed that needs strong leadership and fiar consistent obedience training.

Learn all there is to know about this breed including behavior, temperament, personality, appearance and lots more etc

So lets get started…

Behavior, Temperament and Personality

As you can see from the picture the Fila Mastiff is very large breed and as a consequence of their size they are very imposing and do not respond well to strangers. This is very important if you have a large household where lots of people are coming and going. If you are looking to purchase a Fila Mastiff you need to be a strong, dominant and a consistent pack leader – your dog needs to know that you are the boss and you set the boundaries.

This breed are very loyal to their owners and faithful and protective to families and children – they do NOT like strangers. Such is their dislike of strangers that judges during dog shows need to be very careful when approaching them and very wary about touching them as they may respond with aggression.

When this breed have bonded with the family – they will consider you their pack for life and will always seek to protect you and spend time with you. As previously mentioned this breed love kids – as with most children who prod and poke family dogs this breed are unbelievably gentle and respond very well to inquisitive children. As with all breeds this dog needs to be well socialized with people and new experiences from an early age – this will help in some way towards the natural aggression that might be exhibited towards strangers .

This breed are natural hunters and like to herd and guard. They make excellent guard dogs. It is very important that you display dominance within your pack – if you are a weak leader you will encounter dominance problems with your dog. A Fila Mastiff is not the best breed for a first time owner – we would recommend this breed to more experienced owners who have owned a Mastiff before and understand their behavior and personality traits. If you are keen to purchase this breed – do your research.


A very negative aspect that some Fila Mastiff owners like to use is to stop any form of socialization from the age of four months. The main reason for this is that the owners are wanting to encourage this aggression and dislike of strangers so that they make more imposing guard dogs. We do not recommend ever using these techniques as you will only encounter more problems. Who wants a dog that could be dangerous and how do you know what or who your dog views as a stranger. Socialization is vital – do it throughout your dogs early months and continue introducing your dog to new experiences everyday – this will lead to a well balanced and more adjusted pet.


This is a large breed with a rectangular shaped body. The dewlaps are one of the most prominent features (this is the skin that hangs down under the jaw). This saggy skin is a prominent feature over certain area of the body where the skin hangs loose – specifically around the jaw – although the abdomen and chest area can also have similar loose skin. The Fila Mastiff has rolling gait when it walks – mainly due to the legs on either side moving together (so the right side both legs and then the left side both legs). The tail is long, firm and comes to a point – with the back straight and elegant. This breed is typical of the Molosser breed group – solid, very well built dogs that have heavy bones, floppy pendant ears, small relatively short muzzle and a muscular neck.  The Molosser breed group actually originate from Molossia in ancient Greece.

Height and Weight – The Fila Mastiff is a very large dog breed – they can reach a height of 25.5 inches up to 29.5 inches (or 65 cm up to 75 cm) to the withers and can reach a weight of 110 pounds (50 kg).

Coat – The Fila Mastiff has a short coat that can come in a variety of colors ranging from brindle, fawn, black, apricot and red. For this breed to be accepted as FCI standard the colors that are not allowed or considered acceptable are black and tan, mouse & gray and blue – solid white. The breed are permitted to have white markings but only limited to 25% of their entire body – i.e. tail (tip, feet and chest area. 

Grooming – A very easy breed to groom – they can shed but are not considered excessive shedders of hair. Use a firm brush and then wipe clean with a towel. The coat should begin to shine and appear glossy.

Life Expectancy

The life expectancy of this breed ranges from nine up to eleven years of age.


As with all large dog breeds the Fila Mastiff needs regular exercise. This breed needs a relatively large property and would not suit a small Flat or Apartment. If you have a garden make sure you have a high fence.

Health Problems

This breed are prone to the following health problems…

  • Bloat
  • Hip Dysplasia and Elbow Dysplasia
  • Gastric Torsion

Breed History

The Fila Mastiff is believed to originate from a number of different breeds including the Bloodhound, Bulldog and Mastiff. They were initially bred to herd cattle and the first recognized standard breed type description is believed to originate from around 1946. However the breed originates from the around the 15th century. The large breed were often used to herd game or prey as they do nor attack – they are used to keep the prey in one place until the hunter arrives. This breed were actually used in Brazil many years ago when slavery was legal – when slave escaped the breed were used to round up any escapees until the slave owners arrived.

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