A very unusual combination, the Brazilian Mastiff is in fact a mastiff/bloodhound mix. They have traits of both breeds; including the famed sense of smell bloodhounds are so well known for. They also have the protectiveness and gentleness with children so common in mastiffs.
Hailing from Brazil, they are known (in Portuguese) as Fila Brasileiro. Formerly employed as guards for plantations, they found their way to North America with conquistadors. This is a large breed, adults weigh in at sometimes over 100 pounds, and standing as tall as 2 feet. They have a face and neck reminiscent of a bloodhound, and fur in colors from tan to black, even yellow, with brindled dogs being most highly prized. Gentle like most mastiffs, they are capable of aggression when called for.
Excellent guard dogs, they are nonetheless very good with children. They are also famed for their loyalty. Brazilian Mastiffs still are seen in hunting, being as good at the job as their bloodhound relatives. They specialize in tracking down and catching prey while waiting for their owners to catch up; in fact, the "Fila" in "Fila Brasileiro" is from Portuguese and means "hold". More athletic than most mastiffs (another bloodhound trait) and less prone to the obesity which can plague the mastiff breed, they are healthy dogs. They get their protectiveness from the mastiff in their lineage.
More than most other varieties, Brazilian Mastiffs are not at all fond of strangers. The only sure way to get on a Brazilian Mastiffs good side, it seems, is to spend a lot of time with them as puppies if you want them to remember and show that famed protectiveness towards you. The best way to get and stay in a Brazilian Mastiffs good graces is to spend time with it from puppyhood until it is an adult. They are loyal to a fault when it comes to their families; they have even become aggressive towards judges while entered in dog shows. Remember to be careful as you choose your new Brazilian Mastiff puppy. You want to make sure that the breeder is a good and trustworthy one.
Some breeders have other agendas when selling their puppies so it is wise to get references first hand.
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