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Questions and Answers for Future Fila Owners

The same questions seem to crop up again and again by each successive group of new fila owners, so you'll find a collection of those here, along with what appears to be popular consensus as to the answers.

Why would I want a Fila Brasileiro?

You would want a Fila if:

  • you want an incredibly gentle and devoted family pet - there is no breed that equals the fila for devotion!

  • you are looking for a superior personal guardian for yourself and your family;

  • you want a dog that is completely trustworthy with your children - a fila is completely submissive to his master by nature. He will NEVER turn on a member of his family.

  • you want a pup that is incredibly easy to train - filas hate to displease their master

  • you appreciate extreme love, loyalty and devotion;

  • you don't want to have to worry about being accosted on the street or attacked in your own home. Filas love their people deeply and will lay down their lives to keep them out of harms way.

What should I be aware of before I get a Fila?

  • you should be aware of the health issues that affect the fila brasileiro.

  • you should be willing to change your lifestyle totally to accommodate a large powerful protective dog that will not want attention from strangers;

  • you realize that strangers are also those members of your family that don't come around very matter how much YOU love them, you Fila will never love them as much as he loves YOU;

  • you shouldn't have a lot of friends, casual visitors or acquaintances that have never met the fila dropping by without notice or walking in unannounced

  • you preferably own your own property - landlords can take a dim view of guardian breeds and you don't want to have to find a new home for yourself or your dog at short notice;

  • as with any large dog, you may have to pay more for liability insurance, or worse, have your insurance cancelled;

  • you should be able afford to pay more for parasite control, worming and preventative medicines, etc. - these are big dogs;

  • you'll prepared to provide a safe yard large enough for exercise, with appropriate fencing;

  • you'll need to spend time getting your Fila acquainted with your local dog sitters while he is still a pup;

  • you'll need to spend a lot of time obedience training your dog;

  • you should be willing to give up the idea of taking your dog to Petsmart, dog parks or similar;

  • you don't mind dogs that shed, drool or slobber...that short tight coat can jettison an unbelievable amount of excess hair and those lips can fling a lot of drool!

Who shouldn't have a Fila?

  • People who live in small apartments with no fenced yard

  • People who spend all day at work and expect to be able to leave their dog at home alone all day

  • People who have no time to train a dog or provide it with adequate exercise

  • People with limited financial resources to care for a large dog

  • People who believe in chaining their dogs to a kennel for prolonged periods. This breed lives to be with their family. To be tied out would break their heart.

  • If you rent your home, in most cases it's not advisable to have a Fila

  • Anyone without knowledge of this breed should not have a fila

  • First time dog owners should not pick this breed as their first dog

How will my Fila react to other members of the family?

If a family member has not been introduced to the dog, nor regularly interacted with your Fila during puppyhood, the chances are that your Fila will regard this person as a stranger no matter how much YOU love them; the fila may never entirely regard them as a family member and as such they won't be showered with the same legendary devotion.

What about other animals or livestock?

The fila is NOT known to be a dog aggressive breed. Again, if the Fila has been raised with other animals, it will tend to regard them as part of the family and even protect them. Strange animals may be fair game, however, if left unattended. Remember, this breed was also used extensively for hunting large game - many have a fairly strong prey drive. Some Filas will chase even the family cats, and some will take a dislike to another dog in the's an individual thing and you'll have to be vigilant and observant to notice any potential conflicts brewing.

What special facilities/equipment should I have if I want to get a Fila?

  • Secure fencing

  • Several strong good quality leather collars and leashes

  • A crate or kennel

  • Indestructible water and food bowls

  • Several large doggy beds...Filas like to stay near their master and will follow you from room to room.

  • Lots of chew toys!

What would I expect to pay for a pup?

Fila Brasileiro puppies average around $1000 - $1500 in the USA, depending on whether you want a pet or show quality pup.  Proven adult dogs can be anywhere from $2500 on up, the sky is the limit! Oh yes, you can find so called Fila pups for as little as $400 US...buyer beware! As this breed becomes better known more and more backyard breeders are producing puppies from poor or crossbred stock. Being owned by a true Fila Brasileiro is an awesome experience, and one that a crossbreed will never approximate. You have to see this love and loyalty to believe it.

Is the fila an aggressive breed?

The fila is NOT an aggressive dog per se - it does not go looking for trouble. Filas are a very protective breed that likes to be right at the side of their master at all times, and will protect their loved ones from what they perceive to be a harmful situation.

Is the fila used for dog fighting?

No! The fila is NOT and has NEVER been used for dog fighting! It would fail miserably as a fighting dog because it is not dog aggressive and as a breed is not particularly fond of fighting.


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