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Training The Fila Brasileiro

The Fila Brasileiro is a large, athletic and powerful guard dog. It is strongly advised that all filas be obedience trained - and here's the key - as an ongoing process!

It's important to note that there are two schools of thought here: one group believes that the fila is primarily an estate guardian and farm dog and thus shouldn't be trained to to go out into crowded public places as this increases the risk of bite incidents and may end up attracting unwanted attention towards the breed.

The other places great emphasis on an ongoing training program which allows them to do things with their dogs that wouldn't otherwise be possible. There are both pros and cons to each. The important thing to remember is that nobody advises grabbing your somewhat trained adult fila and going for a stroll around Petsmart.

You're going to see pictures and videos of the fila doing all sorts of activities, sometimes involving strangers, that on the surface appear to indicate that the fila does all this naturally. For the majority of fila, nothing could be further from the truth!

The handlers in these videos are experienced and dedicated dog trainers and owners, who work constantly at making sure their dog is the best he or she can be. Just slapping a little bit of obedience training on a fila during their first year is NOT going to change the temperament from fila brasileiro to golden retriever, nor will it guarantee you a dog you can take to dog parks and into crowded areas.

For those activities you will need to recognize that your training is going to be a commitment for the lifetime of the dog...which is how it should be anyway.  Even so, you should also be aware that many filas may never be completely suitable for these activities.

The following videos show a fila doing basic obedience.

Off leash obedience, with gunfire as a distraction:

Heeling on leash:

Training Links

A thread on the Protection Dogs board on training the fila

Videos of the Fila Brasileiro engaged in various activites from bikejoring to agility and temperament tests


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