It is a typical molosser breed, doge type. It has a great sense of smell and an imposing figure. These characteristics made him the most fearsome persecutor of fugitive slaves. It has a powerful bone structure; it has a compact and rectangular but well-balanced and harmonious body. As well as its corporal mass, its great agility is gathered, and it is easily perceptible.
The Brazilian Mastiff is not a breed bred by men; instead, it has evolved naturally because of the need of a strong and active working dog by the first colonists in Brazil. There are some historic documents which date back to 1671, and the first Brazilian Mastiffs are in them. This breed was born thanks to the cross between three breeds: the ancient Bulldog, the Mastiff and the Bloodhound.
There is another theory which speculates about a fourth breed in the Brazilian Mastiff’s creation. It would be the “Fila Terceirense”, a shepherd dog brought by the Portuguese colonists from the Azores islands. This would explain its shepherding ability with cattle and even a usually seen feature which consist in the torsion of the tail. This physical characteristic is the reason why the Brazilian Mastiff is called «twisted tail» or «broken tail» in Brazil, its home country.
The FCI officially recognized the Brazilian Mastiff in 1968. The Standard was presented all over Europe, including England, Holland and Italy, and it lasted without changes for almost a decade. But in 1976, the first Brazilian Mastiff symposium was celebrated in Brazil and the Standard was examined. The Brazilian Mastiff continued gaining fame until 1982, when it became the most popular dog in Brazil.
Height bitch: 60~70 cm / Height male: 65~75 cm
Weight bitch: 57~73 kg / Weight male: 64~82 kg
The Brazilian Mastiff is a robust, vigorous, imposing and muscular dog. The paws have a good skeleton, and the tail narrows progressively. It has big V-Shaped ears. Its coat is short, flexible and thick, and all colors are permitted, except Mouse-Grey, Black and Tan, Blue and Solid White.
One of the most important characteristics of the Brazilian Mastiff is its thick and loose skin. In the neck, the skin creates a pronounced double chin. The wrinkles can also be in the chest and in the abdomen, and some specimens show wrinkles in both sides of the head. Besides there should not be wrinkles on its head while it is resting, they may be present when it is in state of alert.
Males must be 65 to 75 cm tall. Females, which show an easily recognizable femininity, are 5cm shorter. Unlike most big breeds, the Brazilian Mastiff is surprisingly agile. They can easily climb a wall of 1.7m tall, which is not a simple achievement for a dog which weighs more than 40kg (50kg in the case of males). They are also very flexible and they can touch the back part of their body with their nose, practically bending to 90º.
Females show a femininity which clearly differentiates them from male.
The almond eyes of the Brazilian Mastiff are big and separated from each other on its strong and huge head. Su color va desde el castaño oscuro al amarillo, pero siempre están en armonía con el color de la capa.
Another typical characteristic of the breed is its gait, which is similar to that of a camel, moving two legs of one side at a time. The gait gives it a typical rolling lateral movement on the throat and the hindquarters which is accentuated when the dog’s tail is raised. The front limbs of the Brazilian Mastiff are shorter than the back ones, and so the withers height is shorter than its rump. It also has the ability to put its body down to its shoulder height when its tracking or when it bends down.
As well as its loyalty to its family is unbeatable, it also is its bad faith with strangers. It is docile and obedient with its owners and extremely tolerant with children. It is characteristically brave, determined and fierce. It has a quiet and confident personality, and does not get uncomfortable when it hears strange noises or when it is in a new place. It is an unbeatable guardian, and is also keen on hunting, as well as it likes performing as a shepherding dog too.
The Brazilian Mastiff does not demand a lot of attention. It just needs an authoritarian and persistent owner, which does not impress easily.
As a big-sized breed, the Brazilian Mastiff tends to have more health problems, and these are facts that the owner should keep in mind at the moment of acquiring and taking care of a specimen of this breed. Hip dysplasia and Gastric dilatation volvulus are two frequent problems of this breed.
You can download the FCI (International Cinological Federation) standard at the following link: http://www.fci.be/Nomenclature/Standards/225g02-en.pdf