If you like the thought of owning a big dog, you might recall the lovable cartoon with Marmaduke in it. He was always one to jump in peoples' laps, almost oblivious to his own size and strength. The Fila Brasileiro is similarly enchanting in its desire to sit on your lap, your feet, or just lean up against your body. This can be either annoying or lovable, depending on how well you can withstand the weight of the dog on your own body frame.
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Like Marmaduke, the Fila Brasileiro has a large mouth and nose area that lends itself well to slobbering, snorting, and drooling. This may not be a problem if the dog isn't sitting on your lap, but once it has you cornered you can expect it to show its joyfulness at your presence by giving you big sloppy kisses. You may not even be anywhere near the dog after it's taken a big gulp of water, but just shaking its head can spray saliva everywhere. If you find this behavior revolting, you are best not to get the dog. Many owners find this type of behavior endearing and funny. The dog can be very playful when young, which requires some intervention to make sure it doesn't cause too much damage to your home.
The Fila Brasileiro has a problem with flatulence. This isn't something it can really control and it is up to you as the owner to arrange the diet to minimize flatulence. If you find the kibble you are feeding the dog is causing a lot of flatulence, switch to a more natural diet of meat and fresh vegetables to help keep the gassiness at bay.
The dog is immensely loyal to its owner. This is what makes it a marvelous watchdog. It is highly energetic when small, but it calms down when it matures to an adult. In general, it will have a calmer demeanor as it ages. It can play very well with small children who are part of your household and have even shown great patience with them. But, it is not a social dog and the same tenderness and congeniality it shows to members of your household will not automatically extend to other children, pets, or strangers. The dog is extremely faithful and has generated a saying in Brazil that states: "Faithful like a Fila."
As with any dog that you are intending on owning, be sure to research the breed's quirks and habits. You will get a good idea if the habits you see are more annoying than they are lovable to you. While some people like the idea of a large dog, others can't handle the affectionate antics of a large dog and prefer a more medium-sized breed.
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