The Fila Brasileiro is one of four dogs banned in the United Kingdom.
The four breeds covered under the Dangerous Dogs Act of 1991 are pit bull terriers, Dogo Argentinos, Fila Brasileiro, and Japanese Tosas. Why has the Fila Brasileiro been included in this list? It is a dog that has been bred to guard and herd livestock, so wouldn't it be a protective guard dog? Yes and no. The Fila Brasileiro is the most aggressive of the guard dogs, being completely open with its aggressiveness towards strangers. That's one reason it has been banned. The other, sadly, is that this breed is also used in illegal dog fighting activities.
The penalties for owning a Fila Brasileiro without a special permit from the courts in the UK are: a fine and potential imprisonment for up to six months. If the dog harms someone, that can be extended to a jail term of two years. While the UK has much more stringent rules than other countries on owning a Fila Brasileiro, the message is clear. If you own a dangerous dog, you are completely responsible for making sure it does not harm someone.
You can own a Fila Brasileiro in the United States without a special permit. You may have to check to see if you are going to be allowed to do so within your home subdivision though. Even here, your local community may have placed restrictions on breeds or sizes of dogs that are allowed in the neighborhood. Your home insurance policy may also increase its premium when it figures out that you have a Fila Brasileiro in your home.
The liabilities of owning a big dog are much higher than owning a smaller dog. When it comes to the Fila Brasileiro, a dog that is bred for aggressiveness, your neighbors may take it upon themselves to try to get rid of the dog one way or another. They may file complaints with the animal control office and/or seek to sue you simply for owning a dangerous animal. While it's not likely you will be sued just for owning it, be aware that people are much more likely to try and sue you if they don't like the fact that you own a Fila Brasileiro.
To keep everyone happy, you should make sure to exhibit a very responsible approach to your dog and address all your neighbors' concerns about the dog. Create an environment where it will not be wandering about unsupervised. Always have a secured fenced-in environment with a large privacy fence and padlocked gates to keep the dog from getting loose. Give the dog obedience training and aggression training too, if necessary. Make sure you don't allow it to mix with strangers unsupervised, even if the dog has met your neighbor before. If the dog does get lose and cause damage to another person or their property, you are liable to make restitution or can face criminal charges. The dog also may end up being euthanized if a pattern of aggressive behavior is documented.