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7 Brazilian Dog Breeds (Breeds That Originated in Brazil)

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By Nicole Cosgrove

Brazilian Terrier on Brazil flag

Brazil is a nation in South America that stands apart for its interesting culture and a massive amount of natural diversity. Some of the most interesting dogs in the world originate from Brazil.

Although there are not many purebred dogs that can be traced to Brazil, a few do stand out. Some of them have spread to the rest of the world, while others are predominantly found in Brazil.

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The 7 Brazilian Dog Breeds

1.  Brazilian Mastiff or the Fila Brasileiro

young female of Fila Brasileiro Brazilian Mastiff_Artush_shutterstock
Image Credit: Artush, Shutterstock

The Brazilian Mastiff is one of the first of the Brazilian dog breeds. In Portuguese, they are called the Fila Brasileiro, containing the moniker of Brazil. They are dogs of massive proportion and are intimidating to behold. Their body is solid and robust, with a slightly rectangular shape.

The Brazilian Mastiff is typically a golden red to brown color. They have thick skin that folds to give them a wrinkled look. One of the characteristics that they are known for is the way they move. It is called “camel walking” because it seems similar to the way that a camel moves. They walk by simultaneously moving the front and rear legs forward on the same side.

These dogs are often used as guard dogs and have been fighting dogs in the past. They have a strong personality, and they are not suggested for first-time dog owners. These Mastiffs display dominant traits and will prefer to take control of a situation if not properly handled.

In their family circle, they can be affectionate and are loyal. However, outside of that group, they are quite reserved and unfriendly.

The Brazilian Fila was originally mixed with native Brazilian dogs and those that the Portuguese colonizers brought with them. They were used as rural workers and would even be trained to persecute fleeing slaves and hunt large animals.

2.  Brazilian Terrier

Brazilian terrier
Image Credit: Jne Valokuvaus, Shutterstock

The Brazilian Terrier is a medium-sized dog that can range in size depending on their genetic inheritance. They have an elegant appearance and can be quite charming, fitting right into the pool of other Terriers. In Brazil, they are better known as Fox Paulistinha.

These dogs have a dense coat of fur that makes them quite attractive, although the name would suggest otherwise. It is normally called “rat fur” and makes a characteristic appearance among other Brazilian dogs.

These pups are hyperactive, always on the lookout for something new and interesting to do. They are cheerful and intelligent and need to be occupied to stay out of mischief. They can be affectionate dogs but are also independent, with strong personalities and a streak for being territorial.

3.  Pampas Deerhound

Pampas Deerhound is a streamlined and thin dog with a rectangular body. They are used as a hunting breed in their native Brazil and other South American countries. They were first recognized as a breed by the National Kennel Club in Brazil, but their country of origin is up for debate.

These dogs would help their human hunters track and capture deer, which is what gives them the name Pampas. In Brazilian Portuguese, it translates to deerhound. They are still used for this purpose, as well as tracking wild boar because they are such ruthless hunters.

In terms of their personalities, they have a relatively balanced temperament and can be quite obedient. They do well in most families because they are extremely loyal, protective, and patient. Toward strangers, they are generally quite distrustful and can even be unfriendly. They need to get plenty of socialization early on to train this out of them.

4.  Campeiro Bulldogs

The Campeiro Bulldog was first developed as a breed in southern Brazil. Most researchers believe that they are a descendant of the Old English Bulldog which is now extinct and was brought to Brazil by the Europeans when they came to conquer.

This variety of bulldog gained much in the way of popularity in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul. They would herd cattle into the slaughterhouses, keeping them in line and not allowing them to rampage. However, in the 1970s, new sanitary regulations were put in place, and the dog breed almost became extinct.

Ralf Bender ended up saving the breed through breeding programs designed to bring back Brazilian dogs.

5.  Mountain Bulldog

The Mountain Bulldog is often confused with the history and appearance of the Campeiro Bulldog. These two breeds do look similar, but they have existed separately from the beginning.

Mountain Bulldogs were originally bred from Old English Bulldogs, Terceira Row, and other dogs native to southern Brazil. They accompanied and protected the first European immigrants who moved into the southern regions of Brazil.

From their beginning, these dogs have been used to protect and to herd cattle. They are not currently recognized by most international canine societies, but they do have a place in Brazil’s Confederation of Canines.

6.  Brazilian Gaucho Sheepdog/Collie

The Brazilian Collie sits in much the same place in terms of international recognition as the Mountain Bulldog, which is little to none. However, they are an attractive and hard-working breed that has been around for many years in Brazil.

These dogs are medium-sized and look similar to a Border Collie, only with longer fur. They are intelligent and agile, with a loyal temperament that suits them well for any family home. Much like other sheepdogs, these pups are used primarily to herd and shepherd cattle and protect the land.

7.  Brazilian Dogo

The Brazilian Dogo currently holds recognition with the Brazilian Confederation of Cynophilia, but not many other kennel clubs around the world. They are a large dog breed of a Molosser-type and are recognized as working dogs in Brazil.

The Brazilian Dogo originated from a cross between a female Boxer dog and a male Bull terrier. The cross is attributed to Pedro Pessoa Ribeiro Danta, who had become a famous creator of Bull Terrier breeds throughout the ’60s and ’80s. In 1978, he conducted the cross between the two dogs, and the Dogo was born.

These dogs have large, agile bodies with plenty of muscle in an elegant display. They are quite obedient and can be used in a wide variety of working scenarios.


Whether you plan on getting a Brazilian breed, are traveling to the area, or simply want to learn more about these types of dogs, we hope this list has given you some insight into what dogs come from or are plentiful in this beautiful country.

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Featured Image Credit: Ciceia Almeida, Shutterstock

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