Cão de Fila de São Miguel
The Cão de Fila de São Miguel is a determined, intelligent working breed. Highly protective of their herds, these pups also make loyal companions.
Cão de Fila de São Miguel History
Likely originating on the São Miguel island in the Azores region of Portugal, the Cão de Fila de São Miguel dates back to the early 19th century. Experts believe the breed descended from the now-extinct Terceira Dog.
Filas are Molosser-type dogs that worked on farms guarding and herding cattle. The first official breed standard was developed in 1984, and the FCI recognized it internationally in 1995.
Though these dogs live primarily in the Azores, some people import the rare breed to Europe, North America, and other locations.
Cão de Fila de São Miguel Traits
These dogs are large, robust, and hardy. They have broad heads, straight necks, deep chests, and muscular builds.
Coat and Coloring
Filas have short, smooth, dense coats that are lightly fringed on the tail, anal region, and back of the thighs. The breed's brindle coat comes in shades of fawn, black, and gray. Some Filas have white markings on the forehead or feet or from the chin to the chest.
Distinctive Physical Traits
Notable traits of the Cão de Fila de São Miguel include a square head, powerful jaw, medium-sized, triangular drop ears, and a high-set, thick tail.
Cão de Fila de São Miguel Temperament
Filas are intelligent, hardworking dogs that excel at protecting both livestock and people. They're loyal to their humans and form tight bonds with their families—but they can be wary of strangers.
These driven, sometimes territorial pups are best suited for experienced pet parents.
Cão de Fila de São Miguel Care
Filas thrive on a high-quality diet formulated for their life stage (e.g., puppy, adult, senior).
Since they're deep-chested, they may be at greater risk of bloat (also known as twisted stomach). To help prevent bloat, break your dog's food up into several meals a day, and use a food bowl designed to slow their eating. Also, avoid feeding immediately before or after any kind of vigorous activity. These are just a few ways you can help prevent this life-threatening condition. Consult your veterinarian about other options and recommendations.
All dogs are at risk for obesity if they overeat. To help your dog maintain a healthy weight, measure their portions and keep an eye on how many treats you're giving. As a guideline, they should make up no more than 10% of a dog's daily calories.
Weekly brushing and the occasional bath will keep the Cão de Fila de São Miguel's short coat looking its best. To reduce your dog's chance of ear infections, check their ears regularly and clean them as needed to remove wax build-up and debris. Nail trims should also be part of every dog's grooming routine.
Lastly, good dental hygiene will support your dog's overall health. In addition to professional cleanings, establish an at-home dental care program that includes regular teeth brushing and veterinarian-recommended dental chews.
A short walk around the block is not enough for the Fila. This active working breed requires a fair amount of daily exercise to stay happy and healthy. Long, brisk walks, hikes, and opportunities to run and chase are all good outlets for a Fila's energy.
Known for their intelligence, Cão de Fila de São Miguels are eager to please their people and respond well to firm, consistent training sessions.
Filas also require socialization starting from puppyhood. Getting your dog comfortable with different people and environments when they're young will help them develop into confident, well-mannered pets.