***Bonus*** Fila Brasileiro - Trisha Prater
Question number 1:
Why did you choose this breed? How long have you had this breed?
The breed fell on me. I had been raised with rotties for years and wanted to get another. The breeder who I later found out was a puppy mill, had rotties and I was interested in one of her pups. I thought I asked all the right questions. But I was young, and the idea of a big dog was appealing. When she told me she also bred fila, and that the rottie litter was sold she offered to sell me a pup from her filas. I had puppy fever and my old rottie girl was in her teens and I feared loosing her before I got another so I jumped on it.
It was not pretty, it was not well thought out, and quite frankly there were alot of lies on her part about the breed. So much of my first couple years was alot of struggling.
I have had fila almost 20 years now. And for as hard of a start as it was. I wouldn't give them up for the world.
Question number 2:
For people not familiar with this breed, can you tell us a little bit about them? The good and the bad?
There really is a huge variation in the breed due to the amount of back yard breeding. Alot of breeders are watering them down to a shell of what they once were. So much so that they should be classified as an entirely different breed.
I am to have as true of fila to the standard as I can find. Speaking of them. They are assholes. They are the true definition of two faced. Most will be as sweet and gentle, laid back and soft as the sweetest golden... with you. But when dealing with someone they don't know you would think every story about the hounds of hades must have been written about them.
With their family their only goal in life is you. To be with you, next to you, they obsess about your body language and it becomes an unspoken dance of them trying to please you. Granted they are not smart in the aspect of a collie or shepherd. But they have a devotion like no other. They learn your ques before you give them, almost like they crawl in your head and set up residency. Their goal in life is to protect you.
However you have to be willing to be the lead in this dance and give them something to do. If not they take matters into their own hands and can become pushy, mouthy, and even aggressive. They want a strong leader like any big breed does. They need to be seen as partners in your every day life, if they do not respect you they will make their own choices.
The worst traits in fila is what makes them what is most unique. Their indescribable hate of anyone they do not like. We are talking like high school teenage girl hate. They are certain in those moments as much as they love you, your an idiot. And their only job is to protect you as any obsessed stalker would. With as much force as needed. They will respond to a threat. They will not take no for an answer. And do not trust that your word no means jack squat in those moments.
The issue becomes when you forget that your cute cuddly buddy who adores everything you do, and is perfect. Wants to kill everyone that gets close and people let their gaurd down and people get hurt.
There is a responsibility that comes with the breed many forget.
Question number 3:
What are some of the activities, do you do with your chosen breed?
I am a bit out of sorts with the breed. I firmly believe although they have human aggression. They were bred to be a farm dog and should be eager to please. That means they should be able to do multiple things and do them well. They desire to make you happy as long as it doesn't involve being touched or people getting in their bubble.
This doesn't mean smart. They are not collies and shepherds. They are not going to be snappy, show offs, and flashy in an obedience ring.
With my fila I have done weight pull ( very well as it is a passion of mine and have multiple international champions), droving (as we work for a large cattle rancher in the spring and fall and help move livestock to and from pastures), barn hunt (this was fun till they learned they do not get to kill the rat), obedience (again not flashy or fast but got a title), rally ( at their own pace), protection sports (bite the bad guy is always a favorite game), trick titles ( you just have to make them think it was their idea to do this stupid thing), dryland racing ( 3 to 5 filas pulling a dryland cart which is similar to a sled pulled in the snow with wheels. But no snow because they are from Brazil and snow is stupid), I tried bikejore( and learned 1 fila is to much for 1 bike... no stop only go), I want to try dock diving, lure coursing and scent work but 2020 has slowed down our plans a little as we always are looking for new things to do.
But some times its simply sitting on the couch, going hiking, or just enjoying being there.
***Check comments section for the rest of the written interview***