Dogue Brasileiro with a medium coat
|Other names||Dogue Brasileiro|
|Country of origin||Brazil|
|Notes||Recognized by the Confederação Brasileira de Cinofilia (Brazilian Kennel Club)|
|Dog (Canis lupus familiaris)|
Brazilian Dogo (Dogue Brasileiro) is a Molosser-type dog breed originating in Brazil. It is neither recognized by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) nor the American Kennel Club (AKC). However, it has the official national recognition of the Confederação Brasileira de Cinofilia (CBKC) where it belongs to the Group 11 - Breeds not recognized by the FCI (Raça não reconhecida pela FCI).
The original developer of the breed was a Bull Terrier breeder Pedro Pessoa Ribeiro Dantas from Caxias do Sul, Rio Grande do Sul. In 1978, his neighbor asked him to cross one of his Bull Terrier males with the neighbor's female Boxer. However, also Pedro himself liked one of the female puppies born out of the mating and decided to take her. He named her Tigresa after the brindle markings on her coat. As Tigresa grew, she turned out to be a very pleasant and promising individual: she was extremely affectionate, obedient, quick-to-learn, physically balanced, strong, and vigorous. Moreover, she lacked the extreme characteristics typical to the modern Bull Terrier, being much more functional and agile. She was also physically stronger than both an average Bull Terrier and an average Boxer. At the same time she was an excellent guard and very tolerant towards Pedro's Bull Terriers: when they tried to provoke her, she rather eluded the attacks by her better physical agility and balance than by using aggression.
After noticing the great qualities of Tigresa, Pedro started to gather information from other people who had purchased a puppy from the same litter. The response was that the dogs had become physically vigorous and excellent guards, at the same time being very gentle and affective towards their families. Therefore another mating between a Bull Terrier and a Boxer was made by using different dogs than in the first litter. Because the results turned out to be as positive as in the first litter, a new breeding line was decided to be established and was originally named Bull Boxer (which should not be confused with the English designer breed with the same name based on a Staffordshire Bull Terrier x Boxer cross).
After the first generation of Bull Terrier x Boxer crosses consisting of 80 individuals, Pedro continued by occasional matings between these crosses. The qualities and health of the new puppies were followed during their growth. It was noticed that a vast majority of them possessed the following characteristics:
- Extremely efficient guardian
- Balanced temper and extremely attached to his family
- Physically balanced and powerful, with the extreme pain tolerance of the Bull Terrier
- Longevity, lifespan being approximately 13 years
Although the results were promising, Pedro was not yet sure if the same results could also be achieved by using other similar kinds of breeds. Therefore he crossed several Bull Boxers with the American Staffordshire Terrier and noticed that at least in the first generation, the characteristics remained the same. However, no more American Bull Terrier crosses were made in the following generations and soon the studbook was closed in order to continue the breeding solely by using already existing Bull Boxers.
The Brazilian Bull Boxer Club was founded in 1986 and its president is Pedro Ribeiro Dantas himself. The breed was officially accepted by the CBKC in 1999 and the today's version of the breed standard was published in 2007. Nowadays there are 2000 pure-bred dogs in the official registry of the Bull Boxer Club - however, the number also includes many dogs that have already died. There are breeders in many different states of Brazil and the breed has grown popularity since the 1990s. Although the Brazilian Dogo is not recognized by the FCI, it does not bother Brazilian breeders and fanciers of the breed: actually, the president of the Bull Boxer Club has stated that the FCI's current principles do not meet with the breeding philosophy of the Dogue Brasileiro.
The Brazilian Dogo represents the Dogo subtype of mastiffs. It is a medium-sized, strong, agile and muscular dog, being massive without creating heavy or stocky impression. It has an appearance similar to the Argentine Dogo and the Guatemalan Dogo. Males are 54 – 60 cm tall (ideal height 58 cm) and weigh 29 – 43 kg (ideal weight 39 kg); females 50 – 58 cm tall (ideal height 56 cm) and weigh 23 – 39 kg (ideal weight 33 kg). The breed is therefore lighter and more athletic than the Guatemalan Dogo, which is equally tall but significantly heavier. There are two coat variants: short (less than 2.5 cm) and medium-length (from 2.5 to 4.7 cm). The texture of the shiny coat is harsh and dense. Unlike with the Argentine and Guatemalan Dogo, all the colours and combinations are accepted.
The Brazilian Dogo is an active and balanced, yet alert, fearless, and watchful dog with a strong guarding instinct. Towards its family, it is obedient, gentle, and affectionate. However, it is serious towards strangers and will be ready to attack if provoked. It should not demonstrate aggressive behaviour without a clear reason - such as purposeful provocation - not even with other dogs. Instead of the more common working trial, a specific character trial is demanded for the breed to reach championship in Brazilian dog shows.
The Brazilian Dogo is mainly used as a guard dog.