Author Topic: Is a Fila right for my family?  (Read 30025 times)

Offline mrsewe

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Is a Fila right for my family?
« on: February 06, 2006, 03:46:23 pm »
 ??? My husband and I have been searching for the right dog for our growing family.  We're looking for a big dog that can serve as a deterrant when I am out and about and a calm, gentle dog when we're home.  We have a 5 year old son and a baby due in May, so the dog would need to be child-friendly as well.  After visiting several shelters for the last month, we came across a fila and seeing the way he was with the vet, both my husband and I thought that he would be the one.  We are taking our son to meet him tomorrow night.  This fila is a male, a year and half and 145 lbs. that can use to put on at least another 20 lbs.  His previous owner gave him up because his landlord found out about the fila and told him it's unacceptable to have this dog there. 

Anyhow, I've been doing my homework and have concerns about the aggressiveness of filas toward strangers or anyone outside of its family.  Ideally, I would like to take this fila w/me on walks with my children in our neighborhood, to the park, and to my parents house when we visit on Sunday's.  He is so adorable looking, I want to take him everywhere! But reading these websites, I don't know if that would be a smart move.  How aggressive and obedient are filas? Are you able to walk yours in your neighborhood? How do I get my fila to be familiar with my extended family that I visit once a week? How does your fila react when friends come to visit? Any insight that you would like to share would be most helpful for us in making the right decision.  I was encouraged by another fila owner to take our son to the shelter tomorrow and see how things go w/our son and the fila and if we do adopt him, to keep a watchful eye on the two until they are completely comfortable with each other.  My son is not hyper boy (which is why we're looking for a calm dog) and I don't believe he will do anything to annoy the dog.  How do my husband and I get comfortable with the fila ourselves?

Any input you can give would be a great help in making the right decision for both my family and the fila waiting to be adopted by the right person and/or family.
"If you want the best seat in the house ... move the dog"

Offline Kermit

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Re: Is a Fila right for my family?
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2006, 03:55:25 pm »
I think if you have kids and you will be having thier frinds/strangers/multiple visitors in the house often, a Fila is not the right dog. And I don't think you can take them to a park and on neighborhood walks and expect them to not be very protective of you and very very suspicious of all strangers.
I have only met two in person and they would not let me touch them. And they weren't even full grown. Everything I have been told says- this is a SERIOUS dog, and you have to take very special care that they don't end up hurting someone. You cannot change their nature.
That's just my two cents.
If you really want a protective yet sweet big dog who is awesome with kids, I'd recommend a Rottweiler, honestly.
 ;D

Offline mrsewe

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Re: Is a Fila right for my family?
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2006, 04:00:02 pm »
A rottweiler and st. bernard have been on our lists...thanks :)
"If you want the best seat in the house ... move the dog"

Nicole

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Re: Is a Fila right for my family?
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2006, 04:07:28 pm »
While I don't pretend to be the owner of a Fila or an expert by ANY means, I would also recommend against a Fila for your situation, unless you've got prior experience with a dominant, potentially agressive and VERY strong dog! You don't mention if you've had dogs in the past, or which kind if you have. These dogs definitely require a serious handler. I don't know how much you weigh, but can you imagine a dog that potentially outweighs you by 20 pounds or more going after someone while you've got a small boy and newborn in tow?

I have a Newfie mix, and although he is the sweetest, most gentle and LEAST aggressive dog on this planet, he serves as a strong deterrant when we go for walks. Most people are cautious about approaching ANY dog, especially a large one. Rebekah is right, Filas are serious dogs and have a very serious nature.

Honestly, I would have a Pitbull around my children and family before I'd have a Fila. Pitbulls are extremely family oriented and ADORE their people, particularly children. But once again, they require an experienced owner. I think that the first question you need to ask yourself is how much energy and time you want to put into training this dog. Its IMPERITIVE that dogs with protective nature's be under control, without fail. That requires a serious amount of handling and working with your dog.

Not trying to deter you, per se, just sharing what I've heard about this breed. I know a guy that has one, he's a single guy, and spends lots of time working with the dog so that he is absolutely positive the dog has perfect recall and is under control around strangers. I can't imagine being able to put that kind of traning into a dog AND having a new baby!

Just two cents! Good luck with whatever you choose!

Offline galaxybears

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Re: Is a Fila right for my family?
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2006, 04:08:22 pm »
If you can deal with the grooming I would say add a Newfie to your list. You can't get a nicer dog with children. My daughter was just 2 when we had our first Newf, having always had GSD's before that. But I wouldn't want anything other than a Newfie now :)

Can I ask what a Fila is? I am British and and I haven't ever heard of it before!! :-\
Shelley
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RIP my darling Bronte

Offline Kermit

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Re: Is a Fila right for my family?
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2006, 04:11:36 pm »

Can I ask what a Fila is? I am British and and I haven't ever heard of it before!! :-\

Fila Brasileiro- a Brazilian Mastiff!

Nicole

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Re: Is a Fila right for my family?
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2006, 05:13:34 pm »
If you can deal with the grooming I would say add a Newfie to your list. You can't get a nicer dog with children. My daughter was just 2 when we had our first Newf, having always had GSD's before that. But I wouldn't want anything other than a Newfie now :)

Can I ask what a Fila is? I am British and and I haven't ever heard of it before!! :-\

Hey Galaxy Bears,
 Just wanted to add that my Newfie mix is the BEST dog with kids and cats and other dogs and EVERYONE! I whole-heartedly agree that a Newf is a great family dog!

Offline mrsewe

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Re: Is a Fila right for my family?
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2006, 05:18:22 pm »
My husband grew up w/a St. Bernard and until a year ago had a pit bull/st. bernard mix.  He was the most loyal dog to my husband, great w/our son and myself.  He was intelligent and protective but too energetic to me and highly aggressive toward men.  We had a storm a year ago and before my husband or I got home, our (sturdy) fence had been blown open and Samson got out; we never found him.  I am a petite woman and Samson was much, much stronger than me, but would listen to me.  Because of his aggressiveness, however, we were not able to take him out to the park or on walks.  The fila that is at the shelter has been tested with other animals and passed with flying colors and was previously living with a 1-year-old, 3-year-old, and 7-year-old and was great with them (according to his papers). 

I appreciate your two cents, I'm glad that you're all so detailed!  :) Are there any fila owners out there that can give their opinions as fila owners?

This is what the fila looks like that we're thinking of adopting....
"If you want the best seat in the house ... move the dog"

Offline Halo05

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Re: Is a Fila right for my family?
« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2006, 05:19:34 pm »
Hi,
We have a Fila named Halo. He is 150#. He is VERY animal aggressive. He is VERY stranger aggressive. He is crated when people come in the house for their own safety. My opinion is not to get the Fila. First of all, you won't know what will "trigger" him into attack mode. It is serious and severe. Second, your children will want to have friends over and this will be a bad situation to put the dog in. Third, they are not dogs to bring to the park, stores and visiting etc. in general. If you have to have a Fila at least get a young puppy from a reputable kennel. They will not hurt your family at all but the one you want is older and set in his ways somewhat. Please research it further. I owned a 140# Rottie before Halo and there is no comparisson to the levels of their "attack modes". Also, they are banned in the UK along with Tosa and pits. A good German Shephard or Rottie may be better and more manageable.

Offline mrsewe

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Re: Is a Fila right for my family?
« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2006, 05:21:34 pm »
oh yah, what's a newfie??  ::)
"If you want the best seat in the house ... move the dog"

Offline mrsewe

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Re: Is a Fila right for my family?
« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2006, 05:32:48 pm »
Thanks Halo....when you say
Quote
I owned a 140# Rottie before Halo and there is no comparisson to the levels of their "attack modes".
what were the differences? Rottie's are second on my list.
"If you want the best seat in the house ... move the dog"

Offline Halo05

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Re: Is a Fila right for my family?
« Reply #11 on: February 06, 2006, 06:09:51 pm »
The differences in attack modes are drastic. With Sinbad, my Rottie, there would be warning signs (stopping still, head up, ears up, hair up etc.) the the growl, if that didn't work then barking. But it would last a few moments until the "threat" was gone. With Halo, there is not as much warning, the growl and bark are like a full attack mode that makes you think he can kill something. The size and sheer power is a major difference. There are cases of Fila's killing Pitbulls, German Shephards etc. You will not be able to control him if he decided he needed to protect you. He makes up his mind as to whats a threat and will not quit on it at all. An example of Halo's protection would be the guy teasing him behind our 6' stockade fence. I was there, Halo was barking, the guy was barking back and laughing. Well, Halo ran at the fence and jumped, his head clearing the top , and let out this ungodly growl. The guy actually screamed lile a little girl and took off running. It took 10 more minutes literally, to convince Halo that it was over. With Sinbad a simple "out" or "no" would've been enough. While Halo was in the vet , he liked these 2 girls that worked there. They walked him, fed him etc. They got too confident and one girl took him out without a muzzle. There were construction workers near by, about 50 yards. Halo went ballistic. On his 3 legs pulling this girl across the parking lot to get at these guys. Other vet techs came out to help her get him back in. Its just so much more fierce.

Nicole

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Re: Is a Fila right for my family?
« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2006, 06:09:55 pm »
oh yah, what's a newfie??  ::)

Newfie=Newfoundland Dog. Very gentle, loving, loyal, nurturing dogs! hehee! (I'm kinda biased) But, check them out as they make great dogs for a family.

Offline Halo05

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Re: Is a Fila right for my family?
« Reply #13 on: February 06, 2006, 06:16:31 pm »
Also at the vet, he would go crazy if anyone went near his "girls". I just would chose another breed if I was you and had little kids. Just my opinion but it's better for all involved including the dog. It just not a good situation for a Fila.

Lyn

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Re: Is a Fila right for my family?
« Reply #14 on: February 06, 2006, 06:45:22 pm »
I have met one Fila.. and it was enough for me. It belonged to an acquaintance, and all it took was for the dog to just "see me" through a glass door and it went beserk. I would classify it waaaaay beyond attack mode, it was fierce. And it's not like I'm a threatening looking person. I weight 115 pounds. LOL

The owner said the dog MUST be crated when company comes over.. whether they are familiar to the dog or not. And he is not taken off the property (which is fully fenced) unless he is muzzled. And that's just to go to the vet. These dog love and trust noone but their immediate family. And they are intense in their protection of their people.

Definitely not social dogs. Scared more than just the crap out of me. I was ready to run for the car since it looked like he was coming through the glass door.