Brazilian Cabecudo Cattledog
Considered by some to be nothing more than just a localized strain of the original Fila Brasileiro and seen by its fanciers as a separate breed, the rugged Cabecudo has existed since the 16th century as a working dog in the rural parts of the Minais Gerais state in Brazil. While developed from the same ancestral stock as the popular Fila Brasileiro, the Cabe?Ø¬ø¬?udo Cattledog has remained relatively unchanged for centuries, unlike the modern Brazilian Mastiff which has been enriched with the blood of other breeds in recent history. The Cabecudo was created as a superb property guardian, large game hunter and livestock herder and protector, combining the best working traits of its ancestors, while being much better suited and adapted for the terrain and climate of its home region. Uncomplicated, tough and versatile, the Fila Onceiro has been an ideal companion for the farmers of Minais Gerais, who needed an undemanding dog of uncompromising loyalty to their owner's family and strong guarding instincts, while also being powerful and tenacious enough to hunt jaguars and protect, drive, herd and control their rowdy cattle. The breed was also used as a slave retiever in the past, because it was able to track and hold escaped humans without killing them.
Even though rare and unrecognized, this old Molosser still exists today and can be found protecting farms and driving cattle in Brazil, where its breeders and fanciers consider it to be the "real deal", while disregarding the modern incarnation of the Fila Brasileiro as a new "mongrel" created for the Show rings. On the other hand, the majority of people don't even acknowledge the differences between these two Brazilian dogges, let alone recognize the Cabe?Ø¬ø¬?udo Boiadeiro das Minas Gerais as a separate breed. Although superficially similar in terms of physical appearance, the Cabecudo Cattledog differs from its cousin, the Fila Brasileiro in the size of its head, overall height and mass. However, the greatest difference between them is in their resilience and especially the temperament, since the famed "ojeriza" trait is much less evident in the Cabe?Ø¬ø¬?udo population, which is overall more biddable than the majority of Filas. While it can make a very capable guardian, the Cao Boiadero is primarily an old-time farm dog, employed as a companion for fruit and coffee pickers, as well as to follow ranchers who often cover great distances on horseback gathering large herds of cattle with the help of 3 or 4 of these dogs and driving them from the pastures back to the farms.
The Brazilian Cabe?Ø¬ø¬?udo Boiadeiro moves easily, but is somewhat sluggish when relaxed, while remarkably quick to react with great force and speed in times of need. It is generally not dog-aggressive, although males will engage in combat when provoked. This is a powerful and well-boned Molosser, with reasonably loose skin and a deep chest. The head is quite large, with a strong muzzle, powerful jaws and a dry mouth.
The coat is short and flat, most commonly seen in yellow, wheaten and fawn shades, with or without a black mask on the face, but lightly brindled dogs also exist, as do the examples with white markings on the feet and chest. Average height is around 25 inches.