Dog Breed Group: Working Dog
Life Span: 9-11 years
Weight: Male: 42-46, Female: 40-45
Height: Male: 26-30, Female: 24-28
Origin of Name: The Fila Brasileiro is a large working breed of dog developed in Brazil.
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Well into the 1800s, many British Spaniards that were used by hunters for flushing gamebirds were not classified by breed, as they are today. Rather, they were organized by size and job description. This changed at the turn of the century, with the arrival of the Dog Show in England. Suddenly, it became important to establish definite types and breeds, and a particular type of spaniel, born of Cocker, named English Springer and Sussex Cross as field spaniels. These early territories were an immediate hit in the show ring, but also capable hunters.
Breed's success in the ring encouraged breeders to produce a spectacular field spaniel, which takes its long, diminutive shape to the extreme - the ""grexic caricature"" of a spaniel, as one commentator put it. Such short-sighted breeding practices denounced the value of the area as goons and introduced health problems to the breed. The field's popularity declined as its boom, and the breed soon reached the brink of extinction.
Nevertheless, the permanent properties of the field make it too good to dismiss. Dedicated radicals of the 20th century worked to rehabilitate the field. By the late 1960s, enthusiasts got back to basics and with the re-introduction of Cocker and Springer Blood, the dog was remodeled along its original lines. In the decades since, the rise and fall and re-rise of field spaniels have served as a cautionary tale for breeders of dogs.