The Brazilian terrier breed, also known as Fox Paulistinha and Terrier Brasileiro, is one to have if you are looking for a small guard dog that is playful, smart, energetic, assertive, and a high-spirited dog companion.
The Brazilian terrier resembles Fox Terriers and Jack Russell Terriers.
According to some versions of the breed’s history, they were bred with a Portuguese Podengo several hundreds of years ago when Portuguese explorers arrived in Brazil via a ship.
The Brazilian Terrier is considered to be a fairly rare breed because it is among the only two breeds developed in Brazil.
The breed was not recognized until 1985 by the Brazilian Kennel Club because there were issues raised about its pedigree status. It was finally granted when several members campaigned for the Brazilian Terrier to be included in the club.
More and more families are welcoming Brazilian terriers into their homes because of their well-known characteristics for being alert, friendly, playful, and highly devoted dogs.
They are also easy to train and are naturally vicious hunters that is why some families find them very helpful in the farm. They have been trained in the rural areas of Brazil as a vermin hunter.
Brazilian Terrier Care
The Brazilian Terrier breed is not that difficult to care for in general.
One of this breed’s greatest characteristics is that over the years, they have proven themselves to be hardy meaning they are less likely to have health problems unlike other breeds.
The Brazilian Terrier is a very friendly breed in general just like other terriers. They are highly intelligent (above average), oftentimes stubborn, and dominant, but if they are given the proper training, they can be lap dogs too.
Brazilian terriers are also very friendly with children. They can get along with people of all ages if they are handled properly just like any other dog.
They are fearless and they are excellent guard dogs too. They know too well how to express themselves when they have to alert their owner.
Normally, they love to dig holes in the yard and chase other animals because of their strong hunting instinct. They are quick at hunting down rodents and other smaller animals.
So if in any case you have a chicken farm and whatnot, make sure that it is off limits to your terrier. But, with proper training, they can learn how not to see the brood as a threat and possibly leave them alone.
They cannot handle alone time very well. For households in need to leave the dog alone for work or school, Brazilian terriers may find it really stressful to stay at home all by itself for a long period of time.
They can become destructive when they are bored.
Size / Weight
The Brazilian Terrier has a muscular physique and usually weighs up to 15 to 22 lbs (7–10 kg). Females of this breed can stand about 13 to 15 inches. Males of this breed are usually taller and can stand about 14-16 inches.
The Brazilian Terrier has an average lifespan of 12 to 14 years which is a normal life expectancy among other dogs of its size.
Difficulty / Maintenance (Grooming etc..) / Needs
One of the biggest problems of dog owners is to get the pet hair off of their homes. Even if the Brazilian Terrier is not a hairy breed, they surprisingly shed a whole lot.
While their fine, short and sleek coat is very easy to maintain, regular brushing two to three times a week can help reduce shedding.
You should also inspect for fleas and ticks on a daily basis to avoid infestation especially in the summer time.
When it comes to bathing, they can bathe even just a few times a year. The Brazilian Terrier is a low-maintenance breed and they do not necessarily need to be professionally groomed.
Dental wise, dogs are skilled at hiding and ignoring toothache in general. To prevent any periodontal diseases or tooth extraction throughout their lifetime especially as they age, daily tooth brushing must be practiced religiously. Nail clipping and ear cleaning are also necessary.
As with their relationship with other pets, Brazilian terriers may need to adjust to a household with cats or other pets through proper training and of course, through socialization.
If you immediately mix the terrier with other pets without considering any training and socialization, problems and other unnecessary behavior may arise given that Brazilian Terriers are hunting dogs and they have a strong prey drive.
If you train them well, Brazilian Terriers are friendlier compared to Jack Russell Terriers making them a perfect fit for families with more than one pet.
Brazilian terriers have fast metabolism. As with nutrition, it is highly important to monitor the amount of food they are consuming.
A Brazilian Terrier puppy needs to eat four meals a day between their eight and twelve weeks. 3 to 6 months old puppies will have to be fed three meals in one day. 6 months to one year puppies have to eat twice in a day.
One feeding is sufficient enough for a one year old, but it is still your responsibility to learn the feeding pattern and habits of your terrier. They can eat twice or thrice, but in small portions. It would still depend on their habits.
To avoid obesity, keep in mind that giving too many treats alongside their regular meals will make them gain weight.
Since Brazilian terriers are small dogs with fast metabolism and are very energetic, their diet should contain higher levels of healthy fats for a more concentrated energy source. Always make sure that they are consuming high-quality ingredients too.
Since they are highly active and playful, they should have an ample amount of time to play, run around, and do some activities during the day so they can consume all their energy.
They become restless when they are unable to consume their daily energy. Long daily walks can help. Play sessions that require agility or obedience in the backyard can also help burn their energy.
Therefore, the Brazilian Terrier will barely thrive and will probably become more restless if they are just inside a home with limited space.
Destructive behaviors when they are bored include chewing of household items, digging the garbage or the yard, and incessant barking.
Giving them something to be busy about like a chew toy will help occupy their time to avoid boredom if human intervention is not available.
Like any other dog, Brazilian terriers also need a comfortable bed to sleep on.
Pet owner of terriers usually prefer a memory foam dog bed because it is durable and easy to clean, plus, they offer aid to older dogs with joint problems.
Since the Brazilian terrier is a slim dog breed, it is better to give them a high-loft, thick foam bed to keep them off the floor especially during the colder months.
Collar & Lead
Flat collars may not be the best for Brazilian terriers. Since they are a very active breed, it can cause serious injuries and constant pressure on the neck when they begin to pull the leash to chase something or even with just a small jerky movement.
The best option for small breeds would be an adjustable dog harness. It will support the neck, the chest, and the back as well.
Training a Brazilian Terrier
Brazilian terriers are natural hunters and since they are intelligent yet stubborn, training should be done in a firm manner.
When training this breed, the owner should remain consistent and must be a willful and strong pack leader. Without it, they can develop a behavior that would not suit in any household.
They can be very aggressive since they are hunting dogs, but to curb it out, the owner must introduce them to the concept of socialization more consistently which is also a great way to teach them about obedience.
These essential training regimes must be done at an early age.
Like all other dog training methods, always use the positive one. Give them treats and praises during the training hours. Dogs can sense anger and frustration and they can also sense good energies.
So, when it comes to training a Brazilian Terrier, the trainer must use positive reinforcement like the use of a clicker and verbal commands. They associate them with getting a reward.
An off-leash relationship can also be extremely helpful when training terriers. You can always call for professional help.
The Brazilian Terrier is believed to be the descendant of the Fox Terrier and the Jack Russell Terrier. They have tri-colored short coat with a wedge-shaped skull with folded ears.
It is one of the only two native breeds developed in Brazil. The other breed is Fila Brasileiro, the national dog of the country.
Buying a Brazilian Terrier (Costs)
A Brazilian terrier puppy may cost from $500 to $700.
There will be additional cost to owning a dog such as the necessary requirements for your dog’s paperwork.
Registration requirements for pet ownership vary from one place to another. Check with your vet if there are specific requirements for a Brazilian terrier in your area.
The owner should also keep safe all of his dog’s medical records and vaccination paperwork.
Dogs are family members too.
A pet insurance can be very helpful with policies that can cover their illnesses, emergency care, accidents, and more. Some counties are requiring pet owners to have pet insurance alongside other vital paperwork.
Health / Vaccinations
The Brazilian terrier is a hardy breed but since they are very active, they are prone to some illnesses too such as hip dysplasia, luxating patella, epilepsy, some skin allergies, and even ear infections.
Vaccinations play a vital role in protecting a pet from diseases that can be fatal and extremely dangerous to their health. Some vaccination like anti-rabies is a requirement for all dog owners under the state law.
Core vaccinations that dogs need are rabies, hepatitis, canine distemper, and canine Parvovirus. Non-core vaccinations include influenza or the dog flu, Bordetella, Lyme disease, and Leptospirosis.
Ask your vet if there are other vaccinations that your Brazilian terrier dog needs. There is a proper protocol when administering vaccines to pets and that includes their age, medical history, lifestyle, environment and activities, and even travel history.
Frequently asked questions about Brazilian Terriers
Are Brazilian terriers safe around kids?
Yes. Brazilian terriers are kid-friendly and they are known to be very energetic, playful, and loving around them. They are a very sociable breed.
Are Brazilian terriers hypoallergenic?
No. They are not hypoallergenic. So, if you are planning to get a Brazilian terrier and one of your family members has pet allergy, spend some time with the terrier and see if there will be a reaction.
Are Brazilian terriers easy to housebreak?
Brazilian terriers are considered the most sociable among other all the terriers, therefore, they are more willing to please the family they are with. They can be trained easily, but it has to be done consistently at an early age. For example, you can frequently take them out for a walk outside after eating, drinking, and upon waking up so they can be programmed to do what they need to do outside of the house. They are easy to train and they respond well to positive reinforcement.
The Brazilian terrier is a rare breed. They are intelligent, stubborn at times, perky, alert, independent, and highly sociable. They would make a perfect fit for homes with a larger yard, but not in an apartment.
They are suitable for all age groups and are great watchdogs. They are smart and easy to train and a low-maintenance breed.
They need a lot of mental and physical activity to consume their high energy levels and tend to get destructive and restless when bored.
A lot of plantation owners use them as help to regularly hunt down rodents to protect their crop.
Overwall, Brazilian Terriers are a strong, friendly, and smart breed and they make for an excellent pet and companion.