Let's talk Brazilian Terriers

Affectionately referred to as “the dog of the people” in their native Brazil, the Brazilian Terrier is a handsome breed whose looks – and personality – are quite like one of their supposed ancestors, the Jack Russell. Bounding with intelligence, energy, and bravery, the Brazilian Terrier is anything but shy and has a great capacity for affection. As such, they make excellent companions for outdoor sports lovers and families capable of kindly but clearly establishing who’s the boss - a role these spirited dogs will otherwise readily undertake.

Official name: Brazilian Terrier

Other names: Fox Paulistinha, Terrier Brasiliero

Origins: Brazil

Close-up of Brazilian Terrier in black and white
 Drooling tendencies

Very low

Warm weather?
 Shedding level Medium
Suited to apartment living?  Low
 Energy Level* Medium Family Pet?* 
Very high
 Compatibility with other pets
Can stay alone?* Very low

 * We advise against leaving pets alone for long stretches. Companionship can prevent emotional distress and destructive behaviour. Speak to your veterinarian for recommendations.

Every pet is different, even within a breed; this snapshot of this breed specifics should be taken as an indication.
 
For a happy healthy and well-behaved pet, we recommend educating and socializing your pet as well as covering their basic welfare needs (and their social and behavioral needs).
 
Pets should never be left unsupervised with a child.
 
Contact your breeder or veterinarian for further advice.
 
All domestic pets are sociable and prefer company.  However, they can be taught to cope with solitude from an early age.  Seek the advice of your veterinarian or trainer to help you do this.

 
Spider chart of Brazilian Terrier characteristics
Illustration of Brazilian Terrier
Male
36 - 41 cm Height
6 - 10 kg Weight
Female
33 - 38 cm Height
6 - 10 kg Weight

 

 Baby age  Birth to 2 months
 Puppy age  2 to 15 months
 Adult age 15 months to 5 years
 Mature age  5 to 8 years
 Senior age  From 8 years

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Get to know the Brazilian Terrier

All you need to know about the breed

If eyes say anything about disposition, then the Brazilian Terrier’s perky, curious expression is a solid tell that these dogs have assertive, playful personalities. They also have no fear and make excellent guard dogs ever ready to bark the alert when a stranger approaches.

But because the Brazilian Terrier can be headstrong, you’ll want to make it clear that you’re running the show and that, once alerted, you’ll take it from there. The same applies to all aspects of living with this breed; but the good news is that, with solid training, this tendency can be managed so they make affectionate and deeply loyal companions. Still, if you’re planning to raise a Brazilian Terrier alongside younger children, it’s important to educate both to ensure the well-being of all.

Now, about that bark. Brazilian Terriers like to use it, whether it’s to announce an arrival or request your attention. For a potential owner, it’s worth considering that they may not be ideally suited to life in an apartment building where close neighbours may not appreciate a Brazilian Terrier soundtrack. Also, these dogs have energy to spare – both mental and physical – and it’s important they’re given the opportunity to spend it. But when these needs are sufficiently met, your Brazilian Terrier will be content to enjoy relaxing moments with you at home.

Brazilian Terrier lying on fur on a wooden box

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2 facts about Brazilian Terriers

1. A dog by any other coat

There’s no denying Brazilian Terriers are dashing canines. And while personalities can vary, they will all, invariably have their signature tri-colour coat, which comes in one of three combinations: white with blue and tan markings, white with black and tan markings, and white with brown and tan markings.

2. Have legs, will travel - fast

Legs that are shorter don’t always mean slower. Though no exact figures exist, it is thought that the Brazilian Terrier can reach speeds of up to 25-30mph (40-48kph)! That would certainly come in handy when chasing off racing rodents – and also helps explain why these dogs need a solid dose of daily exercise. They’ve got energy to burn!

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History of the breed

Originally developed in the 19th century, the Brazilian Terrier is one of just two breeds native to Brazil. They are thought to have descended from European Terriers, namely the Jack Russell Terrier and the Fox Terrier, brought back by Brazilians previously working or studying in Europe. These Terriers then bred with other imported and local breeds including the Miniature Pinscher and the Chihuahua. The resulting Brazilian Terrier is what is referred to as a landrace breed, or one that was not intentionally created but rather came into existence naturally and enjoys the hardiness and solid health afforded by a large and diverse gene pool.

Whatever their origins, Brazilian Terriers soon became invaluable assets to coffee and rubber plantations in need of their vermin-chasing prowess to protect the crops. Brazilian Terriers were also highly sought after for their excellent tracking skills and unwavering fearlessness. Though many Brazilians have left farms to embrace the urban life in new cities, the Brazilian Terrier remains a favoured companion to families and outdoor sports enthusiasts.

Close-up of Brazilian Terrier in black and white

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From head to tail

Physical characteristics of Brazilian Terriers

1. Head

Triangular-shaped head with prominent, round eyes

2. Tail

Slim, well-balanced body with arched ribs and

3. Body

Slim, well-balanced body with arched ribs and a sternum moderately curved

Side view close-up of Brazilian Terrier with mouth open

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Things to look out for

From specific breed traits to a general health overview, here are some interesting facts about your Brazilian Terrier
Brazilian Terrier standing in front of dried grasses

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Caring for your Brazilian Terrier

Grooming, training and exercise tips

A Brazilian Terrier is a medium shedder whose short, wiry coat can be well maintained with a few brushing sessions every week. Remember to clean their teeth daily to avoid periodontal disease, which often befalls smaller breeds. In addition to 1 to 3 hours of exercise every day and space to move around, a Brazilian Terrier will need plenty of mental stimulation to keep their clever brains busy. Games, puzzles, and plenty of quality interaction with their humans will keep these dogs in tiptop form and help ward off unwanted behaviours like boredom chewing, barking, and digging. Given their strong personalities and headstrong disposition, the Brazilian Terrier will respond best to firm, consistent, experienced training starting as early as possible. Establishing rules and limits is important with this breed to prevent them from taking the helm. Canine agility and obedience sports training suit these dogs well.

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All about Brazilian Terriers

While Brazilian Terriers get along quite well with other canines, they have a significant prey drive. This means they aren’t a good choice for anyone with other smaller household pets like cats, rabbits, hamsters and the like.

Brazilian Terriers can be wonderful companions for active families provided they get plenty of time with them, and if that’s spent exercising, even better. Of course, they should be trained and socialised as early as possible to ensure the best relations with children and other pets and should never be left alone for extended periods of time.

Other breeds that might interest you.

Sources

1 - Veterinary Centers of America https://vcahospitals.com/ 

2 - Royal Canin Dog Encyclopaedia. Ed 2010 and 2020

3 - Banfield Pet Hospital https://www.banfield.com/

4 - Royal Canin BHN Product Book

5 - American Kennel Club https://www.akc.org/