The original Fila’s of the Azores islands in Portugal, were created from a variety of working Portuguese breeds taken to the islands by the first Portuguese settlers in the 1500’s. They were created to control the large numbers of wild cattle found on the islands that had been left there by early explorers for any future settlements. The original Fila’s were used to work cattle, protect the farm and carry baskets of food to their owners in the countryside. The islands were visited and influenced by various nations over the centuries and in the 1700’s a new type of Fila was being created in the island of Terceira (Third Island) that was to be known as the Fila da Terceira. This new Fila was heavily influenced by French Dogues and English Bulldogs, this created a larger more mastiff type of dog whilst the original Fila on the other islands continued as it had always been. The Fila da Terceira also known as “Rabo Torto” (crooked tail) was officially recognised by the Portuguese Kennel Club in the early 1900’s but by the 1950’s the breed was dwindling in numbers and was considered almost extinct. There has been a number of attempts over the years to re create the breed by using local dogs that resembled the original Fila da Terceira’s, however the breed still remains extinct. The Fila de Sao Miguel was officially recognised in the 1980’s by the Portuguese Kennel Club thanks to the hard work of a few breed fanciers. It’s believed that some of the original Fila da Terceira blood was added to the original Fila’s to create todays Fila de Sao Miguel and also the other Azores dog breed the Barbado da Terceira. – MORE INFO COMING SOON!!!
Its great to see a nice and functional Fila de Sao Miguel, as far too many have become unfunctional and barrel shaped.
Vintage photo of a Fila da Terceira
A working Fila de Sao Miguel in the Azores
A working Fila de Sao Miguel in Sao Miguel island, Azores
The two Fila da Terceiras presented at a dog in 1937 in Lisbon, Portugal
Old photo of a Fila da Terceira
A nice example of a show bred Fila de Sao Miguel
Fila de Sao Miguel on guard duties
The now extinct Fila da Terceira in the 1930’s at a dog show in Lisbon, Portugal
Fila de Sao Miguel in Lisbon, Portugal
A pair of working Fila de Sao Miguel in the Azores
Old school type - Fila de Sao Miguel
A beautiful rustic Fila de Sao Miguel
Working Filas in main land Portugal
This is one of the oldest photos that exists of the Fila de Sao Miguel. This dog was called ‘Fiel’ (Loyal) and was owned by Dr Jose Joaquim d’Andrade de Albuquerque and was shown at the Lisbon dog show in 1933