The black Fila doesn't exist (by Paolo Santo Cruz, 1979)
They accuse me of being incoherent for having accepted the black color in the Fila in an article published in the bygone years of 1951 and for now considering it impure. It is true that, at that time I wrote about what I saw around the farms where I then looked for Filas, ill-tempered dogs and with natural guard instinct, to protect my house and my collection of birds. What did I understand about dogs then? Nothing. All I knew was they had four feet. Any large, long eared dog in a cattle breeding farm, was a Fila to me. There was no official standard of the breed then, therefore pureness denied to any somatic detail would not have support. The only ones in the world authorized to speak about the Fila, in those times, were their breeders, those farmers who called them all "Cabecudos" (bigheads), affirming them to be pure Filas.
Although entirely a lay person, already I noticed differences in the few black color ones that found, so much that I never brought home even one. However, being unaware of lineage details, it was not possible to define these differences. I only brought yellows, then qualified as "black mouth baio (blond)" and brindles, defined there as "aracas". I only brought back a white dog with big brindle spots , acquired in the gold mines of Morro Velho. I would distribute these dogs amongst friends, because in those days no one would buy dogs, one would "get turned onto" a dog. I was already entirely conquered by the temperament and character of the Fila and wanted to inform about it because I considered it very superior in utility, to the then imported breeds.
My activity was made known and specialized publications, that at the time they were rapidly opening and closing, insistently pursued me to communicate my experiences. It was what I did: I told about what I saw in the farms. I saw black ones, even so, very few and the farmers guaranteed that they were Filas and I repeated what they said.
What knowledge did I have to oppose them? Today, having still in my memory some scenes of those few black dogs, and some zootechnical knowledge, I can affirm that they were great danes without cropped ears and not Filas. Filas had started to appear in shows and to be judged, invariably by Mr. Tito Pacheco, a (smooth-haired) Fox Terrier breeder. Foreign judges demonstrated curiosity about the Fila and asked for the standard...and there was none.
Adolpho Lourenco Rheingantz, then one of the great boosters of Cynophilia, president of the Sao Paulo Kennel Club, for sets of ten of years, on a certain day asked me to elaborate the standard of the Fila. He admitted the embarrassment that he felt to be questioned in that respect by foreign judges. Generally, he did not reveal the inexistent of the standard and promised to translate it and to send it. Time had come for him to follow up on his promise.
Being bold and young, I felt like "saving the honor of Brazilian Cynophilia", quickly writing a standard and delivering it Mr. Rheingantz so that he could translate it and send to other nations. This is what he did, not without submitting my work to Mr. Joao Ebner, which owned a pair of Filas and to Dr. Waldemar Rathsam, veterinarian and breed enthusiast, beforehand. Today, pardon my lack of modesty, rereading that standard, I'm not ashamed of having written it. It is a simple somatic and mental anecdote about the Fila, without any technical information, in general terms it is not embarrassing.
Years passed and in a show at the field headquarters the PKC "Paulista Kennel Club" (they still had breed verification), a poor Great Dane showed up pleading a register, poor because of its short legs and with huge dewlaps. I do not remember the name of the judge any more, but the register was denied, leaving the proprietor very furious, arguing the dewlaps were proof of breed purity. That was the first "black Fila" I saw in the ring. Observe that I write "Fila" between quotations marks. Years went by and on one occasion, Dr. Enio Monte, of the ABC Kennel informed to me of having acquired, in the deep country, a jet black Fila. I was to see it. It was a very poor Great Dane. I alerted Enio on the dangers tied to genes in the black color and the unknown characteristics that could follow the black color, but the dog already had been used.
The litter was typical of great Danes: all thin, long legged, skinny and black. Without a doubt, Dr. Enio sold them all to Rio de Janeiro, not without registering the litter beforehand. All the puppies received names starting with the letter "Y". Later still, the same Dr. Enio Monte, informed me of the acquisition of another black one, but from a litter with some brindle brothers, what would warrant its typicality. I reminded Enio Monte that the Great Dane, also came in the brindle coat variation and of the problem of the recessively, that is, brindle dogs, with black ascendants, would certainly be able to produce black puppies thus, being, even its brindle brothers could produce black color pups. The color, therefore, was not essential but somatic characters that it carried. These were the only black color ones that I known, involved in the Fila breed.
Later, I distanced myself from Cynophilia. Now as I return, I'm faced with this desolating picture: great amounts of black color in what is called a Fila. Such an amount cannot have been produced from those two. I insist on one point: the somatic characters tied with the black color are what confirm the illegitimate origin of the crossing with the Great Dane:
a) the elongated general type;
b) square shaped figure;
d) narrow thorax;
e) shoulders positioned onward;
f) lack of high chest;
g) skinny womb;
h) long neck;
i) narrow and long head, but, a profile, with good depth;
j) small, fine ears, of high insertion;
k) tight skin;
l) weak temperament.
Not all congregate the totality of these details, because they had been crossed/ breed with Filas, in a bigger or lesser extent, but some of these characteristics will always be present. For better understanding, we remember that the same it occurs between human beings: along with the black skin color, other characters genetically transmitted are associated to it:
a) nappy hair;
b) short forehead;
c) flat and wide nose;
d) small ears;
e) thick lips;
g) small skull;
h) wide shoulders;
i) wide but flat thorax;
j) long legs;
m) flat feet;
n) salient heels.
Not all the blacks present this set of characteristics, but they always will be present, in such number it will cast away any doubt of racial purity or racial mixigentation and these characteristics will always constitute proof of mixigentation.
In short, these characteristics in greater or lesser number, present in each individual, tell about mixigentation. Little will matter about the incidental presence of characteristics of the Fila. The verification of characteristics of several breeds if even in only one individual, without sophisms, proves mixigentation. At a show in Belo Horizonte they had brought me a brindle dog, with harlequin spots on its head, and another jet black color, but with harlequin markings on its chest. As the only canine breed in the world with harlequin markings is the Great Dane, it was not necessary to consult Prof. Procopio do the Valle to know that they were "Filamarqueses" (equivalent to "Great Filas"). Summarizing, a pure, black Fila, does not exist.
Crossbreeding of Filas with Great Danes have some of the enumerated characteristics and lustrous jet black coat. Crossbreeding of Filas with Neapolitan Mastiff also can be born black, but a slate black color and the characteristics are these others:
a) strong, slim type (stocky);
b) long rectangular figure;
c) short legs;
d) wide and "square" thorax;
e) skinny womb;
f) lots of dewlap;
g) very wide skull;
h) high insertion ears of ;
i) abrupt "stop", formed by the frontal (large forehead);
j) swollen parotid glands;
k) short snout, of bigger depth than size;
l) lips in acute angle;
m) teeth align top and bottom touching forming a protruding lower jaw, or inferior
n) tired, annoyed expression, almost always gasping for air.
I repeat: the existence of all these or some of these characteristics, proves mixigentation because they could not, without mixigentation, appear in a breed that does not have them. Therefore, when I read announcements of black Fila litters, I feel great pity for the breeder: because he like I in 1950/ 51, had no clue. Or then he is greatly dishonest.
What drastic events could have happened in the Fila breed to drive myself and other breeders to renounce the black color? The answer is simple: the unsupervised, illegal, crossing of Filas with other breeds occurred. In the period of 20 years, between 1950 up to 1970, registration of black units is practically inexistent. Nature itself donated the Fila to us and selected for its total majority only all the tonalities of yellow and brindle, (piebald in a lesser number).
However, curiously, the piebald, the rat-gray, the bluish ash-gray, harlequin and mainly the black color, had started to appear as if magically in middle of the 70's. First there had been the piebald, which however, had a major difference in relation to its ancestors: the piebald ones of the 50's were generally of pure white base with brindle spots, while now there are dogs with markings like those of the St. Bernard, enormous head and embarrassing temperament... they are the St. Bernard crossbred with a fake Fila pedigree.
There are also the ash-gray rat color, with an enormous rounded head, dewlaps and a nervous temperament. They are the Neopolitan Mastiff crossbred with a fake Fila pedigree. However, for the misfortune of the cross breeders, this coloration did not fall in the affability of the great public. Still it was not the desired color, that would help to take down the breeding of Filas, a great commerce without receipts and income tax.
Mixers had discovered then the black color, that I nicknamed "Filamarques" (Great-Fila), that, as the name already he denotes, they are the crossbred with a false Fila pedigree, they are none other than mutts resulting from the cross between a Fila and a black Great Dane, generally long-legged, square shaped, high womb, long and fine neck, without dewlaps, without loose skin, of weak temperament and... black!
There are also the slate black proceeding from crossbreeding between the Neapolitan Mastiff and the Fila. It is exactly for the unreal resurgence of these colors, falsely manufactured by cross breeders that myself and many other breeders entirely deny their validity.
Unfortunately, the decade of 70, our decade, is the great predatory decade towards our race and when an immense number of false mutts with Fila pedigrees emitted and signed by Kennel Club of Brazil turned up. It is not appropriate for this article to comment about the crossbreeding and the cross breeders, as well as how they had involved and still they involve the KCofB. This was already widely exposed in my Open Letter dated of 3.8.1978, some of those questions are awaiting reply: Why is it that these "scientists" who had manufactured the black color had never made this "discovery" public and how had they arrived to it?
Why, instead of aggrandizing themselves with this "wonderful discovery", do they hide? Why do they persist in inventing false theses on the formation of our breed that justify the product of their kennels, which is the crossbred they sold and still sell to hundreds of duped customers which in turn have the right to a refund of payment? I have just now received letter from the Fur Molosser Club, of Germany, denouncing the birth of a harlequin Fila.
It remains to be asked to the cross breeders that use this form of breeding to internationally demoralize our breed: Will the harlequin Great-Fila be the next new product offered by the cross breeders with highest market price? The Fila of the 70's has the need to survive.
To survive the predatory actions imposed by unscrupulous breeders; to survive the omission of the KCofB, that does not take the necessary measures to perpetuate our breed; to survive uncontrolled crossbreeding, that modifies the mind and body of our Fila Dog, molded by Nature in the last two centuries; to survive the manufacturers, farmers and traders of the Fila that transformed the only Brazilian breed into an enormous open air market, where the dogs are not created in the conviviality of the family, but confined in cages; where the dogs are not created by love, but for money.
The Fila urgently needs to have an extremely severe new standard, written for Fila breeders and not for Mastiff, Neo and Great Dane breeders, as it occurred with the second breed standard elaborated by the cross breeders during the Symposium of Brasilia.
Our Fila still urgently needs a rigid selection project (see my Open Letter dated 8-3-1978), assembled in such a way that with the passing of the time we would move away from the crossbred forever, automatically making a gradually larger number of pure Filas. It is precisely because of this sham that CAFIB accepts only all the yellow tonalities (also with black mask and ears), the brindle (with thin black lines, without forming spots) and the white piebald (brindle spots).
This is the pure Fila that we inherited from nature and our ancestors, the pure Fila that dishonest breeders prey upon, either by ignorance or monetary interest or both . Enough of the English, Neapolitan and Danish accents!