The Brazilian Terrier is an alert, playful breed. Typically friendly, these devoted family dogs will let you know when they want attention. And when well-trained, they make excellent companions and pets.
Brazilian Terrier History
The Brazilian Terrier (sometimes known as the Fox Paulistinha) is one of two breeds indigenous to Brazil. The exact origins of the breed are a mystery, but experts believe the European Jack Russell Terrier and Fox Terrier were involved. The Miniature Pinscher may have also played a role.
Brazilian plantation owners use these little dogs to protect their crops from vermin. But the Brazilian Terrier is still virtually unknown outside of its native country. The UK and American Kennel Club do not currently recognize the breed.
Brazilian Terrier Traits
The Brazilian Terrier has a slim, small-to-medium build, and well-balanced body.
Coat and Coloring
Brazilian Terriers have a short, smooth, fine coat that's predominantly white with black, brown, or blue markings. The breed has tan markings above the eyes, on either side of the muzzle, and the inside and edges of the ear.
Distinctive Physical Traits
Notable traits in the Brazilian Terrier include its triangular-shaped head, low set tail, and narrow chest.
Brazilian Terrier Temperament
The Brazilian Terrier is an energetic, independent, and entertaining dog. Though these dogs are friendly and gentle to people they know, they can be wary of strangers. They're very vocal dogs that will bark at intruders, so they make good watchdogs. Brazilian Terriers may be small, but they're fearless
This breed is good around well-behaved children (i.e., kids who aren't ear- or tail-pullers). Still, when young ones are around, adults should be, too. Due to its hunting background, the Brazilian Terrier has a strong prey drive and likes to chase small animals.
Playful and energetic, these pups require plenty of physical exercise and mental stimulation.
Brazilian Terrier Care
Brazilian Terriers require a high-quality dog food that is age-appropriate and formulated for their small size. As with any dog, it's important to monitor the amount of food you give them and reduce portions if your pup gains weight. Also, keep in mind that giving too many treats in addition to regular meals can contribute to obesity.
Grooming a Brazilian Terrier is relatively easy. Brushing its coat a few times a week is enough to keep its moderate shedding under control.
Brazilian Terriers are active dogs and can become restless if they don't get enough exercise. Long daily walks or play sessions in a fenced backyard are good ways for them to burn energy. They also like to participate in dog sports such as agility, rally, or competitive obedience.
Because of their high exercise requirements, apartments and homes with limited space are not the best choices for Brazilian Terriers.
The Brazilian Terrier is a very trainable (though occasionally stubborn) breed. However, they can be destructive if they get bored or are left alone for long periods. Proper training—along with physical and mental exercise—help keep behavioral problems at bay.
Because of their high intelligence, Brazillian Terriers are good candidates for obedience and agility training. In fact, their eagerness and ability to learn tricks have landed them jobs as circus dogs.
Brazilian Terrier Genetic Health Conditions
Mucopolysaccharidosis Type VII (Discovered in the Brazilian Terrier)
Mucopolysaccharidosis Type VII (MPS VII) is a disorder causing severe changes in skeletal structure, with joint hyperlaxity.
Knowing if your Brazilian Terrier is a carrier or at-risk for these conditions can help you and your veterinarian plan for your pup’s lifelong care. With Wisdom Panel™ Premium, you can get results for over 200 genetic health tests.
Reviewed July 26, 2020 by Annette Louviere, DVM