Brazilian Terrier

Photo: Getty Images/ FabioVolu
Last Updated on January 23, 2020 by Bridget Shirvell

Quick Facts

  • Weight: 15 to 20 pounds
  • Height: 14 to 16 inches

The Look of a Brazilian Terrier

The Brazilian Terrier has a short, smooth coat that must always be tricolored — white and tan with black, brown, or blue, of which the black combination is most common.

The tail is usually docked, but the natural sickle tail is allowed. The Brazilian Terrier has a flat skull, which is usually seen in bully dog breeds; folded ears; and an alert expression, as if it’s anticipating movement at any moment.


  • Tricolor coat: usually white, tan, and black
  • Resemblance to the Smooth Fox Terrier
  • Excellent watchdog skills
  • Excellent ratting skills
  • Extremely alert and feisty personality
  • Lifespan: 12 to 14 years

Ideal Human Companion

  • Energetic, playful folk
  • Those who want a good watchdog
  • Suburban dwellers with large yards
  • Country dwellers with a vermin problem
  • Hikers, runners, and fast walkers

What They Are Like to Live With

Like most terriers, Brazilian Terriers are alert and intelligent and always up for any kind of game. Owners should be prepared to exercise and play with them daily. The Brazilian Terrier makes an excellent watchdog, but must be taught when to stop barking.

Brazilian Terriers are almost always happy and provide entertainment without really knowing it. Laugh at one and it will laugh back, completely unaware it’s the butt of the joke.

Be ready to see your Brazilian Terrier streaking past you at six in the morning and running circles around the cat at midnight.

Things You Should Know

The Brazilian Terrier is known in Brazil for its fearless rodent hunting skills. Because of this, the breed has a strong prey drive and should be supervised around small animals and children.

These dogs are also highly focused when they choose to be, which can help with training but also means that you need a clear alpha leader. Because they are rat terriers, these dogs are great diggers, so you’ll have to act fast to prevent the lawn from disappearing.

The Brazilian Terrier has relatively few health problems, the most common being eye and thyroid problems and skin allergies.

Brazilian Terrier History

The Brazilian Terrier is known as “the dog of the common people” in Brazil. Its other names are the Fox Paulistinha and the Terrier Brasileiro. It shares the honor of being only one of two native breeds to Brazil; the other, a very different breed, is the Fila Brasileiro. It is said that families keep a Brazilian Terrier to alert them to intruders and a Filo Brasileiro to take care of the intruders.

Its ancestor is probably the Jack Russell Terrier, which was brought to Brazil in the 19th century and crossed with the Miniature Pinscher, the Chihuahua, and other breeds to create the Brazilian Terrier. They were bred to work individually and in packs.

Brazilian Terriers were registered in 1973. They are mostly unknown outside of Brazil.

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