Black Fila? English
(Américo Cardoso dos Santos Jr.)
CAFIB, aiming at always trying to keep its credibility, often addresses technical matters in an objective and unbiased way, arguing in low tones and albeit seriously controversial topics that repeatedly come to the fore, such as the issue of the so-called “Black Fila”. The Fila Brasileiro is a dog whose recent history (or relatively recent, since we are referring to the last 40 or 50 past years) has been known to be rather disrupted, especially as a result of crossings (mainly with English Mastiff, Neapolitan Mastiff and Great Dane), which have been bred ingeniously, have led the mix-breeders to be forced to fake the pedigrees of these puppies to register them as pure Filas. Since, for this miscegenation, several breeds were used, always crossed empirically and illegally, by breeders guided by the most different selection criteria, the result was the already observed scandalous heterogeneity of types, which started to astound the foreign judges invited to judge the great BKC exhibitions and the consequent establishment of a commission (CAFIB) with the objective to discipline chaos. It would be pointless and boring to recollect the details of the long controversy resulting from this process and the resulting split in the Brazilian cynophilia; but one of the main stumbling blocks of contention was the admission (or not) of the black coat in the Fila Brasileiro.
It is worth remembering that this situation has a certain analogy with the admission (or not) of the white color of the German Shepherd. Initially, Germany allowed any coat color in the breed, by valuing, above all, the functional qualities of these working dogs; but when the pattern naively says that all colors are accepted, the "pains in the neck", who unfortunately always have something to say, may argue that, then one must also admit a turquoise-blue German Shepherd with a lilac coat and hot pink mask. So, as of 1933, Germans stipulated that the white color would be disqualifying, although the United States and Canada continued to accept it. From the 1960s, when this color was then considered atypical also by the AKC (American Kennel Club), the lineage of these dogs was kept in Switzerland. In the next decade, US breeders established the White German Shepherd Club, followed by the American White Shepherd Club and the White Shepherd Club. The FCI (Fédération Cynologique Internationale) then recognized the breed provisionally calling it White Swiss Shepherd considering Switzerland their home country. The issue remains controversial and, in Brazil, those who continue to defend the inclusion of the gentile "German" founded the Latin American Society of the White German Shepherd and do not accept the long coat, a characteristic recognized by the breeders of those who are here called by some, Swiss Shepherd and, by others, Canadian Shepherd.
Considering - despite highly questionable pedigrees attesting to the opposite - that there is not, and never was, a black Fila Brasileiro, yet it must be admitted that - especially with the advances in biotechnology and genetic modification techniques – it is possible today the recreation of extinct species, or even the creation of creatures that never existed. If, on the one hand, more conservative mentalities condemn the attempts of man to want to "play God", on the other, it is endless the repertoire of jokers who suggest, for example, obtaining a firefly hybrid with Bombyx mori (silkworm) to produce a bright Tergal fabric. The Internet is rich in articles and bizarre images on the theme, such as a photograph of a mouse from the back of which an ear comes out. Another possible strategy – and a quite simpler one - recognized by various associations of cattle and horse breeder, is the obtaining of specimens called "Pure by Crossing", produced by means of absorbing crossings (1/2 blood, 3/4, 7/8, 15/16, etc.). But it should be highlighted that this process is quite lengthy and extends for several generations, as it is clear that, opposing what many childishly uninformed people think, the crossing of a pure male of the breed “A” with a pure female of the breed "B" would never result in a little of pure puppies of breed “C”. In fact, the project is technically feasible to start producing new coat colors in dogs of all types and thus get black individuals on Dogo Argentino, the Samoyed or Fila Brasileiro. However, breeding excellent specimens of any pure breed is difficult enough - especially when, in addition to the structure and typicality attributes, we also seek specific characteristics of temperament -, to achieve a high level stock, but now carrying a new peculiarity, can be considered almost a utopian task. It would be such a foolish initiative as that of the farmer who wishes to produce a very large volume of beef from a new direction in the breeding of the small and angular Jersey cows, selected centuries ago by their dairy quality, or that of the horse breeder, who chooses a heavy traction breed, such as the Percheron, to breed fast horses, designed to compete in races in the racecourses.
We, from CAFIB, have long started to devote ourselves only to improve the genetics of our stock, no longer worrying about standards and attitudes adopted by other dog entities, because we know that this wear and tear is useless. For those who want a dog similar to Fila Brasileiro, but with a black coat, we ask them to stop trying to convince us that this color should now be recognized and suggest founding another entity, focused on the selection of this new breed, for which also a new name should be chosen.