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Brazilian Terrier – Full Profile of the Fox Paulistinha

Also known as Fox Paulistinha, the Brazilian Terrier is a friendly and energetic dog.

My aunt had two of those, and I can tell you they’re are incredibly active and sweet with their family.

However, although this Brazilian dog breed is quite popular in the country, it is still relatively unknown in the international community.

This is a shame since it is a fantastic and adorable dog.

Anyway, I decided to publish this full profile and give you all details you need to decide whether or not you should adopt a Brazilian Terrier puppy.

In this article, I will cover this breed’s history, appearance, temperament, care, and more.

Let’s get to it!

Brazilian Terrier closeup
Beautiful Brazilian Terrier – Photo by Adriano Ferreira (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Breed overview: Brazilian Terrier, the Fox Paulistinha

  • FCI recognized: Yes
  • Group: 3 – Terriers
  • Weight: Female: 14–22 lbs (6.5–10 kg), Male: 14–22 lbs (6.5–10 kg)
  • Height: Female: 13–15 in (33–38 cm), Male: 13.8–15.8 in (35–40 cm)
  • Coat: Short, smooth, and fine
  • Color: Black, white, and tan
  • Life expectancy: 12-14 years


The Brazillian Fox Terrier is a special dog breed native to Brazil. Like the Fila Brasileiro, its origin is a bit of a mystery. Still, it is believed to be a crossbreeding of Jack Russell Terrier and Smooth Fox Terrier.

The Brazillian Terrier dates back to the 19th century, when plantation owners in Brazil used this breed to protect their crops from rodents.

Brazilian Terrier puppies
Brazilian Terrier puppies – A Brazilian Terrier puppy – Photo by TerrierBrasileirodaPedraFilosofal (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Also known as the Fox Paulistinha and Terrier Brasileiro, the Brazillian Terrier was also used for hunting small game.

They mostly worked in packs, chasing their prey and surrounding it from all angles until the animal became exhausted and gave in.

Although this Brazillian dog is very popular in our country and has existed for over 500 years, it is currently not recognized by the UK and American Kennel Club, only by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (World Canine Organization).


The Brazillian Terrier has a slim build. It is typically known as a small dog, and its sizes vary from small to medium. It has a triangular-shaped head and a narrow chest while its tail is low set. Its ears are folded, with the tip pointing downwards.

An adult Brazillian Terrier typically weighs between 14 and 22 pounds and is as tall as 16 inches.

A Brazilian Terrier puppy
A Brazilian Terrier puppy – Photo by Adriano Ferreira (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Its body is well balanced, and its coat is short, close-lying, fine, and smooth. Its colors range from white to black or brown, and it sometimes has dark blue markings on it.

Most Brazillian Fox Terriers have tan markings around their eyes, in and around their ears, and on their muzzle sides.

Temperament and behavior

Similar to other small Terriers, this Brazilian dog is very friendly. It is gentle towards people it is familiar with and a bit wary of strangers. It is energetic and independent and will spend most of its time entertaining itself.

Beyond that, the Brazilian Terrier is always alert and is a brilliant dog. This means that it requires constant mental stimulation and training to remain healthy.

Playful, spirited, and loves digging holes, this small dog will not do well in a small apartment. It loves to run around and will require an open space to expend its energy.

Brazilian Terrier, the Fox Paulistinha
A Brazilian Terrier just chilling- Photo by Adriano Ferreira (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

The Brazillian Fox Terrier is also fearless and makes an excellent watchdog. Although small in size, it does not hesitate to bark at strangers.

Also, because this breed was developed for hunting and chasing rodents away from farms, it has a natural tendency to chase smaller animals around the house. So if you have chickens and cats around the house, there will be an uproar.

Common health issues

As mentioned above, the Brazilian Terrier is a very active, healthy dog. It lives long, well into its teenage years.

However, just like every other breed, it is prone to specific health issues. Most of its common health issues are minor, and they include eyesight problems, skin allergies, and ear infections.

A Brazilian Terrier puppy
Isn’t it a cutie? – Photo by Smerikal (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Apart from these, the Brazillian Fox Terrier is also prone to Mucopolysaccharidosis Type VII (MPS VII). This is an orthopedic disorder that causes severe changes in skeletal structure and joint hyperlaxity.

Other common health issues include Hip Dysplasia, Luxating Patella, and Epilepsy. Brazillian Terriers that work as active hunting dogs are also prone to sustaining injuries in the field.


Caring for the Brazilian Terrier is relatively easy.

In terms of grooming, they are pretty low-maintenance. Their short, close-lying coat does not shed as much as other breeds and requires brushing only a few times a week.

However, since they are very active and like to run around in the yard, their coat might get dirty quickly and require extra care.

Because of its very active nature, this breed requires a lot of physical and mental exercise to stay happy and healthy.

Brazilian Terrier, the Fox Paulistinha

When they get restless or need exercise, they tend to become destructive. It is best to keep this breed in an open space to enable them to run around. They also enjoy long daily walks and some dog sports such as fetch, rally, and competitive obedience.

The Brazilian Terrier is sometimes stubborn and can become destructive when they are bored or left alone for a long time, requiring training.

They are easily trainable, and with proper training, their behavioral problems can be reduced. They are great at agility training and are quick to catch on with obedience training.

Diet and nutrition

Like every other breed, the Brazilian Terrier needs rich, high-quality food to maintain a steady and healthy growth rate. Its meals need to be age-appropriate and suitable for their small size.

Because of its small size, the Brazillian Fox Terrier tends to eat very little. It is best to split its meals into 3 separate feedings a day to keep up with its dynamic nature and help replenish spent energy.

Brazilian Terrier chilling

It is also vital to monitor and measure the quantity of food given to them at each meal.

Take note of your puppy’s weight gain or weight loss and adjust its food portions when needed. Remember that obesity in dogs leads to several health complications. This also means that you shouldn’t give too many treats to your dog.

Children and other pets

As Brazilian Terriers are generally playful, friendly, and entertaining, they are a perfect fit for children. This dog breed makes great household dogs and will play with anyone, regardless of their age.

They also make great companions for young children as long as they are taught how to behave around pets. This means that the children would not pull the dog’s tail or tug at its ears.

Brazillian Terriers are also very social towards other dogs. Since they are natural pack dogs, they do well around other pets and are an excellent fit for families with more than one dog.

However, a Brazilian Terrier will require extra training before it can interact appropriately with smaller pets. This dog breed has a natural instinct to hunt, so they have a strong prey drive.

If not trained properly, it will chase away smaller pets like cats, chickens, rabbits, etc.

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Saturday 1st of April 2023

I have a Brazilian terrier in Sri Lanka. Most of the people think it is a mongrel.