The Brazilian Terrier, popularly known in Brazil as Fox Paulistinha, has been recognized internationally thanks to the work of a dedicated group of breeders.

Brazilian TerrierThe breeders are celebrating. The Brazilian cynology is now experiencing one of its most important moments in the last two decades, now that only a few more steps have to be taken before the awaited international recognition by FCI of the versatile Terrier Brasileiro (Brazilian Terrier) comes through.

Admired by his multiple utilities, as a companion dog, guardian and alert dog, hunting dog, and for his abilities as a circus acrobat, it will finally gain the world as an official Brazilian breed.

The breed fanciers are very excited, and they have every reason for it. The only time a Brazilian breed was accepted by FCI, was when the Fila Brasileiro was recognized, in 1968. Now, 25 years later, the story repeats itself, leading to the victory of a second Brazilian breed.

The struggle to get there has been going on for decades. Everything started with the arrival of some English Terriers brought by Jack Russel at the end of the past century. "The mixture of these with the terriers who lived in the farms started the development of a breed, which would be our Terrier Brasileiro. The fixing of characteristics, through breeding selection was done by the Junqueira family," says Marina Vicari Lerario, from Kennel Taboão, São Paulo. The first standard was elaborated in 1964, but in 1973, CBKC suspended the issuing of pedigrees.


Eight years later, in 1981, some unhappy breeders founded the Clube do Fox Paulistinha (Club of the Terrier Brasileiro), with no affiliation with the official cynology. Marina Lerario, founder and partner, and current secretary of the Club, sent a letter to a well known newspaper in São Paulo (O Estado de São Paulo), explaining the situation of the breed, and advertising the first meeting of the club. It was a success: dozens of people showed up. That is how the work towards the development and promotion of the breed started, oriented to people who were interested about breeding and adequate care, and controlling the puppies who were born through the stud book (file containing names of dogs and their ancestors), which today contains around 5.700 dogs.

Four more years went by, and in 1985, another surprise. CBKC again started issuing the registration, but did not recognize the club under the allegation that it could only act at a state level, and not a national level as it had been doing. One more time the board of directors struggled, trying to reach an agreement, which only happened in 1992.

This union made possible an attempt to get international recognition: the club represented practically all the national stock, and possessed an important data file, and CBKC, on the other hand, was the only representative of FCI in Brazil. At that time, they concluded that the name Terrier Brasileiro should be adopted, because it was more in accordance with the project of the international breed. To recognize the new breed, FCI demanded a evidence of an existing stock of at least 700 to 800 dogs from the last 3 generations, with homogenous racial characteristics, no genetic problems and at least 8 different bloodlines. That would mean the combination of matings between two males and 6 females, without the repetition of the same dogs for 2 generations. In short, the father of a dog could not be his maternal grandfather. All this effort started to pay off when in 1993, two members of the FCI committee which approves breed standards came to Brazil, to verify the homogeneity of the plantel.

However, in the last few years, FCI, which has around 350 breeds registered, started to become aware of a new problem. According to Jean-Maurice Paschoud, president of the standard committee, too many breeds were recognized in the past 25 years. Many are so alike they should only be considered varieties of the same breed, so they could be bred among themselves. With a smaller number of individuals, some of these breeds were subjetc to genetic problems caused by consanguinity.


In June 1994, during the FCI congress in Switzerland which would rule the standard of the Terrier Brasileiro, more suspense. During the talks that preceded the debate about the future of our Terrier, the FCI's apprehension in recognizing new breeds was voiced, and the recommendation to the members was that they should think twice when facing new decisions. The request from Brazil was mentioned, and the resemblance of the Terrier Brasileiro to the Sweedish Farm Dog (not accepted by FCI either) was mentioned, too. Leila Rebelo, president of the board of representatives from CBKC, was participating in the congress, and she managed to get an authorization from the FCI president, to represent Brazil on the debate, and explain the situation of the Terrier Brasileiro to the standard committee. She had pictures and a video, which helped her in the explanation of how advanced our breeding was, and how our dog has his own set of characteristics. It worked. They approved the standard.

Last February, alterations in some details of the standard were requested. The expression "jumpy walk" was eliminated from the description of movement which used to read, "jumpy walk with short and quick steps." In the definition of appearance they eliminated the sentence that read "external round lines," for thinking it was a contradiction with his square general appearance. There was also change in the part which mentioned the aggressiveness with other dogs, and suspicion towards strangers. With CBKC's indorsement to these alterations, the FCI presidency will issue the temporary recognition (valid for 10 years), after which a new evaluation will be done, resulting on a permanent recognition.


Purchase of Puppy: It must be cheerful and outgoing. "In the puppy, the ears should be pendant. It should have well defined tan markings over the eyes, on the face laterals, and internal borders of ears." says Marina Lerario. "The puppy, as well as the adult, shouldn't be too angulated. The bone structure must be firm, but not heavy," according to Luís Gonzaga de Oliveira, Kennel Marilú, São Paulo.
Environment: "Adapts well to small spaces, but needs regular exercise," Luís Gonzaga.
Color: Always tricolor with white and tan, and the varying colors are black, blue and brown.
Coat: Short, straight and fine, but not smooth, tight to skin, not allowing skin to be seen. It is less dense on the head, ears, inner side of neck, inner and lower sides of legs, and back part of thigs.
Surgery: For puppies who are not born with a small tail, cut it on the 2nd vertebrae from base of tail.
Head: Seen from above, it has a triangular shape, wide at the base, with ears well appart, narrowing after the eyes. Neck of a moderate size, and proportional to size of head. Dark nose. Round eyes, moderately projecting, the darkest possible color. In the blue coat, they have a tonality that varies from gray to blue; in the brown (fígado), they may be green or blue.
Teeth: Always in a scissors bite.
Size: Males 35 to 40cm; females 33 to 38cm, and maximum weight cannot exceed 10kg.
Temperament: Nervous type, lively, agile.

We would like to thank the people who participated, for their long interviews and review of the final text.
Research and text: Flávia C. Soares. Text editor: Marcos Pennacchi

Picture: Luiz Henrique Mendes
Owner: Kennel Taboão

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