The Brazilian Terrier, also known as Terrier Brasileiro, is one of only two dog breeds native to Brazil. The breed's origins trace back to the 19th century when Brazilian students studying in Europe (primarily England and France) brought back small, energetic terriers, likely including Jack Russell Terriers and Fox Terriers. These dogs were bred with local Brazilian dogs, leading to the development of the Brazilian Terrier breed. The breed was officially recognized by the Brazilian Kennel Club in 1964 and is now well-known in Brazil, yet remains relatively uncommon elsewhere.
Brazilian Terriers can suffer from hip and elbow dysplasia, degenerative myelopathy, severe skeletal conditions, renal disorders such as hyperuricosuria, and progressive rod-cone degeneration. Specific hereditary conditions for which this breed should be tested include mucopolysaccharidosis VII (Brazilian Terrier Type, a life-threatening skeletal condition), multifocal retinopathy 1, and von Willebrand Disease. As for all breeds, genetic screening is recommended to assist veterinarians with diagnosis and proactive care, as well as help breeders identify affected and carrier dogs.
The Brazilian Terrier is an energetic, alert, and intelligent breed. Known for their agility, they are excellent hunters and have a strong prey drive. They are friendly and enjoy the company of their human family but can be reserved with strangers. As with other terrier breeds, they can be somewhat stubborn and independent. They require plenty of mental and physical stimulation to prevent boredom and behavioral issues. They typically get along well with other dogs in the household, although their strong prey drive may make them unsuitable for homes with small pets. Their intelligence and alertness make them good watchdogs.
In terms of training, Brazilian Terriers are very intelligent, which can be both a benefit and a challenge. They can learn commands quickly, but their independent nature may lead them to be somewhat stubborn. They respond best to positive reinforcement training methods.
Given their history as working dogs, they require a good deal of exercise and would benefit from a home with a yard where they can run and play. Despite their energy, they can also adapt well to apartment living provided they receive enough daily exercise.
The high intelligence and trainability of the Brazilian Terrier contributed to their long time use as a circus dog.
According to the AKC, these dogs are now more regularly used for canine sports such as agility training, canicross, barn hunt, earthdog, and more.
Brazilian Terriers have graced postage stamps in Brazil.