These Terriers are Close but Different

The countries of Chile and Brazil are roughly 1,900 miles apart, and they certainly have differences between them that include language and historical backgrounds, but these beautiful South American countries have a few things in common, too. Chile and Brazil are among the largest economies on the continent. The food, music and dance of each country have been influenced by a Spanish and Portuguese colonial heritage, and each has indigenous populations that have contributed to robust cultural diversity. Both lands share a passion for soccer, and at first glance, the two countries would appear to have a breed of terrier, in common, as well.

In fact, they are different breeds of terrier, but it’s easy to see why a casual observer might think they’re the same:

Brazilian Terrier, Fox Paulistinha, Chilean Fox Terrier, Chilean Terrier, Podengo Portugueso,Podengo Portugueso Pequenos, Condorito, Chilean Terrier, Ratónero Chileno, Chilean Fox Terrier, Chilean Rat Terrier


Recently, we posted about the Chilean Terrier. the dog you see at the right. The dog on the left is a Brazilian Terrier. Though they are different breeds, they do have a few things in common, and the first commonality is cultural authenticity to their respective countries. The Chilean Terrier is the first dog breed from Chile to be officially recognized. The Brazilian Terrier is one of a handful of breeds to be considered authentically Brazilian.

In terms of appearance, both Chilean Fox Terrier and Brazilian Terrier are of same height, and almost the same weight. Both have short, smooth, and dense coats that are white with black or tan markings.

Both breeds are lively, intelligent, and versatile, though the Chilean Terrier is said to have a slightly higher independent streak tinged with boldness and courage. And this leads us to ancestry.

In the early 1800’s,  Jack Russell Terriers, Fox Terriers, Chihuahuas and Miniature Pinschers were mixed to create the Brazilian Terrier. Other sources write that Podengo Portugueso Pequenos were earlier ancestors, a breed brought to Brazil in the 1500s by Portuguese explorers. Once in Brazil, these sources believe, the Podengos bred with spitz-type dogs kept by the country’s native population. In the 19th and early 20th centuries when wealthy Brazilians sent their kids to study in European universities, many of the young adults became interested fox hunting, and upon graduation, returned home with the working terriers they bought for themselves. It was after this point that the dogs the students had brought home interbred with the progeny of the Podengo Portugueso x native Brazilian dogs.

The Chilean Terrier, on the other hand, came from crossing the British Fox Terrier with local Chilean dogs.

Two different ancestries,  two different breeds, one of which is recognized by the FCI (the Brazilian Terrier), while the other would like to be, and one day might be.

Images of Chilean Terrier by juanpablo and Brazilian Terrier by Rajtar are Adobe stock photos

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