The history of the thoroughbred Brazilian hound

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The history of the thoroughbred Brazilian hound
The history of the thoroughbred Brazilian hound

A general description of the appearance and character of the dog, the territory of the breeding of the thoroughbred Brazilian hound, the reasons for its breeding, recognition of the breed, disappearance and attempts to restore it. The content of the article:

  • General description of appearance and character
  • Withdrawal area
  • Breeding reasons
  • Recognition history
  • Disappearance and attempts to restore it

The Purebred Brazilian Hound or Rastreador brasileiro is now considered an extinct hunting dog that originated in Brazil. Its origin was caused by the need to catch peccaries (medium-sized wild pigs found throughout Central and South America), jaguars and other animals that live in this country. Such dogs were bred by Osvaldo Aranha Filho in the 1950s. He combined a number of American and European hunting breeds, along with several native Brazilian dogs, to create his own distinct breed.

The Rastreador brasileiro was the first Brazilian breed to gain recognition in international Kennel clubs, but an outbreak of infectious disease and pesticide poisoning in the 1970s completely wiped out the species. Efforts are now under way to revive these canines using the breeds that were once used in their breeding, combined with mixed descendants found throughout Brazil. These dogs are also known by other names: Urrador, Urrador americano, Americano, Brazilian tracker and Brazilian coonhound.

General description of the appearance and character of a thoroughbred Brazilian hound

Purebred Brazilian hound on a walk

Representatives of this breed showed great similarity with their ancestors, the coonhounds, whose blood flowed in their veins. They had about 63, 5–68, 58 cm in height at the withers and weighed from 22, 68 kg to 27, 22 kg. These dogs had long legs and a straight back. The dog showed a highly developed muscular system and was extremely fit for work. Many of the rastreador brasileiro appeared to be quite lean, but this is most likely the result of a poor diet.

The head of a thoroughbred Brazilian hound is proportional to the body of the animal and is relatively flattened. The muzzle was quite long and ended with a large, developed nose, providing the largest possible area for the aroma receptors. In such a dog, the skin on the muzzle was excessively drooping, covering the lower jaw, which is very typical for most coonhounds. Also a feature of the rastreador brasileiro was the pleading expression of the eyes.

The ears of the representatives of this breed are rather elongated and drooping. This ear structure is said to help push and direct odor particles towards the nose of a thoroughbred Brazilian hound. But, such hypotheses are at the level of conversations and are not supported by scientific research. The Rastreador brasileiro had a very short coat, perfect for tropical life. These dogs had any coloration found in their ancestors. For example, colors were presented: tricolor, black-brown, with blue and red specks, white with black markings, white with red markings and white with blue spots.

The Rastreador brasileiro had a temperament very similar to that displayed by most working scent dogs. Such pets showed a low level of aggression towards their "cousins", readiness and ability to work in very large packs. The variety had an extremely high level of aggressiveness towards all other animal species.Thoroughbred Brazilian hounds were ready to attack and kill almost any potential prey from a small lizard to a large and dangerous jaguar.

Representatives of the breed were purposeful hounds, willing to pursue any animal by smell until it reaches its goal. Based on what is known about their progenitors, the rastreador brasileiro most likely displayed a tenderness and affectionate disposition towards humans. They were relatively submissive to their owners. However, such pets, in all likelihood, were rather difficult to train, due to their stubbornness and determination.

Breeding area for the purebred Brazilian hound

Purebred Brazilian hounds

Although the rastreador brasileiro was developed as a unique species, its ancestry can be traced back to the earliest European settlement in Brazilian territory. This country was discovered by the Portuguese explorer and navigator Pedro Alvares Cabral in 1500. The Portuguese made Brazil a colony and ruled it until the 1800s. Settlers from Portugal who arrived in the area brought with them a number of their European canines.

The Kingdom of Portugal is unique among Western European countries, as there was not a single aboriginal dog in it. Instead, the indigenous beast-hunters used the most primitive dogs, the Portuguese podengo portuguesos, which are three closely related breeds that only differ in size.

These species, similar to the purebred Brazilian hounds, are quite skillful and versatile in their work. They rely equally on their sight and scent. From the above, it can be inferred that the wide variety of hounds that could be found in other parts of America were never imported into Brazil, despite the fact that they had several hunting dogs.

Until the late 19th century, the vast majority of the Brazilian population lived several hundred miles from the coast. The expansion of the interior space was limited by agricultural technology, lack of economic necessity, and vast areas of the Amazon rainforest. Large prey species such as the brown jaguar and bakers have long been absent from these coastal areas, displaced by an expanding population. Therefore, the help of local canines (predecessors of the thoroughbred Brazilian hounds) in hunting them was not required.

However, continuing technological advances meant that rubber was becoming an extremely valuable commodity. The indigenous people began to move around the country, transforming vast tracts of jungle into large rubber plantations. The rubber territories were developed by farmers and cattle owners, who further transformed the internal fabric of Brazil. These new settlers often possessed huge estates, many of which were inhabited by large animals. People began to need dogs like purebred Brazilian hounds.

Reasons for breeding a purebred round-up Brazilian hound breed

The color of a purebred Brazilian hound

Since Brazil did not have the scent hounds found elsewhere, it was difficult to track large and often dangerous game in the jungle. For this purpose, it was necessary to bring "foreign" varieties, but for most of them, it was extremely difficult to adapt and normally adapt to the nature of Brazil. Dogs accustomed to the temperate European climate were not suitable for living, much less work in the tropics. People needed a new, more adaptable breed, such as the thoroughbred Brazilian hound.

Even in the shade of forest cover, temperatures in Brazil very often exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Canines, which were not bred for such an extreme nature, immediately fell in hot heat, and they often died from heatstroke, especially if they moved too actively.Also, additional hazards were created by local diseases, new to the body of these dogs, while there are dozens of virulent diseases and parasites. Many of these conditions have been extremely detrimental and ultimately deadly. The imported animals did not have a stable immunity to them, in contrast to the thoroughbred Brazilian hounds, which were subsequently bred.

The beasts in Brazil were also very different from those found in other regions. Species such as the jaguar and bakers are not only very large, but also extremely violent when cornered. In this position, they are more than capable of killing several dogs before being killed. These factors combine to mean that most of the imported aromatic canines, the forerunners of the purebred Brazilian hounds, quickly perished in the harsh conditions inherent in Brazilian nature.

In the 1950s, a Brazilian named Osvaldo Aranha Filho decided to breed a unique breed of hound that would survive in the local climate. He began importing European and American pickling canines in an attempt to breed his dog. From France, an amateur breeder brought back the petit bleu de gascogne, an ancient variety native to the city of Gascony that is mainly used for hunting small game such as rabbits.

However, Filho found that American dogs, the progenitors of the purebred Brazilian hounds, were much better suited to life in Brazil. Most of the American South is close to the climatic conditions of this country, much more than to Europe. The temperature there is regularly 37, 78 degrees Celsius, and often more. American territories are also significantly less developed than European ones and are inhabited by more hardy canines. Perhaps most importantly, the animals in the United States are very comparable to those of this part of the world, with coguars, pigs, deer and many small mammals living in trees.

Having achieved success in the supply and handling of American flavored varieties, Filho imported a number of other diverse breeds. Among them were the American foxhound, the black and tan coonhound, the American English coonhound and the bluetick coonhound. Oswaldo crossed these canines with the petit bleu de gascogne to create a new species, the purebred Brazilian hound. The hobbyist has also used at least several types of Brazilian hunting dogs in the development of his new species, most notably the veadeiro pampeano known as the vadeiro. After nearly two decades of work, Aranya discovered a specimen that met almost all of the desired performance characteristics. The exception was not only to have clean specimens among the members of the breed, but, due to the high demands for hunting and for their development, Filho decided to exclude the white dogs. The breeder named the new canines "Rastreador Brasileiro". Thoroughbred Brazilian round-up hounds were found to be almost identical in appearance to other Coonhounds, although they were related to several different lines.

Recognition history of the thoroughbred Brazilian hound

A pack of purebred Brazilian hounds

Osvaldo Araña Filho was very keen to popularize the bred variety. Therefore, he transferred the breeding stock to no less than thirty other hunters. These new breeders began breeding the resulting dogs. But they chose to call them in Brazilian "Urrador" or "Urrador Americano" because of their American ancestry and ability to give a sonorous voice. By the early 1960s, the breeder's efforts were crowned with success and purebred Brazilian round-up hounds began to be bred en masse.

The Rastreador brasileiro was quickly appreciated by Brazilian hunters as one of the only breeds capable of working in that country. Dogs are renowned for their ability to chase with barking.Subsequently, they were called "Americano". Other breeders have distributed purebred Brazilian hounds all over Brazil, from the remote jungle to the most populous cities. However, these people were extremely interested in the performance of such dogs and did not keep their pedigrees. They also crossed them strongly with other foreign and native species.

Osvaldo Araña Filho was good friends with a number of Brazilian canine enthusiasts, including a number of Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) judges residing in the country. The breeder has worked with the FCI and the Brazilian National Kennel Club to popularize and promote the purebred Brazilian hounds around the world. In 1967, both organizations fully recognized the rastreador brasileiro. At the same time, the breed became the first Brazilian dog to receive international recognition.

Disappearance of a thoroughbred Brazilian hound and attempts to restore it

Purebred Brazilian hound in the grass

Despite distributing his canines throughout Brazil, Oswaldo remained the main breeder of the variety. Unfortunately, in 1973 there was an irreparable tragedy. A massive outbreak of tick epidemics began in the Filho nursery. These parasites drank the blood of his dogs, at the same time weakening their immune systems and transmitting various dangerous diseases. One is babesiosis, a malarial invasive disease that is caused by protozoa and is often fatal.

Most of the purebred Brazilian hounds in the kennel have succumbed to this disease. In an attempt to save his breeding stock, Filho decided to use pesticide spraying to kill the ticks. Unfortunately, this turned out to be even more disastrous, as several of his surviving pets were poisoned. An outbreak of parasites, subsequent babesiosis and poisoning killed all the other thirty-nine rastreador brasileiro breeders. To restore the variety, Osvaldo could not find the breeds underlying them. The Brazilian Kennel Club and FCI have announced that the species has disappeared.

Despite these claims, they are not actually extinct. A number of hunters throughout Brazil continued to breed purebred Brazilian round-up hounds. In addition, members of the species crossed paths with stray local dogs, which had a profound influence on them in certain areas. Many breeders continued to focus solely on performance and cared little about keeping clean.

By the 2000s, interest in the rastreador brasileiro began to grow again. To restore the breed, the Gropo de apoio ao resgate do rastreador brasileiro (GDAARDRB) was founded. The aim of the group is to find the best specimens from all over Brazil, buy as many dogs from hobbyists as possible, to expand the gene pool, standardize the species and regain recognition in the Brazilian club and FCI.

At this point, the efforts of the GDAARDRB have received mixed results. The group managed to gather several amateurs. Many breeders remain interested in the hunting qualities of the purebred Brazilian hounds, and are reluctant to see them standardized and recognized. The organization found that most of the remaining rastreador brasileiros were badly damaged by intersections and not ideal for the standard.

Over the past 20 years, the first members of the species have been exported outside Brazil. A very small number of purebred Brazilian hounds have found their home in the United States. The variety has received recognition from several rare breed registries in America, including the Continental Kennel Club. For now, the efforts of the GDAARDRB continue to move forward and it is possible that the Rastreador will recover and become a fully recognized breed.

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