South African Boerboel general features, temperament, health

South African Boerboel dog breed photo

Not recognised by FCI. Origin: South Africa, Group: Molossoid Breeds.

Height: 23-28 in, Weight: 154-200 pounds

Grooming: Low, Shedding: Medium, Coat: Short straight coat.

Color: Brindle or fawn with the dark mask.

Ease of training: Medium, Energy level: Medium, Span of life: 9-11 years.

Breed: The history of this breed goes back to the XVII century. When many European settlers were bringing with them to the South Africa not only the livestock, but also their dogs. As a rule, those dogs were powerful, large - of a very clear Molossian type - designed to protect the colonists, their farms and the livestock from the advancing threat from wild animals and warlike tribes of the Zulus, who inhabited that land.

According to the official sources in South Africa, in 1652 Ian Von Riebeeck sailed to the Cape of Good Hope, and brought with him a dog to protect his family in this wild and unknown country. This dog, known as ??Bullenbitjer??, was heavy, big and definitely belonged to the Molossian kind. Since that time, the "dog-ancestor" endured some significant changes, as the natural selection was very important. And that is why today the modern Boerboel is such a strong and durable dog. In those places there was no veterinary care and dogs often had to take care of themselves. During the Great Migration the Boerboel already had most of those features, that are inherent in the modern type of the breed. During this period of time the Boerboels continued to mate on the individual farms only by interbreeding with each other, and only the largest and the most powerful individuals could survive.

The first owners of a Boerboels wanted to see in him a family friend, a worker and a defender. This dog could not afford disobedience, bad mood or a disease - the Boerboel should have been able to protect the family, to work and - if nesessary - to fight. At the beginning of the century the features of the ??original dog?? were clearly visible, and this dog has become well known as a ??Boel??. The following years were tragic for the Boerboel: urbanization has led to the gradual disappearance of this breed.

South African Boerboel dog breeds

Only in the 80's of the twentieth century there was resumed the work on the restoration of this breed. A few brave enthusiasts took the initiative and created the South African Association of Boerboel Fanciers. It's main aim was to help the real South African Boerboel to take his rightful place as a unique dog in the world of other breeds. Researchers have traveled thousands of miles away, in order to realistically assess the situation in the Boerboel breeding.

So the selective breeding began. There have been disappointments and there have been some achievements. As a result of this enormous amount of work, the forefathers of the modern South African Boerboel were ready to be registered as a pure breed. By that time the Sout African Boerboel Fancier's Association already had over 900 members. They lived throughout the whole territory of South Africa and Namibia. Was carried out a path of 5500 km, 250 dogs were examined, and only 72 were selected for recording in the stud books. The big dream was gradually turning into reality. And it would require a titanic work of those people, who were standing at the beginnings of the Boerboel's revival.

Over time, there was gradually accumulated some information about the Boerboels. One of it's sources was the British Museum of Natural History. Historical books, old prints also served as a convincing proof of the origin of our hero - the Boerboel. So, the South African Boerboel appeared! What kind of dog is he?

General Features: The Sout African Boerboel is a strong, balanced, powerful dog, who looks very impressive and imposing, symmetrical and muscular, smooth-coated, powerful and well proportioned, with strong bones. Males should look more masculine than females. The most important feature of the Boerboel is his head, as it describes exactly the hallmark of the breed. It should be short and massive. Head, nose and muzzle should be proportionate to each other. Muzzle should be no more than 10 cm in length. Head must be well muscled, deep and wide between the ears, with well-filled cheeks.

Eyes of a Boerboel are light brown or yellow-brown, in accordance with coat color. Large head needs the support of a strong, muscular neck. The neck should be integrated with the head and shoulders. Chest of a Boerboel is muscular, powerful, broad with well sprung ribs, located deep between the forelegs.

The forelegs are strong and muscular. The hind legs are also strong, sturdy, in proportion to the rest of the body, they should ensure the rapid movement. Hips are broad and deep. The tail is high set, short. Movements of the Boerboel should be light, smooth, strong, purposeful. Coat is smooth and short. Color: cream, fawn, reddish brown, brindle. The South African Boerboel is a confident, dependable, obedient and smart dog, with a strong guard instinct, which is manifested already at an early age. Attentive to all family members, especially children. Selfless and fearless.

Temperament: Boerboel is one of those breeds, that were developed specifically for the protection and guarding. Capricious, an unbalanced dog, which remains dissatisfied after the punishment - is not the South African Boerboel. You should purchase a Boerboel even only because of his character, that was and always will be his main advantage.

The Boerboel will always be a loyal and trusted friend who knows what you think and feel, who will immwdiately anderstand, when something or someone is threatening you. He can feel your fear - the owner of any representative of this breed can confirm this. All these qualities appear already in a small puppy. He will tell you by his eyes: "I'm here. I will keep you safe even at the cost of my life." And it is true. If you allow him to attack, he will roar like a lion and fight brutally, without thinking about his own safety. Not surprisingly, in South Africa at the homes of the citizens are common everywhere those signs saying: "Protected by the Boerboel". You can understand, this tradition says a lot - a reputation of  the breed is valuable. This is not just some impersonal "beware of the dog." Boerboels are clearly very special and they stand out as security guards among other breeds, and this is no accident. This dog in the yard is not a symbol of prosperity. Boerboel is not a dog for decoration - he is a real worker. Aristotle called the ancestors of these dogs ??Leontix??, which means "sons of lions".

South African Boerboel dog breed photo

Those who love big dogs of a Molosser Group, are attracted to a Boerboel by the lack of inherent in Molossoids heaviness, looseness and phlegmatic temperament, as well as the almost complete absence of salivation and the dog's odor. Also attractive features of a Boerboel are his phenomenal health and easy adaptation to the environment - well and enough exercised matured Boerboel (or even a puppy) will not crush your apartment and will live as neatly as in the yard.
In South Africa there are several types of a Boerboel, covering the range from the lightweight dogs with the long legs, similar to the Great Dane, and up to a huge, massive, exaggeratively heavy, often unnecessarily short-muzzled animals. The most desirable breed type is the "golden middle" of these extremes. Also the pathologies in the structure of the limbs are found in this breed significantely less than in the other heavy Molosses. Once again, for his weight class, the Boerboel is very active, and it can not be overlooked when purchasing a dog.

Character of the South African Boerboel is rather smooth: he is obedient, not prone to the unnmotivated aggression and not very ferocious towards other dogs, but still his natural inclination to protect deserves some attention. The fact is that the Boerboel is not created for the role of the decorative "carpet" in the lobby - he is primarily a working dog, and only after that - beautiful and exotic. He will allow your guest into your house, and even he will be happy, but only with the proper socialization. Dogs of this breed need a consistent hard training, in addition, at home they pass a mandatory test for character.

Vicious and unbalanced Boerboel in South Africa will not be allowed for breeding. The process of a special education is extremely important and must be done carefully: do not teach the young dog to fight because of his fledgling psyche and, in general, do not develop anger and aggression, remember always about the natural inclinations inherent in the dogs of this breed. At home - in South Africa - the Boerboel's devotion to the owner, his persistence and courage are legendary. Locals say that the Boerboel is like a released rocket weighing from 70 to 100 kg. And this is a very big power!

Boerboel is a family dog, he does not choose a leader and lives with the same recognition and respect for all family members. Very touching is a Boerboel's attitude to children. This feeling was brought up in the Boerboel for centuries. Even the standard of a modern Boerboel speaks of love for children and says, that this dog retains a sense of gratitude to his master till his last day.

And yet, it will not be correct to describe this "serious" breed, as the best "nannies" for small children - the child can not cope with such a dog. Psychologically healthy dogs of all breeds very well relate to "their" children, but this relationship does not necessarily extend to all other children. Big dog, playing with a baby, can hurt him even with the best intentions, just randomly shoving. We should consider that in children's games are sometimes the situations, that may provoke the dog to some certain reactions.

A dog can save a child's life, can defend him, but a dog is not a toy to play ??????and the relationship with the children always require attention and responsibility from the adults.

The purchasing of a puppy - is an event which does not allow haste. Your dog will stay with you for a long time, and in our case from the small funny puppy in just one year will grow a huge, heavy dog, energetic and quite independent.

Boerboel is a big dog, and before buying a puppy anyone should think very well. The Boerboel eats a lot, takes a lot of space, he may snore in his sleep, he is shedding and he smells like a dog, not flowers. He loves to run, and he needs to walk three times a day in any weather, and not five minutes. At least once a day you will have to take him for a really long and active walk. Many of the Boerboels are not exactly very friendly with the strangers and strange dogs.

Choosing a Boerboel puppy you should pay more attention to the character of a dog than to the titles of his parents, as you will not live with diplomas and medals, but with a live dog.

Health problems: Generally, the South African Boerboel is a very healthy breed. Still in some lines the hip dysplasia may appear as well, as the juvenile epilepsy.

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