Arkansas, United States
Tennessee, United States
Breed group: Working Group dogs
Other name(s): South African Mastiff; South African Boerboel
Country / place of origin: South Africa
History: The Boerboel is a large mastiff dog from South Africa. The word "boerboel" derives from "boer", the Afrikaans/Dutch word for "farmer"; boerboel thus translates as either "farmer's dog" or "Boer's dog" in Afrikaans/Dutch. According to the South African Boerboel Breeders Association, "In 1652, the Dutch East India Company sent Jan van Riebeeck to establish a trading post at the southern tip of Africa. On arrival in the Cape in 1652, his trusty Bullenbijter was at his side. This was a big, strong Mastiff type breed. The colonists that followed Van Riebeeck to the Cape also brought their biggest and strongest dogs with them. With the arrival of the British Settlers in 1820, the Bulldog and another Mastiff-type dog were also introduced, amongst many others. It is told that after the Anglo-Boer War in 1902, these various dog breeds were crossbred with the English long-legged Bulldog, and subsequently also with the Bull Mastiff in the late 1940’s and early 1950’s."
Details: The Boerboel is a typical mastiff: large, strong, and muscular. With a well-proportioned body, it looks impressive and imposing. The head is short, broad, deep, square, and muscular with a short muzzle and black nose. The eyes are broad and horizontally set; the V-shaped ears are set high at the back of the head and usually drooping. The neck is broad, strong, and muscular. The tail is set high and generally docked; however, long tails are also seen.
Average height and weight (mature size and weight): 23-28 inches, 154-200 pounds
Color / coat variations: The color of the coat may be either cream white, pale tawny, reddish brown, brown, or any shade of brindle. The coat is short, dense, glossy, and slightly wrinkled at places.
Lifespan: 12-15 years
Litter size: 2-5 puppies
Grooming and shedding: The Boerboel is an average shedder. Maintenance is easy and an occasional brushing and a monthly bath helps to keep the dog clean.
Food habits: Puppies are fed three times a day for the first six months. After that, they may be fed twice a day. Boerboels more than one year old are fed once a day. The Boerboel should be fed raw food.Some Boerboel owners feed their dogs a diet consisting of raw meat such as beef, fish, poultry, lamb, rabbit, raw bones, vegetables, fruits, kelp, and alfalfa. Sugar, chocolate, dairy products, grain, yeast and raw Salmon is not appropriate for the breed.
Climate and environment: The Boerboel is most comfortable in an outdoor environment and can adjust best to warm climates.
Behavioral aspects: Boerboels make an excellent guard dog, as their protective instincts are quite strong. They require a dominant owner who has the time for socialization and training. When kept alone for long periods, they may indulge in destructive habits such as barking and chewing simply out of boredom.
With children: The breed loves children a lot and therefore bonds easily with them. However, small children should not be with the dog unattended.
With other dogs and animals: The Boerboel gets along fine with other dogs, animals, and even birds.
Training and learning rate: The Boerboel responds best to firm, consistent obedience training. Dogs of this breed respond well to praise.
Agility: The breed is quite agile.
Affinity to water:
How noisy are they: The breed is not very noisy by nature. It seldom barks.
Exercise: They require daily exercise in the form of walks and play sessions.
Health issues: The Boerboel is generally a very healthy breed. However, the breed does suffer occasionally from common canine diseases including distemper (bad cold with a fever caused by a virus attack), hepatitis (liver disorder), leptospirosis (fatal liver disorder), parvovirus (intestinal disorder caused by a virus attack), bordetella (respiratory disorder leading to coughing), and Lyme's disease (a disease caused by ticks leading to chronic arthritis). Some of the other common diseases found to trouble the breed include rabies (disease that attacks nerve tissues, resulting in paralysis and death), diarrhea, constipation, and vomiting.
|I am incredibly happy with my dog||4.8|
|My dog is exactly the right dog for me||4.4|
|I love my dog||4.9|
|I am very attached to my dog||4.4|
|Quick to learn and train||4.3|
|Doesn't bark a lot||3.1|
|Easy to groom||4.7|
|Safe with small pets||3.0|
|Great guard dog||4.7|
|Great watch dog||4.8|
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