The South African Mastiff – Boerboel
This breed is popular in South Africa. The word “Boer” comes from the Afrikaans word for a “farmer’. The word ‘Boel” is an ancient Afrikaans slang word for “dog.” The Boerboel was bred in South Africa specifically to protect farmers and their families on farms in the Eastern Transvaal, the Free State, and other parts of South Africa. This breed protects farmers and their families from lions and other wildlife.
In the early 1900s, the Englishmen brought Bulldogs and Mastiffs into South Africa, and some of these dogs were bred into the Boerboel population. In the early ’80s, a serious search started again for the original Boer dog, which covered large parts of Southern Africa. Two hundred and fifty “Boer” dogs were found, and only seventy – two selected to be registered. Selective breeding started, and finally, the dog of the old South African pioneers was ready to be registered as a pure breed. These dogs are now registered with the South African Boerboel Association.
South African Mastiff
- Big strong breed
- Well-balanced dog with good strong muscle development
- Swift in movement
- Reliable, obedient, and intelligent
- Strong watchdog instinct
- Self-assured, fearless, and perceptive to the needs of the family
Weight: 110-176 lb
Height: 24-28 inches (males) 22-25 (females)
Life Expectancy: 9-11 years
Coloring: With or without a black mask, fawns, blacks, reds, brown, brindle, piebald, and Irish markings.
Health: This breed has good health; nonetheless, they may suffer from hip dysplasia, vaginal hyperplasia, ectropion, and entropion. Epilepsy affects this breed if stressed out and is also caused by metabolic changes. Unfortunately, this breed’s life expectancy is only around ten years.
Like any Mastiff, the Boerboel requires consistent positive training and socialization. They do not do well being left alone and thrive on being part of the family. Boerboels also need large areas in which to run and play. They don’t thrive being cooped up in an apartment or small home. This may lead to aggressiveness.
The Boerboel, as a breed, is very intelligent and needs to be mentally stimulated and exercised every day. Although this breed is known to be sensitive and good with children, as with any dog breed, it’s advised that all small children be supervised when around the Boerboel.
Unfortunately, the Boerboel has been banned from the following countries:
France, Iowa, USA, Malaysia, Qatar, Geneva, Switzerland, Mauritius, and Bermuda.
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