South African Mastiff (Boerboel)

South African Mastiff (Boerboel)The Boerboel is a large, mastiff dog breed from South Africa, bred for guarding. The word “Boerboel” derives from ‘boer”, the Afrikaans/Dutch word for “farmer”.

The most likely origins of this breed date back to 1652 although there is uncertainty as to how many and which breeds were used to create it.

The protective character of the Boerboel is still very evident and much sought after, as is the calm, stable, and confident composure of the breed. The breed is obedient and has strong territorial instincts and remains the guarding breed of choice among current day African farmers.

The Boerboel is a large, heavy mastiff breed weighing up to 80 kg (175 pounds). The breed is very loyal, and tends to be great with kids however will not hesitate to defend their loved ones to the death. This dog is possibly the most protective of the mastiff breeds and unlike many other breeds is more likely to attack rather than attempt to intimidate an intruder.

Prospective owners must understand that owning a boerboel requires a significant commitment in time and energy as the need to be trained and properly socialized in order to become a well-adjusted family member. These dogs thrive under strong leadership and require human companionship and structure. Owners must be able to control their dogs, through social dominance (developed mutual respect) or even physical strength if necessary to prevent the breeds’ natural protectiveness from becoming aggression. If you are considering a adding a boerboel to your family remember that a 150 pound plus lion-fighting dog is not for the faint-of-heart and can do a lot of damage. It is my opinion that very few people would possess the character to own such a dog.

The South African Boerboel Breeders Association (SABBA) will register a Boerboel only after it has been appraised on individual merit, and not pedigree. The CKC does not recognize the Boerboel as a registered breed.

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