What is a Boerboel?
A South African Farm dog, the Boerboel is a large strong dog. Also
referred to as the South African Mastiff, they are used as land and
A Boerboel should be very confident with a strong nerve. Temperament is
the most important thing about the Boerboel. The Boerboel needs to be very
confident to have the capabilities to make good judgment calls. Sound
temperament goes far beyond a wagging tail. There are many different
driving forces at work in the temperament of every dog. Such as
confidence, intensity, nerve, independence, dominance, to name a few.
All of these things need to be tested to know of the level of there
presence. These things play a huge role in the Boerboel's behavior
and are partially genetic. The Boerboel should be very loyal and connected with their family and should have a natural love for their children. They
are very intelligent and are athletic, especially when compared to many
They are a very dominant breed and while they should
not be hard headed, they do require a strong pack leader if they are to
excel in their homes. Boerboels do not make good first time dogs since
a moderate understanding of dog behavior is a must. Socialization and
obedience training is very important. These dogs are not for everyone.
Boerboels do not make good back yard dogs. An active home that likes to
take their dogs into social situations on a regular basis is very
important for the Boerboel's physical and mental well being.
Boerboel's originally are believed to stem from the ancient dogs known as
canis molassus. These were huge dogs that were used for protection,
hunting large game, and battle. Around 1652 a dog known as a
Bullenbijter arrived into the southern tip of Africa. Other colonists
also arrived bringing with them large mastiff-type dogs. A barbaric
tribe in southern Ethiopia known as Cynomones, had dogs that were
described as Indian Dogs. They were descendants of the Babylonian dog.
They were described as large strong dogs, suitable to fight lions. The
Cynomones bred large numbers of these dogs, because during the late
summer, large numbers of migrating wildebeest trekking past the
Cynomones stampeded or destroyed their simple houses or shelters and
other possessions. The dogs were specifically used to keep the
wildebeest away from their homes, but also to catch them. During the
remainder of the year they were used to hunt other animals. They also
milked the bitches, just like other tribes milked their cattle or
goats. This is why they were called the Cynomones or "Dog Milkers." In
Africa various tribes moved south when they came into contact with
Europeans; naturally their dogs moved with them. Therefore it can be
said that the Boerboel was bred mainly from two sources of genetic
material; the BullenBijter with its early roots in Albania and Syria
and later Europe and the African dog of the black tribes of Africa
which probably descended from the Cynomones of Ethiopia with earlier
roots in Babylon. These statements also explain why the Boerboel is
structually much better off than other Mastiff-type dogs. The genetic
material that came together in Africa has more pure, original Syrian
bloodlines than any other breed in the world. During the period of
1652-1838 the original Bullenbijter bloodline and other dogs of the
colonists were of necessity more isolated than after the start of the
Groot trek in 1838. The crucible of the Boerboel started after 1838 and
continues today. Thanks to the vision of the SABT the Boerboel is now
being preserved and is on the rise.
Choosing your Boerboel
So, you have done your research and realize the commitment you are
getting yourself into and still feel the Boerboel is the dog for you.
You have the time, money, patience and space the dog will require. Now
you need to find the dog that is right for your family. DO YOUR
RESEARCH! This is very important. When choosing your breeder, you'll
want to make sure you find one that is really involved with the breed.
A good breeder will have as many questions for you as you do for them.
They will have their dogs appraised or shown. They will be active with
the breed. They will have their dogs' hips certified. They will be
there for you to ask questions after the purchase. They will have spay
and neuter contracts on dogs that are not "Breeding Quality" and they
will know how to match you up with a puppy to best fit your family.