Breed Type: Strong Guard Dog Breed
Weight: 154-200 pounds (60-90 kg)
Height: (male) 25-28 inches (64-70 cm) / (female) 23-25.5 inches (59-65 cm)
Coat type: Short and dense hair
Boerboel is a strong and intelligent dog that has served farmers for long as strong guard dogs. The dog is known for its intelligence and fearless nature and remains happy to serve the family as a guard dog. At home, it is a gentle, affectionate and playful dog that loves the companionship and seeks attention of its master. It loves attention but needs a dominating master. Its guarding and protective nature has developed a strong instinct of territoriality which is impossible to be surpassed by any stranger. The dog hence needs to be socialized with the family members when young. In this article, we bring you details on the history, appearance, grooming, personality and genetic disease of Boerboel dogs.
The Boerboel dog is native to South Africa where it has been bred for long in the far areas. However, it is still not sure as to which dog it was bred from and how many dogs are parts of its origination as it remain under covers. The most likely claim to its origin can be attributed to Jan van Riebeeck who arrived to the Cape in 1652 and brought a large and strong bullenbiter with him. Similarly, the Dutch, British and French settlers too had brought some breed of dogs with them that were bred with domestic African dogs of indigenous breed to create the Boerboel. In 1938, a bull mastiff dog was imported by De Beers to protect the diamond mines. This bull mastiff dog was bred with a champion acquired from the Hottentots and hence played an important role in the development of the Boerboel. During the second Boer War in 1902, the Boerboel was again bred with the two dogs (bull mastiffs and the long legged bulldogs) brought by the Englishmen to yield a tougher dog that could successfully stand the tough time. Today, the breed is considered to be amongst the rarest breeds of dog. Nevertheless, the dog has gained recognition by American Kennel Club Foundation Stock Service List in 2006.
The Boerboel is a well balanced, substantial and strong dog that gives it a robust and muscular appearance. It is a heavily built dog with a powerful neck and a strong head that is in proportion to the body. The strong and not too short muzzle and jaws along with well filled cheeks gives it a square look. It holds an intelligent expression on its face with yellow or brown colored eyes. The coat is short and smooth that ranges in different colors like red-brown, brindle, fawn, dilute, brown, red, white-cream, yellow-cream and black with limited amount of white markings on chest, head, legs and neck. It possesses a short, docked up tail with lose, thick and well pigmented skin.
The Boerboel is a very intelligent, reliable, fearless and obedient dog that possesses a strong watchdog instinct. The dog seems to have a sixth sense that helps it to recognize the threat to the family it is guarding. In addition, the dog can protect the family without being aggressive and hence makes a wonderful house pet. It is a dominant dog breed that remains patient and gentle with children. The dog is quite responsive to the needs of the family and is always eager to please them. It makes a good friend with children but it should not be left unattended with the children. Since it is a working dog breed that requires a lot of exercise, it is not suited to the apartment living. The dog is quite territorial and hence should not be left unleashed in an unsecured area as it can turn very aggressive.
Thought the Boerboel dog is a healthy breed with an average lifespan of around 12 years yet it can suffer from diseases like thyroid problems, eye problems, hip and elbow dysplasia, bloat, Wobblers disease, heart issues, vaginal hyperplasia and allergies.
The Boerboel does not require much grooming as it is an average shedder. The dog can be bathed once a month and will just require an occasional brushing. However, make sure that its ears, nails and teeth are regularly checked.