The Boerboel is a large South African breed that belongs to the Molloser type of dogs, having a solidly-built body, heavily boned, pendant ears, a relatively short but well-muscled neck and a short broad muzzle. The Boerboel is also known as the South African Mastiff and was purposely bred as a guard dog. It has an average height of 60 – 70 cm from shoulders and weighs around 65 – 80 kg (male) and 50 – 65 kg (female). This dog has strong and heavy bone structure with well-developed musculature. It is an impressive breed that displays confidence, calmness, and power and is popularly used then and now as an effective guardian of livestock and property. It is also a utilitarian dog suitable to a variety of farm works. One of the striking features of the Boerboel is the shape and size of the head – muscular, square, broad and deep with moderate wrinkles when alert. The broad and deep muzzle tapers slightly to the front while the stop is well-marked and definitive but not steep. The nose is black with wide nostrils. Some Boerboels have a black mask. The neck gradually widens from the head to the shoulder adding to the impressive look of the breed. The forequarters and hindquarters are well muscled with good bone structure, with defined muscular ridge above the shoulder. The thick tail is set fairly high, sabre-shaped with a length that reaches to the hocks. It is carried with a slight upward curve when the dog is moving or alert but naturally hangs slightly curved when it is standing. All four legs have large, well-padded round feet with the front feet slightly bigger than the hind feet. The Boerboel is covered with a sleek, short and smooth coat that comes in all shades of brown or fawn, brindle, piebald or Irish.
All dog breeds have different levels of intellect. Some dog breeds; working dogs in particular, are very independent thinkers and have been evolved to be very intelligent. Typically, a highly intelligent dog does well in obedience training and other activities. A highly intelligent dog can be very demanding and do require lots of physical and mental stimulation. If you’re looking for a relatively laid-back dog, that doesn’t require lots of mental and physical stimulation, then you must fully understand the level of intelligence of your dog breed of choice.
Before committing to a certain dog breed, you must fully understand their intellect levels and their specific levels of energy. To keep your dog well-balanced and happy, their needs must be met and maintained.
All dog breeds have different needs when it comes to the level of exercise they require. For the high energy dogs; which are your typical working dogs, they have a lot of energy and require lots of daily exercise along with plenty of mental stimulation. A highly energetic dog breed would suit an individual or family that is equally as active and loves the outdoors. There are also breeds that have relatively low exercise needs, such as toy dog breeds. Although they require daily exercise and mental stimulation, they’re just as happy chilling at home with their loved ones. This type of dog breed would suit an individual or family that prefers the peace and quiet and relaxation.
Before deciding on your chosen dog breed, Mypetzilla recommends that you research the exercise needs and whether you’re well equipped before committing to buying or adopting a particular dog breed.
There are several dog breeds that are known and potentially predisposed to developing health related conditions. Sensible breeding can help prevent the onset of health related conditions and this should always be taken into condition when researching your dog breed of choice. Before committing to a dog, you should speak to the breeder about any health related conditions that may affect the dog you’re looking to buy or adopt. You can also request to see any test results from genetic testing.
There are many dog breeds that tolerate children really well and are not affected by the constant noise and need for play-time. However, there are some dog breeds that don’t do very well with children and can become frustrated and snappy. That being said, all children should be shown how to handle and care for a dog in their home and should always be supervised when playing. As much as a dog can become annoyed and snappy with a younger child, the child can also become less tolerant and misbehaved towards the dog.
Mypetzilla recommends that you always supervise play-time between your children and dog. Children need to respect the boundaries and feeding time for the dog and likewise for the child. We also strongly advise that play-time doesn’t get out of control and too rough which can cause injury to both child and dog.
There are lots of dog breeds that are well suited to living in an apartment. It’s worthwhile noting that you need to check that you’re allowed dogs in your building before committing to bringing one home. If you do decide to own a dog and are living in an apartment, then you must make sure that they have plenty of room to roam around and frequent walks outside to prevent them from becoming bored and depressed.
Mypetzilla recommends that you check as to whether you’re allowed dogs in your apartment building and to fully ensure your apartment is dog proof before committing fully to bringing a dog home.
All dog breeds shed to some extent, some more than others. With this, all potential dog owners should be aware of this, as it will be a matter of putting up with some hair or lots of hair being left around the house. Depending on the dog breed, there are certain times during the year where some dog breeds shed the most and this is typically around spring and autumn. However, there are some dog breeds that shed all year round.
If you’re very house-proud, they you may want to choose a dog breed that sheds very little. Mypetzilla strongly recommends that you fully research your dog breed of choice and their shedding levels before committing.
All dog breeds require different levels of grooming. Some dog breeds are easier to maintain than others and only require a weekly brush to help keep their coat in good condition. There are some dog breeds that require regular trips to the grooming parlour and this can come at a huge cost. Either way, all dog breeds require their coat and nails to be maintained and cared for.
Mypetzilla strongly advices that potential owners research the grooming needs and associated costs with their desired dog breed before fully committing.
Barking is a necessity for your dog to communicate. However, it can also be a nuisance to yourself and fellow neighbours if it’s not kept under control. If you live in an apartment, then you’re better off choosing a dog breed that doesn’t bark as much. If you live further out and far from civilisation, then it’s worthwhile looking into a dog breed that does bark and will bark to alert you of any other company on your property.
Mypetzilla advices that you research the behaviours of your dog breed of choice and whether this would work for you and your family. It’s worth noting that dogs can be trained to bark less and this will take a lot of effort and training from the owner.
Majority dog breeds form very close relationships with their owners and as a result can become very stressed when left alone for a period of time. If a dog is suffering with separation anxiety then they’re very likely to become destructive around the home as a way of dealing with their anxieties. Dog breeds that do form strong bonds with their owners are better accustomed to a household where one member of the family remains home, whilst the others are out, this is to help avoid further anxieties and destructive behaviours.
Mypetzilla recommends that all potential owners research their dog breed of choice on their bonding abilities and how well-adjusted they are to being left alone at home. It’s also worth noting that you should never leave your dog for longer than 4 hours alone at home.
There are certain dogs breeds that have very high intellect and therefore easier to train than other dog breeds. There is also a downside to this; as fast as they learn the new trick or command, they can easily pick up bad habits just as quick. Other dog breeds that don’t rank as high on the intellect scale require patience and plenty of reward treats from their owners during training.
Before committing to a certain dog breed, Mypetzilla advices you to fully research your dog breed of choice and their level of training needs.
All dog breeds have different energy levels. The working dog breed has one of the highest energy levels in comparison to the low-energy dog’s breeds such as the Toy dog breed group. To keep a dog truly happy, healthy and well-balanced, their energy levels must be met.
High-energy dog breeds need lots of exercise and mental stimulation. High energy dog breeds would suit an active family or person. Dog breeds that are considered as low-energy, love to spend the majority of their time relaxing and sleeping in their favourite, comfy spot. A low-energy dog breed would suit an individual that equally loves the quiet life and relaxing lifestyle. Of course, low-energy dogs still need their daily walks and mental stimulation, just not as much as a high-energy dog breed.
Mypetzilla recommends that potential owner research fully on the type of dog breed that would suit their existing lifestyle and to also take into consideration the dog breeds energy levels and exercise requirements.
Before you decide on what dog breed would be suitable for you and your family, you must consider whether they’re a friendly dog breed and if you already have other pets within the household. For homes that already have dogs and other domestic pets, then it’s wise to choose a dog breed that has a friendly personality and temperament.
There are some dog breeds that mix well with other dog breeds and there are others that don’t suit one another and this could potentially cause issues later on down the line.
Another important point to consider is whether the dog breed of choice is friendly towards people and children.
Mypetzilla recommends to research fully on the right dog breed for your family and to also consider their temperament and characteristics.
The name Boerboel is a mix of two words: “Boer” is a Dutch word meaning farmer, while “Boel” is the Afrikaans word for bull (mastiff), so the literal meaning is “farmer’s bull” or “farmer’s dog”. The Boerboel was originally bred for hunting big game and as a guard dog. The exact origin of how the breed came to be is clouded in uncertainty much like other breeds with a long line of breeding history. It is generally believed that it is a product of indigenous African landrace dogs interbred with other breeds brought to Africa by European settlers. According to historical investigations, Jan van Riebeeck was sent to Africa by the Dutch East Indies Company to establish a trade post. He arrived at the Cape in 1652 together with a large mastiff-type “Bullenbijter” (bull biter) as a personal protection dog. German and French settlers also arrived in southern Africa in the years that follow bringing with them their molossers and other large dogs. These dogs and their generations of litters eventually interbred with each other and other indigenous African dogs to create a dog fit for local conditions. Then in the early 1900s, these local dogs were further crossed with other imported breeds including the Bulldog, Great Dane, Saint Bernard, Bull Terrier, Bullmastiff and the Rhodesian Ridgeback which produced the Boerboel we know today.
Bred to guard properties, this massive dog is reliable, obedient and clever with a strong guarding instinct. It has a fearless character and highly protective of its owner and its family but at the same time very playful and gentle. This combination of roughness and smoothness in character makes it a wonderful family pet, especially if raised and cared for properly. The Boerboel is naturally gentle and affectionate but can be dangerously aggressive when provoked or threatened. It will accept strangers or visitors if they are properly introduced by the owner but will still remain cautious and on guard. However, early and extensive socialisation can help reduce the chances of the dog being overly shy or protective.
This breed has a tendency to be assertive and is not recommended for a first time pet owner. It needs an owner who is experienced in handling large breeds with strong guard dog instincts and someone it can respect and trust. Training should be done consistently and assertively but never in a harsh way. Proper early socialisation (as much exposure to many people, animals, and places as possible) and training will produce a well-balanced, reliable and obedient Boerboel.
The Boerboel’s short bristly coat sheds moderately and is quite easy to groom. Brushing can be done occasionally with a rubber curry brush mainly to help remove loose dead hair. Bathing can be done on a monthly basis using a mild dog shampoo. The rest is standard dog grooming – nail trimming every two weeks and toothbrushing on a regular basis.
The Boerboel is generally a healthy dog but like other breeds, it is prone to a few health issues including:
The average life expectancy is 10 years.
The Boerboel needs plenty of exercise time, being a large working dog that it was bred to be. A Boerboel who is not properly exercised can become bored and has a tendency to develop destructive behaviour as an outlet to his boredom or dejection. Daily long walks, jogging or hiking and other similar activities are ideal physical exercises for this breed. This intelligent breed should also be given mental stimulation and should be allowed to play puzzle toys and be given problems to solve as a way of learning new things to keep his mind occupied as well.
This breed has a high tolerance for children, is a very devoted companion and has a strong desire to be with his family all the time. Although it is generally good with children, it should not be left alone with very young kids because it may easily knock a small child down with its innocent play. Small children should also never be allowed to “rough play” the Boerboel no matter how patient it may seem. It usually gets along well with other dogs and animals if it is raised with them at an early age.