The Boerboel breed originated in South Africa, developed for the purpose of guarding homes and farms. They are dogs with an imposing physical appearance, with well-developed muscles. The face is usually wrinkled and the ears are cropped, although natural ears are also common. They are dogs with a protective and intelligent nature.

General details

The dog breed is known for its large size and powerful appearance, with a weight ranging between 68 and 91 kilograms and a height varying between 61 and 69 centimeters in males, and between 56 and 63.5 centimeters in females. Their life expectancy is 9 to 11 years and they are not recognized by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI).

Breed history in brief

The Boerboel breed dates back several centuries, and was originally bred by the Boers, a group of Dutch, German and Huguenot settlers who began arriving in South Africa in the mid-16th century. They crossed several breeds of dogs such as the Bulldog, Bullmastiff and other European bloodlines in South Africa until they obtained the Boerboel, a brave and strong dog. The breed name means "farmer's dog" in Afrikaans. The breed's popularity spread and it began to be used as a guard dog for businesses and homes, and even served as a police dog. In the early 20th century, the increased availability of firearms led to the near extinction of the Boerboel. Fortunately, a few dedicated breeders worked hard to preserve the breed and today, it is recognized by several dog clubs. Despite this, it remains a relatively rare breed used primarily for protection and companionship.

Breed characteristics

The Boerboel is a muscular breed, with a square and robust body structure, and should be slightly longer than tall. The head is broad and powerful, with a deep muzzle and prominent jaw. The ears are medium-sized, set high and set wide apart, while the eyes are dark in color and have a watchful expression. The tail may or may not be docked. If not docked, if the dog is in motion, the tail should be carried upwards with a slight curve. The coat is short and smooth, as well as dense and glossy. The skin is dark in color to protect against the sun's rays. The coat coloration is usually fawn, brindle, cream, brown or reddish brown, and some dogs may have a black mask. The Boerboel breed is noted for its loyalty, protection and endurance. They are cunning and confident dogs, capable of acting as excellent guardians and family companions. However, early socialization and training is crucial to avoid unwanted behavior. Their high level of vitality is the reason why this breed requires regular physical and mental activity to stay healthy and happy.

Common health problems

The Boerboel is generally healthy. However, as with all breeds, they may be predisposed to certain disorders or conditions such as osteochondritis dissecans, osteochondrosis, globoid cell leukodystrophy, lysosomal storage diseases or urolithiasis.

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