The Boerboel is an impressive working dog. For experienced dog owners he is the ideal watchdog and a faithful companion. Due to its intelligent nature, it requires consistent leadership and sufficient exercise. Those who are looking for an intelligent watchdog will find a good friend in the Boerboel.
The Boerboel is a muscular and large dog. The dog breed originates from South Africa and was bred there as a guard and protection dog. At the same time, the dog is characterized by its affection and patience, which it shows especially towards its family.
For inexperienced dog owners, the independent and alert dogs are unsuitable. They must be raised consistently, but lovingly. Both the physique and the head are angular and expressive. Overall, the Boerboel is well muscled and strong. Males should be at least 60 cm tall, but the ideal measurement is 66 cm. The bitches are smaller and lighter. They should ideally be 61 cm high, but at least 55 cm. Due to the size and physique, the males weigh up to 70 kg.
The Boerboel has a particularly broad head, often darkly pigmented. His eyes look attentive and intelligent. Due to its muscular build, large, angular head and broad neck, the dog is very impressive. In breeding, emphasis is placed on a great difference between the appearance of males and females. While males appear athletic and strong, bitches should appear feminine.
A distinctive feature of the Boerboel is its calm and intelligent nature. The guard dog is alert, but not aggressive towards people. Many Boerboels bond closely with their family. While they are playful and patient here, they are vigilant in guarding their family and home against strangers.
If you keep a boerboel, you should not underestimate its vigilance. Even visitors will only accept the dogs if you introduce them. Nevertheless, you should always keep a close eye on your Boerboel.
Many dogs of this breed are hardly compatible and sometimes aggressive to conspecifics. Not only for this reason, the strong dogs are unsuitable for inexperienced dog owners and apartment keeping. Its partly independent character is difficult to handle for inexperienced dog owners. Many owners of Boerboels appreciate that they are very fond of children and patient. Of course, you should never leave your children unsupervised with your dog.
However, among guard dogs, this breed stands out for its loyalty and sense of family. The dog breed is considered playful and obedient. Especially your young Boerboel you should train lovingly and consistently. The adult dog has a great weight and should master all basic commands.
Like any dog, the Boerboel needs exercise and mental workout. Keep busy with him to promote him species-appropriate. Due to his guard and protection instinct, he is unsuitable for apartment keeping. On a large property he can live out his guard instinct. If you want to keep a Boerboel, you should fence your property securely. But even if your dog can regularly go into the garden, you should take him for a walk every day.
The right food
The Boerboel is a healthy and robust dog. Health problems occur mainly in the area of the joints. With a suitable diet, diseases such as ED and HD can be partially prevented. You should feed your young Boerboel with a suitable food for large dog breed. These dog foods contain less energy. This will prevent your dog from growing too fast, which can promote joint diseases. In principle, any type of food is suitable for the diet.
The large dog requires large amounts of food, which he should not eat too quickly. Feed your Boerboel best several times a day, for example in the morning and evening. After eating, the dog should be able to rest. Dangerous gastric torsion occurs especially in large dogs. If your Boerboel eats too fast, you can offer him his food in smaller portions.
Most dog food varieties are well suited for the boerboel. Many brands offer special food for the specific needs of large dogs. Such dog food varieties usually contain less energy than dog food for small and medium-sized dog breeds. This prevents overweight, which unnecessarily stresses the joints. Also, the chunks for large dog breeds are larger, so the dog has to chew more. In addition to dog food, you should regularly offer your dog something to chew on. Bones are only suitable for this to a limited extent. Most dogs tolerate dried beef skin and similar chews better. There is a large selection in pet stores, even for large dog breeds. Never feed your Boerboel from the table, as this behavior can cause begging or even clawing.
The big dog easily gets to tables and trays, which can tempt him to help himself to your food. You should avoid this to prevent overfeeding, but also poisoning. Many leftover foods, such as cooked potatoes and pasta, can be fed without hesitation. However, unsuitable for dogs are generally salted and spiced foods. Always let your Boerboel eat in peace and also instruct your children not to disturb the dog while it is eating.
The Boerboel has a smooth and fine coat that requires little grooming and hardly sheds. Brushing is therefore more of a massage for your Boerboel than a necessary care measure. The Boerboel likes to stay outside and will certainly get dirty and wet once in a while. However, he should not be bathed, because the natural protective layer of the coat can be destroyed by shampoo. The result can be irritations and skin diseases. Only in exceptional cases you should shampoo your Boerboel. If your dog is dirty and wet, you should only dry him with a towel.
In any case, the Boerboel needs daily exercise to be satisfied and busy. An important aspect in the keeping is an escape-proof area, which the dog will guard attentively. For the keeping and care, the territorial behavior of the dog should not be underestimated, because it is innate in every Boerboel.
But caring for the Boerboel also involves integrating the affectionate dog into the family. This includes, for example, regular games and obedience exercises that challenge the dog mentally. For dog sports, however, the Boerboel can only be used to a limited extent, because he is playful, but not necessarily obedient.
In principle, no special things are needed to keep a Boerboel. But you should be aware that the dog is very strong and heavy. He should wear a sturdy and well-fitting collar. Chains and collars with spikes are not suitable, as they can cause pain to the dog. Depending on how well your Boerboel walks on a leash, he can be kept on a harness.
The leash for a full-grown boerboel should also be sturdy. The popular flexible leashes are not suitable for very large and strong dogs and should not be used. In everyday life, a short leash is sufficient. For training you can use a drag line. However, in the beginning it makes sense to have a dog trainer show you how to use it.
Your dog needs a food bowl and a large water bowl that should always be filled and accessible. The bowls should be made of an easy-to-clean and sturdy material, such as stainless steel. It is also important that your dog has a permanent place to sleep. For this, you can offer him a basket or a large blanket. For large dogs, dog mats are suitable, which distribute the weight well and protect the joints. It is important that the dog is not disturbed while resting, which should also be respected by your children.
Your Boerboel will probably enjoy spending time in the garden. Here you should offer him a dry place to lie down, from which he can observe the terrain. The human-oriented dog is unsuitable for pure kennel and outdoor keeping.
Origin & History
The name Boerboel means "farmer dog" in Afrikaans. The dog was bred in South Africa for exactly this purpose: He is a house and farm dog that protects the family from strangers. Breed standards were not established until the 1980s. Before that, the Mastiffs were bred in an undirected way and used as working dogs.
An ancestor of the Boerboel is the "Bullenbjiter". The Dutchman Van Riebeek brought one of these dogs to South Africa in 1652, and it interbred with the working dogs that had settled and spread there. The descendants of this dog were kept by settlers to protect their farms. Due to its versatility and affection, the dog was very popular. Besides the task of securing one's property, he guarded children and livestock and hunted small animals.
Later, the breed was crossed with mastiffs brought by British immigrants in the 1820s. Various bulldog-like breeds mixed with the existing working dogs. These ancestors can still be seen in the Boerboel today. It is also similar in character to the well-known Mastiff breeds. A great influence had the crossbreeding of Bullmastiffs. These dogs were imported in 1938 as guard dogs.