The Boerboel is a large working molosser breed of dog from South Africa. The word "boerboel" derives from "boer", the Afrikaans/Dutch word for "farmer"; boerboel thus translates as either "farmer's dog" or "Boer's dog" in Afrikaans/Dutch. There is a lengthy history of breeding the boerboel in South Africa, where the dog was bred with the purpose of guarding the homestead. While it is uncertain from which the dog breeds originated, it is postulated that the dog derived from interbreeding of indigenous African species with dog breeds brought from Dutch, French and British settlers. The dog is a heavy mastiff breed with characteristic sand colouration with a black mask, and a height that varies from 64-70 centimetres for males, and 59-65 for females. This dog is the most protective dog breed that is not aggressive. They are obedient and intelligent, and have strong territorial instincts, particularly in domestic situations. By nature, the Boerboel is confident and dominant in its environment, but requires human companionship; if left alone for regular extended periods, they can become destructive, reckless and dangerous as with any large animal.

Boerboel Appearance

The Boerboel should be well balanced, substantial and strong in appearance, with robustness and an overall solid tight musculature. Though a heavily built mastiff breed, it is not loose limbed or jointed and has a strong top line leading to a powerful neck, it should move with purpose and control with ample agility. The head is one of the defining characteristics of the breed and should be large but in proportion to the body, with a strong and not too short muzzle and jaws, possessing tight flew, and broad between the ears. The tail is normally docked short but this is not a requirement of the dog breed. The dog should give the overall impression of substance, strength, power, and physical ability, and should be able to more than amply demonstrate this in his day to day work. The dog breed standard varies by registry, with an example standard listed below:

Boerboel Size
The ideal height for male Boerboels is 66 cm at the withers, though it can vary between 64-70 cm (25-28 inches). The height for the females should be 61 cm, but can vary between 59 to 65 cm (23 to 26 inches).

Boerboel Weight
45 to 90Kg (100 to 200lbs)

Boerboel Color
Brindle, brown, red-brown, red, fawn, yellow-cream, white-cream, dilute, and black are all accepted, as are dogs with limited amounts of white on head neck chest and legs. A deep mask is preferred for all.

Boerboel Health Problems
Hip and elbow dysplasia, Wobblers disease, eye problems, heart issues, thyroid problems, bloat, vaginal hyperplasia, allergies.

Boerboel Living Conditions
The Boerboel is not recommended for apartment life. It should have a large, fenced in yard but should not be left alone, since it is very protective and sometimes does not take too well to strangers.

Boerboel Exercise
The Boerboel can be exercised in a large yard with enough space to run and play, but at a minimum needs to be taken on a long daily walk. Boerboels love to play and enjoy a good game of ball.

Boerboel Life Expectancy
12 years

Boerboel Grooming
The Boerboel is easy to groom. An occasional brushing and a monthly bath is all that is needed. This breed is an average shedder.

Boerboel Temperament

The Boerboel is a dominant but intelligent dog breed, with a strong watchdog instinct. The Boerboel should be self-assured and fearless, but responsive to the needs of the family. Like other large dogs with a strong guarding instinct, the Boerboel needs always to be watched around strangers. To avoid aggression it should socialized with friends and other dogs early on and like all dogs should never be left unattended with young children. Only dogs of the correct temperament should be selected for breeding and if possible should be temperament tested. These dogs thrive on love and attention and need companionship from their owners. As with many working dog breeds, they should not be left alone regularly for extended periods as they can become becoming destructive without the opportunity to fulfil a well defined role.

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