SOUTH AFRICAN MASTIFF- BOERBOEL

The Boerboel is a big, strong and intelligent working dog. It is well balanced with good muscle development  and buoyant in movement. The dog should be impressive and imposing. Male dogs appear noticeably masculine and females feminine. All parts of the body should be in proportion with each other. The head is the most important feature of the Boerboel, as it represents its total character. It is short, broad, deep, square and muscular with well filled cheeks, the part between the eyes must be well filled. The top of the head is flat, with prominent muscle development. The face should blend symmetrically with the head, and can be with or without a black mask. The stop should be visible but not prominent. The muzzle is black, with large widely spread nostrils.The nasal bone is straight and parallel to the top-line of the head which is deep, broad and tapers slightly to the front. The nasal bone should be 8-10 cms long. The loose ,fleshy upper lip should cover the lower lip, but should not hang lower than the lower jawline. The Jaws (mandibles)  are strong,deep and broad, and narrow slightly to the front. The teeth should be white, well developed, correctly spaced, with a full set of 42 teeth and a scissors bite. The broad, horizontally set eyes are any shade of brown, but darker than the pelt, with firm well pigmented eyelids.  The ears should be of medium size, v-shaped and be in proportion to the head. They are set fairly high and wide against the head.When the dog is alert, the ears should form a straight line with the head. The neck shows a noticeable muscle curve, and is attached high at the shoulders.  The strong, muscular neck is of medium length, and in proportion to the rest of the body. The skin of the neck is loose under the throat and becomes taut between the front legs. The body narrows slightly towards the loins. The top-line should be straight. The back is straight, broad and in proportion, with prominent back muscles, and a short loin.  The rump is broad and strong, with good muscle development. The chest is muscular, broad and strong. The straight, short tail is attached high to the body. The front legs should be perfectly vertical. The hind paws are slightly smaller than the front paws. The big well-padded paws are rounded with dark curved toe nails. The paws should face forward. The skin is thick, loose and well- pigmented with moderate wrinkles to the forehead when the dog is alert. The short, dense sleek coat comes in creamy white, pale tawny, reddish brown, brown and all shades of brindle. 

The Boerboel is reliable, obedient and intelligent, with strong watch and guard-dog instincts. It is self-assured and fearless. The Boerboel is very playful and loving towards its owner, he loves to play fetch !! They are very good and gentle with children they know, allowing them to ride on their backs (not recommended), loving every minute of the attention they are getting. Boerboels will do OK with other dogs ,cats and other non-canine pets .They will guard their family, friends and property with their life. When their owners are not at home they will not allow anyone to enter the home,unless they know them very well. When welcomed visitors arrive they will accept them after being properly introduced.  They require a dominant owner and with the right owner they make amazing pets !!

The development of the Boerboel can rightfully be described as a true South African success story and is today a beacon for those who have made a contribution to improve the breed. The refining of the breed is still on the developing stage. Much has already been written on the descent of the Boerboel but nobody can state with certainty that it is bred from one, two or more breeds of dogs. What is confirmed by investigation is that Jan van Riebeeck brought with him a "bullenbijter" on his arrival to the Cape. This dog was a large strong breed which reminded one of the Mastiff type of dog. Those who followed Van Riebeeck to the Cape had also brought with them only the largest and strongest dogs and over a period of decades only the strongest survived in the now desolate country. With the arrival of the British Settlers in 1820 they brought amongst others the Bulldog and Mastiff type of dog. (In 1938 the real Bull Mastiff was imported to South Africa by De Beers to guard the diamond mines.) It is also known that they imported a champion obtained from the Hottentots, who played a role in the development of the Boerboel. The "Boerdogs" (as they are known) were scattered by the Voortrekkers during the Great Trek and they continued to breed with them. According to tradition, after the Anglo Boer War in 1902, these dogs were cross-bred with the English long-legged Bulldog and also with the Bull Mastiff in the late and early 1950s. The history is especially known among the farmers of the North-Eastern Free State, Northern Natal and in parts of Transvaal.

notes with thanks to https://www.dogbreedinfo.com/boerboel.htm

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