Breed Description +

The word Boerboel means "Farm Dog" and it serves as a capable working dog as well as a loyal companion in its home country of South Africa. This breed is large, strong, athletic and confident with good muscle development. Despite its size, the Boerboel is the most agile of the mastiff-type breeds. They are reliable, obedient and intelligent with a strong watch dog instinct. They remain the guarding breed of choice amongst current day farmers in their native South Africa. Boerboels are foremost incredibly devoted dogs that form close bonds with the entire family. Due to the emotional nature of their bond, Boerboels fare best living as part of the family. They have a distinctive, blocky head and their skin should be dark on the stomach and under the hair coat, as well as the roof of his mouth. This protects against heat and sun. Their coat is short and dense and can be brindle, brown, cream, reddish brown or tawny. Proper early socialization for this breed is a must. Left to their own devices away from their humans, they can become bored, depressed and may occupy themselves by indulging in undesirable or destructive behavior. Quite adaptable and much easier to control as puppies, introducing this breed to a variety of sights, sounds, species and experiences during the formative months greatly improves their social skills.
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  • Observed Weight:

    110-176 lbs


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The word "Boerboel" derives from "boer", the Afrikaans/Dutch word for "farmer". The English word "bull" sounds to Dutch ears like "boel", hence, the name Boerboel. The name generally then, translates into "farmer’s dog." The Boerboel is the only dog from South Africa that was developed to defend the home or farm. Despite its long breeding history, it is not entirely clear how many breeds or what kinds specifically were used to create the Boerboel. It’s generally believed that it was derived from the native African canine species and breeds brought into South Africa by the Dutch, French and English settlers. One in particular, the "Bullenbitjer" was a large heavy Mastiff-type dog brought to the Cape of South Africa in 1652 by Jan van Reibeek. Further breeding may have been with the common Bullmastiffs brought to guard the diamond mines in the early 1900’s.

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