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The Boerboel – SA’s answer to a Mastiff

Owning Boerboel is not for the faint of heart or novice dog owner. Their sheer size and weight alone dictates a need for confidence. Standing up to 69cm tall and weighing in between 50 and 90 kilograms, the Boerboel is the canine version of Eben Etsebeth; brave, loyal, not scared of a fight and intimidating as heck in the flesh.

Boerboels are amazing with their own family and fiercely protective of their humans and home. They are known to not always be good with other dogs, especially of the same sex and do require socialization to prevent issues from occurring.

Their roots go back as far as when Jan van Riebeeck arrived in the Cape in 1652 to work for the tea company that founded the Dutch colony at the Cape of Good Hope, he brought along a “Bullenbeisser” (now extinct), whose name literally means, “biter of bulls”. In the 1920s, De Beers brought in some highly pedigreed Bullmastiffs, to safeguard their diamond mines, their influence on the Boerboel is easy to see, the square solid head, colouring (red, fawn and brindle) and amount of bone. Added to the genetic mix is some longer legged Bulldog, also brought in by the British at that time.

Boerboels need plenty of exercise and intellectual stimulation, they also do not do well, left for long periods without “their” humans. Their incredible protective instincts, mean that they are not to be trusted with strangers, great if you live on a rural farm and need to be safe, a little more care needs to be taken in higher population density areas.

Boerboel Fun Facts:

  • Many Boerboels have the most beautiful light brown to yellow eyes, highlighted by their black masks.
  • Boerboels will stand their ground against wild predators such as the Hyena, Jackal, Lion and Leopard.
  • Countries such as Denmark and Singapore have banned the Boerboel because of its propensity for aggression coupled with its size and strength.
  • Keep a towel handy, they are known to slobber, especially as they get older.

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