boerboel male
"... For over three hundred years of its history, Boerboel has been selectively improved and used as a guardian and protector of the people, farms and all the possessions kept there"

He was a family dog and protector of children, a reliable hunter with strong endurance to hardships of African life, a fighter and human companion. The century-long strict selection provided this dog with an enormous strength, resistance to the inconveniences of rural life and illnesses, a sense of independence and the ability to make decisions, as well as with strength, courage and the ability to fight virtually every opponent, and above all, the ability to form a close relationship with its human master. Boerboel, if having a right temperament, is a true friend of man – and in the literal sense of the word. It not only understands and immediately responds to commands but can also instinctively sense thoughts and intentions. It always knows when its master feels threatened and intuitively guesses whether he approves of approaching strangers or not. Depending on the situation, it reacts immediately and without any hesitation. These features are reflected in boerboel from an early age, and when it is still a puppy you can sometimes see it growling menacingly in response to a sudden noise, as if to tell his master: "I'm here all the time and I will always defend you against any threat, oblivious to my own safety". (...)

Breed standard - Boerboel International


Historically the Boerboel developed as a general farm dog for the pioneers who settled in South Africa since the seventeenth century. These dogs often were a first line of defence against predators and were valuable in tracking and holding down wounded game. Old farmers told many a tale of the strength, agility and courage of the Boerboel. The dangers and harsh conditions of Southern Africa allowed only the fittest to survive.

The protective character of the Boerboel is today still evident and is much sought after, as is the calm, stable and confident composure of the breed. It remains the guarding breed of choice amongst current day farmers and is very popular for the same reason in the urban communities.

The origin and purpose of the Boerboel should be understood in order to preserve the unique identity and qualities of the breed as a South African developed mastiff. Type, conformation, functional efficiency and mentality are equally important in the evaluation of the Boerboel as a whole. The aim with the Breed Standard is to provide clear guidelines for breeders and judges to promote a singular vision of the ideal Boerboel.

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