The Family Watchdog
Boerboels are a type of mastiff-like breed of dog that originates from South Africa. Their name in Afrikaans means simply "farmer's dog." The Boerboel is large and muscular, bred for guarding, a job they perform quite well.
The Boerboel is sturdy built and has a large, strong head. Typically they stand between 23-28 inches and weigh an impressive 155-200 pounds. Their coat is soft, short, and smooth to the touch. Coats are a variety of colors from pale yellow to dark red or brindle, and have a black mask. Preferably there is no white on a Boerboel coat.
The history of the Boerboel most likely begins at the arrival of Jan van Riebeeck to southern Africa. He brought with him a large mastiff-type dog known as a bullenbijter. Other settlers also had brought strong dogs, and over the years natural selection would leave only the strongest dogs surviving. By 1820 Bulldogs and Mastiffs were added to the line, and again in 1938 the Bullmastiff itself was added. At some point it is also likely the Rhodesian Ridgeback, another South African breed also contributed to the bloodline.
Today the Boerboel is still being developed both in South Africa, and now the United States. The American Kennel Club (AKC) is one of the first to begin recognition for the breed outside of Africa, although the Boerboel is still only listed in its Foundation Stock Service (FSS).
Despite the Boerboel's size and guarding instinct they are not vicious animals. They were breed to live on farms and were near both farmers and their children. Any dog showing aggression would have been destroyed. Boerboels have been selectively bred and this has resulted in a good-natured pet that will use its protective instincts when it is required. In fact, Boerboels are a confident and yet generally calm dog. It is very loyal to its family and would, indeed protect them with his life. They are very territorial, vigilant in their guard and defensive. Intruders will not gain entrance to your property. However, Boerboels are controlled with their guarding and a one will normally only bark when there is truly a need to.
The Boerboel is also an excellent family dog they get along well with all humans and pets that are part of his family. They especially love children and will make good companions. While strangers will not be able to gain entrance to your home if you make it clear they are welcome guests the Boerboel will drop its guard.
Health and Care
An extremely healthy breed, the Boerboel has no known health issues. This is most likely due to natural selection and the absence of inbreeding that so many other breeds suffer from.
Boerboels are suited and bred for the rural, country life. They are not recommended for apartments, as they need at the very least a large, well-fenced yard for room to roam. The Boerboel needs space and is not well suited to a busy city lifestyle.
The short coat of the Boerboel requires very little grooming.