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Boerboel Breed of Dog:

The Boerboel is a South African dog breed of the molosser type.

The name essentially means “farmer’s dog”, which is actually an indication of how the breed was developed. The exact origins of the breed are unclear – all that is known is that European settlers brought with them large, powerful dogs, and these dogs were bred with local African breeds to give rise to the Boerboel. Bulldogs, English Mastiffs, and Bull Mastiffs are among the Boerboels ancestors, but there are numerous other breeds too, of which no record has been kept.

Like all dogs of the molosser type, the Boerboel is a large, muscular dog with a very imposing presence. It stands about 27 inches tall, and can weigh up to 90 kilograms. The chest is broad and powerful, and the neck is thick and of medium length.

The dog’s head is not large for its height and structure, but is broad and square, with a short, squarish muzzle that often has a melanistic mask. The ears are of medium size, and sit folded high on the dog’s head. Boerboels have a smooth coat that comes in several colors – brown, fawn, cream, red, brindle, and even black are accepted colors for this breed.

Boerboels are intelligent, confident dogs with a calm disposition. They are protective, but as with most of the large breeds, they are rarely aggressive. In fact, these dogs are usually very gentle and can be extremely affectionate and playful. Of course, due to its size and power, the Boerboel has the potential to inflict great damage on property, people, and other animals. For this reason, proper socialization and training of Boerboel puppies is particularly important. As with any other dog, Boerboel training is more effective if it is positive – the dog must be motivated to learn, not forced. It is also important for the owner to assume a firm leadership role. These measures will ensure that the dog is obedient and can be controlled – once the owner indicates that he is in control and a visitor is a friend, the dog must back down.

Boerboels are hardy dogs, and are not known to have any hereditary health problems. However, they need to spend a lot of time outdoors, and must get plenty of exercise if they are to stay fit. Boerboels are not suited for life in an apartment. A bored, frustrated Boerboel will try to entertain himself and will end up creating havoc.

  Submitted on May 7, 2010  

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