The Boerboel [ˈbuːrbul], also known as the South African Mastiff, is a large, Molosser-type breed from South Africa bred for the purpose of guarding the homestead. These dogs were bred as working farm dogs.
The Boerboel is a large dog, with a strong bone structure and well developed muscles. The head appears blocky, but not overdone, with a short length between the stop and nose. It should look impressive, carrying himself with confidence and powerful movement, which should be buoyant, and unencumbered, despite its size. It should be symmetrical and balanced, following the desired proportions for the breed. Males should be markedly bigger than females, there is a distinct sexual dimorphism between the sexes, with the female less prominently developed.
Boerboels are an intelligent and energetic breed. They are loyal, great with kids and tend to be protective of their family and territory
They are quite charming when not being lazy, and will not hesitate to defend their loved ones to the death.
The Boerboel also requires training and firm handling from an early age
Boerboels are generally known for their good health. However, Boerboels can suffer from hip or elbow dysplasia, vaginal hyperplasia, ectropion, and entropion. Recently, juvenile epilepsy (with attacks brought on by metabolic changes or stress) has appeared in the boerboel breed.The average life expectancy is ten years
In 2002, Romania prohibited the import of the Boerboel, and restricted ownership to those with a court order allowing them to own the dog.
In 2010, the Boerboel was banned in Denmark for being a fighting dog. In addition, it appears on the Wikipedia list of dog fighting breeds
In 2011, Russia deemed the Boerboel an "especially dangerous breed," subject to mandatory registration and certification.
Ukraine classifies the Boerboel as a dangerous dog, subject to mandatory microchipping, muzzle, and civil liability insurance.
The Boerboel is also banned or prohibited in:
- Fairfield, Iowa
- Geneva, Switzerland