Boerboel

He is not recognized by the F.C.I.

Origin
South Africa
Miss Marita Eriksson, breeder under the affix "Boerklans"
Certified breeder and judge, graduate E.B.B.A.S.A and S.A.B.T of South Africa
Translation
Francis Vandersteen
This breed is also known as
African Boerboel
South African Boerboel
South African Mastiff

Brief historical summary

Of course, every breed has its own development history and more or less well-known roots. So much is said about the Boerboel and its past, and in general it's nice to hear more or less romanticized stories on the subject. I'd like to avoid telling legends that are unfortunately not very verifiable today, so I'll only touch on this subject briefly. What is believed today is that the Dutch settlers who came with Jan Van Riebeck in 1652 brought with them molosses from Europe, descendants of the "Brabanter Bullenbijter", a breed extinct to this day. This Bullenbijter would have interbred with other molosses from other European countries, as well as with other local breeds. The settlers, known as "Boers", spread out across the country, settling mainly in the provinces now known as Transvaal and Oranje Vrystaat (Orange Free State) and Natal. For them, the Boerboel was indispensable as a farm guard. He also had to guard the herds and hunt wild animals. What is certain is that at the beginning of the century, just after the Anglo-Boer war, a cross was made with the old English Bulldog, another type of the one we know today, taller with longer legs. There was also an influence from the old English Bullmastiff, as the Boerboel, having remained isolated in the hinterland, needed a supply of fresh blood. This was imported to South Africa in the late 30s by the British to guard the diamond mines for the De Beers mining company. One wonders why they didn't use Boerboels for this task, but then again it was the Boer dog, considered a simple farm dog at the time. There is a certain resemblance to the Rhodesian Ridgeback, and surely a link between the two breeds, even if the Ridgeback is much lighter and a hunting dog. The Boerboel was primarily a farm guard dog in South Africa, but can also be found in neighboring countries such as Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe (formerly known as Rhodesia) and Tanzania. The breed had become the common farm dog, and there was little interest in its selection until the 1960s, when breeding began in earnest and it was later decided to register typical subjects of the breed in a "stamboek" (stud book). As a result, a few people set up an association and travelled around the country to select the dogs with the most typical traits. The aim was to save the breed and safeguard the Afrikaans cultural heritage of which the Boerboel is a part.

General appearance

The Boerboel is a large, muscular dog that must give an impression of strength, as well as being imposing and impressive. The difference between male and female should be clearly distinguishable, with the male being very masculine and the female lighter and more feminine.

Behaviour / temperament

The Boerboel is loyal, obedient and intelligent, with a strong guarding instinct.

Head

Cranial region

Head
The head is short, broad, deep and full of muscle. The area between the eyes should be well filled, and when attentive, there should be wrinkles on the head, but not at rest.
Stop
Slightly marked.

Facial region

Nose
Broad and black.
Muzzle
Straight, broad and deep, measuring 8 to 10 cm.
Lips
Generous but not exaggerated.
Jaws and teeth
The jaws are broad and strong, with large, fairly widely spaced teeth and a full set of 42 teeth, well developed and preferable in a scissor bite, but pincers and prognathism are also recognized.
Cheeks
Relatively broad.
Eyes
Any shade of brown, but darker than the coat. The eyes are fairly wide apart.
Ears
Triangular and medium-sized, well proportioned with the head, set high and forming a straight line when the dog is attentive.

Neck

Generous skin around the neck. Nape of medium length, well muscled, clearly showing a curve.

Body

Body
Well muscled, broad and "barrel-shaped", with a straight topline, broad back showing well the muscles.
Croup
Broad and solid, slightly sloping.
Chest
Broad, deep and strong.

Tail

Generally cut at the 2nd or 3rd vertebra, but can be long, thick and strong.

Limbs

Forequarters

Generality
Straight, with strong bones and powerful, well-spaced muscles.
Shoulders
Moderately angulated, very strong, muscular and solid.

Hindquarters

Generality
Strong and muscular, moderately angulated, with strong, relatively short, thick and perfectly parallel hocks.

Gait and movement

Powerful yet harmonious and balanced, always perfectly parallel with a straight topline.

Skin

Thick.

Coat

Hair
Short, thick and close.
Colour
Any brindle shade except gray, any shade of fawn and red with or without black mask down to eye level. Good pigmentation with preferably black nails and dark skin. White is to be avoided, but a spot on the chest and legs is tolerated.

Size and weight

Height at withers
Minimum 60 cm for males, there is no maximum but it must be well proportioned. Females measure between 55 and 69 cm.

Faults

• Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog and its ability to perform its traditional work.
• Faults listed should be in degree of seriousness.

NB :

• Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities shall be disqualified.
• The above mentioned faults when occurring to a highly marked degree or frequently are disqualifying.
• Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.
• Only functionally and clinically healthy dogs, with breed typical conformation should be used for breeding.

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