The Boerboel is a large mastiff type dog that originates from South Africa.
It is believed that its origins lie in the original bull breeds that arrived in South Africa with the European Settlers and the indigenous dogs found living with the African tribes.
What is certain is that the name Boerboel was given to any number of large farm dogs that were found guarding settlers' farms throughout the country.
In 1990 the Boerboel breed was in danger of being lost and a group of fanciers (later to become the South African Boerboel Breeders' Association or SABT) started scouring South Africa for eligible dogs to use as a breeding base. Of the hundreds found, 72 were evaluated and registered. A development register was also maintained for some years to widen the gene pool, ie, dogs, which on appraisal were considered to be good Boerboels, could be registered even if their parentage was unknown.
A good Boerboel is a confident, biddable and loyal guard dog. An excerpt from the breed standard states:-
"Temperament and character
The Boerboel is manageable, reliable, obedient and intelligent with strong protective instincts. The Boerboel is self-confident and fearless. Uncontrollably aggressive and fearful Boerboels are unacceptable."
Male Boerboels average at around 65 cm and weigh around 65-70 kg. Females are smaller at around 60 cm and weigh around 50-60 kg.
A complete copy of the SABT Breed Standard can be found on the following link - Breed Standard