The Boerboel is thought to be made up of European holding dogs and native South African dogs. The European dogs that were brought to South African by Soldiers may have been Boarhounds, Broholmers, and Bullenbijters. Boerboels may have some ancestry from these as well as the blood from the native dogs such as the I-Baku, I-Twini, I-Bansi, and Sica Dogs not to mention what the South Africans call the Kafferbrakke (mongrels).
These Boer dogs were originally used for hunting, as holding dogs. But
in recent years they have become valuable farm dogs. The name Boerboel
literally means "Farmer's Bulldog".
"I remember in1860 seeing a fine strain on the Thorn River near
Cathart….these dogs were light-red in colour, wiry coat with massive heads,
fairly fast and large. They were very vicious…about 1870, I saw some fine
Boer dogs, answering the above description, excepting that they were darker
in colour…I had two dogs, the one named Kafir, whose sire was a cross
between a bull and a mastiff, dam a foxhound. The second named Smoke,
whose sire was a cross between a stag and bloodhound, dam a mastiff. These
dogs had all the characteristics of the Boer hunting dog."
The diversity of the breed owes thanks to the Voortrekkers. This migration of pioneers (Groot Trek) allowed the genetic base to be widened by combining the dog they brought, with many dogs from different geographical areas, each adding it's own qualities to the gene pool. This colourful history is nothing to be ashamed of. Indeed it is this heritage that has made the Boerboel a much sounder dog than many of the other mastiff breeds around today. It also explains the differences within the breed between individual dogs.
The Boerboel breed was in danger of being lost. A group of fanciers formed the SABT in 1983 and then, in 1990 scoured South Africa for eligible dogs to use as a breeding base. Of the hundreds found, 72 were registered and created the foundation stock of what we now know as the Boerboel. In the following years, to widen the gene pool, additional dogs of suitable quality were included on the development register, sadly this register has now closed.
Unfortunately due to human politics, there are now several bred registration bodies The Original SABT has been sadly lagging behind the times, in terms of mandatory health & temperamant testing and has many issues below the surface which continue to weaken it's foundations and predominantley in our opionon no longer puts the Breeds Needs first. A few small organisation over the last eight years have sprang up and then died quietly, the other two worthy of mention is EBBASA, who's future also looks shakky, due to wrong influences creeping in, and Boerboel International, a relatively new organisation, but headed up by some of the most long standing names in the Boerboel World, most importantly, these guys know a little about dogs, and have the breeds interests at heart, followed closely by the OWNERS. By all means look around at the various organisations and make your own mind up!
The Boerboel is now a breed in its own right. To get a Boerboel pup,
you have to breed from certified Boerboel parents. Anyone who tells you
that you get one by crossing one type of dog with another, or tries to
sell you a boerboel without both parents having a valid certification
(see Registration page), either doesn't know
what they are talking about, is trying to fleece you, or probably a combination
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