South African Boerboel Mastiffs: South African Boerboel Mastiffs are big, strong and intelligent working dogs. They are well balanced with powerful muscle development and buoyant in movement. South African Boerboel Mastiffs are impressive and imposing. Their heads are the most important feature of South African Boerboel Mastiffs, as they represents their character. They are short, broad, deep, square and muscular with well filled cheeks. The top of their heads is broad and flat, with prominent muscle development. Their faces blend symmetrically with their heads, and can be with or without a black mask. Their muzzles are black with large nostrils that are widely spaced. Their nasal bones are straight and parallel to the top-line of their heads. Their jaws are strong, deep and broad, and narrows slightly to the front. They have a complete set of 42 teeth and a scissors bite. Their broad, horizontally set eyes are any shade of brown, but darker then their coats, with firm, well-pigmented eye-lids. Their strong, muscular necks are of medium length and in proportion to the rest of their bodies. The skin of their necks is loose under the throat and becomes taut between their front legs. Their backs are straight, broad and in proportion, with prominent back muscles. Their chests are muscular, broad and strong. Their straight, short tails are attached high to their body. Their front legs are perfectly vertical. Their big, well padded paws are rounded with dark curved toe-nails. Their skin is thick, loose, well pigmented with moderate wrinkles on the forehead when they are alert. Their short, dense, sleek coats come in cream white, pale tawny, reddish brown, brown and all shades of brindle.
South African Boerboel Mastiffs are reliable, obedient and intelligent, with strong watch and guard-dog instincts. They are self-assured and fearless. South African Boerboel Mastiffs are very playful and affectionate toward their owners. They are very gentle and good with children they know. South African Boerboel Mastiffs will do okay with other dogs, cats and other non-canine pets, providing their are properly introduced. They will guard their families, friends and property with their lifes. When the owners are not home they will not allow anyone to enter the home, unless they know them very well. When welcomed visitors arrive they will accept them after being properly introduced.
The development of South African Boerboel Mastiffs can rightfully be described as a true South African success story and is today a beacon for those who have made a contribution to improve the breed. Much has already been written on the descent of South African Boerboel Mastiffs, but there is no certainty that they were bred from one, two or more breeds of dogs. Jan van Riebeeck brought with him a "bullenbijter" on his arrival to the Cape. This dog was a large strong breed which reminded one of the Mastiff type of dog. Those who followed Van Riebeeck to the Cape, had also brought with them only the largest and strongest dogs, and over a period of decades only the strongest survived in the now and desolated country. With the arrival of the British Settlers in 1820, they brought amongst others, the Bulldog and Mastiff type of dog. In 1938 the real Bull Mastiff was imported to South Africa by De Beers to guard the diamonds mines. It is also known that they imported a champion obtained from the Hottentots, played a role in the development of the Boerboel. The "Boerdogs" (as they were known) were scattered by the Voortrekkers during the Great Trek and they continued to breed with them. After the Anglo Boer War in 1902, these dogs were cross-bred with the English long-legged Bulldog and also the with the Bull Mastiff, in the late and early 1950's.
The South African Boerboel Mastiff Size:
Height: 23-28 inches
Weight: 154-200 lbs