Origin: South Africa
Dog Breed Group: Working Dog
Life Span: 10-12 yeas
Weight: Male: 70-92, Female: 68-90
Height: Male: 24-27, Female: 22-25
Origin of Name: The Boerboel [ˈbuːrbul], is a large, mastiff-type dog from South Africa with a black mask and a short coat.
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"Boer," a Dutch word meaning "peasant", was a name given to Dutch, German, and Huguenot settlers of South Africa, which began in the mid-1600s. To protect their remote homesteads from predators, they brought with them large Guard Dogs, bull types and mastiff types. The exchange of these and other European bloodlines in South Africa resulted in the use of something called the Boer Dog, which was used by Boer settlers as a large game hunter and defender.
Further refinements eventually led to Boerbel ("Farmer's Dog"), a fearless owner specializing in stove and home security. His agility and prodigious power came in handy when fleeing or molesting ferocious wildlife, whether hunting lions or feeding calves.
One should not conclude that Boerbel was a quarrelsome animal who was constantly spoiling for battle. Because the breed was primarily designed to be the defender of the family, Boerboels had to be sensitive and smart to tell the enemy from friends and take its cues from the people they protect. Boerbells have never been known to go back on a provocation, but their default mode is usually a clearly watchable one. Boerboels are very powerful for competitive weight-pulling, but they have also found success as dole therapy dogs, which hold a soft spot in their vast hearts for children.
Boerboel was recruited into the AKC Working Group on 1 January 2015.