A doggy blog written by a clever little chihuahua.
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Today I will tell you about another dog breed that started out in Africa, and that breed is called the Boerboel. Mostly, you can find Boerboels in South Africa because they were bred by the Boers, which is what the early Dutch settlers were called. The Boers were farmers, and they needed dogs to guard their livestock and their families, so they bred dogs that were exactly right for this purpose.
Nobody knows exactly which dog breeds were mixed together to make the Boerboel, but there was probably some mastiff and bulldog and other European dogs, plus dogs that the native people had. The first dog that might have started the whole breed was a dog that Jan van Riebeeck brought to the Cape when he came in 1652 and founded the first settlement.
Anyway, Boerboels are really big dogs, like mastiffs, and they weigh between 150 and 200 pounds. They are very brave and loyal, and there are stories about Boerboels killing leopards. But besides being fierce and strong, they have to also be very gentle with children and other family members. And they have to be smart so that they can tell which animal or person is a threat and which one isn't. Boerboels can also be used to herd livestock and to track game, so they are kind of a dog of all trades.
Nowadays, more Boerboels are just family pets instead of being working dogs on farms. Since they are such big dogs, they need enough space to run around and get some exercise every day. You should only get a Boerboel that has been bred to have a good temperament and that has been well socialized as a puppy. Otherwise, you could end up with a really big, scary dog that bites people.
Lots of people in South Africa like to breed Boerboels, and they send the puppies to other countries where people would like to own a Boerboel. But they don't send them to Denmark. And the reason for this is that the Boerboel got banned in Denmark this year because some people think it is a dog that is bred for fighting.
In some places, Boerboels can be entered in dog shows, but I could only find one kennel club that lets you do that so far, and that is the Kennel Union of Southern Africa. Which is why if you want to have a Boerboel as a show dog, you should probably move to Pretoria or someplace like that!