Tuesday, June 29, 2010

BOERBOELS

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!

11 comments:

  1. Third times the charm. I tried your blog this morning and mid-day and thought maybe you were taking the day off; perfectly understandable. Just tried again, and glad I did, as I learned something new! I don't think I've seen a Boerboel before. Love the picture of the puppy!
    Love, AP

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  2. Dear Aunt Patty,
    I think it's very weird that you could not get to my blog post about Boerboels until in the evening, even though I posted it at 8:05 in the morning. I asked Mom why such a horrible thing would happen, but she said it is just one of the Mysteries of Cyberspace, whatever that means. Anyway, I'm glad you learned something new, which also happened to me when I did my in-depth research on the Boerboels. You are right about the puppy being cute, although he is not as cute as a basenji puppy, of course!
    Love, Piper

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  3. I got to meet my first Boerboel in person this past weekend. I fell in love with the little 'big' guy. I would love to have one I just wish they weren't so costly. He was so sweet. I had never heard of them before but I'm looking forward to learning more on the breed. Who knows maybe one day I will own one of my own. Until then I will just admire the ones others have. Susie

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  4. Dear Susie,
    I hope you can get a Boerboel of your very own someday. Or better yet, you could get a basenji! Hahahaha! Thanks for reading my blog and posting a comment.
    Piper

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  5. i have had a boerboel for 3 yrs they also live up to 19 yrs old! my is not that old though but i got him when i lived in Africa for 2 yrs! i highly recommend them! My guy use to be a guard dog when we lived in Africa so we use a choke collar when walking him but now he is not aggressive to other dogs very much anymore but he is all muscle lytrally but they are like big kitties just 100 pounds! they will play with you, cuddle you a lot! and they are smarter than germane shepherds and rarely as smart as border collies but they are just great!

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  6. sorry i forgot to say my guy is name is coco not very manly i know but whatever! they were mane bred to hunt lions! but my pen name is jello!

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  7. Coco sounds like a really cool dog! Thanks for writing a comment about him.
    Piper

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  8. thx piper! i think your website is awesome! i am totally going to follow it!!!
    ~jello

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  9. My friends uncle breeds boerboels, walking into a kennel with about 7 or 8 of them is a scary moment..
    The Boerboel is a beautiful dog.. I love big dogs as I was raised around Great Danes.So soon as I get the space, time and money I will be looking to get one.

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  10. This was very helpful! I just heard about the boerboel, and looked it up! Thanks for your informative blog! I have never gotten a chance to meet a boerboel, though I hope I will someday. Thanks again!
    ~Brook

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