DOG WORLD ARTICLE 2011:
The Boerboel - has there ever been a greater dog breed? NO!
Of course this is just the personal opinion of some dedicated owners and breeders within the UK, owners who live and breath this wonderful Mastiff and have done since it’s arrival on these shores.
The Boerboel is (or is supposed to be) a large, athletic, loyal, family guarding breed. This breed has now been in the UK for approx 10 years and is building in popularity among Mastiff lovers. Hopefully it shall never reach the stage that the Dogue De Bordeaux did in previous years wherein that breed was taken over by a certain element who wanted nothing but a large, imposing dog, so all breeders of the BB have a duty of care that the pups are all going to the correct homes and that there is a return clause in the contract that means any unwanted dogs will be returned to the original breeder for re-training and/or rehoming.
This breed has a wide and varied history as a farm dog in it’s home country and the breed is diverse with distinct ’types’ which strangely both fit the breed standard. You will see houndy, mastiffy and even terrier type heads from the years gone by as different breeds were used to refine these dogs. Excellent articles by an Australian breeder, Craig Bloom of Ataraxia Boerboels (and Dogue De Bordeaux),explain best the types and temperament within the breed throughout the years. Annual appraisals are held in the UK from each of the 3 registries and all conscientious breeders test hips, elbows, for hyperplasia and ent/ectropion as a minimum with some breeders also testing knees, shoulders, full eye test for glaucoma, blood tests etc, including one for partial epilepsy, so there ARE breeders who do care before breeding their dogs. The onus is on the potential owner to seek these people out, they are passionate about the breed and care what happens to their puppies.
Written by Sandra Brownlie for The Dog World Newspaper 2011.