Bred as a farming dog in South Africa, this breed had to be tough to survive harsh conditions and predators. But these thick-necked protectors are generally calm, so long as they can get some exercise. They are known for being great with kids and families, but you should have a dominant personality or they may be taking you for a walk instead of the other way around.
Illustration courtesy of the Swedish Kennel Club
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The docked tail of the Boerboel, according to legend, has its origins in practicality. As a farm protector the Boerboel might encounter baboons and with a short tail he could not so easily be held by the dexterous baboon.
About this Breed
The Boerboel, also known as the South African Mastiff, is a large, Molosser-type breed from South Africa bred for the purpose of guarding the homestead. These dogs were bred as working farm dogs.
Boerboels are an intelligent and energetic breed. They are loyal, great with kids and tend to be protective of their family and territory. They are quite charming when not being lazy, and will not hesitate to defend their loved ones to the death. They are often called “Velcro” dogs, always wanting to be with their owners, and so, are not prone to wandering off on their own.
The Boerboel also requires training and firm handling from an early age. It is not unusual for this breed to display aggression toward other dogs.
Boerboels on Embark
Explore some Embark dogs that share Boerboel ancestry.