The African Boerboel is a breed of large stature. It is sturdy built and well defined. The males and females of the breed are easily distinguished between with the females being notably smaller and more delicate in features.
The appearance of an African Boerboel starts with the square shaped head with a thick muzzle. The overall head is quite large with a flat skull and high set wedge shaped ears that fold. The eyes are always a brown that coordinates with the color of the coat. The area around the eyes is dark in color regardless of the coat color. This breed often has a mask that cover the muzzle and top lip, but it is not always present.
The African Boerboel has an arched neck that is really strong in appearance, as are the shoulders. The chest is deep and broad. The legs in front are straight and back legs are slightly bent, both with well padded feet. The tail is often docked, but when in natural form is long and curves slightly up. The African Boerboel moves purposefully and athletically.
The African Boerboel has a short coat that is rough in texture. It is a simple coat that has no frills or fluff.
The African Boerboel came from Africa. It is a mix of several breeds and is considered a Mastiff. Breeding and natural selection have made them into a hardy dog breed. They are found all over the world today, but must be thoroughly checked to be registered with the African Boerboel Breeders Association.
The African Boerboel is a wonderful watchdog. It will come across as quite fierce and aggressive to a stranger with its loud bark and huge size. However, they quickly learn who to trust and who not to trust and will be quite friendly with those they trust. They must be kept well contained with a sturdy fence that can hold their massive strength.
As a family member, the African Boerboel is a great friend. He will show affection to family members and become very attached. This breed loves to play and will often bounce around with the energy of a smaller breed. However, they have a higher level of tolerance for rough play than smaller dogs, so they are great with children. To make them even more perfect as a family dog, they understand the need to be gentle with children and will treat them with a nice, easy manner. They are also quite good with other animals. The main key to a well behaved and friendly African Boerboel is training them to learn between friend and foe.
The African Boerboel is well bred which means that health problems are not very prevalent in the breed as a whole. Breeding is aided by the fact that these dogs come from a background that highly lacked health care, so through natural selection the healthiest of the breed survived and were used to breed. So, this breed rarely suffers from fatal or serious health problems.
There are two conditions that an African Boerboel may suffer from. Both are treatable and easily detected. Vaginal hyperplasia only occurs in females and is a genetic condition. Hip dysplasia is a common canine problem, especially with large or active dogs and is environmental in nature, although early x-rays can spot signs so the condition can be treated before it causes any health issues for the dog.
The African Boerboel is easy to groom. The coat requires only regular brushing to remove dead hair and keep the skin healthy. A grooming mitt can be used for super easy care. Regular dental care is important. The teeth can be brushed with a finger sleeve. The African Boerboel should be bathed when needed, but over bathing can cause problems with dry skin. The nails also need to be kept trimmed.
The African Boerboel really does not require a large amount of exercise because they will generally exercise themselves. They just need a nice fenced in yard to play in and so they can run. They will be especially active when they have other dogs or people to play with. The African Boerboel loves to play games like fetch. They will chase and fetch for hours if they can. They also love to travel, but you better have a large vehicle as they need a lot of room. They can be a wonderful walking or jogging partner. They are quite well behaved when taken to play. As the dog ages it may be necessary to initiate more exercise as they tend to become less active on their own and may gain weight.
The African Boerboel is quite smart and learns well. This dog is going to want to learn. They may often try to be in control, so it is important to establish dominance right away in training. Firm and consistent training is important to keep the dog focused. Maintaining control can not be stressed enough. This dog is huge and can easily become too much to handle, which is only another reason that training is super important.
The African Boerboel needs to be taught to obey and behave. They have to be taught socialization early. Sometimes it is best to hire a professional who has experience working with large dog breeds as this may be easier to get the training complete.
Training should be a combination of exercise and work. This helps the dog stay focused and helps him enjoy the process much more.