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South African Boerboel Mastiff History

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History of the South African Boerboel goes back to the ancient Roman Molossers dogs. These were the toughest dogs on earth at the time. They were the dogs sent from the gods to protect man and his family during these harsh times.

The molosser dogs spread through out the world

When man traveled across the world in massive ships molossers traveled with them. When man settled so did the dogs. The Roman molosser crossed with native dogs. Each time the valuable traits and characteristics the original molossers possessed were passed on to new generations. All over the world these molosser dogs evolved into the many forms of mastiff and bulldog breeds you see today various parts of the world.

Molossers arrive in South Africa

The history of the South African Boerboel is full of conflict and migration. Native South African's already possessed dogs that were large and strong enough to fight lions, when the first boerboel type dogs came to South Africa by the Dutch and German settlers. At the time the Boerboels were known as the Bullenbeisser. The Bullenbeisser (bull biter) got its name the same way many other breeds did, because of the work it performed. As more and more Dutch and German settlers began to settle trading with the natives became a necessity. Many times trading ended in conflict for one reason or another. And the Bullenbeisser dog was a highly regarded protector of women, children and property.

In the late 1600's the early settlers began to expand the bumped heads with different people about who land was who's. Life was hard. Only the best molossers survived through these war times. Breeding by law of survival of the fittest. The molossers ended up on remote farms isolated and different strains developed in different regions.

In the 18th century the molosser dog accompanied the boer on the great trek north, were it adopted the name boerboel. During these times of war there was no better dog than the Boerboel. Capable of warring with the natives and guarding, the Boerboels of the time were highly prized.

By the early 1800's the Dutch and German (boer) settlers were forced out of power by the British. to find more and for grazing their cattle. In search of more suitable farm land they began the great trek across South Africa. The Boerboel dogs accompanied them on these long and hard journeys. The Boerboel dogs protected the Boers and their livestock from dangerous animals and poachers.

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During this time the Boerboel crossed with many different types of dogs along the way. Only the strongest and best Boerboel dogs survived the harsh trip and rugged terrain further developing the health and longevity of the breed.

The when diamond companies came to the diamond mines pf South Africa they brought the Bullmastiff to protect the mines and the diamonds. Here is where the bullmastiff crossed into the breed. These were the original working bullmastiffs. Not the pet variety we see today. These bullmastiffs were the dogs that were used to track, catch, and hold poachers and thieves.

Founding of the South African Boerboel

Sometime around 1980 there was a group of people who set out to find the most impressive South African farm dogs available to establish the breed as pure. This group became the original SABT. They traveled all over South Africa to find only the most impressive boerboels. On this trip they came up with 80 boerboels who fit the bill as to what they were looking for in the modern boerboel. From these original 80 dogs the breed foundation was set. From that point on the first breed standard was written and the boerboel began to to change from a pure working dog with many varieties to a more standardized dog.

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