The mighty Boerboel is a great family dog, highly loyal, and highly protective of its family and home. The Boerboel is known as the Lion Dog and the Dog With No Fear. It would stand in front of sure death in order to protect its home. It has a super temperament along with a unique instinct to guard. I would say family here, however, with this dog this would not only apply to its family and your family but would also refer to cattle or anything else it considers family and or home. In fact it is the only dog in the world specifically bred for family protection and this was done over a period of more then 350 years by the Boer Farmers.
The Boerboel was developed in a cruel and harsh land full of danger and with no veterinarians in sight. This was a wild and untamed land with many predators such as the baboon, hyena, leopard, lion, and the puma. This breed of dog not only had to protect the family and livestock (herd) from such predators but also had to be able to hunt. It has been said of the Boerboel that a leopard or a puma is no match, a hyena or baboon are about even to the Boerboel (with the tail docked). The Boerboel was the first dog known to have had the tail docked, and the purpose is so that a Baboon cannot grab the tail and throw the Boerboel when losing a fight.
The Origin Of Boerboel
The African side of the boerboel story starts in southern Ethiopia, where a tribe called the Cynomones used dogs described as “Indian Dogs”. These dogs had their origin in Babylon. They are described as large, strong dogs, able to fight with lions. The Cynomones used their dogs to protect them from migratory wild animals as well as for hunting. Folklore, or maybe just ancient marketing techniques, suggested that these dogs were a cross between a dog and a lion. As many African tribes migrated southwards, they brought their dogs with them.
The Boerboel developed, from 1652 up to about 1900, in a hard school by tough farmers in South Africa, who were threatened by every kind of dangerous predator, in testing terrain and a challenging climate. Hard-pressed pioneer farmers, however resourceful, didn’t have the circumstances, which exactly encouraged the conservation of rare breeds of dog. They had a need for brave powerful virile dogs and breed good dog to good dog until they obtained the desired result. Performance directed every breeding program.
Since 1980 and with the forming of the SABT and later the HBSA and the EBBASA, selective breeding of the dog has resulted in what we know today as the South African Boerboel. The emergence of this fine breed, after a century of neglect and indifference in its native land, and its subsequent stabilisation into a distinct canine race, is not only a tribute to its loyal fanciers but also to the dogs themselves.