Are Boerboels Herding Dogs?

by Christy Ayala Google
    The boerboel is a mastiff-type dog known for its protective nature.

    The boerboel is a mastiff-type dog known for its protective nature.

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    Boerboels were originally bred in South Africa in the late 17th century as working farm dogs. In addition to protecting the farmer, his family and herds of cattle and sheep from predators, boerboels were used by farmers to herd -- and help keep in line -- the teams of oxen used for plowing.

    About the Boerboel

    The boerboel, according to the American Kennel Club, is a descendant of the large, mastiff-type “bullenbitjer,” brought to the Cape of South Africa in 1652 and bred with domestic dogs indigenous to the area. The breed’s name is derived from the Afrikkaans/Dutch “boer,” or “farmer.” The boerboel is valued for being intelligent, loyal and confident, with a strong desire to please. This breed is also known for its strong protective instincts and willingness to stand its ground. For this reason, the breed was considered a valuable asset by farmers as the first line of protection for family and herds from lions and other big cats.

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    About the Author

    Christy Ayala writes about recreation, sports, aquatics, healthy living, family and parenting, language development, organizational change, pets and animals. Ayala holds a master's degree in recreation administration from Aurora University’s George Williams College, a graduate certificate in organizational change from Hawaii Pacific University and a bachelor's degree in Spanish from the University of Missouri, St. Louis.

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