American Bully Association

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Boerboel / South African Mastiff

The Boerboel is a huge bully mastiff breed from South Africa. Used as a working dog in Africa they are often the first line of defense from such predatory animals as hyenas, lions and other large cat species.


The history of the breed is ambiguous but is believed to have started with Jan van Riebeeck's arrival to the Cape in 1652 when he brought a "Bullenbijter" with him.


Later in 1928, the diamond mining company De Beers imported Bullmastiffs to South Africa to guard the mines.


Given the tribal and farming nature of the country formal breeding programs did not exist much thus leading to the breeding of dogs more based on purpose than look. Over time however the look has become more generalized in nature thus resulting in the Boerboel breed as it is recognized today.



50 to 100 kg (110 to 220 lbs)



Square with no over or under-bite.



All shades of brown



Maybe short or long with short the preference.



Short, dense, soft, smooth, and shiny



55 to 70 cm (23 to 27 in)



With and without a black mask. All shades of yellow ,fawns, reds browns, brindle, or black.