Boerboels used in hunting - About 50 years ago, when farming was much easier than in the pioneer days, young boys usually used this idle time and slipped away between 10 am and 3 pm to do some hunting with the dogs. It is generally believed that in the Boerboel breed the dogs that developed as the hunting dogs were later registered as the Rhodesian Ridge back. The heavier Boerboel with the shorter wider muzzle and heavier bone with more muscle is not the traditional hunting dog, but more the fighter in the hunting process. It sometimes happens that the fast greyhound type of dog overrun a jackal and then the jackal stops to make a fight of it. A jackal can put up a show that convinces the greyhounds he is able to kill a lion. Often the fast dogs sit down to discuss the whole matter with the jackal, and the slower Boerboel comes storming into the circle, scoops up the jackal and by the time he comes to a halt, the jackal can do no more talking.
"Catching rabbits and killing lions" - It is sometimes said that a Boerboel must be able to catch a rabbit and kill a lion. Under normal circumstances the Boerboel can do neither. Rabbits are usually too agile for one Boerboel to catch on his own. A pack of Boerboels might succeed and many rabbits were caught by Boerboels under circumstances that favored the dog, but Boerboels were not bred to catch rabbits. The Boerboel capable of catching a rabbit will also differ greatly from a Boerboel 'able' to kill a lion. The first one will be a sprinter and the second one will be a fighter. The sprinter will be a lean, sparingly muscled, agile dog with a narrow, long face, while the fighter will be the "body builder" with a wide body, lots of muscle and a wide short face. It is told by a reliable source, that years ago a particular zoo obtained stray dogs that they put into the lion camp as prey for the lions, to keep up their hunting skills. An unfortunate Boerboel b###h that ended up in the lions cage, felt that her time had not come yet, and she somehow got hold of the lion's throat and killed him. It was probably great news at the time and she was used for breeding after that.
Killing leopard - The biggest hunting function of the Boerboel lies in fighting predators. Stories of Boerboels killing leopard in South Africa are very common. If the Boerboel survives he seldom does so without serious wounds. Up to this day there are still farmers that hunt leopard with only one Boerboel, and that dog regularly kills the leopard with very little harm done to himself. The type of dog favoured by farmers is the more agile Boerboel. This one story, heard from a reliable source, will illustrate the seriousness of the Boer's views towards coward ness:
"A young boy went hunting with his fathers Boerboel and a .22 gun. In his inexperience he shot at a leopard and wounded him, probably only a light flesh wound. The dog followed the leopard to his den and refused to fight when the child ordered him to. The boy then ordered the dog to keep the Leopard in his den and he went back home where he found his father and a neighbor. The neighbor offered to bring his two big dogs of a different breed to get the leopard out because they were 'trained' leopard dogs. When they reached the den, the father called back his Boerboel and the other two dogs were sent in. When they met the leopard he gave the front dog a smack with his paw and the dog fled the scene with his tail between his legs. The father then ordered his Boerboel to attack the leopard, which he did, because his own master ordered him to do it, and he killed the leopard. When they got back to the pick-up that was parked nearby, the frightened dog was hiding under it. The owner shot his cowardly dog there and then." Killing porcupines - Porcupine are very dangerous animals in that they run into their attacker and the quills are impossible for the dog to get out, it is extremely painful and without exception, the wound becomes septic. Lions that knows porcupine will never tackle them. Porcupine however is a very destructive animal in the maize fields and does a lot of harm to a crop, and therefore farmers hunt them to keep their numbers down. Dogs could do nothing to them unless they are able to come in under the quills and reach the soft head of the porcupine. Boerboels have proven themselves time and time again as excellent hunters of porcupine because they stay calm in the most tense moments and wait for the appropriate time to attack. They also have that inborn sense of awareness to stay away from the most dangerous situations, or postpone their attack until circumstances favors them. Boerboels are often used as protection against snakes such as the formidable hunter, the black mamba. When a Boerboel knows how to kill a mamba, he abides his time, and just as the snake starts to get up the tree, the Boerboel attacks.
During the groot trek, the Boerboel has most of the features that it has today and is clearly recognisable from old drawings. In the period after the trek, on the distant farms, the Boerboel inter-bred further and only the biggest and strongest dogs survived. His pioneer owners required him to be a friend to the family, a worker, provide protection and also to be a fighter. They could not afford to have a disobedient, moody, finicky, sickly dog. They had to be able to rely on him to protect the family, work, kill and fight.
At the turn of the century, the characteristics of the old original dog were clearly visible and the dog was generally known as the "Bole" The years that followed almost brought tragedy to the Boerboel.
Urbanisation caused cross-breeding with anything that could bark and the typical "Bole" started to disappear. It was only in the eighties that a serious search started again for the original farm dog.
A few people took the initiative and the South African Boerboel Breeders Association was formed. Their main aim was to let the original Boerboel take its rightful place as a South African dog among other dog breeds of the world.A search covering thousands of kilometres followed. SelectivIn August 1980, the first country-wide selection tour was undertaken by Jannie Bouwer of Bedford and Lucas Van Der Merwe of Kroonstad. Lucas' wife Anneke also went along as secretary. A total of 5,550kms was covered 250 dogs were seen and only 72 were selected to be registered. The vision was taking shape.
The breeding started, many disappointments followed, but also immense joys too! At last the dog of our forefathers was ready to be registered as a pure breed.In the meantime the Breeders Association has grown to in excess of 500 members. They are widely spread throughout South Africa and Namibia. Each year in November they have a big get-together and people from all over converge at Kroonstad whereby dogs and people can look each other over.
E-Dog - 2012 WPBTCA National Championships
The time when screech owls and Bandogges howl and spirits walk and ghosts break up their graves.
Act I, Scene IV of William Shakespeare's "King Henry VI"