South African Boerboel and Bull Mastiffs
Historically South African Boerboel Breeders have used any dog that would do the job. and further enhace the farm dogs (boerboels) in their breeding programs. Many dog breeds have been used in boerboel breeding historyincluding the Hound Bulldogg Bull Terrier and Mastiff. resulting in a highly effective functional farm dog with a diverse genepool.
Bullmastiffs served as the game keepers night dog. They were used catch and hold to illegal hunters. The dogs were taught to tackle and hold the poacher without mauling and killing him. First created for large estates in England were poaching was frowned upon. The punishment when caught was death. Wealthy estate owners hired the gamekeepers to protect gameand watch over the estates.
The original bullmastiff was 40% bulldogg and %60 mastiff. The English Mastiff too big and slow lacked drive necessary to keep up with the crafty poacher. Bulldogg was too viscious and would tear up the poacher too bad often causing severe injury and death. What the game keeper needed was a big strong dog powerful enough to knock down a man and hold them without viscously mauling them or killing them. to keep up wiht poacher.So they crossed the two breeds out of need rather than to create a distinct look.People are often mistaken when they see a boerboel. They think that it is a Bullmastiff. But they look similar because of the common ancestory.
The South African Boerboel does have the influence of the Bullmastiff.
In some of the lines you can see the resemblance in others you will not. Bull mastiffs were the dog of choice in South Africa for guarding the diamond mines. At the time these dogs were fierce protectors and highly valued guradians. These dogs later fused with other breeds better suited for farm life and farming purposes. Boers would used any dog they thought could enhace their breed.The reason that it is important to mention the bullmastiff when talking about the boerboel is because of how heavily inluence the dog carries. The Bull mastiff is integral to the foundation of the boerboel breed. They are relatives and more similar than they are different.
The difference betweem the Boerboel and the Bullmastiff.
In South Africa the English Bullmastiff later bred with many other breeds including (Japanese Tosa English Bullterrier Bulldogg Bullmastiff English Mastiff African Cynomones and Africanis dog) and evolved into the ultimate protector, the modern boerboel.
Pure bred Bullmastiff's genes are locked and rarely does fresh dna enter the pool. The result is a less functional mastiff who is mainly bred as a pet for looks rather than for its ability to perform.
On a side note our home town Cleveland Browns have to decide to follow along the likes of the Baltimore Ravens and Georgia Bulldogs and adopt a live mascot a Bullmastiff who goes by the name of Swagger. I'm a die hard Cleveland Browns football fan and I support the team unconditionally. But I think that the Browns could have done much better by picking up a South African Boerboel as the new mascot. After all football is a sport and athletes are required so why not go with the most athletic mastiff know to all dog breeds the South African Boerboel. Sure at one point the Bullmastiff had the title and distinction of being one tof the most formiddable dogs known to man. But as of late these dogs are all show. For the last hundred years Bullmastiffs have become nothing more than a show dog. More or less bred to be supermodels.
If the brown are looking to make a statement about them being a new style team under owner Jimmy Haslam then I would suggest they scrap the idea of swagger the Bullmastiff and get and real Dawg worthy of representing the Dawg Pound and the best fan on earth. They need the one of my dawgs born and bred in Cleveland. The Browns fans deserve a that will symbolize power strength and attitude with the ability to match. And if they just want to look good Boerboels fit that bill too. I think with the hopes f have a winning season the Brown need to have a Championship Caliber dog. I am sure the other local breeders would agree that no other Dog will fit the bill like a boerboel.
Jordan Pittman 216-244-2088