South African Boerboel Association

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In the British Museum in London there is a story portrayed of two kings Asarhaddon and Ashurbani-pal in the 7th century, that was before Christ, who used two large dogs to hunt wild horses and lions. According to the murals these dogs were much bigger than todays familar breeds. According to Darwin's writings there was a statue of a large dog placed on the grave of Asarhaddon's son and that dates back to 640 B.C.

A German King used large dogs to re-conquer his dominion and the Cimbrians used dogs to guard their belongings while in battle. These people refered to these large dogs as "Dogges"

The king of Albania gave Alexander the Great a dog in which he was very impressed with because of it's large size, until he tried to use it to hunt bears, wild boer, and deer, he was outraged by the dogs lack of interest and said the dog was very lazy and he wanted the dog immediatly destroyed. When the King of Albania heard this he immediatley sent Alexander the Great a new dog and told him not to put the dog to test against such small animals, give him a challenge. Alexander the Great set up a fight with a lion, it took only minutes and the lion's back had been broken, then he gave him an elephant, the elephant ended up jumping off a cliff to escape the dog who had hit him with several attacks from all sides.

There are other writings of dogs killing lion's in Megsthenes, Aelien, Diodorus, Siculus, Strabo, and Plutarch. In the book "Traveles of William de Rubruquis" a monk who worked for the King Louis IX of France descrides how big the dogs were of Albania, large enough to fight lions and bulls and strong enough to pull a wagon like an Ox. The dogs of Syria and Albania were widely dispered across modern Europe, the far and middle east, and the British Isle.

While we are still unsure of the next claims listed it is for sure that the Canis Molossus of the Roman Empire play a big part as to how of our well known modern breeds of today could have developed. The part we don't know is that if the Romans took their Canis Molossus to the British Isles or if the Romans took some English dogs back with them to Europe. Both claims can be true.


In 1652 Jan van Riebeeck arrived in Cape bringing with him a dog known as the "Bullenbijter". Other colonists also brought with them large mastiff type dogs when they arrived in Southern Africa.

Although this is the part of the history that we like to remember and stop here, the further history includes crossbreeding the large dogs of the colonisists with the Kafferbrakke from Africa. This is how the Boerboel became the dog that is found on so many farms and later moved North with the Groot Trek. However there is plenty of other interesting information that can lead to an alternate thought.

EC Ash claims that there were massive dogs that looked mastiff like that existed in ancient eqyptian times. At that time, a very busy trade existed between the nations. We also know the history of Noah's son Ham, the ancestor of differant nations in Africa and others in Ethiopia. The King of Persia reported that a barbaric tribe in Ethiopia which were called the Cynomones had dogs they called the "Indian Dogs". These dogs were descendants of the Babylonian dog. They were described as large, strong dogs that were suitable to fight lion. The Cynomones bred large numbers of these dogs in late summer because of the large numbers of migrating wildebeast that would stampede throught their houses, destroying everything. The dogs were also used to catch the wildebeast and the rest of the year were used to hunt wild animals. They also milked the females, like other tribes milked cattle and goats, that is why they were called the Cynomologi which means dog milkers. Aristotle wrote things about these "Indian Dogs". He said these dogs came from a cross between a tiger and a dog, and mankind could only use the 3rd generation because the others were too aggressive. Today we know that this is impossible but the "Indian Dog" is grey or brindle in color. Makes you think how they got those colors? The Cynomones traveled very far and also traded their dogs, you can find out more about this in the time of Darius Hystaspes who was the king of Persia.

Now does the only source of the orgin of the Boerboel seem to be that of Jan van Riebeeck with his "Bullenbijter" especially if we go back to the mongrels or the Kafferbrakke. In Africa the black tribes moved south when they came in contact with the Europeans, and of course they took their dogs with them. The question is, the African dog with the V-shape tail, is it a descendant from the dogs of Ethiopia? If they did, the orgin of the Boerboel could be: The boerboel is made up of two sources the Bullenjiter and the African dog which probably came from the Cynomones and with earlier roots traced back to the Babylon. This could also explain why the Boerboel is structurally better than all other mastiff type dogs. During the arrival of Jan Van Riebeeck and the Groot Trek (1652-1838) the original Bullenbijter bloodline and the colonisits dogs were isolated after the start of the Groot Trek in 1838. Thats when the Boerboel started after 1838 and continues today.

Unfortunatley the Boerboel was subjected to people who thought they could perfect the already perfected by mixing other breeds into it. Alot of damage was done to the breed but through a process of good breeding selection these undesired genes will be removed. Thanks to the vision of the wonderful people who started the SABT in 1983.

This is a brief version