he South African Boerboel is a versatile breed with a long history as a hunter and guardian, with ancient roots going back to dogs that came with immigrants to South Africa, primarily in the 1600s and 1700s. They definitely have some Mastiff ancestry, but a variety of other breeds were also used.
This is a large breed that stands between 22 and 30 inches tall with a heavy boned muscular body in proportion to her height. The head is broad and muzzle wide, and the ears are dropped. The back is strong and broad, the chest is deep, and the tail is docked. The coat is short and smooth. Acceptable colors include brindle, tawny, brown, and red brown, all with or without white markings; a dark muzzle is preferred. The coat should be brushed weekly. The Boerboel is not an active dog, nor is she a couch potato. This breed was bred to be watchful and protective and can spring into motion at the slightest sign of a threat. At other times, she is calm. Puppies can be quite playful. Daily exercise is recommended to keep the dog fit and strong and to prevent obesity.
This intelligent working dog is confident and self-assured. Training should begin early to make sure the growing dog understands that the owner is her leader and to build compliance. Training should be firm and structured, yet not harsh. Boerboels like to work and need a job to do; without a sense of purpose, they will find something to do.
These dogs do best with an owner who has owned Mastiffs in the past or who understands the working dog temperament. These strong, confident, protective dogs can be too much for a first-time dog owner. With an owner who understands them, this breed is extremely devoted and fiercely loyal; they will give their lives in protection of their owners. Although puppies are rowdy, the breed is wonderful with children. Health concerns include bloat, torsion, eye problems, wobbler's sydrome, and hip and elbow dysplasia.
Breed in Brief
Registries: United States
Boerboel Association Occupation: Working dog, guard dog Size: 22 to 30 in tall; weight proportionate to height Longevity: 9 to 10 years Exercise: Low to moderate Training: Hard to keep challenged Grooming: Easy
(Smooth Coat and Wirehaired Coat)
he Spanish Greyhound, or Galgo Espanol, is probably descended from several different sighthound breeds, including the Saluki, Ibizan Hound, and English Greyhound. The breed has been used for centuries in Spain as a hunting dog capable of running quickly over rough terrain. It was primarily used for hunting hare.
This dog is a sighthound, with a long head, long neck, long flexible body, and strong legs. The Spanish Greyhound has a deep chest but not as deep as the English Greyhound. The tail is very long. She is tall, between 23.5 and 27.5 inches at the shoulder. Her coat may be short and smooth or wirehaired. The colors are primarily brindle, black, cream, and red, often with white markings.
Grooming these dogs is easy. Both coat types should be brushed twice weekly.
Spanish Greyhounds need a chance to run in a safe, fenced-in area. They are strong hunters. If allowed to run off leash outside of a fenced-in area, they may flush a rabbit and will be gone in a flash; calling will not bring them back. When she has had her run, the Spanish Greyhound will be a happy to curl up on a comfortable cushion.
This breed can be reserved with strangers, so early socialization is important. Training should be fun yet structured. The ideal owner for this breed is someone who understands sighthounds. A dog owner who has previously owned herding or working dogs may be puzzled by the Spanish Greyhound's temperament, especially her refusal to participate in repetitive or forceful training. When in a pet home where they do not hunt, these dogs will enjoy the sport of lure coursing.
Spanish Greyhounds are affectionate to their family and calm in the house. Although wary of strangers, they should not be considered watchdogs. They are great with children who are gentle and treat them with respect. They are good with other dogs but should not be trusted with other small pets. This is a healthy breed.
Breed in Brief
Registries: UKC, Galgo
Espanol Club of America Occupation: Sighthound Size: 23.5 to 27.5 in tall; weight proportionate to height Longevity: 11 to 13 years Exercise: Daily run Training: Moderate challenge Grooming: Easy
panish Mastiff hese livestock guardian dogs have been protecting sheep and cattle in the Estremadura region of Spain for thousands of years. The Spanish Mastiff, or Mastin Espanol, is thought to have been brought to the Iberian Peninsula by Phoenician traders.
This is a massive breed, standing 28 to 32 inches tall and weighing 150 to 200 pounds or more. The head is well-proportioned, with small eyes, dropped ears, and full lips. There is a dewlap on the lower neck. The body is rectangular, with a deep chest. The rear feet have double dewclaws. The skin is loose, the undercoat is dense, and the outer coat is short and straight. The colors include brown, red-brown, wolf-gray, and yellow.
The coat should be brushed weekly except during shedding seasons, generally the spring and fall, when more brushing is needed. These dogs also drool.
Breed expert Karin Graefe of De La Tierra Alta Kennels says, "The Spanish Mastiff does not require a great deal of exercise. However, a good sized yard where the dog can bound around is preferred." They can be playful and are very curious; they will notice anything new in the house or yard right away.
This breed was bred to be watchful and protective, even to the point of aggressiveness when needed. They are suspicious of strangers, so early socialization is needed. Graefe says, "Spanish Mastiffs are calm and steady in temperament and are easy to train." Training should continue into adulthood, as these dogs are slow to mature.
The Spanish Mastiff needs an owner who understands livestock guardian dogs and their characteristics, especially their desire to protect the home and family. The owner must also be willing to do the training needed to control a large, powerful dog. The breed is good with children, although puppies may be rough and rowdy. The breed is good with dogs it is raised with but will not tolerate strange dogs. Health concerns include heart problems, eye problems, bloat, torsion, and hip dysplasia.
Breed in Brief
Registries: UKC, CKC Occupation: Livestock guardian Size: 28 to 32 in tall; 150 to
200+ lbs Longevity: 10 to 12 years;
some to 14 years Exercise: Low to moderate Training: Easy; socialization required Grooming: Sheds and drools
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