Dog Talk

Boerboels and their bigger cousins the Ysterberg Mastiffs!

We promised to write  about the Boerboel this week.

We were to concentrate on Standards,Registry,Size conformation,Extremes,Purity and subtle mixes with some breeds similar to it such as the Neapolitan Mastiff and the English Mastiff on one hand and the Cane Corso and Bull Mastiff on the other hand.
And even mixes with the Great Dane,especially Black Great Danes with Ultra Brindle Boerboels.

Most breeders have a fair idea of what all these mixes will come out like.

In the previous article we looked at conformation,Registry,etc for the Neapolitan Mastiff.

Rather than repeat a similar article for the Boerboel,we will write about another type of Boerboel,which is not yet in Nigeria.

This type of Boerboel,the Ysterberg Mastiff is reputed to be bigger,stronger yet more agile than the Boerboels we know!
The Ysterberg Mastiff is bigger and has a stronger build than the average Boerboel.
They are bred to be extremely agile and therefore do not have the short body-builder look of Boerboels.

 Ysterberg Mastiffs are not appraised to receive a percentage mark,as was discussed in the Neapolitan Mastiff purity article but have to complete a Breed Survey, Temperament Test Evaluation and an Agility and Strength Evaluation by the Breed standards body.Stringent scrutiny!

The debate about Black Boerboels and their purity rages on,and now this bigger Boerboel comes to the fore…

The Ysterberg Mastiff is rare,and that adds to the aura,the marvel and to the greedy the money power.

Breed and standards organizations are coming up,have been for quite a while.

The History of the Ysterberg Mastiff is somewhat similar to that of the Boerboel.
Both are Landrace dog breeds,that came about as a result of several Breeds of dogs coming together in a new land with various settlers bringing in their dogs,the bold,strong,agile,massive to protect them in a New Country.

Relatively the Ysterberg Mastiff is a new breed.Like the Boerboel it was developed in South Africa.The aim was to create a guard dog  larger and more agile than the Boerboel.

 According to the Ysterberg Mastiff Breed Council, “Around 1948 Klaas van Waveren started what was later known as the Ysterberg bloodline.

The Old English Mastiff, Bullmastiff, Old English Bulldog, Bullterrier and even some Tosa Inu were involved in the early bloodlines.

They were bred like the Boerboel to protect the members of the family as well as the live stock and cattle against human intruders and wild animals.
They were also bred to be controlled,pets just like the Boerboels.

Just as many say the Black Boerboel is not a pure Boerboel,many also agree that the Ysterberg cannot be a Boerboel especially as the enthusiasts and breeders  are appying to register a new breed at KUSA and the FCI.
Also by their own admittance they have now admitted that the Ysterberg dogs were never Boerboels in the first place, they were Ysterberg Mastiffs – a breed on it’s own.
The enduring logic is that If we want to preserve a breeding line, we do not do this by registering a new breed,rather we do this by creating a breeding pool of dogs and breeders that breed together.

Remember our article on the different types of Boerboels?

Well this in a way is a variation,revisist of that article.

Remember also the Multiple Sire syndrome article,in free breeding,a Mother dog could have theoretically seven puppies from seven different Sires in one birth process.

Ysterbergs and Boerboels are closely related,may in fact be in the same home stead.
Thus  Boerboels that have a bit of Ysterberg lines in them, but not predominantly Ysterberg have been in times past  registered as Boerboels,while pure Ysterbergs,80% purity and above are registered as Ysterbergs.


Interestingly the standards for Yserbergs are more stringent than that for Boerboels.

While Boerboels have a weight range of 50kg -80 kg for Males,a wide disparity in weight suggesting that some Boerboels are as much as 60% larger than others within standards,and a height range of 24 inches to 27 inches for Males,also showing great disparity,the Ysterberg has a more stringent breed standards.

Ideally the Male Ysterberg Mastiff is between 28.3 inches to 29.5 inches in height ,and 72 kg to 75 kg in weight.
This suggests a leaner physic than an 80 kg 27 inches high Boerboel,lending credibility to the argument that the Ysterberg is a more agile,taller,more athletic variant of the Boerboel.

Ideally the Female Ysterberg is 26.7 inches to 28 inches tall at the withers,taller than Male Boerboels and 68 kg to 71 kg in weight,again heavier than several Male Boerboels,The Average weight of Male Boerboels being about 65kg.

There is we repeat no doubt that several Boerboels,which were not well scrutinized before registration may have been to all intents and purposes half Ysterbergs.

Proper and stringent registrations in Nigeria will help streamline these standards.

5 comments on “Boerboels and their bigger cousins the Ysterberg Mastiffs!

    • Tough question.Boerboels like Bull Mastiffs and Boxers DO NOT have the black coloration genes in them.
      However we all know Boerboels are a landrance,i.e a breed brought about by a combination of many breeds,some of these,like the Great Dane having black genes and so a recessive black gene may pop up.
      We sincerely still believe that black Boerboels are more a result of intrusion of breeds such as the Neapolitan Mastiff,Great Dane of Cane Corso.
      Again,many breeders close to us have called us from time to time to witness jet black Boerboel puppies,with perfect Boerboel features.This does not mean the puppies are 100% Boerboels.Breeds such as the Cane Corso,and Great Dane are close in looks to Boerboels and their mixed offspring can end up looking like perfect Boerboels.

  1. I have both male and female ysterbergboerboel purchased from south Africa up to 8month old now. Am seriously working on their max. And what more can I do to achieve greater on their max. Size and to alwayz be in shape.Hope to hearing from you soonest…

  2. You said: “Ysterberg Mastiffs are not appraised to receive a percentage mark,as was discussed in the Neapolitan Mastiff purity article”. I believe you meant Boerboel rather than Neapolitan mastiff unless I am missing something.

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