The following is a short summary of the salient points in the EBBASA breed standard. For the complete, official Breed Standard,
please request a copy of such from ebbasa@gmail.com.

  1. General Appearance
    1. The Boerboel is a Mollosser Mastiff type dog originating from South Africa
    2. The dog should be strong and muscular in appearance
  2. Size
    1. Must be large but weight is not an indicator of potential functionality
    2. Adult, well balanced and completely grown males should ideally be 66-70cm in height measured at the top of the withers
    3. Adult males lower than 60 cm will be disqualified
    4. Adult, well balanced and completely grown females should ideally be 60 -65 cm in height measured at the top of the withers
    5. Adult females lower than 55 cm will be disqualified
    6. Size must be in relation to weight (see description under General Condition)
  3. General Proportion
    1. The main structural components of the dog should show acceptable proportions to each other
    2. Dog must not be square and should have a greater total length than total height and the relation between length and height should ideally be 10:9
  4. Conformation
    1. Sturdy, compact conformation to achieve the highest degree of propulsion
    2. See notes on General Appearance and Size
  5. Head The head is one of the most important aspects of the Boerboel breed and represents the character of the dog. The head should be short, broad, block shaped, muscular and a slight frown must be visible on the dogs forehead when its interest is aroused
    1. Proportion - The length of the roof of the skull, measured from the middle of the eyelid to the end of the occupit) must be relative to the length of the nose bone in a relation of 1:1 to a maximum of 1:1.5 - The head must widen slightly from the nose to the eyes
    2. Dome of skull - The dome of the skull must be broad and flat on top. The general rule is to attract the dogs attention to get it to lift its ears to the attention position and then to gauge the flatness of the dome of the skull
    3. Profile - Both the head and the muzzle must be block shaped - In profile, the dome of the skull should be on the same parallel plane as the nose bone.
    4. Eyes - Expression: - Intelligent, attentive and guarded - Iris colour:- Yellow to brown coloured iris allowed. Blue-colour iris is a disqualification - Positioning - The eyes should be horizontal and any slant will be penalized - The eyes must be widely spaced and look straight ahead
    1. Eyelids - Eyelids must be firm and well pigmented
    2. Spectacle area - The hair in the spectacle area should show adequate pigmentation
    3. General: - The area between the eyes must be well filled and show a gentle depression.
    - Eyes must not protrude (bulge)
    - Eyes must not be deep-set
    - Third eyelid (haw) must not be visible

    5. Stop - Defined as the drop or break in the plane from the frontal bones of the skull to the nasal bones of the muzzle.
    - The size or degree of the stop is an important element in analyzing head shape.
    - The stop must be physically present and must be typical of the Boerboel head. The average between the extremes in variations in the stop between a typical Bullterrier and a typical Boxer stop could be used as a measurement.
    6. Ears
    1. Shape and size:
    - The ears must be medium sized (the tip must just reach the corner of the dogs mouth), V-shaped and of medium thickness.
    2. Positioning: - Must be high set but must still be on the sides of the head - Must fall away sideways and to the front, but remain against the cheek
    3. General: - When dog shows interest, ears and roof of skull must form a straight line (See 5 b) when viewed from the front - Deformity of one or both ears, as a result of a viral infection or earlier injury, is acceptable.
    - Excessive rose ears are a disqualification
    - Cropped ears are a disqualification
    7. Nasal bone - The nasal bone should ideally be between 8 and 10 cm long
    - The roof of the skull must be in relation to the nasal bone (See 5 a 1)
    - The nasal bone must be straight and narrow slightly from the eyes to the mouth
    - The nasal bone must be on the same plane as the roof of the skull (See 5 c 2)
    - A black mask on the nasal bone is optional
    8. Nose
    - The leather of the nose must appear black with wide nostrils that are widely spaced
    - A liver coloured, white of bi-colour nose leather is a disqualification
    9. Lips
    - The upper and lower lips must be loose and fleshy and show adequate pigmentation.
    - Under the nose, the end of the upper lip must touch the top of the bottom lip but must not substantively overlap the bottom lip
    - Viewed in profile, the flews must not extend below the lowest level of the jawbone
    - The spittoons must not hang open but cognizance must be taken of the effects of heat on the size, shape and openness of the spittoons
    10. Palate - The palate should show adequate pigmentation
    - The palate should not be deformed (cleft palate)
    11. Cheeks - The cheeks must be well filled and should create the fusion between the muzzle and the skull.
    12. Jaws - The jaws must reflect the characteristics of the Boerboel breed, be block shaped, strong and show good muscular development.
    - The jaws must not be lacking in depth and must not be pointed
    13. Teeth - The teeth must be white, well formed and correctly spaced
    - The dog should ideally have a complete set of 42 teeth and missing teeth can lead to penalization
    - Ideally, the dog should have a scissor bite (Outside of bottom teeth fits flush against the inside of the upper teeth)
    - An under bite, where the lower jaw protrudes further than the upper jaw, of less than 1cm is acceptable. Should it exceed 1 cm, the dog will be disqualified
    - Any visible sign of an overbite, where the upper jaw protrudes further than the lower jaw, will lead to disqualification.
  6. Neck
    1. The neck must gradually increase in width from the head to the shoulders and be muscular to the extent that it shows a visible muscle bow
    2. The dewlap should be loose but the skin across the chest, especially between the front legs, should be tight
    3. The neck must be in proportion to the rest of the dog and an excessively long or short neck must be seen as a serious flaw which could lead to disqualification
  7. Back (total span)
    1. The back is defined as the area from the first chest vertebrae to the last rib bone
    2. The back must ideally have a length proportion of 2:1 to the loin
    3. The top line of the back must not be a table top but must show a slight indentation behind the shoulders. A too prominent or deep indentation is a sign of inadequate rib and back development.
    4. The back of all dogs should show prominent back muscles whilst adult males should show a saddle behind the shoulder blades consisting of muscle.
    5. The back must not be round. A rounded back is a sign of inadequate rib and back development.
    6. Viewed from the front or the rear, the back should be straight, broad and in proportion to the rest of the dog
  8. Torso
    1. Front legs - The front legs should be thick (substantive girth), strong and muscular
    - Seen from any angle, the front legs must be as straight as possible and vertical to the plane of the ground.
    - The elbows, wrists and paws must not turn inwards or outwards
    - The elbows should ideally be certified by an acceptable authority as being free from displasia or at least be within acceptable norms
    - The pasterns must be short, sturdy and form a slight angle to both the pastern joint and the front leg
    - The distance between the knee joint and hock joint must not be too long to allow a well balanced dog, supple, fluid movement
    - The upper arm must show good, visible muscular development
    2. Front feet
    - The front feet should be large, well cushioned and rounded in shape
    - The dog must have strong, short nails of any colour but light coloured nails could be interpreted as a sign of inadequate pigmentation
    - The front feet must be aligned close to straight to the front but it is recognised that most large dogs breeds show a slight turn-out of their front feet
    3. Shoulders - The shoulders must not be to erect and show good, visible muscle definition
    - Loose shoulder blades are a fault and will be penalised. The lay to, or distance between the withers, determines the motion and flexion of the neck and head and can seriously influence balance and movement and should therefore ideally not be less than 70mm.
    4. Chest
    - The chest must be strong and broad
    - Viewed in profile, the chest should have a depth that extends below the elbow joints of the dog
    - The ribs should be well formed and barrel shaped
  9. Back and croup
    1. The back and croup of the dog, defined as the area from the last rib bone to the tail must be firm, strong and show visible muscular development. The croup half must not hang or droop in adult dogs
    2. Loin
    - The loin is defined as the area from the rib cage to the pelvis
    - The loin must be short and ideally have a length proportion of 1:2 to the back
    3. Croup
    - The croups of younger dogs have a tendency to slope and will not be penalized
    - The croups of adult dogs must not hang as it is a sign of inadequate back development.
    4. Belly - The belly must be hairless and, in the case of female dogs, ideally have at least 8 nipples
    - The belly should ideally show adequate pigmentation
    5. Upper hind leg
    - The upper hind leg must be well developed with prominent, visible musculature
    - The inside of the upper hind leg must be hairless
    6. Lower hind leg
    - The lower hind leg must be well developed with prominent, visible musculature both on the inside and the outside of the leg
    7. Knees - The knees should be strong, firm and show correct angulation
    8. Heels - Heel joints to be strong, firm, relatively short, strong, thick and parallel to each other
    - Heel joints should be bent through an angle of 45º
    9. Hind paws
    - Dew claws should ideally be removed
    - The hind paws must be slightly smaller than the front paws, well cushioned, rounded and point straight forward
    - The nails must be short and strong with a slight curve.
    - The nails may be of any colour but light coloured nails could be interpreted as a sign of inadequate pigmentation.
    10. Tail
    - The tail must be positioned high and must be straight
    - In countries where the practice is allowed, the tail could be docked at the third joint. In countries where the practice of tail docking is not allowed, long tails will be accepted
    11. Sexual organs
    1. Sexual organs must be well developed
    - Males must have two well developed testicles
    - Females should ideally have at least eight nipples
    - The vulva must be firm in female dogs
    2. Scars or related injuries limiting sexual performance will be penalised
    3. The skin and hair around sexual organs should show adequate pigmentation
    4. Females with obvious signs of vaginal hyperplasia will be disqualified
    5. Females with signs of corrective surgery on vaginal hyperplasia not supported by a letter from the surgeon certifying the seriousness of the defect will be disqualified
    12. Anus
    - The anus should show adequate pigmentation
  10. Coat
    1. The coat of the dog should be dense, smooth and short.
    - Long hair is a disqualification
    - Curly hair is a disqualification
    - Long and uncharacteristic whiskers such as those characterising other dog breeds is a disqualification
    2. Colour
    - All colour variations ranging are acceptable subject to the following:
    - Total area of white (poorly pigmented) skin may not exceed 33%
    - Multi colour dogs will be accepted as long as the dominant colour is not white and the dog shows adequate pigmentation, especially on the lips, palate, skin and hair around both eyes, anus and sex organs.
    - Powder blue, very light yellow, very light fawn and other lightly pigmented dogs will be appraised based on the amount of pigmentation on all key areas, spotted dogs will be appraised based on the amount of pigmentation, similarity of colouring to other dog breeds and number and mix of colours and black dogs will be appraised on the dogs Boerboel characteristics.
    - All possible disputes and case where doubt exist regarding colour should only be appraised by a Senior Appraiser, photographic evidence must be collected and in all cases be referred to the Standards Officer for a final recommendation.
    3. Pigmentation - A black mask on the nasal bone is optional
    - All dogs should ideally show dark pigmentation on their skin underneath the hair
    - Weak or inadequate pigmentation will be heavily penalised and could lead to disqualification
    4. Appearance
    - Old scars resulting from declared, acceptable surgical procedures, accidents or work factors are irrelevant and will not be penalised as long as performance is not limited.
  11. General condition
    1. The presented animal must be in a good general condition and should not be obese to the extent that muscular development and actual girth of the bone structure cannot be determined. In the case of the presentation of an obese dog, the dog will not be accepted for appraisal until such time as the problem is rectified
    2. The weight of the presented dog must be in relation to size of the dog
    3. Any dog with a physical handicap, excluding deafness, which was not the result of an earlier injury, will be disqualified.
  12. Movement
    1. The movement of a dog is the ultimate test for correct conformation
    2. The hind legs of the dog should provide the main source of propulsion
    3. The dog should show suppleness, nimbleness and agility
    4. The dog should show the longest possible strides achievable considering its body length and have an effective ground-covering pace
    5. The dog, and the handler, should be able to maintain an adequate pace for the appraiser to properly evaluate the dog.
    6. Scars or injuries limiting movement will be penalised
  13. Temperament
    1. Boerboels are known for their fearless character, high intelligence and exceptional staying power and stamina.
    2. The dog must show loyalty to its master and obedience to commands (even if given by a handler).
    3. Boerboels are known for their threat perception and guarding instincts
    4. Boerboels must accept children and not pose a threat to them or other persons that do not pose a threat to the dog, its owner or his property.
    5. Boerboels must have an intelligent and trainable nature.
    6. Temperament testing, as approved by the EBBASA Board, can be applied at any appraisal and dogs can be either referred for obedience training or disqualified as a result of aggression or disobedience
  14. Penalisation
    1. Behaviour - i. Disobedience
    2. Build and conformation
    - Lanky built
    - Too short legs
    - Male dogs over 70 cm in height measured at the top of the withers
    - Female dogs over 65 cm in height measured at the top of the withers
    - Square build where height and length is equal
    - Not carrying the physical characteristics of their sex
    3. Head
    - Mild entropion or ectropion
    - Bulging eyes
    - Deep set eyes
    - Third eyelid (haw) visible
    - Upper lip too long
    - Jaws lacking in depth
    - Pointy jaws
    - Teeth: An under bite of more than 1 cm
    4. Body
    - Loose shoulder blades
    - Too narrow chest
    - Back showing a prominent indentation behind the shoulders.
    - A round back
    - A hollow back
    - Drooping or hanging croup
    - Bandy legs
    - Dewclaws not removed
    - Cow heels
    - Sickle heels
    - Crooked tail
    5. Weak or inadequate pigmentation
    6. Scars or injuries limiting movement
    7. Obesity or under-weight relative to size
  15. Disqualification
    1. Behaviour
    - Aggressive and uncontrollable
    - Exceptionally scared or timid
    2. Build and conformation
    - Any sign of any other dog breed
    - Any visible fault that hampers proper movement
    - Extremely short legs
    - Males lower than 60 cm
    - Females lower than 55 cm
    - Any serious deviation from the breed conformation
    3. Heads
    - Blue eyes
    - Serious entropion or ectropion
    - Serious rose ears
    - Peak or upright ears
    - Hanging ears
    - Liver coloured, white or bi-colour nose
    - A narrow, too long or sharply pointed muzzle
    - Inability to keep tongue in mouth
    - Excessively long or short neck
    - A noticeable overbite
    - Whiskers such as those characteristic of other dog breeds
    4. Body
    - Long hair
    - Curly hair
    - Total white coat or skin on dog exceeds 33%
    - Males without two well developed testicles
    - Females with obvious signs of vaginal hyperplasia
    - Females with signs of corrective surgery on vaginal hyperplasia not supported by a letter from the surgeon certifying the seriousness of the defect.
    - Any dog with a physical handicap, excluding deafness, which was not the result of an earlier injury.

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