Spitsvuur Boerboels, breeders of Boerboels, or the African Mastiff, for export of healthy puppies and mature dogs all over the world.

Black Boerboels

The Black Boerboel

By Lukas van Vuuren. (This article was written +-2003. Since then the Black Boerboel was accepted and the numbers of black Boerboels have now increased to the point where the danger of losing the black dog is no more a threat. Recently there were a few people that did their best to spread lies and sow mistrust in the black dog and the black dog breeders. Fortunately DNA tests, scientific facts and common sence prevailed and the acceptance and popularity of the black Boerboel increased.Thank you to everyone that did their part to assure the future of this colour for the Boerboel breed. I also want to use this opportunity to discourage people to breed black dogs just for the colour or rarity of it. Rather breed the best Boerboel possible, irrespective of colour. By breeding an inferior black dog, you are doing the black Boerboel more harm than good.)  

The black color was always part of the Boerboel breed. My father told me that at about 1929 the black color was common in the Ottosdal area where he grew up. A few old people recalled the same about the black Boerboels. Mr Lukas van der Merwe from Mispah also recalls that the black color was the most popular of all the Boerboel colors in the area he grew up in. Before the Boerboels were registered as a dog breed, there were well known breeders of black Boerboels of which I only know of a few. The black Boerboels of Mr Teuns Keyter of Vaalwater was well known for their ability to work with cattle. Other well known breeders of black Boerboels was Mr Stefaans Erasmus of Hermansdal, Ellisras, and Mr Jan Harm (John) van der Merwe from Nooitgedacht, Kroonstad.

This popularity of the black dog in those years could in part be ascribed to good breeders concentrating on black dogs and therefore the progeny of his dogs would dominate in that area. What is very important though is that the local indigenous population had a very deep rooted fear of black dogs because of ancestral beliefs. To this day the black guard dog is very important to the remote farmers that are prone to farm attacks. In areas in South Africa where farms are under constant surveillance by bands of would be attackers, black dogs is not a luxury, but a life saving necessity.

Throughout the world the black color is the most popular color for a guard dog. The obvious benefit of the fact that you cannot see the black dog at night makes it the logical color for a guard dog. Breeds like the German shepherd, Rottweiler, Doberman, etc, illustrate this point.

Documentary evidence

The fact that there was an abundance of black Boerboels around, is amply documented. A few photos that I have seen, confirm this. Many of us that grew up with Boerboels, knew the pre-1983 black dogs first hand. In the SABT “Boerboel News Letter” of November 1997, on page 2, there is an article on black Boerboels. The article states: “from the Southern Free State up to the far Northern Transvaal, black Boerboels … were a common sight.” (Translated) The article states further that in 1983 (at the founding of the SABT) the black Boerboel was not included because of the fear that the then popular Rottweiler would have been used to cross-breed with the black Boerboel.

Motivation for excluding black from the original SABT breed standard

When the SABT had to formulate a Breed Standard in 1983 the black dog was omitted due to the aforementioned fear of the infusion of genes belonging to other breeds. One of the people involved in this process put it this way: “The black dog was not included because of personal preferences.” It was probable that both these factors played a role in this highly unfortunate decision. Whatever the reasons, the consequence was that for the time between 1983 and 2002, the Boerboel had to go without the black color that was a natural part of the Boerboel inheritance.

Old breeders of the black boerboel

Fortunately there were some breeders of the black Boerboel that was adamant to keep on breeding the black Boerboels. Naturally they lost popularity since their dogs could not compete with the registered dogs that were seen as “pure.” Most of the breeders of the Black dogs were older people and as they stopped farming and went into retirement so did the breeding of the black Boerboels. The young breeders only wanted registered dogs. This process has now gone so far that we stand to lose yet more of those breeders. In this respect I have to mention the name of Bokkie Muller from Marquard. He and people like him, kept on breeding the black dogs despite the fact that they could not register there black Boerboels and thereby preserve the precious black genes.
Recognition and registration:
Reluctance to change standards – Any breed society is always reluctant to change their standards. That is understandable and is necessary to achieve constant improvement and uniformity in the breed. If any changes are made in order to accommodate breeders that want to sell something that is suddenly popular, you will surely harm your breed. However in the case of the black Boerboel it will not be a “mod fad” that will be accommodated but an integral part of the breed that was wrongfully omitted.

Conscious effort in preserving the black boerboel

For a few years now I have bred the black Boerboel in the belief that unless someone is willing to preserve the black Boerboel, we will lose the black Boerboel completely. Since the people breeding the black Boerboel for years prior to my effort, were not registered Boerboel breeders, they did not try to get the deserved recognition for the black Boerboel. Long before I have seen the first black Boerboel again since 1983, I realized there must be someone willing to work for the recognition of the black dog, and therefore I tried to present the facts to people in such a way that they would see the necessity for the urgent recognition of the black color. The only way to preserve the black color is to get it recognized so that a lot of breeders could keep black dogs. It is a hopeless task for one breeder to try and do that alone.

Inevitability of black being registered

There is no doubt that eventually the black Boerboel will be registered. Whether that will happen this year or next or whenever I do not know, but the facts are overwhelmingly in favor of recognition. Lately I have seen a strong swing towards recognition of the black dog. The problem remains that people are always skeptical of something that they are not a part of.
Since I started with registered Boerboels I went throughout South Africa to find real black Boerboels. I have bought eighteen so called black Boerboels, either unseen or as puppies, before I got the first one that was a real Boerboel.

Black dogs at the HBSA

At the 2003 AGM of the HBSA two black dogs were brought up for discussion and appraisal. They were owned by Mr Dirk van der Merwe from Hoopstad and his son in law Jaco Claassens. Because they were not members of any breed organization, the dogs were entered in the development register of the HBSA under the name of a friend Mr Jan Muller. From there the prefix “Muller”. Mr van der Merwe later gave me these two dogs, Muller Lady and Muller Poppie.
Request to the SABT
The board of the SABT will shortly again discusses a formal request for registration of the black Boerboel. If they react positively the black genes will be saved and the proper development of the black Boerboel could take place.
There are a few registration organizations world-wide that do register the black Boerboel.

Quality of black dogs

The quality of the black Boerboel compares very favorably with the rest of the Boerboel population. Because the black dogs I know of at this moment are still 100% farm dogs, they tend to look more like the working dogs of 20 years ago. That usually means an athletic dog slightly higher on the leg and less muscled than the present day high scoring Boerboel. It is my opinion that they will fit into the top 40% of the Boerboel population. I am only familiar with the black dogs in the Free State and Eastern Cape. I know there are others that I have not seen.

Standard dogs producing black pups

From time to time I get calls from people that had black pups in a litter. These pups were never registered before and were lost to the breed. In future they will hopefully be registered and will help to perpetuate the black Boerboel. They will off course represent the current breeding trends in the breed. Because all the black dogs to my knowledge so far has always had at least one brown parent there is really no noteworthy difference between the black dogs and the rest.

Positives and negatives:

Advantage of black dogs

The overwhelming advantage of the black dog is of course the fact that you could not see him at night. The advantage of the great fear that some people have of black dogs was mentioned as well. What has not been mentioned is the beautiful shiny black coat. There are few dogs that could really look as beautiful as a healthy active black dog with short shiny hair.

Importance of pigmentation

In the African sun, pigmentation is very important. Breeders are always trying to improve the skin pigmentation of their dogs to prevent sunburn on the nose etc. In the black dog that is of course not a problem. The skin is totally pigmented except where you find a white spot that sometimes goes as deep as the skin itself.

Black hair not absorbing heat from the sun

Some people are concerned that the black dog will absorb too much heat from the sun. Research was done by a society breeding cattle with black hair coloring, and it was found that the short shiny hair was more important than the color of the hair. It is logical to assume that the heat absorbsion of a dark brindle or brown dog will differ very little from that of a black dog.


Importance of recognizing the black dog

Whether any Boerboel breeder intends breeding with the black dogs or not, it is very important that we unite our efforts to get the black dog recognized and registered and thereby assuring the future of the black Boerboel. This matter is in the hands of the present active Boerboel breeders, and it is our responsibility to preserve that which is within our power to preserve. We still have the last few individuals available of the black dogs that were nearly lost forever due to a mistake in 1983. We now have the opportunity to rectify our past mistakes and preserve the wonderful black Boerboel for generations to come.

Great news!

In November 2008 the SABT recognized the black Boerboel. This very positive development will be a boost for the Boerboel breed, but especially for the Black Boerboel. Although it is 25 years overdue, it is nevertheless a matter of rather late than never. All other organizations have approved the Black Boerboel prior to this date.

58 responses

  1. mr. beara

    i was wondering as in alot of other boerboele breeders i see a variety of colors, brindle,white cream,reds but in your kennels colors are limited to a few is it a particular reason? color is not important i was just wondering.

    31/01/2013 at 6:00 pm

  2. Funmilayo adeyemi

    most people dont belive in black boarboel they say it is crose breed. But i do belives.

    14/02/2013 at 4:46 pm

  3. Cavan

    I look forward to getting such a legendary dog.

    05/05/2013 at 3:59 am

  4. David

    I live in the uk wales,I would like a black boerboel how much would one cost and what is the law on the dog coming here to the uk, would he have to go in quarinten,have u sold dogs over here if so can u explain a little please many thanks….

    31/05/2013 at 11:20 pm

  5. candi jones

    yes I wanted to get a black boreboel puppy my number is 1708 263 8307 my email is bearsbulls2010@yahoo.com I have a red male with black mask

    12/06/2013 at 7:17 pm

    • The waiting list for Ramkat puppies, and for black puppies are very long. If you want to add your name to the list, please let me know on spitsvuur@vodamail.co.za and i will put your name on the list.

      19/06/2013 at 3:15 pm

      • Dr kwena mpe

        How much will ramkat male puppy cost

        24/06/2013 at 7:08 pm

  6. Sean

    How much for a black boerboel puppy male

    03/07/2013 at 2:15 pm

  7. Sean

    How much for a black boerboel puppy male .. And what about getting him into the uk

    03/07/2013 at 2:18 pm

  8. MR McC

    what is the difference between a black boerboel and a normal one ?
    what is the average weight and height of these dogs?

    07/09/2013 at 8:19 pm

  9. MR McC

    Do these boerboels pin down an intruder or full on attack?

    07/09/2013 at 8:25 pm

  10. michael

    Sir, I one was to purchase a black boerboel from another breeder who would you recommend?

    19/12/2013 at 6:03 am

  11. Casper Vorster

    My dad is now in his sixties and he fondly remembers a black boerboel on a farm he grew up in in the freestate. Good to hear that there are still some of these authentic boerboels around. The Boerboel is being overbred by unscrupulous people that are doing nothing but destroying a brilliant companion /working dog. I have seen some SABT rated dogs that are shocking and look nothing like a boerboel. Lond muzzles and bossy shoulders are NOT the standard. Muscular yet functional is how a boerboel should look. Hopefully the black dog will stay off the radar and retain type and temperament.

    21/01/2014 at 10:59 am

  12. aldo kok

    I grew up wit a black boerboel called Nugget whas my best friend and was the one of the only four black ones in Kokstad

    03/06/2014 at 8:34 pm

  13. megan

    Hello. Currently in america the United States Kennel Club is writing the boerboels breed standard. The current proposed standard DISQUALIFIES the black boerboels. I do not know enough about the boerboel history to argue any point. If you find yourself with a moment of time would you please send an email to UKC regarding your personal knowledge of the black BB? Thank you

    27/09/2014 at 2:12 pm

    • Megan,
      I am sorry that I read this message only months after you wrote it. SABBS is the only legal Boerboel organisation in SA and therefore the only organisation that can legally use the Boerboel name or supply a Boerboel breed standard. KUSA must herefore use the SABBS breed standard and the US KC must use the KUSA breed standard, so the black dog will eventually be accepted world wide.

      12/01/2015 at 4:10 pm

  14. abbey

    So much in love with d black boerboel ‘ I call them the black knight.

    31/10/2014 at 9:09 pm

    • The black Boerboels stel hearts all the time!

      12/01/2015 at 3:59 pm

      • Robert

        Do you have black male and female puppies for sale.

        29/06/2015 at 4:18 pm

  15. japie

    kontak my asb : JSPANIO@XSINET.CO.ZA

    20/12/2014 at 8:46 pm

  16. ethienne

    i want a black puppie please come back to me!!

    thank u

    31/12/2014 at 12:23 am

  17. Vladan


    31/12/2014 at 3:57 pm

  18. Ronny Lund

    Hi. Is it possible to get a black boerboel in norway? If not where is the best country to order from and how long must it be in caranteene?

    Best regards

    Ronny lund

    17/01/2015 at 4:33 pm

    • It is possible to get a black Boerboel in Norway. The procedure is that the dog must be vaccinated against Rabies and at least a month later it must be tested for Rabies antibodies and if it pass that test, it could be exported three months after the blood test was taken. There is no quarantine involved.

      23/01/2015 at 9:05 am

      • Ronny lund

        thnx for good info. Is it possible to order one from you so maybe we can have it in norway Around june next year 2016😊 hope to buy one That is compleatly black if That is possible. I will contact you by Mail or phone. Can you send me some info/pics of some black boerboels😊


        Ronny Lund

        25/01/2015 at 3:50 am

      • Robert

        Do you have black male and female puppies for sale..please let me know.

        29/06/2015 at 4:20 pm

      • Please send an email to lukas@spitsvuurboerboele.co.za and Betsie will be able to help you with all the information you need.

        03/12/2015 at 2:42 pm

  19. Ronny lund

    Hi. I want to sign up for a black boerboel. ( all black ) how long waiting is there to get one to norway and how much will it cost with all expensis? Do you think it is possible to get one early summer 2016? We wish to buy the one that costs 1500$. Is it possible to cut the ears to or just the thale? I hope you can be helpfull and make our wish come thrue😊 you can send me info on what we can do to get the amount of money this will cost with everything included.

    Best regards

    Ronny Lund

    31/01/2015 at 9:38 pm

    • If you contact me by email on lukas@spitsvuurboerboele.co.za I will help you with the details. You can find the costs on the For Sale page of my website. We do not ct ers but we do cut tails at a very early age when they hardly feel it.

      16/02/2015 at 3:48 pm

  20. Nicholas singarum

    good evening I am interested in a black boerboel puppy. please contact me via Nicholas@nikkool.co.za
    have a lovely evening.

    05/06/2015 at 5:41 pm

  21. Gregg Hart

    Good evening my name is Gregg Hart.
    I’m interested in a black boerboel can you please contact me at hartghart@yahoo.com
    Or 716-541-4846

    29/01/2016 at 4:30 am

  22. Bruno

    Good evening,
    Can you please send me information on black boerboel puppies, I am interested in purchasing a pup.
    Thank you

    01/09/2016 at 4:02 am

  23. Francesco Gammarota

    Dear Lukas, I’d like to purchase your best black boerboel puppy.

    26/09/2016 at 1:40 pm

    • Hello Francesco, thank you for your inquiry. I have answered you by mail.


      06/10/2016 at 7:01 am

  24. Bongani

    I want black boerboel puppy plz not more than 2500

    22/02/2017 at 10:55 am

  25. BJ Lathen

    Please send me listing of black Boerboel breeders

    21/03/2017 at 4:58 am

  26. Robert Sermino

    Hello Betsie,

    Do you have any black male pups available? If not, could you send me the list of breeders that you mentioned above?

    02/04/2017 at 1:40 am

  27. They are great dogs and cant beleave people can carry on like this

    13/04/2017 at 7:02 pm

  28. Robert Sermino

    Hello Betsie,

    If you don’t have any available, would you be able to recommend any reputable breeders of the black boerboel?


    20/04/2017 at 3:04 am

  29. Hi I have a black boreboel puppy and I wil love him to be registered because he is a boreboel but black so what he is still a boreboel

    15/06/2017 at 9:00 pm

    • Hello,

      Yes in my opinion he is still a Boerboel, ASk your breeder if he has birth Notified your pup. we are expecting the outcome of the appeal any day now, hopefully.

      Kind regards

      27/06/2017 at 8:14 pm

    • Hello,

      the appeal against the Registrar of the AIA was just won in favour of the black boerboel so you should be able to register your boerboel now.

      03/07/2017 at 10:15 am

  30. George Swaniker

    I am interested in buying a black boerboel of about 2 years of age.Could you please indicate if you are able to help in this regard and also how much it would cost.Many thanks.

    10/08/2017 at 1:08 am

  31. whaine Siegelaar

    I want a blackboer puppy if it is possible

    06/10/2017 at 3:32 pm

  32. Black boerboel please female thanksand then i would like to knoe what is your prices

    09/10/2017 at 11:30 pm

  33. Black boerboel please female thanksand then i would like to knoe what is your prices

    09/10/2017 at 11:30 pm

    • hello Jani,

      Thank you for your inquiry, are you looking for a adult or a puppy? our prices are as stated on the for sale page.

      Kind regards

      24/10/2017 at 10:14 am

  34. Shivan

    Naanda.eks opsoek Na n swart boerboel reentjie.kan julle my dalk help asb.groete Shivan bower

    17/06/2018 at 7:07 pm

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