Boerboel Owners Club Australia, Inc.
Puppy Buying Guide
When buying a Boerboel puppy, as a buyer you need to make a few decisions. B.O.C.A. Society has produced this short buying advice guide to help people make an informed decision before committing to a puppy or breeder. Each section is designed to help inform you of the options available.
Pedigrees and Paperwork:
The first step is to decide if you wish to have a puppy with or without a pedigree and paperwork. This is one of the biggest decisions as it may impact on the cost of the puppy and whether you are able to register a litter if you breed your dog at a later date.
‘Pedigree’ refers to the linage/parentage of the pup. It is given in the form of a family tree to show that the pup’s ancestors have all been pedigree dogs and 100% Boerboels. The pedigree/family tree should extend at least 3 generations. This is the most common format as used by SA Studbook & also commonly used by The Kennel Club of GB for their registered breeds too.
Below is an example of paperwork from a correctly appraised and registered dog. This is what you should be asking the breeders for from both parents of your puppy.
When buying a pedigree dog the registering authority should provide the paperwork. This will be from S.A. Studbook if you are buying from a B.O.C.A. registered breeder. We must remind all prospective puppy owners at this point that only a B.O.C.A. or SABBS registered breeder can provide paperwork from S.A.Studbook for your puppy, as they are the only S.A. Studbook recognised breeders in Australia. This should be given to you by the breeder when the puppy is collected or shortly thereafter. Ensure that you see the full registration paperwork for the Dam (mum) and Sire (dad), not simply the pup’s own birth registration certificates.
Please remember, people lie and you are about to spend a lot of money. If you have any doubts, a good breeder will have no issue with you contacting the registry/breed society to confirm the paperwork is genuine. Remember, a reputable breeder has nothing to hide.
A puppy can only be birth registered. This not an indicator of a breeding quality dog and may in fact be ‘non-standard’ but all Boerboel pups born to correctly appraised, health tested, DNA profiled and fully registered parents shall qualify for a birth certificate from your B.O.C.A breeder/given by the registering authority. No breeder can guarantee the puppy will grow to meet the breed standard. Birth registered means that the pup’s pedigree/parentage is correct. To be fully registered, a dog has to be appraised by a qualified SA Studbook approved appraiser at approx. 12 months old (or older). If the dog scores more than 75% it can be fully registered as a Boerboel. To be registered on full status with the registering authority the pup first needs to be birth registered. Only pups from recognised, correctly appraised dogs can be birth registered, further conditions may also apply before registration shall be completed/accepted.
There are many Boerboel Breed Societies/Organisations around the world, all of which are promising pedigree dogs so understanding the difference is very important. Each Society sets its own rules and regulations to protect the breed and members as they see fit.
Here we will list the main groups in Australia:
A Studbook are the only registry in South Africa used to maintain a database of animal pedigrees. They hold the only legal Boerboel database in South Africa.
SA Studbook provide the pedigree paperwork for recognised Boerboel Societies who meet and comply with their requirements including using official SA Studbook Appraisers.
In South Africa only a dog with SA Studbook paperwork/pedigree can be called a Boerboel. This is written in South African law, The Animal Improvement Act states in South Africa each breed can only be managed by one society. The act lists SABBS as the society for South Africa and SA Studbook is the official registry for SABBS.
Boerboel Owners Club Australia Inc (B.O.C.A. Society):
Is the only Australian Boerboel Society that is recognised by S.A.Studbook. B.O.C.A. has set a code of ethics and standards for its breeders and members ensuring that all breeding dogs meet the requirements set out. B.O.C.A. are responsible for registering dogs with S.A. Studbook and their own database ensuring the correct paperwork/pedigree is issued.
B.O.C.A. have made health testing mandatory and also stipulate that B.O.C.A breeders cannot take deposits before a puppy is born. B.O.C.A. allows its members voting rights on issues that affect the breed in Australia.
South African Boerboel Breeders Society (SABBS):
SABBS, formerly SABT, is the breed society for South Africa as listed by the animal improvement act. They operate in a similar way to BUKS setting standards and ethics for their breeders and members. SABBS also register with SA Studbook. SABBS do allow deposits to be taken before a mating has taken place and they do not require as many mandatory tests on breeding dogs as B.O.C.A.
Boerboel International is an organisation that no longer has a presence in Australia, they are NOT registered with SA Studbook. Boerboel International pedigrees and paperwork are not accepted by SA Studbook, SABBS or B.O.C.A.
Unregistered and Unrecognised Breeders:
Unregistered breeders are unregistered for a reason. They are normally people who have bred pets. They are not subject to any rules and do not conduct any health testing. They may not know any problems with their dogs or the blood line. A pup from an unregistered breeder cannot be registered. We recommend you do not buy from an unregistered breeder as you do not know what you are getting. You could also potentially be supporting unethical breeding practices.
Unrecognised breeders/registries in Australia are unrecognised by all S.A.Studbook Societies, this includes B.O.C.A., SABBS, Boerboel UK and Boerboel Alliance. Dogs are not appraised by an approved S.A.Studbook appraiser, and some unrecognised registries do not appraise dogs at all as they have no judges available to them. Health testing is most usually not mandatory, DNA may also not be mandatory so pedigrees could be suspect as no parentage proof would be available to you, the buyer, for your puppy. We recommend you do not buy from an unrecognised registry or breeder as once again, you may not know what you are getting. You may also again be supporting unethical breeding practices.
Selecting a breeder is an important step in getting your puppy and we recommend you visit as many breeders as possible to find one you like and are comfortable with. Your breeder will be your main support network when it comes to raising your puppy. All B.O.C.A breeders subscribe to our constitution, code of ethics and conduct and are registered with S.A.Studbook through B.O.C.A.
A good breeder will:
- know their dogs and any health issues in the line
- provide you with a health statement detailing any issues
- provide you with a puppy pack containing advice on feeding and caring for your puppy
- health test their breeding dogs to ensure there are no issues
- vaccinate and microchip your puppy
- give you your pedigree paperwork
- answer any questions you have
- know and explain the temperaments of their dogs
- introduce you to the Dam (mum) at least
- not ask you for money to join a waiting list
Do not be swayed by a cute puppy. All pups are cute and it is very easy to get drawn in to buying any puppy in front of you. Getting the wrong puppy could be a very expensive mistake as this breed may be prone to certain health issues within specific lines. A good breeder shall also indicate what traits and hidden recessive genes your puppy may carry if you do decide to breed in the future.
Selecting the correct puppy for your lifestyle is a must for ensuring you enjoy your lives together with as little stress as possible. There is no point in getting a high energy dog if you are a low energy family or a dominant dog if you are not confident as none of you will be happy.
Looks are not the most important thing. Look at the Dam and Sire and picture something in between and you will not go too far wrong.
A good breeder will constantly assess their pups and help to match you to one that suits your needs. Be honest with your breeder and tell them what you are after.
Things to consider:
- breed standard or not (some pups with issues such as long coats, dilute colourings, liver nose, etc. will never meet the breed standard and as such can never be fully registered/appraised)
- energy levels of pup
- acceptance of guests
- prey drive
- type of Boerboel (Mastiff/hound/terrier/bull) – there are 4 types of Boerboel a dog can be related to. Each type will differ in looks and mentality. Your breeder should be able to explain these types to you.
Not all pups will suit you and a poor match will mean that neither of you will be truly happy with each other. Be advised by your breeder who will know the pups characters best, an experienced breeder is rarely wrong in what they see in the pups.
Cost will depend on a few factors but we would recommend that you speak with a B.O.C.A breeder for advice.
DO NOT PAY PEDIGREE PRICES FOR A NON PEDIGREE (NON S.A. STUDBOOK) DOG
Most breeders will sell your puppy under a contract. This contract should protect yourself as well as the breeder. It should be clear to you what you are buying and any restrictions.
If you have any questions or queries about the contract seek advice before signing.
Your breeder should provide you with a pack containing all the basic information you need to start to raise your puppy.