The breed standard is a set of guidelines describing the ideal model of that particular breed that has been set out by a group or organisation. The breed standard is usually designed around the breed’s use or purpose.
The Boerboel was, and still is in some areas, a large working farm dog, so the standard was created with this in mind. The dilemma when writing a breed standard is that you do not want to make mistakes that will be damaging to the breed in the future. For this reason, you do not want to be too exact in your description of the breed. This causes problems with enthusiasts, because now the breed standard is wide open to interpretation. This is good for diversity and the future of the breed, but is bad at appraisals, because appraisers want clear guidelines so that they can do their job correctly. Enthusiasts, especially breeders, want clear guidelines so that they can begin to produce what the breed standard outlines as “the perfect Boerboel.”
Before I deliver my comments on the breed standard, I want people to know that I am writing this to clarify terms, and also to bring significance to certain, individual points of the breed standard which may have been overlooked.
Another important point I would like to make, is that the breed standard is a description of the perfect Boerboel, envisaged by the people who created the breed standard. As one of the people who helped create the newer breed standard, I want breeders and enthusiasts of the breed to know that neither I, nor anyone else who was involved in writing the standard, would be so arrogant to believe that what we pictured to be the perfect Boerboel, is completely correct or encompassing. I myself believe that the perfect Boerboel can come in many different shapes and sizes.
Now that I have explained how I feel about the breed standard, I can begin my commentary to the standard.
Because we are talking about the breed standard, I will reproduce the standard, and add my comments to it where I think it is necessary.
My comments are prefaced by the icon. I have used the Boerboel International Breed Standard, because it is the most recent standard to have been written, and I personally helped with its creation.