Barbarian Boerboels – The 200lb ‘Dogs Of War’ | BIG DOGZ
A FEROCIOUS dog breed known for fearlessly pursuing lions and bears is having a surge in popularity after almost going extinct in the 1970s. Boerboels, also known as South African Mastiffs, literally translate as “farmer’s dog” and their fiercely territorial nature means they are perfectly suited to guarding homesteads. Danny Gibson, 50, and wife Paula, 50, of Washington state, USA, are the team behind Barbarian Boerboels – and say their dogs are “the real-life dogs of war”. Paula said: “Boerboels have always been known as dogs of war. The story goes that an Albanian king sent a boerboel ancestor to Alexander the Great for hunting. He took them hunting for wild boar and deer. When the dog showed no interest Alexander was disappointed and destroyed the dog. The Albanian King heard and sent a replacement with the instructions not to waste the dogs time on such minor animals but to give him a lion or elephant to hunt - which Alexander did and was impressed when the dog broke the lions back. They're like gladiators, they are always fighting all the time, they act like they're always at war with each other.” Paula and Danny have 14 boerboels, the largest of which is the male Gotti – named after the famous Italian-American gangster who ran the Gambino crime family – who weighs in at over 200lbs. However, hot on his heels is Fury, who is already 175lbs – the same weight as the largest female in the Barbarian Boerboels kennel, Boudicca – despite being only 13 months old. Danny said: “He’s going to be one of our up-and-coming studs, he’s starting to become one of my new favorites around here. He’s still got some growing to do, he’s probably going to be over 200 pounds.” The size of the dogs has led some to assume they must be giving the dogs steroids or feeding them supplements, but Paula stresses that the dogs diet is intentionally kept simple – although the dogs’ appetites means they spend an incredible $18,000 per year on food. The registered puppies sell for $2,500 or $3200 if breeding rights are included, and the Barbarian Boerboels team aim for around six litters each year.