Other names: african burbul , south african burbul , south African mastiff

Burbul is a South African breed of large working dogs, known for their endurance and developed protective and guard instinct.

Brief information

  • Breed name: Burbul
  • Country of Origin: South Africa
  • Weight: males 65-80 kg, females 50-65 kg
  • Height (height at the withers): males 64-70 cm, females 59-65 cm
  • Lifespan: 10-12 years


  • The breed remains unrecognized by several cynological associations, including the FCI.
  • The desire to dominate and play the role of an alpha male in the burbul is expressed quite clearly, so the dog needs an experienced owner who will not allow himself to be manipulated.
  • The South African burbul is as reliable as a rock when it comes to the safety of the owner's property. If it comes to protecting human life, then here the animal does not show selectivity and protects both its own owner and his family members with the same zeal.
  • With timely socialization, dogs are able to extinguish their own emotions, but it is very easy to provoke them to aggression. In Russia, cases of burbuls attacking a person have already been recorded, some of them with a fatal outcome.
  • Burbuls perfectly read the mood and feelings of the owner by facial expression. Demonstrate your own dislike for someone you know or ordinary passers-by – and the pet will hate this person.
  • A properly educated burbul is very patient with children and easily forgives the little ones even the most unpleasant pranks for him.
  • The dog calmly treats cats and other pets with whom it is forced to share living space, but another barking creature on its territory will not tolerate.
  • South African burbuls are slowly maturing, remaining puppies in terms of thinking and habits until the age of two.
  • In training, representatives of this breed demonstrate a slight slowness and thoughtfulness. Do not expect from the burbul the ingenuity of a border collie and the lightning-fast reaction of a German shepherd.
  • Burbuls show excellent results in weightpulling (moving loads). An adult dog is able to move cargo platforms with a total weight of up to 450 kg.
  • It is almost impossible to escape from the representatives of this breed. Burbuls develop maximum speed already at the start, thereby leaving the enemy no chance of salvation.

Burbul is an athletically built "fighter" with whom it is not scary to walk through the most disadvantaged areas and dark alleys. Capable of repelling any sudden attack in a matter of seconds, this fawn brutal is always alert and ready to defend its own owner 365 days a year. It won't be easy to get along with burbul: this is a dog-a person who respects the owner not for beautiful eyes, but for real dignity. But if you still won his favor and trust, you can be sure - it's for life.

Breed characteristics

Aggressiveness ?
Low ( Rating 2/5)
Activity ?
Average ( Rating 3/5)
Training ?
Average ( Rating 3/5)
Molt ?
Low ( Rating 2/5)
Need for care ?
Low ( Rating 2/5)
Friendliness ?
Friendly ( Rating 4/5)
Health ?
Average ( Rating 3/5)
Cost of maintenance ?
Expensive ( Rating 5/5)
Attitude to Loneliness ?
Moderate Time ( Rating 3/5)
Intelligence ?
Smart ( Rating 4/5)
Noise ?
Almost inaudible ( Rating 1/5)
Security qualities ?
Good ( Rating 4/5)
*The characteristics of the Burbul breed are based on the assessment of experts amitypuppies.net and reviews of dog owners.

History of the South African Burbul breed


Burbuls settled in Africa back in the XVII century, but it is quite possible to trace their history. It is believed that the ancestors of these harsh dogs were European Molossians who emigrated to the southern part of the African continent together with immigrants from the Scandinavian countries. As time went on, the animals interbred with aboriginal breeds, as well as other dogs arriving on the mainland, which became a prerequisite for the birth of the Burbul clan.

At the beginning of the XIX century, blood was mixed into the phenotype of the breed english bulldogs and mastiffs . The animals were brought with them by the British, who rushed to Cape Town to protect it from the encroachments of Napoleon. Afrikaner farmers also made a modest contribution to the development of the working qualities of burbuls, who selected only the most assertive and aggressive individuals to protect their own farms. This made burbuls first-class watchmen and bodyguards, able to fight alone with a whole group of burglars and other lovers of easy money.

The XX century brought with it rampant urbanization, and with it the oblivion of the breed. Peasant farms were being destroyed, their owners moved with their belongings to the cramped suburbs, so there was no need for large bodyguard dogs. Left to themselves, the animals slowly degenerated, so that by the 70s there would not have been a pair of purebred burbuls in the vicinity of Cape Town.

In the mid-80s, a group of enthusiastic farmers undertook to restore the number of animals, for which they had to equip an expedition and comb the length and breadth of the territory of today's South Africa. During the impromptu "tour" 250 burbuls were collected, most of which turned out to be unfit for breeding by mestizos. However, the breeders stubbornly did not give up, and eventually about 70 animals were able to get registration and permission to mating.

In 1990, the Burbul Breeders Association was opened in Africa, and in 2004, WWB began its work in America as the first international organization dealing with breeding and popularization of the breed. Soon enough, dogs began to be interested in other countries, but the desire of ordinary people to see tough, impulsive guards in their pets played a cruel joke with the burbuls. Hoping to make the breeding of animals more profitable, breeders began to cultivate in their wards such character traits in demand among buyers as malice and aggressiveness. As a result: whole lines of dogs with an unbalanced psyche were born. Denmark was the first to react to this, completely banning the breed for breeding. The Russian authorities were not so categorical, but in 2011 burbuls were included in the list of dangerous breeds in our country, falling under the law "On responsible treatment of animals".

Video: Burbuls

Burbul's appearance

Burbulya Puppy

Burbul is a textured, thoroughly pumped–up "athlete" with an unexpectedly calm and intelligent look. He is a heavyweight and far from a baby (the height of an average male at the withers is 64-70 cm), which is why he gives the impression of an extremely formidable creature, crossing the road to which is literally dangerous to health.


Burbuls have a large, rectangular skull with a flat crown and forehead and a not too sharp stop. The dog's muzzle is wide, somewhat narrowed towards the tip of the nose. The optimal length of the muzzle is slightly less than ½ the length of the head.

Teeth and bite

The main weapon of the burbul is his teeth, which are strong and strong in representatives of this breed. It is desirable that the dog has a scissor bite type, although its direct variant, as well as a snack without waste, are also not considered defects.


The large black nose lobe looks even more massive due to the wide, open nostrils.


A proper burbul should have dark brown, widely spaced and emphatically rounded eyes. Lighter colors of the iris are not very desirable, but are quite acceptable.


The ear shape typical for a burbul is a regular triangle. The supply of the ear cloth is wide and relatively high, while the ear itself is tightly pressed against the skull. If something has attracted the dog's attention, the base of the ear is raised, but, as a rule, not above the upper line of the head.


Dogs of this breed have a very massive, medium-length neck with a prominent nape and a slight suspension (the latter may be absent).

Burbul's head


Burbul has a dense, square-shaped body with a wide back and a powerful, almost horizontal croup. The chest of the animal is deep, lowered almost to the elbows, the abdomen is moderately tightened.


Burbul's strong, massive legs are distinguished by strong bones and good muscularity. The hind limbs provide the animal with a springy push due to the normal angles of articulation and strong ligaments. The shoulder blades and elbows are pressed tightly against the body, thereby giving the dog the necessary freedom and straightness to the movements. The paws of the burbuls are large, the fingers are arched, gathering into a large lump. The hind legs are somewhat inferior in size to the front ones.


The burbul's tail can be docked, or it can maintain its natural length – everything is decided by the preferences of the owner. A normal tail does not twist into a ring, but reaches the hock joint in length. The optimal length of the docked tail is 3 or 4 vertebrae.


The coat of the South African burbul is short, thick and smooth.


Tiger-colored burbul puppy

Elastic, loosely fitting skin is a distinctive feature of burbulas. It is thanks to this feature that shallow wrinkles gather on the forehead of the dog, and a light suspension forms on the neck. In some areas of the body, the skin has black pigmentation, for example, around the eyelids, in the area of the lips, paw pads, genitals.


Purebred burbuls have a solid fawn (beige) or brindle coat color. A branded black mask on the muzzle is an optional attribute, although animals that do not have it look less elegant.

Disqualifying vices

Any lack of appearance that has a strong discrepancy with the standard is automatically regarded as a vice and threatens the animal with non-admission to exhibition events. In burbuls, such defects include:

  • cowardice or aggression towards a person;
  • dimensions smaller or larger than those fixed by the standard;
  • too tiny skull;
  • undershot or overshot;
  • depigmentation of the nose, lips, eye area, paw pads;
  • blue shade of the iris;
  • standing type ears;
  • coat of black and piebald colors.

Photo of the South African burbul

The character of the South African burbul

Burbul with mistress

Buying a burbul is a big lottery, because due to commercial breeding, the nature and temperament of the animals have undergone serious changes. So, for example, buying two puppies in different kennels, there is a risk to grow a pair of classic antagonists, one of which will be the embodiment of prudence, and the second – a bunch of aggression. So before buying a dog, it would be nice to clarify which breeding lines the breeder specializes in: combat or classic.

If we talk about the ideal burbul, then he should first of all be manageable, balanced and friendly towards all family members without exception. Do not expect that a representative of this breed will be delighted with strangers, but he should not tear their trousers to shreds either. A socialized, well-mannered dog may keep somewhat aloof while you are chatting with a stranger, but rest assured, all this time he carefully scans your interlocutor. One threatening gesture towards the owner – and the pet turns on full alert mode, attacking the intruder.

Burbul can adore his own owner to madness, but at the same time will not miss the opportunity to bend him under himself. Prepare for this confrontation, which usually begins in adolescence, in advance. This is not a decorative fluffy, whose attempts at leadership cause tears of sincere emotion, but a serious "fighter" who recognizes only the cult of strength. If the dog does not respect the owner, sooner or later it will come into open conflict with him. Well, it's easy to guess how the clashes between the burbul and the man usually end.

If a South African burbul lets down a disrespectful attitude to someone, it's children. He will not make a professional baby sitter (the wrong temperament), but making friends with the kids for the "African" is absolutely not a burden. On the other hand, it is not necessary to rely unconditionally on the good nature of such a large and serious dog, so constant control over the joint pastime of the child and the animal should take place.

Do not perceive the burbul as a dim-witted guard, fit only for official activities. Yes, he is not a genius, but he is smart enough not to cause you problems in everyday life. In addition, do not forget that this is a breed whose intelligence needs to be constantly developed. Communicate a lot and train with the dog – get a calm and smart assistant. You give your pet the opportunity to hone the protective qualities on their own – get ready to coexist with an uncontrollable and not recognizing any authority dominant.

Education and training

Burbulya puppy

The South African Burbul is a dog that should be trained at least for the safety of others. Representatives of this breed do not really like lessons, so they will have to be motivated by a treat or a favorite toy. As for the basics of home etiquette, they need to be fixed with a pet for several years. Do not be indignant if the burbul periodically breaks down and pretends that he has forgotten the previously successfully observed rules of behavior. With age, such "forgetfulness" passes.

It is necessary to start working with a dog in the first weeks of its appearance in the house. Be sure to introduce the kid to the system of prohibitions. The puppy should not bite, play hugs with family members, standing on his hind legs and putting his front paws on the shoulders of a person, as well as pull the leash while walking on the street. It is better to stop attempts of disobedience sharply and rather rudely. If a young burbul tries your hands with his teeth in the game, show the animal who is in charge here by strictly shouting at the bully and lifting him off the ground by the collar.

On a walk, the animal should move freely on a leash, and not drag the owner running in tow. Remember, the burbul is a strong dog, and if you stumble during the promenade, he will calmly take you through mud and puddles for a dozen meters. Therefore, if a puppy tries to play dominant on the street and pulls on a harness, he is brought to his senses by a sharp jerk of the leash and a command, for example, "Walk!".

Perhaps the most important command for the burbul and its owner is the call "To me!". The exercise is difficult and long to work out, but you can't do without it with such a dog. Show maximum patience, do not wait for quick results and be careful with punishments. If the puppy did not come to you immediately, but ten or more minutes after the call, consider that the test has been passed. If you risk punishing the burbul for too long a swing and slowness, which this breed has in its blood, you risk losing his trust forever. The puppy will quickly draw a parallel between the command and the subsequent punishment and simply refuse to carry it out.

In training

Never, under any circumstances, encourage pet grouchiness. If a burbul grins at dogs passing by and snaps at commands, it needs to be restrained. At the same time, it is extremely stupid to openly provoke an animal and hope for its iron endurance. So don't give in to momentary impulses to stroke a random barbosa or a cat in the presence of a dog. The South African burbul deals with competitors quickly and harshly.

Follow the sequence and do not make exceptions to the rules, even if you really wanted to. Burbul's intellect is not so developed to be able to divide prohibitions into strict and not very strict, so every indulgence awakens in him a desire to spit on the rules of obedience. Therefore, if you really scold your pet for sweets from strangers, then do not allow your own guests to tease the animal with treats. Have you made the hugging game a tradition? So don't get hysterical over a soiled designer jacket.

Even if the burbul has learned all the commands and demonstrates the wonders of intelligence and obedience, do not relax. Representatives of this breed like to periodically check the owners for strength. For example, performing exercises for the first time at home, a burbul may refuse to do the same at an exhibition – and not because he is shy. This cunning man definitely wants the owner to persuade him, thereby allowing the pet to wipe its paws on its own authority. Do not be fooled by such tricks and strictly stop the animal's attempts to control you.

Great guys

Maintenance and care

A large, energetic burbul will not be very comfortable in a city apartment, although, as the experience of domestic breeding shows, he is ready to adapt to such conditions. Another thing is a country house with an aviary and a cozy kennel, where no one will control every step of the pet. Despite the African past, burbuls are adapted to the cold of the Russian strip, so they feel fine outside the cottage walls. However, breeders do not recommend leaving them to winter in a wooden booth. Not only does the wintering in the aviary spoil the exterior of the dog, it also negatively affects immunity. When placing the booth in the yard, make sure that drafts are not blown into it, which the burbuls are afraid of. It is better to use natural bedding. It is on Boer farms that animals can spend the night on the ground without health consequences – in Russian realities, such an extreme will not work.

Owners who decided to settle a burbul in a city apartment will have to distort its interior a little, or more precisely, to cover the floors in the rooms with a cloth. On slippery parquet and laminate, the dog's legs will move apart, which will provoke a defective delivery, or even injury. This also applies to high horizontal surfaces such as beds, chairs and sofas. Climbing on them and diving down to the young burbul is strictly forbidden because of the weakness of the joints.

Be careful with toys. Burbuls, of course, need them, but for safety reasons it is sometimes better to replace them with raw vegetables like beets, a small cabbage or an apple. A dog with such powerful jaws can easily bite through ordinary rubber balls, tearing off and chewing a piece of latex, which is fraught with further surgery.


The terrible burbul

It can be difficult to find a common language with a burbul, but it is relatively easy to take care of him. Representatives of this breed do not need daily combing and weekly baths, and you will have to spend money on caring cosmetics only if you have a show pet. For pets, the usual shampoo for dogs will do. Combing out the dead fur, simultaneously massaging the skin of the animal, is definitely worth it, but if you miss a week or two, the burbul will not turn into a shaggy lump.

Washing "Africans" is allowed only in the warm season and no more than once every couple of months. In winter, it is better to abandon bathing, replacing it with wiping wool with snow. Once every 3 days, the dog's eyes should be washed with chamomile decoction. Experts recommend cleaning the ears of the burbulu once a month, which does not exempt the owner from daily inspection of the ear funnel. If you notice that a four-legged friend is shaking his head, you will have to consult with a veterinarian. This is usually how animals react to otitis media. The claws should be trimmed if they don't wear off enough when walking, so the longer you walk with the burbul, the better for both of you. The pet's teeth, though infrequently, should still be cleaned, so once every 3 months, take a dental paste in your hands and treat the dog's oral cavity as much as possible.


I caught the ball

A walk with a burbul is not a dignified hike "for bread", but a dynamic mini-marathon. For normal well-being, the dog should walk from 5 or more kilometers a day, so do not hesitate to load the pet with training more. It is better to walk puppies in sparsely populated places, gradually changing the route line and looking at busy avenues.

The burbul should go outside the apartment strictly on a leash, and in the future the puppy needs to learn two moving techniques: on a short leash and on a long one. You can release the animal in vacant lots, where passers-by do not appear, although you will have to monitor its movements here. To do this, use the command "To me!" more often so that the dog does not relax. Be sure to play with burbul or come up with an interesting job for him. The strength reserve of the breed is enormous, and it needs to be put somewhere. Don't let your pet splash out on the street? He will give her a way out at home, which is unlikely to please you.


Of all the varieties of meat, beef is more suitable for burbulya. It should make up about half of the daily diet. Mutton, goat meat and horse meat are less useful, but as an alternative to beef meat have a place to be. From offal, it is better to prefer a scar, it has an optimal balance of muscle and adipose tissue. But be careful with poultry meat. Give it occasionally and only to puppies who are already 3 months old. Include bones and cartilage in the diet of the growing burbul, they contain the collagen necessary for dog joints. When deciding on the choice of fermented dairy products, stop at 9% cottage cheese and live yogurt and give up kefir, yeast fungi of which provoke fermentation in the intestines.

List of products useful for burbulya:

  • boneless sea fish (exception – pollock);
  • chicken egg (twice a week);
  • rice and buckwheat groats;
  • vegetables (onions, carrots, cauliflower, tomatoes, radishes, any pumpkin);
  • prunes and dried apricots.

Don't give:

  • grapes, bananas, any citrus fruits;
  • potatoes (occasionally possible if the dog has a healthy digestive tract);
  • oatmeal and wheat cereals;
  • cow's milk.
Dog suspect

Health and diseases of burbuls


Outwardly invulnerable burbul is actually not such a big guy. The weakest point of the breed is the musculoskeletal system, and especially the joints, so bursitis, arthritis, hip and elbow dysplasia are all about burbuls. The chondroprotectors added by the owner to the food of a puppy and a young dog save the situation a little, but it is not worth hoping too much for the healing power of top dressing. Burbuls and dysbiosis suffer, developing against the background of non-compliance with nutrition standards, as well as due to the presence of worms in the body.

How to choose a puppy

  • Look at the pedigree of the puppy's parents. Animals must be registered with the RKF or have registration marks in HBSA, EBBASA or SABT.
  • Championship titles of burbuls-manufacturers must be confirmed by appropriate certificates. If the breeder has only vague formulations in stock instead of documents, it is pointless to waste time on examining puppies.
  • If possible, try to inspect the entire litter. A breeding bitch is not a xerox machine, and every burbul born by her has individual advantages and disadvantages.
  • Test the puppy for working qualities. Rustle the package or click with your fingers. A kid with the makings of a guard will definitely listen to sudden sounds, and possibly bark.
  • The optimal age for buying a burbulya is 1.5-2 months. Then the puppy grows intensively, which is why his appearance undergoes serious changes.
  • Gather maximum information about the breed. Go to exhibitions, visit training grounds, talk to the owners of burbuls. This will help you understand how ready you are to get a harsh "African".
  • Choose a nursery whose employees provide advisory support to customers throughout the year. From them you can learn the basic subtleties of caring for a small burbul.

Photos of burbul puppies

The price of a burbul

South African club burbul, produced by a pair of champions, will cost $400 - $500. Less promising in terms of the exterior "copies" go by $250 - $300. Buying a burbul puppy with a price tag of $200 and below is already a risky step. Usually such a price tag is put up for plembrak and babies, in whose pedigree representatives of other breeds have got mixed up.

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