The wolf is the largest member of the canine family. Gray wolves range in color from grizzled gray or black to all-white. As the ancestor of the domestic dog, the gray wolf resembles German shepherds or malamutes. Wolves are making a comeback in the Great Lakes, Northern Rockies and Southwestern United States.
Height 26-32 inches at the shoulder
Length 4.5-6.5 feet from nose to tip of tail
Weight 55-130 lbs; Males are typically heavier and taller than the females
Lifespan 7-8 years in the wild, but some have lived 10 years or more
Staples Ungulates (large hoofed mammals) like elk, deer, moose and caribou.
Also known to eat beaver, rabbits and other small prey. Wolves are also scavengers and often eat animals that have died due to other causes like starvation and disease.
Wolves live, travel and hunt in packs of 4-7 animals on average. Packs include the mother and father wolves, called the alphas, their pups and several other subordinate or young animals. The alpha female and male are the pack leaders that track and hunt prey, choose den sites and establish the pack's territory. Wolves develop close relationships and strong social bonds. They often demonstrate deep affection for their family and may even sacrifice themselves to protect the family unit.
Wolves have a complex communication system ranging from barks and whines to growls and howls. While they don't howl at the moon, they do howl more when it's lighter at night, which occurs more often when the moon is full.
Breed History & Information
The Boerboel of South Africa got an interesting history. It is said that when Jan van Riebeeck came to the Cape in 1652, he brought his own dog to protect him and his family in this wild and unknown country. This dog was a "Bullenbijter", a large and heavy mastiff-type of dog. The settlers who came after Jan van Riebeeck also brought along their strongest dogs to protect them against all the unknown dangers of this strange land, thus dogs arrived from many different countries.
As the pioneers moved further and further inland and settled on remote farms, the dogs were forcibly isolated and a lot of inbreeding took place which had the result that the characteristics of the original assyrian dog started to reappear. Survival was of the outmost importance and it was here that the hardiness of today's Boerboel was per force bred into the dog. During the Groot Trek, starting in 1838, the Boerboel had most of the features that it has today and is clearly recognizable from old drawings. In the period after the trek, on the distant farms, the Boerboel inbreed further and only the biggest and strongest dogs survived.
His pioneer owner required him to be a friend of the family, a worker, provide protection, they could not afford to have a disobedient, moody, finicky, sickly dog-they had to be able to rely on him to protect the family and to work.
The Boerboel is a big, strong and intelligent working dog. It is well balanced with good muscle development and buoyant in movement. The dog should be impressive and imposing. Male dogs appear noticeably masculine and bitches feminine. All parts of the body should be in proportion with each other. The head is the most important feature of the Boerboel, as it represents its total character. It is short, broad, deep, square and muscular with well filled cheeks. The part between the eyes must be well filled. The top of the head is broad and flat, with prominent muscle development. The face should blend symmetrically with the head, and can be with or without a black mask. The stop should be visible, but not prominent. The muzzle is black with large nostrils which are widely spaced. The nasal bone is straight and parallel to the top-line of the head. It is deep, broad and it tapers slightly to the front. The nasal bone should be 8-10 cm long. The loose, fleshy upper lip should cover the lower lip, but should not hang lower than the lower jaw. The jaws (mandibles) are strong, deep and broad, and narrows slightly to the front. The teeth should be white, well developed, correctly spaced, with a complete set of 42 teeth and a scissors bite. The broad, horizontally set eyes are any shade of brown, but darker then the pelt, with firm, well-pigmented eye-lids. The ears should be of medium size, V-shaped and should be in proportion to the head. They are set fairly high and wide against the head. When the dog is alert, the ears should form a straight line with the top of the head. The neck shows a noticeable muscle curve, and is attached high at the shoulder. The strong, muscular neck is of medium length and in proportion to the rest of the dog. The skin of the neck is loose under the throat and becomes taut between the front legs. The body narrows slightly towards the loin. The top line should be straight. The back is straight, broad and in proportion, with prominent back muscles and a short loin. The rump is broad and strong, with good muscle development. The chest is muscular, broad and strong. The straight, short tail is attached high to the body. The front legs should be perfectly vertical. The hind paws are slightly smaller then the front paws. The big, well padded paws are rounded with dark curved toe-nails. The paws should point straight forward. Dew claws should be removed. The skin is thick, loose, well pigmented with moderate wrinkles on the forehead when the dog is alert. The short, dense, sleek coat comes in cream white, pale tawny, reddish brown, brown and all shades of brindle.
The Boerboel is reliable, obedient and intelligent, with strong watch and guard-dog instincts. It is self-assured and fearless. The Boerboel are very playful and affectionate toward their owners. Their favorite pass time would be to play a game of fetch loving every minute they spend with their master. Their jaws are strong and they will most often pop the ball they are playing with. Not to fret, they will just play with the popped ball! They are very gentle and good with children they know. Allow them to ride on their backs like a horse, loving every minute of the attention they are getting. Boerboel are protectors and can be very aggressive to people passing in the street. They will guard their family, friends and property with their life. When the owners are not home they will not allow anyone to enter the home, unless they know them very well. When welcomed visitors arrive they will accept them after being properly introduced. They are however, guard dogs, and will keep close watch over any house guest. Owners have to be very careful when opening the gate or door so that they don't get out into the street when people are passing by. Boerboel will do okay with other dogs, cats and other non-canine pets, letting birds come down and snatch from their food bowl! This breed requires a dominant owner.
Height & Weight
Height: Males 25-28 inches (64-70 cm.) Female 23-25.5 inches (59-65 cm.)
Weight: 154-200 pounds (70 and 90 kg.)http://hubpages.com/hub/South-African-Boerboels