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The Value of Linear Classification in Boerboels

Description of each trait

General Appearance 12%

Height (Too low / Too high)
Volume (Lack of / Ideal)
Balance (Imbalance / Perfect proportion)
Gender authenticity (♂ too feminine / ♀ too masculine)

Head & Face 26%

Broad (Narrow / Broad)
Deep (Shallow / Deep)
Square (Round / Ideal)
Circumference (Too small / Oversized)
Typical Boerboel (Other breeds / Distinctive BB head)
Stop (Absent / Prominent)
Filled between eyes (Not filled / Flat)
Teeth/bite (Undershot / Overshot (parrot))
Nasal bone: deep (Shallow / Deep)
Nasal bone: broad (Narrow / Broad)
Nasal bone: length (Short / Long)
Eyes: setting (Narrow/Sunken / Wide/protruding
Eyelids (Entropion / Ectropion)
Ears (Small/rose/erect / Too long)
Neck Shape (Long/narrow / Ideal)

Forequarter 12%

Shoulder: attachment (Loose / Fixed)
Angulation (Straight / Over angulated)
Elbow (Turn in / Turn out)
Front legs: musculature (Lacking / Ideal)
Front legs: thickness (Thin / Ideal)
Pasterns: standing position (Turn in / Turn out)
Pasterns: moving tread (Tread through / Straight)
Front paws: Size (Small / Big)
Front paws: shape (Flat/splayed toes / Ideal, well cushioned)

Centrepiece 9%

Topline (Hollow / Arched)
Loin: Deep & Broad (Long / Short)
Back: Broad (Narrow / Broad)
Chest: broad (Narrow / Broad)
Ribcage (Flat/inadequate / Well sprung)

Hindquarter 19%

Croup: gradient (Droopy / Flat)
Croup: width (Narrow / Broad)
Hindquarter wide, broad, deep (Lacking / Sufficient)
Hindquarter muscular (Lacking / Ample)
Tail attachment (Low / High)
Angulation (Straight / Over angulated)
Stance (Bandy / Cow hocked)
Hind pasterns: Length (Short / Long)

Coat 5%

Skin (Too little / Excessive)
Lips (Too little / Excessive)
Pigmentation (Lacking / Ideal)

Temperament 9%

Temperament (Insecure/Afraid / Aggressive)

Movement 8%

Resilient /Boyant (Stiff / Ideal)
Parallel (Not aligned / Aligned)
Topline (Rolling / Fixed)

Intermediate optimum

  • Linear classification is only a description.
  • The breed profile determines where the ideal for each trait is e.g.
    • What does the breed lack?
    • What does the ideal Boerboel for SA look like?

What about a final class?

  • A final class will have eight subdivisions.
  • The subdivisions as well as the final class must be calculated and not assigned by the classifier.
  • The weight on each trait should be determined by the Board with input from experts.
  • Accumulated classification data on each measured trait over time, provides objective basis for the correction of any trends in the deviation from the breed standard.

Next: Improving quality and transparency of data collection and monitoring appraisers