Once you have decided that a Boerboel is the dog that you want to share your life with, it is time to narrow down your selection of breeders and start communicating with them your expectations for your potential new dog. The more you can tell the breeder about yourself, your lifestyle and your reasons for owning a Boerboel, the better they can assist you in making the right choices. It is in your own interests to buy a registered dog from a SABBS registered breeder, and to insist on proof of his/her paid-up membership. You may also wish to check on the status of the breeder with the SABBS Office. This will ensure that you will receive the proper documentation with your dog, and also confirm that the breeder complies with the rules and guidelines set by SABBS.
During this communication process, make sure to exchange at least the following information:
- Make it clear to the breeder what type of dog you want, whether you have aspirations of breeding if the dog turns out to be a good example of the breed or whether your dog will be a family dog and will be neutered at a later date. A responsible breeder will ask you many questions to confirm that his precious puppy/dog will receive all it needs to become an Ambassador for the breed and for him as a breeder.
- As a buyer, you should narrow down your choice of dog by evaluating the following: temperament and characteristics; conformation/build; general health; pedigree, bloodlines and kinship and lastly, colour.
- Ask to see and interact with the parents and/or other siblings and relatives. Ask the breeder what his goals are in doing this particular breeding and what he hopes to achieve. Ask for references from previous buyers and/or the breeder’s vet. You should ideally be able to see the mother of the puppies and in some cases the sire. If not, ask why (there may be a good reason), and if you can see photographs and speak to the current owner.
- Ask the breeder if any health testing has been performed on the parents of the puppies and if Hip and Elbow reports or scores are available. SABBS recommends that breeding dogs be tested for Hip and Elbow Dysplasia and Vaginal Hyperplasia (females only) prior to breeding. While testing does not guarantee that your puppy will grow up free of these painful and sometimes debilitating conditions, it may reduce the risk.
Insist on seeing (and receiving when you buy) the following documentation:
- The SABBS registration certificates of both the sire and dam of the dog that you are interested in. These certificates contain the pedigrees of three generations, the appraisal points of the parents, as well as the type of register in which they are registered (e.g. full, development or stud register).
- The SABBS birth certificate, if the dog is a puppy. This certificate contains the puppy’s pedigree information over five generations and allows you to have your dog appraised for registration as a Boerboel when it is at least one year old.
- Confirmation that the SABBS has DNA profiles of both parents. This is compulsory for all breeding dogs for the birth registration of their offspring.
- Confirmation that the dog has been micro-chipped. All puppies must have a microchip to receive a Birth Certificate, so it is important that this is done prior to the puppy or dog leaving the breeder.
- The parents’ test results for genetically hereditary diseases (e.g. hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, vaginal hyperplasia and entropion/ectropion - eye conditions). HD, ED, and VH testing is compulsory for development and stud register dogs.
- Veterinary certification that the dog’s inoculations are up to date.
- Enter into a sales agreement describing any terms of sale between you and the breeder. This will detail what your responsibilities are as a buyer and the breeder’s responsibilities as the seller. This is essential in any potential future disputes, and will be used by SABBS to mediate any solutions. It is also a legal document and could be produced in a court of law. SABBS has a recommended Concept Sales Agreement that breeders may adapt for their own use.
- SABBS recommends that puppies not be handed to the new owners, and separated from their mother and siblings before they are at least eight weeks old. The period six to nine weeks is vital for them to learn the basics of canine socialisation, and to be exposed to as many people of all ages as possible, as well as to different environments. Ask the breeder how they socialise their puppies.
- Check the import and export regulations of relevant countries if you will not be buying locally. Most breeders will have such information available or may be able to recommend a specialist agent to assist you.
- Ask the breeder if the puppy has or will be examined by a vet prior to you collecting or receiving it, and if the puppy has received the first or a series of vaccinations. Older dogs should be in possession of an up to date vaccination record endorsed by the breeder’s vet.
Ask the breeder for details of the deworming protocol they have followed. You will need this to determine a future deworming schedule with your vet.