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The South African Mastiff Boerboel 

This breed is popular in South Africa.  The word ” Boer” comes from the Afrikaans word for a “farmer’. The word ‘Boel” is a very old Afrikaans slang word for “dog”. The Boerboel was bred  in South Africa specifically for the protection of farmers and their families on farms in the Eastern Transvaal, the Free State and other parts of South Africa.This breed used to protect farmers and their families from lions and other wildlife.

In the early 1900’s the Englishmen brought Bulldogs and Mastiffs into South Africa and some of these dogs were bred into the Boerboel population. In the early 80’s a serious search started again for the original Boer dog which covered large parts of Southern Africa. Two hundred and fifty “Boer” dogs were found and only seventy – two selected to be registered. Selective breeding started and finally the dog of the old South African pioneers was ready to be registered as a pure breed. These dogs are now registered with the South African Boerboel Association.

South African Mastiff

Big strong breed

Well- balanced dog with good strong muscle development

Swift in movement

Reliable, obedient and intelligent

Strong watch- dog instinct

Self- assured, fearless and perceptive to the needs of the family

Weight: 110-176 lb

Height: 24-28 inches (males)  22-25 (females)

Life Expectancy: 9-11 years

Coloring: With or without a black mask, fawns, blacks, reds, brown, brindle, piebald and Irish markings.

“His pioneer owner required him to be a friend of the family, a worker, and to 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.”

Excerpt from the history of the breed from Molosser world’s website.

Health: This breed has good health, nonetheless they may suffer from hip dysplasia, vaginal hyperplasia, ectropion and entropion. Epilepsy affects this breed if they are very stressed out, and is also caused by metabolic changes. Unfortunately, this breed’s life expectancy is only around ten years.


Like any Mastiff, the Boerboel requires plenty of consistent positive training and socialization. They do not do well being left alone and thrive on being part of the family. Boerboel’s also need large areas in which to run and play. They don’t thrive being cooped up in an apartment or small home. This may lead to aggressiveness.

The Boerboel as a breed is very intelligent and needs to be mentally stimulated and exercised vigorously every day. Although this breed is known to be sensitive and good with children, as with any dog breed, it’s advised that all small children be supervised when around the Boerboel.

I grew up with at least 6 Boerboel’s on our farm in Nelspruit, South Africa and have never had a problem with any these wonderful and courageous dogs.

Unfortunately the Boerboel has been banned from the following countries:

France, Iowa, USA, Malaysia, Qatar, Geneva, Switzerland, Mauritius and Bermuda.






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Claudia Bensimoun

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All dogs love reunions with humans and other dogs and often offer funny, intelligent and heartwarming welcomes.

What To Expect When Family Members Arrive Home After a Long Period of Time

Allow your dog to sniff, welcome and jump around in joy. Give your dog the time to approach and sniff, explore and welcome each new family member or dog that returns home. If the family member has been away for a long period of time, such as returning from Iraq or a long trip overseas or sickness at the hospital, your dog will take longer becoming accustomed to their return. Jumping up and embracing is the canine way of showing affection. Should the family member still be recovering from an illness or injury, avoid overwhelming your dog and give your canine some interactive toys, prior to the family member returning home.

What You Can Do To Prevent Over -Excitement

Keep your dog on a leash during reunions if the person is elderly, very young or recovering from an illness or injury. Be sure to settle your dog down and stay calm and relaxed. All pooches feel the excitement or stress of a new situation.

Take your dog for a long walk or to the dog park or beach before members arrive home. This will ensure that Fido will have used up all his energy and will be ready to focus quietly on all arrivals. Have a ready supply of treats and praise for your dog once he settles down.

Barking, jumping up and canine hugging are genuine terms of affection. After about twenty minutes your dog should settle down and relax.Canines love to reunite.

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Air Force Sergeant and Military Dog Reunion

Nina Ottosson Dog & Cat Treat Puzzles

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Peanut Allergy -Sniffing Dogs

Peanut Allergy-Sniffing Service Dogs



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Talk about peanut allergy-sniffing dogs to any special needs family, and they’ll want to know more.

  • These special needs canines perform passive alert and response.
  • They are trained to sit for any response to peanuts.
  • Peanut detector dogs are trained to identify allergens in the vicinity and alert their owner.
  • The special needs child or adult will ask the peanut-sniffing canine to “show me,” and the dog will point to the peanut contaminated item.

Special needs children learn how to become independent and have more freedom with the help of these special dogs. Did you know that some special needs families avoid social functions and public areas so as to minimize peanut exposure? These range from foods, lotions with nut oils to library books, and can be a potential allergy trigger and life threatening. Peanut-sniffing dogs dogs are a powerful tool for the protection of people and children with allergies.

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Allergy Sniffing Dogs: Could Your Child Benefit?

Angel Service Dogs


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Fido’s Spa Day! Nurturing Fido With Rooibos Tea!

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Does your dog sometimes itch or have the occasional hot spot?

Most dogs will have fleas at some stage in their lifetime, regardless of whether they are taking Frontline or any other flea medication. Chances are that you’ve discovered these little critters and have just about tried everything. Here’s what I’ve discovered. An instant flea relief organic shampoo. Rooibos tea and Castille organic soap. Although dipping your furry friend in luke warm Rooibos tea as a final rinse will deter any future fleas, the combination of the Castille soap with grapeseed oil and the Rooibos tea is tremendously effective, and does help.

Rooibos Tea

Rooibos is made from an African Bush, and not a tea leaf, so it is naturally decaffeinated. It has low tannin levels compared to other teas, and contains phenolic compounds including flavonones and dihydrochakones.  Rooibos also assists with nervous tension, allergies and digestive problems in dogs.It is used for dermatological problems in both humans and animals.

Used as a natural skin cleanser for dogs and an anti- itch dip, this tea is easy to use, as well as being one hundred percent biodegradable and organic.

Small dog  organic homemade flea dip. For large dogs double up on ingredients.

  • Rooibos tea  – 6 organic  tea bags. Make a warm brew, and allow for it to cool down before using.
  • Chamomile
  • 3 drops grapeseed oil
  • Castille organic soap/shampoo obtainable from any Whole Foods or organic store.
  • 3 drops coconut oil will give a bubbly lather .

This homemade organic dog shampoo has no dyes, no parabens, and no alcohol, no salt or phosphorous, and is one hundred percent biodegradable, organic and safe.

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Woofs & Wags!

Rooibos Tea Wikipedia

Rooibos Tea as an Anti-Carcinogen

Rooibos Tea- A Healing Brew For You and Your Dog. Animal Wellness Magazine by Claudia Bensimoun


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For more: Animal Wellness magazine


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Dogs And Depression

Depression doesn’t only happen to pet parents. It also affects our dogs.

Change in environment:  Any change can create stress and depression in your dog. Visit your shelter and you’ll come across shy and scared dogs. These dogs will not bark excitedly when they see you, but will seek shelter at the back of their runs. Serious emotional trauma affects many shelter dogs that wait for their families for months or even years. These dogs will not eat, suffer from anxiety and will tend to sleep a lot. Even after being adopted, these dogs have to form new bonds.

Change of schedule: Less exercise in a dog’s daily routine is a sure depression inducer, since less endorphins are produced. These endorphins have an important role in our dog’s sense of well- being. Keep your pooch well-exercised!

Change of status in bonding with their humans: Tests have revealed that behavioral reactions in a small child and canine are similar. Separate Fido from his family, and you’ll have a depressed pooch. Depression can be helped by taking your dog to the vet and getting an anti-depressant like doggie Prozac. This is because there are the same biochemical processes that happen to both humans and canines alike. Aromatherapy works as well!  A combination of exercise and aromatherapy is often favored!

Change of behavior patterns. This is often seen in depressed canines. Submissive patterns of behavior such as that seen in a low ranking dog will become evident. Look for tail down, slow gait, loss of appetite… Bonding with their families is an expression of canine love. Should a change occur such as a death of a family member, loss of attention or affection, your dog will be emotionally affected. Emotional identification in your dog connects all families with their furry best friends. Should this connection be broken, depression will set in.

Change in canines social circles. The death of your dog’s best friend or house-mate is hard. Humans feel it too. Canines will refuse to go out for a walk, will refuse to eat and become depressed. Research has shown that pain of a loss and death are two separate concepts for canines. Children only understand death at around age eight. Canines will feel death and behave in ways that humans do, that suggest grieving. A new addition to the canine home pack will bring on feelings of jealousy and anxiety, possibly expressed as disgust or disdain towards the new puppy or canine. If too much attention is placed on the new canine family member, disdain can turn into depression, and if not looked into very quickly, this condition can last for months. One has to look at all the variables within the canine family home, to see if there are any contributing factors aiding in his depression.

Changes in health. Sometimes canine depression is brought on by illness. Make sure that your pooch has regular visits to the vet and a full physical at least once every year. Brain chemistry can be affected by your dog’s sense of smell. Certain odors will improve his mood by changing your canine’s brain chemistry, so that it produces proteins, making your dog feel feel good. Lavender can used to induce relaxation.

Changes that one can make to help ease depression in canines

Whether one is a shelter volunteer, or has been recently affected by doggie depression, there are a few suggestions that may ease the pain.

Introduce your canine to the pack at the dog park. Initially your dog may be shy or just too depressed, but encouraging him to play ball or Frisbee will help to get those endorphins going. Even a slight wag  from your pooch is a sure sign that things are improving.

Making him a home- cooked meal with his favorite ingredients.

Extra trips  to the dog beach! Alone time with your furry friend!  

 Canine massage! Any holistic vet can recommend one.

Trips to Petco or any petstore with Fido is similar to that of taking your children toy shopping. There are many great interactive canine toys on the market.

Dogs have emotional ups and downs. As long as we are committed to helping these lows, and creating effective changes in Fido’s environment, canine depression can be cured.


Pet Care RX Signs of Depression in Dogs

Pet Health and Care

Dog Depression After Surgery



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Each cat’s unique personality simply demands a quest for unique shopping trends. No matter what the breed, shopping for your feline should be a unique experience, customized according to your cat’s personality and behavioral traits. The holidays are a fun time for your discerning feline and every cat expects that special gift.

Whether your feline is a casual sunbather or a hyper-active feline fatale, feline owners can make this time a fun shopping experience for the whole family. No more breed type shopping choices. Different feline personalities crave different sorts of stimuli. Some cats that are quiet and laid back are just waiting for that purrrfect cat blanket. Whether it’s made from fleece, plush polyester or a thermal material, there are many colors to choose from that would blend with his personality.Cat collars can also be matched up with blankets and this makes a great gift. Should you happen to live where it snows a heated blanket for the car and homes are also options.

Forget Petsmart. These felines deserve exclusivity. Shop online from around the world. New colors, new fabrics and different interactive toys are options for your felines. from Paris translates each feline gift into a Parisian adventure. carries unique Australian feline products. Many choices with great prices. is a virtual animal house and has great cat play tunnels from Ancol.

Shopping online for your feline demands that you research your products and check for toy safety. Buying right according to your feline’s age is necessary and important. Not all safety regulations apply in each country. Kittens also require different sorts of stimuli and all  gifts bought for these little felines, must be checked for durability and safety.

If you’re the kind of person that enjoys taking skiing trips with your pets, buying your feline a plane ticket and booking into a pet friendly ski resort, works wonders for that inquisitive feline that’s always in need of adventure. Bring along a trendy new pet carrier and some interactive toys for the flight and hotel. Your cat will be purring forever. Most cats enjoy a change of scenery and with today’s pet friendly ski resorts and hotels, this can be tons of fun for the family.

Interactive toys bought locally can also be great, if selected and bought specifically with your cat’s personality in mind. Do not buy any feline interactive toy. Remind yourself that your feline is as picky and as unique as you are.

-The Roll and Pop Cat Ball $10.99 allows for you and your cat to share playtime fun. Small mice pop in and out of this toy’s peek holes. This toy is great for the loud purrer’s that crave attention all the time. It’s a firm favorite and fun for all ages.

-Ball of Furry Fury $6.99.This feline toy brings out the hunter in them.Suits felines that are arrogant and pretend not to care.

-Cat Toy Mixed Mice. By Petbliss. It is small enough to hold in their mouths and they can proudly wonder around showing off their kill. Great for the inquisitive feline.

-Da Bird. Feather Cat Interactive Toy. This is suitable for the shy, demure feline that needs encouraging to get going. Da Bird has a twirling feather action .It is a bird-like flying contraption that will unleash the “cheetah within” your feline.

-Feathered Pole Cat Toy. This is a firm favorite for kittens and felines that have plenty of energy and do not want to stray too far.

-Kong Cat Zoom Groom by Amazing Animal is a cat massager that acts like a comb too. Your feline will simply purr with delight. It also removes extra fur and should be a must have for all cats alike.

– Slimcat Green by Petsafe is for the fun loving and animated feline that wants her treats right away.

–  Fur Mouse with sound on an elastic by Petbliss comes with an elastic string. This means that the mouse bounces all over the place and the mouse toy inside makes noises .Kitty thinks there’s a live mouse around.

-Lock- a –Price Toy Box $17.99 makes it a challenge for your feline to paw, pounce and hunt for toys. Great for the aloof and suspicious feline that does not want to interact at times.

Felines and their families can have the same enjoyment and fun at during the holidays. Wrap all your feline’s gifts up in many layers of brightly colored tissue paper and always remember to remove all the bows. Let Kitty have holiday fun unwrapping all his gifts . Buying right for your feline has never been easier. Each cat’s unique personality simply demands a unique gift at this time.

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Woofs & Wags!


Does Your Cat Get Depression in Winter? Catster by Claudia Bensimoun

Cat Toys

Amazon Cat Toys

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