Boerboels at the Shooting Range

I took the dogs to the shooting range today. Azaan was there last year, and I know she is okay with loud noises, including gunfire, thunderstorms and fireworks. This was Jaf's first trip to the shooting range, so I wasn't sure what to expect. I think he did great! I was very happy that he wasn't nervous or shy around the gunfire. We walked right down where the action was, and Jaf took it all in stride. Jaf experienced his first thunderstorm last weekend when we were in Southern Pines, North Carolina, and he slept through it. Both dogs are environmentally stable, and both have a good temperament.

This shooting range is part of the State Game Lands that is a few miles from where I live. It was a beautiful 70 degree day in Southwestern Pennsylvania. We don't get many warm days in March, so everyone is out enjoying the weather! One of the shooters walked over to talk to us and to inquire about the dogs. He has a female Cane Corso that he rescued as a puppy.

Please excuse the quality of this video. I was trying to hold the dogs in one hand and shoot the video with the other hand. Both dogs were wearing a flat collar. It isn't easy to shoot a video with one hand while holding over 250+ pounds of dogs with the other!

My Tracks - Motorola Droid

Our snow has finally melted in Southwestern Pennsylvania and we have been having warm, sunny weather! One of the things I like to do is head to the woods with the dogs. They love it, and I must admit that I enjoy it too. It is good exercise for all of us.

I recently purchased a Motorola Droid to replace the Treo that I accidentally ran over with the van. I downloaded a free program called "My Tracks", and I used it for the first time today. What a cool little tool!

My Tracks is a program that records your GPS tracks and shows live statistics such as time, speed, distance and elevation while you are hiking, cycling, running or any other outdoor activity. Some people I know have used it while foxhunting, and others use it while riding their motorcycle or quad. I took it into the woods, and I was surprised that it picked up my GPS location within about 30 seconds and never lost track of me. It gives you the option to upload the "track" to the internet to share with friends or to keep the history on Google Maps. You can also keep the track record stored on your phone. You can name the track, what you were doing (hiking, walking, running, cycling, horseback riding, etc.), add a description, etc.

I got lost in this section of the woods several years ago with one of my Bandogs. With this tool, I was able to make sure that I was headed in the right direction when I turned around to head back. (It is very easy to get lost in the woods.) I got off course for a short distance, and noticed that I was going in the wrong direction from where I needed to go. I turned around, and then my track started to head towards the track I made when I wallked in.

The statistics told me how far I walked, how fast, the elevations and the elevation gain. Of course, the dogs went further and faster than I did since they run circles around me! It still gave me a good idea of how far we went so that I can track progress.

In case anyone is wondering, I walked about 2 miles today with an elevation gain of 641 feet. My maximum speed was 4.72 mph. This was our first walk in several months because of the heavy snowfall in February, so I wanted to make sure that we didn't go too far. I am considering buying a backpack for one of the dogs so that I can track the miles and speed they get doing the same track. I will just need to make sure that the backpack is waterproof!

A Frigid Swim

I was on my way back from a trip from Pennsylvania to Rockingham, NC to a race that my brother was participating in when I stopped at Jefferson National Forest in Virginia to let the dogs out for a potty break in the mountains. Azaan loves water, but wasn't happy just to wade in it. The water was freezing! There was still some snow on the ground that had not melted, and trust me that the water was icy. Brrrrr. One crazy dog.

We logged 1,014 miles in a period of 3 days (Friday through Sunday). It was about an 8-1/2 hour trip one-way. The Jefferson National Forest in Virginia is about 5 miles north of Wytheville, Virginia. It is about half-way on our trip from Pennsylvania to North Carolina, and it is a good stop for the dogs to get some exercise and stretch their legs.

Well-Muscled Boerboel Puppy

The history of the original Boerboel Farm Dog was that these dogs were used for utilitarian farm purposes -- protection against man and beast, herding and moving of livestock, etc. There is some concern that too many breeders are breeding for the marketing dollar -- what the public wants. Typically the buying public is looking for the largest dog they can find. No one knows why, other than the myth that a larger dog is more formidable, and therefore better. The problem is that if a breeder breeds for one quality -- size as an example, it will be to the detriment of the other qualities that make a Boerboel a Boerboel.

The Boerboel is supposedly the most athletic of the Mastiff breeds. This is true, to an extent. If current breeders continue to breed for "type" and don't sacrifice the original qualities of the Boerboel, then the Boerboel will continue to be a very athetic dog. If breeders start trying to follow the alimighy buck just to sell more puppies, then the Boerboel could be in trouble. We all know that the English Mastiff is pretty much an overgrown behemoth that has trouble getting out of its own way. My motto is that if you want a HUGE dog, get an English Mastiff, and be done with it! I like Mastiffs, don't get me wrong. I think they make great pets, they are reliable and they are great in a family lifestyle. I love my Boerboels, and I hope that breeders continue to breed for the traits that make a Boerboel a Boerboel.

These photos show Jaf (Quo Vadis Barracuda) from Quo Vadis Boerboels in South Africa, on his 8-month birthday. He is one well muscled 8-month-old puppy!

Boerboel Puppy - 1 Day Shy of 8 Months Old

Jaf (Quo Vadis Barracuda) is just 1 day shy of 8-months old in these photos. He is such a fun boy to have around, although he can be a handful. He is very active -- definitely not a couch potato! I take the dogs out several times per day for exercise. These photos were taken on February 27, 2010. I am a little bit late in posting them to this blog.

Boerboels Playing in the Snow

These photos were taken on February 25th. We have had the 3rd snowiest month in history in this area. The dogs don't seem to mind it, and enjoy playing in it. Jaf is not quite 8 months old in these photos.

Azaan with her coffee can toy. Azaan is 27 months old in these photos.

Jaf tries to stalk Azaan. There is a crusty layer of snow underneath, and then fresh snowfall on top. It makes it tricky to walk on. I can't wait for Spring!

Can you believe the size of this boy? Azaan is a fairly big girl, and Jaf is nearly her size, and he is not quite 8 months old. The breeder wasn't breeding for size either. Jaf's Mom, Mizpah Minnie, is a petite but athletic Boerboel.

Live Webcam of Boerboel Puppies

In case you are bored, here is a live webcam of a litter of Boerboel puppies...

These are not my puppies! I just liked the webcam.