This was a regular on the Olympicdogs Menu, for a long time. And I suspect this or similar mixes to remain as such. A pure livestock guardian may be best for some applications involving vast expanses of terrain, bitter cold, huge flocks, long periods of isolation; nor subject to concerns such as, neighbors, imperfect fences, obedience, etc. But the need for a more versatile, less independent, stock guardian is an obvious one on many a smaller Ranch or Farm.
The Boerboel x Kangal cross is meant to be a more versatile livestock guardian, as good with children as stock, as inclined to obey as to protect. Suited to being on the porch or out in the pasture. And equally inclined to stick with livestock or children as the moment may require. A dog with enough coat to be comfortable outside in winter, enough sense to be welcome indoors with guests, and enough smarts and spine to meet a variety of threats in various circumstances.
It is meant to be the type of dog I might have, if I was living a rural life with livestock but only wanted one dog to protect the whole place. That is the type of dog we are after with this combination, although we may try it with other LGD and low prey drive mastiff as well.
The limiting factor in the usefulness and flexibility of livestock guardians as a rule is they are incurably, genetically, independent. Independent thinkers, independent operators. Consider them the opposite of biddable.
They don’t need your affection like a mastiff. Nor are they inclined to jump through hoops or become annoying trying to get it. But they are also more inclined to disobey, and roam, then many who traffic in them are want to admit. Wicked smart dogs mind you, just not yes men.
The boerboel is very nearly exactly the opposite in several key aspects. A good Boerboel is extremely biddable. And every one I’ve come across is as devoid of roam, as inclined to stick by its people, as any example of any breed I’ve known.
Personally, I find they can be almost annoying in their desire for one’s attention, needy really, under your feet, perpetually waiting or positioning themselves for the next command or pat on the head. And this worship of owner is also their limiting factor as livestock guardians, as they are unlikely to follow herbivores, if it takes them farther away from their people ( might not be a problem if they can see everything they need to guard from your porch ) So on those temperamental scores we split the difference in a Kangal x Boerboel cross.
Physically I believe they complement one another as well. The Boerboel, like most mastiffs, suffers from eye problems, entropion and ectropion. And, having observed so many fail to differentiate humans at relatively close range without a cooperative wind, I believe many do not see particularly well even when they don’t have symptomatic eye problems.
Anyone that’s had the pleasure to travel Turkey will know the rolling vistas in the herding country are vast and the flock guardians vary vigilant in their scanning. I’m amazed at what my kangal can see! His vision is clearly superior to any of the other dogs. So that is an area that the Kangal can help the Boerboel.
The mean Penn hip scores on the Kangal ( .45 ) suggest better hips than that of the boerboel mean ( .59 roughly the same as all mastiffs ) another area the Kangal might improve the Boerboel. And my Kangal male Oz has .28 .28, and Sevdi my kangal female .28 .28 which would help any mastiff.
But they also share common ground. The Boerboel literally translated from the Afrikaans means “big farm dog” so it stands to reason they couldn't be trying to kill the farm animals. Conditioned properly they can be left alone with stock. All of mine can be trusted left alone with goats, not to mention newborn goat kids,
If there's a better choice in a mastiff to mix with livestock guardian.... I haven't found it yet. It is with good reason this became our signature cross.