The Boerboel is a large working molosser breed of dog from South Africa. The word "boerboel" derives from "boer", the Afrikaans/Dutch word for "farmer"; boerboel thus translates as either "farmer's dog" or "Boer's dog" in Afrikaans/Dutch. There is a lengthy history of breeding the boerboel in South Africa, where the dog was bred with the purpose of guarding the homestead. While it is uncertain from which breeds the dog originated, it is postulated that the dog derived from interbreeding of indigenous African species with breeds brought from Dutch, French and British settlers. The dog is a heavy mastiff breed with characteristic sand colouration with a black mask, and a height that varies from 64-70 centimetres for males, and 59-65 for females. They are obedient and intelligent, and have strong territorial instincts, particularly in domestic situations. By nature, the Boerboel is confident and dominant in its environment, but requires human companionship; if left alone for regular extended periods, they can become destructive, reckless and dangerous.