16 Boerboels, professional table tennis, and law. All diff erent, but they mean something special to local Candidate Attorney, Ziyaad Issa, who has turned his enthusiasm for the Boerboel breed into much more than just having dogs.
“My Boerboel career started off as just owning them as pets/family members and for guarding purposes – now that has transitioned into showing and breeding the best dogs in the province and country,” he told Bloemfontein Courant.
Issa was gifted his first puppy in 2001 by his mother. Today, the founder of Bandit Boerboels is a proud ambassador of the Boerboel breed who owns 16 dogs on a plot in Groenvlei, Bloemfontein.
“The showing and breeding [of boerboels] started officially in 2014. I am now a fully-fledged registered breeder with the custodians of the breed SABBS (South African Boerboel Society), I now also serve as a board member of SABBS and have served as the Free State regional representative for the past two years,” he said.
He said the culture surrounding the love for this breed is about the network and relationships Boerboel lovers share when it comes to arranging events, and assistance when it comes to breeding.
“The Bloemfontein Boerboel culture only makes up part of the entire family of breeders that we are in the province since most are situated on farms throughout the province. It is now active with almost three events annually, from shows to appraisals, which is the grading of the dogs to see if they are eligible to breed with and to see if they meet the Boerboel standards as set out in our bylaws and constitution,” he explained.
Bandit Boerboels participated in The Heilbron Boerboel Show 2023 hosted at the Weltevrede Lion Farm earlier this month and according to him, it was historic. “We made a clean sweep by winning with every dog that we entered (seven in total) and also went on to winning some great accolades with the youngest male at the show, Bandit Hilux, at nine months old, won his age category, Junior Champion and Reserve Grand Champion Male,” he said.
Issa spoke so fondly of Bandit Hilux, describing him as one of those structurally sound dogs that move with attitude and have a presence when he walks up to you. He concluded by urging local animal lovers to conduct research before owning a large breed dog.
“Remember buying a puppy is a lifetime investment and a responsibility… We are open to mentor upcoming enthusiasts and we allow visitors to come play with our four-legged friends on appointment only.”
Interested locals can visit the Bandit Boerboels Facebook page for more information.