Appraisals/Boerboel Shows



This article is a basic description of what to expect at an Appraisal Day.  An appraisal is the process by which the SABT reviews the individual Boerboel and compares it to the SABT standard.  Each dog is assessed independently as to how well that particular dog meets each point and is NOT compared to other Boerboels as in a usual dog show.  At a dog show, there is always a first place no matter the quality of the dogs competing.  This is because you are only basing their worth according to the other dogs that are present at that time.  With an appraisal, each dog stands on its own merit as to how well it conforms to the SABT standard.

The Appraisal Day begins with the dog owners announcing the arrival of their dogs for the appraisal venue.   The event steward/coordinator should be given your dog’s birth certificate(s) if they have not been appraised previously.  You may also reappraise your dog as many times as you wish.  The current registration certificate will be given to the event coordinator.  The new appraisal result will be used for your dog’s registration.  The score may be higher or lower than the last time the dog was appraised.  There is no averaging of results.

Together with turning in an original birth or registrastion certificate to the event steward, the owner also needs to turn in his or her SABT account statement -- one that was generated on or before the date established by the board member.

You will be given a number for each dog to be appraised.  This number will be called when it is time to appraise that dog.  The dogs should be appraised in the order the numbers were given out, but may not always be in numeric order.  It helps to write down the name and number of the dog to be appraised if you have several.  If you are handling several dogs by yourself, be sure to ask the registrar to space your dogs out to give you time between the appraisals.

The appraisal will be performed with at least one Senior Appraiser in attendance along with Regular Appraiser(s) and possibly Apprentice Appraisers.  An apprentice appraiser can be any member that has expressed interest in becoming an appraiser.  They have taken and passed the Breeder’s Course.  Their participation is merely to learn and to observe and their appraisals are not taken into consideration for registration.  Regular Appraisers are those individuals who have taken and passed the Breeder’s Course/exam and who have appraised a minimum of 30 dogs as an apprentice appraiser.  After meeting these requirements they have also taken and passed the Appraisers course/exam.  They are required to appraise a minimum of 50 dogs per year to stay current as a Regular Appraiser.  Their appraisals are used for the registration of Boerboels, under the supervision of or in cooperation with a Senior Appraiser.  In special circumstances two Regular Appraisers may act alone in the ring.  The Senior Appraiser demonstrates exceptional knowledge of the breed and standard.  They have appraised a minimum of 100 Boerboels.  They are tested by a panel of Senior Appraisers and are given Senior status upon consensus of the board/panel.  A Senior Appraiser may appraise Boerboels without the need for the presence of another appraiser.

The appraisal will begin at the predetermined time.  The regional representative will make any opening statements and introduce the Senior and Regular Appraisers in attendance at the event.  The ring steward will announce the first dog to be appraised.  It is important that you do NOT give the Appraisers your dog’s kennel name upon introduction.  They are only to be given a call name (i.e. Lilly, Butch) and the dog’s age.  This is to rule out the possibility of bias if the appraiser knew the breeder’s name.  Also, an appraiser should not assess dogs from their own kennel for obvious reasons.  The dog should be a minimum of 12 months of age for appraisal.

Your dog should be comfortable on a leash and under your control at all times.  The appraiser(s) will instruct you where to walk your dog and what they would like you to do.  You will be asked to walk your dog in a straight line away from them and then back.  You will be asked to trot your dog (not run) in order to view the top line and gait of the dog.  At some point you will be asked to open your dog’s mouth so that they can view the bite and condition of the mouth/teeth.  You should keep walking your dog in front of the appraiser(s) unless they ask you to stop so that they may continue to review the various parts of the dog more easily.  You are allowed to ask the appraiser(s) questions.

As you are having your dog appraised, you will hear the Appraisers discussing the various points on your dog and the words “correct”, “acceptable” or “fault” may be heard.  This indicates the ruling they have made on a particular point they are assessing at the time.  There are 72 points that are assessed on each dog.  Each area is given a certain number of points and different areas are weighed more heavily based on their importance.  If your dog is “correct” for a particular item then they receive a “+” or “positive” score.  If they are “acceptable” for the particular item then they receive a (0) zero and if they have a fault on a characteristic, then they receive a (-) negative for that characteristic on the appraisal sheet.

If you do receive any “faults” it is not something to be ashamed of or disappointed in – it does not mean your dog is not like other Boerboels!  As a breeder you are trying to improve the Boerboel and create the “perfect” Boerboel.  The appraisal will point out objectively the good things about your dog and the things you need to make better.  It is an excellent tool to review and use when selecting a prospective mate for your dog to bring out the best in both of them.  The total number of points adds up to 100 for the theoretically perfect Boerboel.  The minimum number of points necessary in order to have your Boerboel receive a breeding registration, is 75%.  This is what people are referring to when they say their Boerboel has an SABT “score” of 80.5% - when their dog was appraised, the appraisal mark achieved was a total of 80.5 out of a possible 100.  If your Boerboel does not meet the minimal point requirements then it was determined that it does not have enough of the Boerboel traits necessary to make it a good candidate as a potential breeding dog.  It will be disqualified and any offspring will be ineligible for registration.

When the appraisal of your Boerboel is complete, you will be given a copy of the appraisal form with the notes and handwritten score for your dog right away.  Another copy will be sent to the SABT office along with your dog’s birth certificate (the ring steward will ensure the correct forms are placed together).  You will be sent the registration form after SABT has time to process the information.  Your dog’s appraisal score and actual appraisal breakdown by the 72 points assessed will be present on this registration certificate along with the name of the Appraisers who performed the appraisal.  Turn around time varies.  The forms will not be turned in to SABT until the appraisers return from the US (at least 2 or 3 weeks before they reach the SABT office).  Then another month should be allowed to process the forms and reconcile the accounts.  If you have any questions on the timeframe please contact your US/Canadian Board Member for more information.

Some notes on appraisal etiquette:

  • All dogs must have a collar that cannot slip off – choker chains or regular collars that fit snugly are acceptable.
  • Dogs must be leashed or crated at all times.  Dogs may not be left unattended for any length of time.  No dogs may be tied out at any time.
  • If you have a bitch in heat, please notify the ring steward.  Your dog will be appraised at the end of the session so as not to interfere with the appraisal of the other dogs present.  A dog with its nose to the ground or a distracted dog is not at an advantage and is difficult to assess properly.
  • Please do not distract dogs in the appraisal ring.  Do not keep your dog near the entrance to the ring or block the entrance/exit.  If you have a noisy or barking dog please remove it from the appraisal area so it does not disrupt the participants.
  • Keep an eye on your dog at all times.  Do not allow your dog to come into contact with another person’s Boerboel UNLESS you have asked permission first.  If permission is not granted please respect their wishes.  Be prepared that even if you have a social butterfly Boerboel, it is possible they may not like every dog they meet (or be liked by every dog).
  • Always ASK prior to petting someone’s Boerboel.
  • Responsible ownership begins by being responsible.