Interview with Fernando Moreno, Breeder of Qubitron Boerboels
Where do I live? How many years in dogs? How many years as a breeder?
Fernando Moreno: I live in a small central Texas town called Moody. Dogs have always been a part of my life. I grew up with Miniature Pinschers. As an adult I gathered a love for large breeds after owning a Bullmastiff, and got into Boerboels in 2012. After learning and devoting time to being mentored, I’m in my first year as a breeder.
What is my kennel name? How many dogs do I currently keep?
Fernando Moreno: Our kennel name is Qubitron Boerboels (Cue-bit-Ron). We currently have seven dogs.
Which show dogs from the past have been my noteworthy winners?
Fernando Moreno: We have had many wonderful dogs to include in the foundation of Qubitron. All of the dogs from the beginning were imported, many from the COO.
Noteworthy dogs include:
- GCH CH Afrika Qubitron CGC CGCA TKN—the namesake of the kennel. A direct import from South Africa from an award-winning breeder there, Karlien Greef of Afrika Boerboels. “Q” as we call him went on to a Grand Champion Select at Westminster 2019
- GCH CH Qubitron Deliver Us from Evil—“Preacher” is our first home-bred champion to be invited to Westminster, going Select at Westminster in 2021, AOM 2022. Preacher was also No. 1 Boerboel for 10 months out of the year in 2021
- GCH CH Afrika Rosita—a direct import from South Africa who completed her championship fast, a serious dog that represents the breed to a “T”
- CH Qubitron She’s the Bomb—“Mac” is Preacher’s sister and producer of my first litter of Boerboel puppies, and the proud mother of 18 beautiful baby Boels!
Which have been my most influential sires and dams?
Fernando Moreno: I’m a big believer in a foundation built on strong dams. Preacher and Mac’s mother was the beginning of that for me—she is CH Tigerberg Stentora CGC. “DaVee” was the first mega-producer for us, also giving us 18 beautiful puppies. Among these were Preacher and Mac. DaVee herself was also from a litter of 17 puppies. As a Boerboel, DaVee has a lot of attributes we never want to sacrifice. One of these is her stunning topline, firm and level, even in motion. I knew she would be a strong foundation. Mac held true to that theory and is our current mega-producer.
Can I talk a bit about my facilities? Where are my puppies whelped? How are they raised?
Fernando Moreno: Qubitron Boerboels is seen in two states. I am in central Texas, and my partner and mentor, Victoria Clausell, is in Detroit, Michigan. We both have different ways of living with our dogs, which has proven their versatility to us time and time again. I live on 20 acres in the beautiful Texas Hill Country on a small farm. I have several large dog runs/yards when dogs need to be contained. They have their individual crates indoors, but on Rancho Moreno the Boerboels get to roam the farm like true farm dogs. They spend a lot of time running the field since they have that. In Detroit, the dogs live a more suburban lifestyle. They do just as well going to dog-friendly malls and parks. Plus, the people at the Eastern Market and Riverwalk in downtown Detroit get a kick out of the giants on a stroll.
Puppies are whelped at home. “Victoria” is a whelping machine. When it’s whelping time, the whelping box comes out and the many, many, many hours of dedication begin. We set up a security camera to have “eyes” on the babies at all times, even if she is there. Puppies are absolutely hand-raised. We do a lot of different stimulation exercises and introduce new and different sensory toys during their development. We have their temperaments evaluated at roughly seven weeks to ensure that we are placing puppies accordingly. With large litters, we also ensure that we are there 24/7 to aid the mother in properly supplementing puppies.
What is my “process” for selecting show puppies? At what age do I make my decisions?
Fernando Moreno: I start by reading the standard again. I refresh my memory and criticize my own interpretation first. They need to fit the standard; structure, structure, structure. I want to make sure I’m making a sound decision. I look at the dogs objectively. For me, a “show dog” needs to have spark; something about the puppy typically commands attention. I spend several hours with the puppies just watching them. The process is simple; just watch them. A true show dog always stands out. I like to make a final call at roughly eight weeks of age.
How do I prepare my pups for the show ring? Does my breed require any special preparation?
Fernando Moreno: We socialize them like crazy! Boerboels are naturally an aloof breed and if they don’t meet people consistently at an early age you will see this aloofness much more. We take them out to several different environments. I always love going to a Home Depot as they have so much going on inside. We also try to get them in the ring early so that they are familiar with the process of showing and being “touched.” The main part of preparation is stated above; a well-socialized dog is an important piece. This is an easy breed to keep and prepare. We keep them clean and that’s about it. I like to keep my dogs’ nails nice and trim, so they get a weekly nail trim. Condition should reflect that of an agile and athletic dog.
Can I share my thoughts on how my breed is currently presented in the show ring?
Fernando Moreno: The fact that we have low counts makes this difficult to decipher. There simply isn’t enough representation. There is a lot of inconsistency in breed type at this current time; however, the few who do show their Boerboels are doing a wonderful job of presenting their dogs.
Are there any health-related concerns within my breed? Any special nutritional needs?
Fernando Moreno: Yes, with any large Molosser breed we need to be careful and watchful of orthopedic issues. These are large dogs, and as puppies they grow very fast. It’s important to not overload them on a high-protein diet. Most Mastiff people will tell you the same. We like to keep them lean and light at an early age, as a Boerboel will be large in the end without having to feed the size.
In my opinion, is my breed in good condition overall? Any trends that warrant concern?
Fernando Moreno: I feel the breed is on the cusp of concern. We have a lot of wonderful dogs and breeders doing wonderful things with their programs/dogs; however, the quest for the largest dog seems to be the trend. It’s hard to escape the craze for a “bigger, badder” dog. I see so many people who want “the biggest puppy” and the “alpha puppy” but have no clue. In the COO, I see the breed getting very large and overdone and unable to perform its job. We have to be careful and stay the course. If you’re going to breed large, it needs to remain functional and true to the standard.
Is my breed well-suited to be a family dog? Who are the best candidates to own my breed?
Fernando Moreno: The Boerboel, when raised and socialized properly, is a wonderful family companion. They love to be with their children and they are clowns. Some of my best nanny dogs have been Boerboels. You’ll hear many people reference them as “velcro dogs.” Boerboels love their people and will stop at nothing to keep them safe. The best homes for a Boerboel are homes with a strong, confident, leader-type. This isn’t a breed for beginners. Boerboels are extremely strong and very smart. You should have a good understanding of dog behavior and body language. Boerboels shouldn’t be unpredictable. That being said, you need to be prepared for the strength and power behind this guardian breed. They are a breed that requires rules and boundaries and a firm hand.
Do I feel that my breed is supported by a sufficient number of preservation breeders?
Fernando Moreno: Mmmm… I think there could be more, but I think we have a lot of people breeding without direction. The world doesn’t need a bunch of dog breeders. It needs a few good people with the right intentions and the ability to work without biases.
For a bit of fun, what’s the most amusing thing I’ve ever experienced with my breed?
Fernando Moreno: It’s always fun retelling the story of being dragged around by a giant dog, isn’t it? These are some REALLY strong dogs, and I have countless stories of being pulled down and turned into a human sled—if that’s amusing? It catches you off-guard for the moment, but the sheer power to be able to do this effortlessly is the crazy part.
Are you looking for a Boerboel puppy?
The best way to ensure a long and happy relationship with a purebred dog is to purchase one from a responsible breeder. Not sure where to begin finding a breeder? Contact the National Parent Club’s Breeder Referral person, which you can find on the AKC Breeder Referral Contacts page.
Want to help rescue and re-home a Boerboel dog?
Did you know nearly every recognized AKC purebred has a dedicated rescue group? Find your new best friend on the AKC Rescue Network Listing.
Boerboel Dog Breed Magazine
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