About us

A world-class training facility, 29 years in the making.

It was in 1989 that Matthew Berry was called up for National Service and joined the SANDF Dog School; he did not know it at the time, but this was to be the base of Boavida as it is known today. It is here at the SANDF where he met Blaze, his yellow Labrador, a competent tracker dog, and partner in the field.

The rest is history.

It was during this time that Matthew Berry envisioned a team of dog trainers, each specialising in their respective fields, coming together to build the ultimate dog training facility.

Of course that visioned has evolved since those early days, but Boavida’s reputation for results orientated solutions grew steadily in KwaZulu-Natal where it all began. In 2016 we saw the opening of our 650 hectare Gauteng facility. Here we provide comprehensive, balanced training and behaviour modification programs for dogs and their owners.

In keeping with modern, predominantly positive training techniques and the latest advancements in understanding canines, at Boavida we see ourselves at the forefront of understanding how dogs think.

Focus on cutting-edge training methods

Over the past 26 years Matthew has been involved with dogs and dog training on many levels. Ranging from behavioural ecology and ethology to training military dogs, hunting dogs, herding dogs, and many more.

Through the progressive shifts in canine understanding and his own experiences, Matthew has made the shift from military style training to a predominantly positive reinforcement approach, balanced with behaviour management and socialising systems.

Matthew has found that the positive reinforcement approach is a much kinder and more humane method of training. It was not easy making the change, having grown up with the old system, but through constant learning and training, it was possible. We are able to guide you through this change too, which both you and your dog will benefit from.

For more than 13 years the positive training system has been the base from which the entire Boavida team operates. All of our new trainers are quickly brought up to speed with our methods under the watchful eye of one of our experienced trainers.

We have found the incidence of social problems, as well as undesirable behaviour, to be much less with the positive training method. This reinforces our reason for making the switch so many years ago.

With our training at Boavida we always aim to guide the trainer and dog towards a well balanced, positive relationship with each other. By sticking to a predominantly positive approach, good socialisation, and good leadership principles, you and your dog will soon learn to become a well versed team.

Running sustainable wingshooting safaris

We offer Eastern Cape Grey-winged Francolin shoots – the champagne of South African gamebirds. We also offer a number of mixed bag shoots in the North West and Limpopo provinces. Our mixed bag shoots normally consist of francolin, spurfowl, guineafowl, and waterfowl. We do also offer specialised waterfowl shoots.