Boerboel Dog Breed: Characteristic, Health & Fun Facts!

You’d be correct if you thought the large, intimidating Boerboel would make a wonderful watchdog. This breed is known for being tolerant and family-oriented, especially with small children.

These gigantic guardians provide precious companionship in addition to protecting South African farmers’ crops from lions, hyenas, and other hazardous predators. These dogs are aggressive and territorial, and they frequently pull and chew. They need an owner who has ample space for dogs that need exercise.

Boerboel Dog Breed

About The Breed

Only the Boerboels’ dedication to their homes and families equals their physical tenacity. The Boerboel breed’s forebears were the dogs that Dutch settlers brought to South Africa to guard them against jackals, tigers, leopards, and other terrible predators.

They are now admired for their abilities as watchdogs, protectors, dog competition participants, and passionately devoted family pets who adore kids.

If they are not properly socialized and taught, they might become extremely aggressive and exhibit aggressive tendencies toward humans and other dogs.

Boerboels require regular mental and physical training. They have a strong need for mental and physical stimulation because of their high intelligence and remarkable agility for their size.

Boerboel Dog Breed History

The term “Boerboel” was created in South Africa during the 1600s by Dutch settlers. They were essential to safeguard the farm and hunt dangerous creatures like jackals, chimpanzees, tigers, and other big cats.

Over a long period, large, strong dogs brought to South Africa by European immigrants bred with domestic dogs from the region and several other breeds.

Additionally, the English brought Bulldogs and Mastiffs, which were bred with Boerboels, to produce the present breed.

Bull Mastiffs were also brought in by the Da Beers diamond mining company to protect its mines. Unknown breeds may have contributed to the Boerboel’s history, but only the most resilient dogs could withstand the harsh environment.

Boerboel Dog Breed Job Card/Overview

Breed Name Boerboel
Dog Breed TypeMixed Breed Dogs
OriginSouth Africa 
Parent BreedsBoer dogs are bred with South African mastiff dogs.
Height22 to 28 inches.
Weight 110 to 200 pounds.
Life Expectancy10 to 12 years.
Coat Typethick, voluminous undercoats which are covered by short, sleek, soft, and lustrous overcoats.
Common Colorsblack, fawn, brindle, brown, and red
Grooming NeedsModerate Grooming Needs
Temperamentfriendly, tolerant, and strong.
Apartment Livingnot ideal for Apartment living.
Pet FriendlyYes
Exercise RequirementsHigh
Tendency to Droollow tendency 
Intelligence LevelQuite Intelligent
Energy LevelAverage 
What To Know
• The dogs are calm, loving, and protective. They’re great family dogs, but early socializing helps them be comfortable with different people and situations.

• These dogs are big and strong, with males weighing 140-200 pounds. Training from an early age is important to handle their strength, and they need regular exercise to stay happy.

• These dogs have short coats that are easy to care for with regular brushing. Keep their ears, eyes, and nails clean for overall health.

• Watch out for common health issues like hip problems and heart conditions. Regular vet check-ups and a good diet are key to keeping them healthy.

• These dogs are smart and respond well to positive training. Show them you’re in charge from the beginning to prevent behavior problems. Obedience training is good for their safety and everyone’s well-being.


Boerboel Dog Breed


The dogs are calm and loving at home but also alert and protective when needed. Whether it’s a busy house or a quiet place, Boerboels can adjust well. They are loyal to their families but can also adapt to new people and places.


Adaptive to Apartment Living

Suitable for New Owners

Sensitivity Scale

Comfortable Being Alone

Comfortable with Cold Weather

Comfortable with Hot Weather


The dogs love their family a lot and are protective too. Even though they are big, they’re gentle and affectionate. If they meet new people when they’re young, they’ll be friendly to them too. These dogs enjoy being around people and need lots of love and attention from their families.

All About Friendliness

Lovable with Family



Frank with strangers


Boerboels are friendly, vivacious, and submissive. They thrive when given a duty to do, whether it’s grueling agricultural labor, guard dog responsibilities, or competing to show off their strength and agility.

This breed likes human family members, including children, while tending to get too territorial at times. The impulses that make dogs effective watchdogs and protectors may also cause them to become very possessive and ferocious if they are not properly socialized or trained.

A close relative needs to introduce visitors to the dog before they arrive to avoid the Boerboel feeling threatened.

These dogs normally open their homes to strangers they’ve met and learned to trust, although, on occasion, they’ll display symptoms of caution.

Boerboels require a strong trainer who will establish boundaries without being harsh and provide positive reinforcement because they tend to be dominant during training.


They’re loyal and protective, forming strong bonds with their owners. While generally gentle, it’s important to introduce them to different people and places early on. Boerboels are good at keeping you safe, making them both caring family pets and dependable protectors.

Friendly with kids

These dogs are friendly dogs and usually get along well with kids. They’re kind and protective, but it’s important to teach both the dog and kids how to behave around each other. This way, everyone can be happy and safe.

Amicable to other pets

Boerboels can be friends with other pets if they’re introduced nicely and learn to get along. It’s good to watch them when they’re together, especially because The dogs are big and strong. Training helps them behave well with other animals.

Barking tendencies

Boerboels barks to let you know if something seems off. It’s a good quality for a guard dog. But, it’s important to teach them when it’s okay to bark and when it’s not. Early training helps them understand what’s a real problem and what’s just part of everyday life.

Possibilities of Staying Alone

The dogs like being with people, so leaving them alone for a long time might make them feel sad or anxious. It’s good to practice short alone times and give them toys to keep them busy.

Pros and Cons of the Boerboel Dog Breed


  • Boerboels are known for their friendly and affectionate demeanor.
  • They make excellent family pets, especially with children.
  • The dogs easily adapt to different living environments.


  • They may experience anxiety when left alone for long periods.
  • The dogs require daily exercise to maintain their health.
  • Depending on their coat, grooming needs may vary.

Male vs Female Attitude

Male Boerboels are usually more assertive and protective, requiring firm training. Females are nurturing and adaptable, with a less dominant demeanor. Both need socialization and consistent training for good behavior.

Boerboel Dog Breed


The dogs are big and strong, with a sturdy build. They have a broad head, short coat, and alert eyes. Their ears usually hang down. Boerboels look powerful and confident, showing strength and a friendly demeanor.

Coat Color And Grooming

Boerboels have thick, voluminous undercoats, which are covered by short, sleek, soft, and lustrous overcoats. They are available in varieties of hues such as black, fawn, brindle, brown, and red.

Some of these dogs have light patches on their fur, notably around the collar, head, and paws; nevertheless, it is regarded as a disease if such light patches comprise more than thirty percent of the dog’s coat color.

Many Boerboels possess black spots around their paws, and others have black markings surrounding their eyes, lips, and noses. Their fur doesn’t need ample maintenance, and shedding is on an average scale.

To prevent fur from shedding and to maintain a healthy coat, weekly combing, and monthly shampooing are necessary.


Boerboel dogs have short hair and shed a moderate amount. Brushing them weekly helps control loose hair and keeps their coat healthy. Shedding may increase during certain times of the year. Regular grooming and a balanced diet help minimize shedding and keep your dog comfortable.


The dogs are enormous dogs, with males frequently reaching heights of 24 to 28 inches at the shoulder and females generally reaching heights of 22 to 25 inches. Boerboels may weigh between 110 and 200 pounds, with some being larger than others.


The Boerboel is generally thought of as a healthy breed with few known genetic illnesses. They are vulnerable to a few ailments, though, which they could get throughout their lives. They could experience:

  • hip or elbow dysplasia
  • heart issues
  • eye illnesses
  • vaginal hyperplasia
  • bloat 

They could also sometimes have juvenile epilepsy. If your dog displays any signs of any of these illnesses, speak with your veterinarian as soon as possible.

Health and Grooming Requirements

Shedding Quantity

Drooling Capability

Effortless to Groom

Overall Health

Capable of Gaining Weight


Maintenance and Care

The main care Boerboel needs is to be involved in activities that will stimulate his mind and body, such as play and exercise. Following that, routine maintenance is rather simple.

According to a veterinarian’s recommendations, you should wash your pet’s teeth periodically and trim their nails around every two weeks. Boerboels’ ears must be cleaned as needed and regularly checked for dirt and wax accumulation to prevent disease or insect infestation.

Food and Nutrition

Large to gigantic breeds with moderate to vigorous exercise needs should be catered for in a Boerboel diet. To get help on what to feed your Boerboel and how much to feed them, contact your veterinarian or any qualified nutritionist.

As they flourish from being pups to dogs to huge dogs, their nutritional demands will modify accordingly. Keep track of their dietary needs.

Exercise and Activity Level

Boerboels are strong dogs that need regular exercise to stay happy. Daily walks, playtime, and fun activities are important to keep them healthy and prevent boredom.

Their big size means they enjoy more active games. Exercise not only keeps them physically fit but also helps them stay happy and well-behaved.

Physical Requirements

Energy range


Exercise Requirements

Capable for Playfulness


Boerboel dogs are easy to train because they’re smart and want to make you happy. Start teaching them early and use positive methods. Be a confident leader, and they’ll listen well. Training keeps them happy and helps them behave.


Effortless to Train


Capable for Mouthiness

Tendency to Attack Prey

Urge to Howl or Bark

Wanderlust Ability

Children And Other Pets

To prevent mishaps, it’s important to teach kids how to deal with animals. No matter how well-trained and submissive a Boerboel may be, there is no pinching and nudging. Playing time with any dog must be monitored.

You really can not ask for a better baby guardian than a huge, nimble Boerboel; however, this breed is known for utterly enjoying some time with children within the family.

Boerboels interact well with other dogs that share their home and with whom they have come of age, but they can be hostile and protective towards unfamiliar canines.

Furthermore, they might be hostile and territorial when around other Boerboels of the identical gender. Early socialization can assist in taming the breed’s aggressive characteristics; however, they could be best suited to make them accustomed to their new home and family.

Rescue Groups

Check out the Facebook group U.S.A. Boerboels In Need, which lists adoptable Boerboels from all around the country, if you’re looking to adopt a Boerboel.

Additionally, you may look for available dogs by breed and postcode on the adoption website, or you can visit nearby animal shelters.

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FAQs On The Boerboel Dog Breed

Can you leave a Boerboel alone?

Boerboels are courageous and self-assured, yet they don’t like being alone themselves. Boerboels that are bored act destructively and have a high rate of damage production. Train your Boerboel to like spending time in his dog box for a few hours. Your Boerboel will probably start acting out after that.

How wise are the Boerboels?

A smart Boerboel will react favorably to instruction from a knowledgeable owner. Boerboel’s barking is loud and effective in keeping outsiders away. Be aware that the Boerboel will want to participate in some sort of activity or interaction during the day, especially with their family.

How can you cheer up a Boerboel?

Owners ought to allot time for recreation and fitness. Boerboels should, at the very least, be taken on prolonged regular walks. These dogs require company from their owners and flourish on love and affection.

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