Are you considering getting a Boerboel breed dog as a pet? If so, you are in for a treat. Boerboels are large, muscular dogs that originated in South Africa. They are known for their loyalty and protective nature, making them great family pets and guard dogs. However, they are not for everyone. Before making the decision to bring a Boerboel into your home, it’s important to do your research and understand the responsibilities that come with owning such a powerful breed. In this article, we will explore the characteristics of Boerboels and what to expect when adding one to your family.

Breed Category: Working
Country of Origin: South Africa
Average Size:64-70 cm (male), 59-65 cm (female)
Average Weight:70-90 kg (male), 50-70 kg (female)
Average Life Span: 10-12 years
Grooming Requirements: Moderate
Exercise Requirements:High

History and Origin

The Boerboel is a large, powerful breed of dog that originated in South Africa. The name “Boerboel” comes from the Afrikaans words “boer,” meaning farmer, and “boel,” meaning dog. These dogs were originally bred by farmers in South Africa to protect their farms and livestock from predators such as lions and hyenas.

The Boerboel is believed to be a descendant of the Bullenbijter, a now-extinct breed of dog that was used for bull-baiting in Europe. When the Dutch settlers arrived in South Africa in the 1600s, they brought their Bullenbijters with them. These dogs were then bred with local African dogs to create the Boerboel.

The Boerboel was used by farmers in South Africa for many years as a guard dog. They were also used to hunt game, such as wild boar and baboons. In the early 1900s, the breed was recognized by the South African Kennel Union and a breed standard was established.

During World War II, the Boerboel was used by the South African military as a guard dog. After the war, the breed’s popularity declined and it nearly became extinct. However, a group of breed enthusiasts worked to revive the breed and it is now recognized by many kennel clubs around the world.

Today, the Boerboel is still used as a guard dog and is also a popular family pet. They are known for their loyalty and protective nature, and are often used as therapy dogs. However, due to their size and strength, they require a lot of training and socialization from a young age.

In recent years, the Boerboel has become a controversial breed due to its use in dog fighting. Some breeders have been accused of breeding Boerboels specifically for fighting, which has led to concerns about the breed’s temperament. However, responsible breeders emphasize the importance of proper training and socialization to ensure that Boerboels are well-behaved and non-aggressive.

Overall, the Boerboel is a fascinating breed with a rich history and a loyal following. While they may not be the right breed for everyone, those who are willing to put in the time and effort to train and socialize them will

Boerboel Dog

Size and Breed Category

The Boerboel is a large breed of dog that originated in South Africa. They are classified as a Molosser breed, which means they are a type of dog that is known for their large size and muscular build. Boerboels are typically between 24 and 28 inches tall at the shoulder and can weigh anywhere from 110 to 200 pounds. They have a short, dense coat that can be a variety of colors, including brown, brindle, and fawn. Boerboels are known for their powerful jaws and are often used as guard dogs due to their protective nature.

Boerboels are a working breed and are often used for tasks such as guarding livestock and protecting their owners. They are known for their loyalty and devotion to their families, and are often described as being gentle giants. Despite their large size, Boerboels are generally good with children and make excellent family pets. However, due to their protective nature, they require early socialization and training to ensure they are well-behaved around strangers. Boerboels are a unique breed that requires an experienced owner who can provide them with the proper training and socialization they need to thrive.

Fur Length and Colour

The fur of the Boerboel is typically short and dense, providing a smooth and sleek appearance. The fur is also weather-resistant, making it ideal for the breed’s original purpose as a farm dog in South Africa. The fur can come in a variety of colours, including shades of brown, fawn, and brindle. Some Boerboels may also have a black mask on their face, adding to their distinctive appearance. The fur is easy to maintain with regular brushing and occasional baths to keep it clean and healthy.

The colour of the Boerboel’s fur can vary depending on the individual dog and its lineage. Some Boerboels may have a solid colour, while others may have a combination of colours or patterns. The most common colours are shades of brown, fawn, and brindle, with some dogs having a black mask on their face. The fur is typically short and dense, providing protection from the elements and making it easy to maintain. Overall, the Boerboel’s fur is an important part of its appearance and serves a practical purpose in its role as a working dog.

Termperament and Trainability

Boerboels are known for their confident and assertive temperament. They are highly protective of their family and property, making them excellent guard dogs. However, they can also be gentle and affectionate towards their owners. Boerboels require early socialization and training to ensure they do not become overly aggressive towards strangers. They are intelligent dogs and respond well to positive reinforcement training methods. Boerboels have a high energy level and require regular exercise to prevent destructive behavior.

Boerboels are highly trainable dogs, but they require a firm and consistent hand in their training. They are eager to please their owners and enjoy learning new commands and tricks. Boerboels excel in obedience and agility training, but they can also be trained for other activities such as tracking and search and rescue. Due to their protective nature, Boerboels require specialized training to ensure they do not become overly aggressive towards other dogs or people. It is important to start training Boerboels at a young age to establish good behavior habits and prevent any potential issues in the future.

Boerboel Dog Prepared for training

Known Health Conditions

Boerboels are a breed of dog that are prone to certain health conditions. One of the most common health issues that Boerboels face is hip dysplasia. This is a condition where the hip joint does not develop properly, leading to pain and discomfort for the dog. Boerboels are also prone to elbow dysplasia, which is a similar condition affecting the elbow joint. Both of these conditions can be managed with medication and surgery if necessary, but they can be expensive to treat.

Another health condition that Boerboels are prone to is bloat, also known as gastric torsion. This is a serious condition where the stomach fills with gas and twists, cutting off blood supply to the organs. Bloat can be fatal if not treated quickly, so it is important for Boerboel owners to be aware of the symptoms and seek veterinary care immediately if they suspect their dog is suffering from bloat. Other health issues that Boerboels may face include heart disease, eye problems, and skin allergies. Regular veterinary check-ups and preventative care can help to keep Boerboels healthy and happy.

Boerboel Dog Breathing in fresh air contributes to overall well-being

Openness to Strangers

Boerboels have a reputation for being friendly and welcoming to strangers. They are known to be sociable dogs that enjoy meeting new people and making new friends. Their open and friendly nature makes them great companions for families and individuals who enjoy having guests over. Boerboels are also known to be very loyal to their owners, and they will often go out of their way to protect their family and home from any potential threats. This protective instinct can sometimes make them wary of strangers, but with proper socialization and training, they can learn to be more accepting of new people.

Boerboels are also known for their intelligence and adaptability. They are quick learners and can easily adjust to new environments and situations. This makes them great dogs for people who enjoy traveling or moving around frequently. Boerboels are also very active and energetic, and they require plenty of exercise and mental stimulation to stay happy and healthy. They enjoy playing games and going on long walks or runs with their owners. Overall, Boerboels are friendly, intelligent, and adaptable dogs that make great companions for people of all ages and lifestyles.

Playfulness Level

The Boerboel is a highly playful dog breed that loves to engage in various activities. They are known for their energetic and lively nature, which makes them a great companion for families with children. These dogs have a high playfulness level and enjoy playing fetch, tug-of-war, and other interactive games with their owners. They are also known to be highly social and enjoy spending time with their human family members.

The Boerboel’s playful nature makes them an excellent choice for families who are looking for a dog that can keep up with their active lifestyle. They are highly adaptable and can thrive in both urban and rural environments. These dogs require regular exercise and mental stimulation to keep them happy and healthy. Owners should provide them with plenty of toys and activities to keep them entertained. Overall, the Boerboel’s playful nature makes them a great addition to any family.

Suitability as a Pet for Children

Boerboels have a strong and protective nature, making them a good choice for families with children. They are loyal and affectionate towards their owners, and their size and strength can provide a sense of security. Boerboels require regular exercise and training to prevent any potential aggression towards strangers. They have a short coat that is easy to maintain, and their overall health is generally good. However, due to their size and protective nature, it is important for owners to socialize and train them properly to ensure they are well-behaved around children.

Boerboel Dog At ease around children

Exercise Needs

Boerboels require a significant amount of exercise to maintain their physical and mental health. As a large breed, they need plenty of space to run and play, making them better suited to homes with a large garden or access to open spaces. A daily walk of at least an hour is recommended, but they will also benefit from additional activities such as running, swimming, and playing fetch. It is important to note that Boerboels have a high prey drive and should always be kept on a leash or in a secure area to prevent them from chasing after small animals. Additionally, they thrive on mental stimulation, so incorporating training and interactive games into their exercise routine is highly recommended.

In addition to physical exercise, Boerboels also require socialization and mental stimulation to prevent boredom and destructive behavior. They are highly intelligent and respond well to positive reinforcement training methods. Early socialization is crucial to ensure they are comfortable around other dogs and people. Mental stimulation can be provided through activities such as puzzle toys, obedience training, and agility courses. It is important to note that Boerboels are a working breed and enjoy having a job to do, so incorporating tasks such as carrying a backpack or pulling a cart can also provide them with a sense of purpose and fulfillment.

Boerboel Dog running exercise

Suitability for a Multi-Pet Family

Boerboels have a reputation for being protective of their families and territory. They are known to be wary of strangers and can be aggressive towards other dogs if not socialized properly. However, with proper training and socialization, they can get along well with other pets in the household. It is important to introduce them to other pets gradually and under supervision to ensure a positive interaction. Boerboels can form strong bonds with other animals and can be loyal companions.

Housing Requirements

Boerboels require a spacious and secure living environment that allows them to move around freely. A minimum of 50 square meters of indoor space is recommended for these dogs, with additional outdoor space for exercise and play. The housing should be well-ventilated and insulated, with adequate heating and cooling systems to maintain a comfortable temperature throughout the year. Boerboels are known for their strong and powerful jaws, so the housing should be made of sturdy materials that can withstand their chewing and scratching. Additionally, the housing should be designed to prevent escape and keep the dog safe from potential hazards such as sharp objects or toxic substances.

Boerboels are social animals that thrive on human interaction, so their housing should be located in an area where they can be easily supervised and interacted with. The housing should also provide ample opportunities for mental and physical stimulation, such as toys, puzzles, and agility equipment. Regular exercise and playtime are essential for the physical and mental well-being of Boerboels, so the housing should be designed to accommodate these activities. Finally, the housing should be kept clean and hygienic, with regular cleaning and disinfection to prevent the spread of disease and parasites. Overall, providing a suitable housing environment is crucial for the health and happiness of Boerboels.


Boerboels have a reputation for being loyal and protective, making them a popular choice for families looking for a guard dog. However, their size and strength mean they require experienced owners who can provide them with plenty of exercise and training. They may not be suitable for households with small children or other pets, and their protective nature can sometimes lead to aggression towards strangers. Overall, Boerboels can make excellent pets for the right owner, but careful consideration should be given to their temperament and needs before bringing one into the home.

Boerboel Dog FAQS

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Boerboels are intelligent and eager to please, but can be stubborn. Consistent and positive training is recommended.

Yes, Boerboels were originally bred as guard dogs and are known for their protective nature.

Yes, Boerboels are known for being great with children and are very protective of their family.

Boerboels can be prone to hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, and bloat. Regular vet check-ups are recommended.

Yes, Boerboels are a high-energy breed and require at least 1-2 hours of exercise per day.

Yes, Boerboels have a short, dense coat and shed moderately year-round. Regular brushing can help manage shedding.

The amount of food depends on the individual dog’s weight and activity level. A general guideline is 2-4 cups of high-quality dog food per day.

Boerboels can grow up to 70-75 cm in height.

The average weight of a Boerboel is between 50-90 kg.

The average life expectancy of a Boerboel is 9-11 years.