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Boerboel Dog Breed Information

In a Sentence:

A large and powerful South African breed of dog with a protective and loyal nature.

Scientific Name:

Canis lupus familiaris.


Boerboels are considered a Large dog breed.
Weight:50-90 kg.
Height:64-70 cm (25-28 inches)
Length:60-70 cm.


The average lifespan of a Boerboel is around 10-12 years


What type of dog is a Boerboel, how do they behave and what temperament do they have? See below for a detailed overview of their traits and personality.

Personality & Temperament

Boerboels are large, muscular dogs that were originally bred in South Africa for guarding and protecting farms. They are known for their loyalty, courage and protective nature and are often used as guard dogs and family pets.

Boerboels have strong personalities and can be quite stubborn at times. They are also very intelligent and can be trained to perform a variety of tasks, including obedience training, agility training and protection work. They are highly protective of their families and will go to great lengths to defend them if necessary.

Boerboels are generally calm and even-tempered, but they can become aggressive if they feel threatened or if they perceive a threat to their family. They are very loyal to their owners and will do anything to protect them. They are also very affectionate and love to be around their family members.

Boerboels are very active dogs and require plenty of exercise and mental stimulation to keep them happy and healthy. They are also very social and enjoy spending time with their family members. They can be quite protective of their territory and may bark or growl at strangers or other animals that approach their home.

Overall, Boerboels are loyal, courageous and protective dogs that make excellent family pets and guard dogs. They require a lot of attention and training, but with the right care and socialization, they can be wonderful companions for many years to come.


Boerboels are generally considered to be intelligent dogs. They are quick learners and have a good memory, which makes them easy to train. They are good at problem-solving and can be quite independent thinkers. However, like all dogs, their intelligence can vary depending on the individual and their training and socialization.


Boerboels are intelligent and trainable dogs, but they can also be stubborn and independent. They require a firm and consistent approach to training and early socialization is essential to ensure they become well-adjusted and well-behaved adults. Boerboels respond well to positive reinforcement training methods, such as praise, treats and play and they enjoy learning new things. However, they can be protective and territorial, so it’s important to teach them proper socialization and obedience from a young age. Overall, with patience, consistency and positive reinforcement, Boerboels can be trained successfully.


Boerboels, like most dogs, sleep for an average of 12-14 hours per day. However, the amount of sleep they need can vary depending on their age, activity level and health. Puppies and older dogs may need more sleep, while adult Boerboels who are highly active may need less. It’s important to provide your Boerboel with a comfortable and quiet place to sleep and to ensure they get enough rest to maintain their physical and mental health.


Boerboels are protective and territorial dogs, so they may bark more than other breeds. However, with proper training and socialization, they can learn to bark only when necessary. It is important to note that excessive barking can be a sign of anxiety, boredom or other behavioral issues, so it is important to address the underlying cause if your Boerboel is barking excessively.


Boerboels drool moderately, especially after eating or drinking. However, the amount of drooling can vary from dog to dog and can also depend on factors such as age, health and diet. Regular cleaning of the dog’s mouth and chin can help manage the drooling.


Boerboels are moderate to heavy droolers and lickers. They are affectionate dogs and enjoy licking their owners as a sign of love and affection. However, excessive licking can also be a sign of anxiety, boredom or stress. It is important to monitor your Boerboel’s licking behavior and provide them with appropriate outlets for their energy and emotions.


Boerboels are powerful and athletic dogs that are capable of jumping up to 6 feet high from a standing position. However, it is important to note that excessive jumping can be harmful to their joints and should be avoided. Proper exercise and training should be provided to ensure their safety and well-being.


Boerboels are moderate diggers. They may dig holes in the yard out of boredom or to find a cool spot to lie down. However, with proper training and exercise, this behavior can be minimized. Providing them with a designated digging area or toys to keep them occupied can also help prevent excessive digging.

Good Fit for You?

Is a Boerboel the right dog for you? Keep reading to find out how compatible you are with a Boerboel.


Boerboels are large and energetic dogs that require a significant amount of exercise to stay healthy and happy. They need at least 60-90 minutes of exercise each day, which should include both physical and mental stimulation. This can include activities such as long walks, runs, hikes, playing fetch and training sessions. It is important to note that Boerboels should not be over-exercised during hot weather or when they are still growing, as this can cause health problems.


Boerboels are large dogs that require a significant amount of space to live comfortably. They need a spacious yard or outdoor area where they can run and play, as well as a large indoor space where they can move around freely. Ideally, they should have access to both indoor and outdoor areas. The minimum recommended space for a Boerboel is a house with a fenced yard of at least 500 square meters (5,382 square feet). However, more space is always better, especially if the dog will be spending a lot of time indoors. It’s important to note that Boerboels are not suitable for apartment living or small homes with limited outdoor space.


Boerboels are not recommended for apartment living as they are a large and active breed that requires a lot of space to move around and exercise. They also have a protective nature and may become territorial in a small living space, which can lead to behavior problems. Boerboels are better suited for homes with a large yard or open space where they can run and play.

Left Alone

Boerboels are social dogs that thrive on human companionship and do not tolerate being left alone for long periods. They can become anxious, bored and destructive if left alone for extended periods. It is recommended that Boerboels are not left alone for more than 4-6 hours a day and are provided with plenty of mental and physical stimulation to keep them occupied. If you have to leave your Boerboel alone for an extended period, it is essential to provide them with toys, puzzles and interactive games to keep them entertained. Additionally, hiring a dog walker or pet sitter to visit your Boerboel during the day can help alleviate their anxiety and provide them with some much-needed socialization.

Kid/Family Friendly

Yes, Boerboels are generally good with kids and families. They are loyal, protective and affectionate towards their owners, including children. However, it is important to note that Boerboels are large and powerful dogs, so proper training and socialization are essential to ensure they behave appropriately around children and other family members. Additionally, adult supervision is recommended when children are interacting with Boerboels to prevent any accidental injuries.

Perfect Fit

A Boerboel would be a perfect fit for a household that has experience with large and powerful breeds and is willing to provide the necessary training and socialization. They are loyal and protective dogs, making them great for families with children. However, due to their size and strength, they require a lot of space to move around and exercise. A home with a large yard or access to outdoor spaces would be ideal for a Boerboel. They also require a lot of attention and affection from their owners, so a household with someone who is home often would be best. Additionally, due to their protective nature, they may not be suitable for households with frequent visitors or strangers.

Pros and Cons:

Boerboels are large and powerful dogs that were originally bred for guarding farms in South Africa. While they can make loyal and protective companions, there are also some potential drawbacks to owning one. Here are five pros and cons to consider:

  1. Loyalty: Boerboels are fiercly loyal to their owners and will go to great lengths to protect them.
  2. Intelligence: These dogs are highly intelligent and trainable, making them great candidates for obedience and agility training.
  3. Low maintenance: Boerboels have short, easy-to-care-for coats that require minimal grooming.
  4. Good with kids: With proper socialization, Boerboels can be gentle and patient with children, making them great family pets.
  5. Protection: Boerboels are natural protectors and their size and strength make them effective deterrents against intruders.
  1. Size: Boerboels are large dogs that require a lot of space and exercise, making them less suitable for apartment living.
  2. Aggression: Without proper training and socialization, Boerboels can become aggressive towards strangers and other animals.
  3. Health issues: Like many large breeds, Boerboels are prone to certain health issues such as hip dysplasia and bloat.
  4. Training challenges: Boerboels can be stubborn and strong-willed, which can make training a challenge for inexperienced owners.
  5. Legal restrictions: In some areas, Boerboels are considered a restricted breed and may be subject to certain regulations or restrictions.


The cost of a Boerboel in Australia can vary depending on the breeder, location and pedigree. On average, a Boerboel puppy from a reputable breeder can cost between $2,500 to $5,000 AUD. It is important to do thorough research on the breeder and their breeding practices before purchasing a Boerboel to ensure that you are getting a healthy and well-socialized puppy.

Breed History:

Boerboels were originally bred in South Africa by the Boer farmers to protect their farms and livestock from predators such as lions, hyenas and leopards. They were also used as guard dogs and to help with hunting. The Boerboel is a large, muscular breed with a strong protective instinct and a fearless nature, making them well-suited for their original purpose. Today, Boerboels are still used as guard dogs and family companions, but they are also popular in dog sports such as weight pulling and obedience competitions.

Current Usage

Boerboels are primarily used as guard dogs and family pets. They are renowned for their loyalty and protective nature, making them excellent watchdogs. In South Africa, they are also used as working dogs on farms to protect livestock from predators such as lions and hyenas. Additionally, some Boerboels are trained for search and rescue, tracking and police work. However, it is important to note that Boerboels require proper training and socialization to ensure they are well-behaved and do not pose a threat to others.

Guard Dogs

Yes, Boerboels are known for their protective and territorial nature, making them excellent guard dogs. They are loyal and fearless and will not hesitate to protect their family and property from any perceived threat. However, their strong protective instincts require proper training and socialization to ensure they do not become overly aggressive or territorial. It is important to note that owning a Boerboel comes with a great responsibility and they should only be owned by experienced dog owners who can provide them with the necessary training, socialization and exercise they require.

Where Are They Found?

Boerboels are most popular in their country of origin, South Africa. They are also popular in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia and several other countries around the world.


Boerboels are best suited to a moderate to warm climate. They have a short, dense coat that provides some insulation against the cold, but they are not well-suited to extremely cold temperatures. Boerboels are also not well-suited to extremely hot and humid climates, as they can overheat easily. It is important to provide them with access to shade and plenty of water during hot weather. Overall, Boerboels can adapt to a variety of climates as long as they are provided with proper care and attention to their needs.


It is difficult to determine the exact number of Boerboels in the world as there is no central registry or database that tracks the breed’s population. However, it is estimated that there are tens of thousands of Boerboels worldwide, with the majority of them residing in South Africa where the breed originated.

Physical Appearance:

Boerboels are large, muscular dogs with a square-shaped head and a broad, powerful jaw. They have a short, dense coat that can be either fawn, brindle or black. Their ears are typically floppy and their eyes are round and dark. Boerboels have a thick neck and a deep chest, giving them a sturdy and imposing appearance. They have a confident and alert expression and their overall body structure exudes strength and athleticism.



Boerboels can be various shades of brown, ranging from light tan to dark mahogany. They can also be black, brindle or cream. Some Boerboels may have white markings on their chest, feet or face.

Hair/Fur Length:

Boerboels have short hair that is dense and glossy. The hair length is typically around 1-2 inches (2.5-5 cm) in length.


Yes, Boerboels do shed. They have a short, dense coat that sheds moderately throughout the year. Regular brushing and grooming can help reduce shedding and keep their coat healthy and shiny. During shedding season, which typically occurs twice a year, they may shed more heavily and require more frequent grooming.


The Boerboel has a short, dense coat that requires minimal grooming. They shed moderately throughout the year and may require weekly brushing to remove loose hair and maintain their coat’s shine. However, during shedding season, they may require more frequent brushing to prevent matting and tangling.

Boerboels do not require haircuts as their coat is naturally short and does not grow long enough to require trimming. However, they may require occasional bathing to keep their coat clean and healthy. It is also essential to regularly check and clean their ears, trim their nails and brush their teeth to maintain their overall health and hygiene.


No, Boerboels are not hypoallergenic. They shed their fur and dander, which can trigger allergies in some people. If you have allergies, it is recommended to spend time with a Boerboel before bringing one into your home to see if you have a reaction. Regular grooming and cleaning can also help reduce allergens in the home.


Boerboels can run at a speed of up to 56 kph (35 mph).


Boerboels are generally healthy dogs, but like all breeds, they may be prone to certain health issues, including:

  • Hip dysplasia: a genetic condition where the hip joint doesn’t develop properly, leading to arthritis and pain.
  • Elbow dysplasia: a genetic condition where the elbow joint doesn’t develop properly, leading to arthritis and pain.
  • Bloat: a life-threatening condition where the stomach fills with gas and twists on itself, cutting off blood flow to the organs.
  • Heart disease: Boerboels may be prone to various types of heart disease, including dilated cardiomyopathy and aortic stenosis.
  • Cancer: Boerboels may be prone to certain types of cancer, including osteosarcoma and lymphoma.


Boerboels typically have 42 teeth, which is the same as most other breeds of dogs.


Boerboels have a good sense of vision, which is essential for their role as watchdogs and protectors. Their eyesight is particularly sharp during the day and they can detect movement from a distance. However, like all dogs, Boerboels can suffer from various eye problems, such as cataracts, glaucoma and progressive retinal atrophy, which can affect their eyesight. Therefore, it’s essential to take your Boerboel for regular eye check-ups to ensure they maintain good eyesight throughout their lives.


Boerboels typically have 8 to 10 nipples, arranged in two rows on their underside.


Litter Size:

The typical litter size for Boerboels is between 6 to 10 puppies. However, litter sizes can vary and may be smaller or larger depending on various factors such as the age and health of the mother, genetics and environmental factors.

Gestation Period:

The gestation period for Boerboels is typically around 63 days. However, it can range from 58 to 68 days. It is important to monitor the pregnant dog closely during this time and provide proper nutrition and care to ensure a healthy pregnancy and delivery.


Boerboels typically go on heat every 6 to 8 months, but this can vary depending on the individual dog.

Male vs Female:

Male and female Boerboels differ in several ways. Males are generally larger and heavier than females, with a more muscular build. They also tend to have a more dominant and protective personality, making them excellent guard dogs. Females, on the other hand, are typically smaller and more agile, with a more nurturing and affectionate personality. They are often better suited for families with children, as they are more patient and gentle. Additionally, female Boerboels may experience heat cycles and have the potential to become pregnant, while males do not.

Tips and Advice:

Boerboels are large and powerful dogs that require proper care and attention to maintain their health and well-being. Here are some tips and advice for caring for a Boerboel:

  • Provide a balanced and nutritious diet that is appropriate for their age, size and activity level.
  • Regular exercise is essential for Boerboels to maintain their physical and mental health. They require daily walks and playtime to prevent boredom and destructive behavior.
  • Boerboels are social animals and thrive on human companionship. They should not be left alone for extended periods as they can become anxious and develop separation anxiety.
  • Proper training and socialization are crucial for Boerboels to become well-behaved and obedient dogs. They respond well to positive reinforcement training methods.
  • Boerboels require regular grooming to maintain their coat’s health and prevent matting and tangling. Brushing their coat once a week and bathing them every few months is recommended.
  • Regular veterinary check-ups are necessary to monitor their health and prevent any potential health issues. Boerboels are prone to hip dysplasia, bloat and heart problems.
  • Boerboels are protective of their family and property and early socialization is necessary to prevent aggression towards strangers and other animals.
  • Boerboels require a secure and spacious living environment, preferably with a fenced yard to prevent them from wandering off.
  • Boerboels are prone to obesity and their diet should be monitored to prevent overfeeding.
  • Lastly, Boerboels require love, attention and affection from their owners to thrive and be happy.


Boerboels are large dogs and have a big appetite. They typically eat between 3-4 cups of high-quality dog food per day, depending on their age, weight and activity level. However, it’s important to monitor their weight and adjust their food intake accordingly to prevent obesity.

Boerboels are food-oriented dogs and can become overweight if they are overfed or given too many treats. It’s important to establish a feeding schedule and limit treats to prevent overeating. Additionally, Boerboels can be prone to bloat, a serious and potentially life-threatening condition, so it’s important to feed them smaller meals throughout the day rather than one large meal.


Boerboel is a large and powerful breed of dog that originated in South Africa. Here are three interesting facts about Boerboels:

  1. Boerboels were originally bred as farm dogs to protect livestock from predators like lions and hyenas. They are known for their courage and loyalty and make excellent guard dogs.
  2. Despite their size and strength, Boerboels are known for their gentle and affectionate nature towards their owners. They are great with children and make loyal family pets.
  3. Boerboels have a short, dense coat that requires minimal grooming. However, they do shed moderately, so regular brushing is recommended to keep their coat healthy and shiny.


When choosing a name for a Boerboel, it’s important to consider names that reflect their strong and confident nature. Here are 15 names that would be a good fit for a Boerboel:

1. Titan6. Apollo11. Goliath
2. Zeus7. Atlas12. Samson
3. Thor8. Caesar13. Maverick
4. Hercules9. Brutus14. Tank
5. Odin10. Maximus15. Diesel


Over the years, several Boerboels have gained fame for their exceptional qualities, whether it be through their appearances in movies, their heroic acts or their ownership by famous individuals. Here are some of the most famous Boerboels of all time:

  1. Duma – Duma is a Boerboel that starred in the 2005 movie “Duma,” which tells the story of a boy and his pet cheetah. Duma played the role of the family’s loyal and protective dog and his performance helped to showcase the breed’s intelligence and bravery.
  2. Brutus – Brutus is a Boerboel that gained fame for his incredible strength and agility. He was able to jump over a six-foot fence from a standing position and was known for his impressive feats of athleticism.
  3. Max – Max is a Boerboel that made headlines for his heroic actions during a home invasion. When armed robbers broke into his owner’s home, Max attacked them and chased them away, saving his family from harm.
  4. Oprah’s Boerboels – Oprah Winfrey is a famous Boerboel owner and she has several of the dogs on her property in California. Her Boerboels are known for their size and protective instincts and they have been featured on her show and in various media outlets.
  5. Caesar – Caesar is a Boerboel that gained fame for his role as a police dog in South Africa. He was trained to apprehend suspects and was known for his bravery and loyalty to his handler.
  6. Nala – Nala is a Boerboel that gained fame for her impressive size and strength. She weighs over 160 pounds and is known for her protective instincts and gentle nature.
  7. Titan – Titan is a Boerboel that gained fame for his role as a therapy dog. He visits hospitals and nursing homes to provide comfort and support to patients and his gentle demeanor and loving personality have made him a beloved figure in the community.


Boerboel (also known as the South African Mastiff) is a large breed of dog that originated in South Africa. Boerboels were originally bred as farm dogs to protect livestock and property from predators. They are powerful and muscular dogs that can weigh up to 200 pounds.

Boerboels have a loyal and protective nature. They are intelligent and confident dogs that require a strong and experienced owner. They are also renowned for their affectionate and playful personalities, making them great family pets.

The history of Boerboels can be traced back to the 17th century when Dutch settlers brought their dogs to South Africa. These dogs were bred with local African dogs to create the Boerboel breed. Boerboels were used as working dogs on farms and were also used in the military and police force.

As pets, Boerboels require a lot of exercise and training. They are not suitable for apartment living and require a large yard to run and play. They are also prone to certain health issues such as hip dysplasia and bloat, so regular vet check-ups are important.

Overall, Boerboels make great pets for experienced owners who are willing to put in the time and effort to train and socialize them properly. They are loyal, protective and affectionate dogs that make great companions for families and individuals alike.