Description Boerboel

Alert, Patient, Intelligent
The Boerboel is an impressive working dog. For experienced dog owners, he is the ideal watchdog and a loyal companion. Due to his intelligent nature, he needs consistent guidance and sufficient movement. Anyone looking for an intelligent watchdog will find a good friend in the Boerboel.

  • Size: Large
  • Weight: 70kg
  • Life expectancy: 10-12 years
  • Coat type: short hair
  • Colours: black, cream, brindle, brown, mahogany

Character Boerboel

The Boerboel is a muscular and large dog. The dog breed comes from South Africa and was bred there as a guard and protection dog. At the same time, the dog is distinguished by its attachment and patience, which it shows especially towards its family.
The independent and watchful dogs are unsuitable for inexperienced dog owners. They need to be raised consistently but lovingly.

Both the physique and the head are angular and expressive. Overall, the Boerboel is well muscled and strong. The males should be at least 60 cm high, but the ideal size is 66 cm. The bitches are smaller and lighter. Ideally, they should be 61 cm high, but at least 55 cm.

Due to their size and physique, the males weigh up to 70 kg.
The Boerboel has a particularly broad head, which is often darkly pigmented. His eyes are alert and intelligent. The dog is very impressive due to its muscular physique, the large, angular head and the broad neck. When breeding, value is placed on a large difference between the appearance of males and females.

While males appear athletic and strong, bitches should appear feminine.
A special feature of the Boerboel is his calm and intelligent nature. The Schutzhund is alert, but not aggressive towards people. Many Boerboels bond closely with their families. While playful and patient here, they are vigilantly guarding their family and home from strangers.

When holding a Boerboel, don’t underestimate their alertness. Even visitors will only accept the dogs if you introduce them. Nevertheless, you should always keep a close eye on your Boerboel.
Many dogs of this breed are hardly compatible and sometimes aggressive towards conspecifics. This is not the only reason why strong dogs are unsuitable for inexperienced dog owners and for keeping them in apartments.

Its partially independent character is difficult to handle for inexperienced dog owners. Many Boerboel owners appreciate that they are very fond of children and patient. Of course, you should never leave your children unsupervised with your dog.
Among the protection dogs, however, this breed is characterized by its loyalty and its sense of family. The dog breed is considered playful and obedient.

You should raise your young Boerboel lovingly and consistently. The adult dog is very heavy and should know all basic commands.
Like any dog, the Boerboel requires exercise and mental work. Deal with him in order to promote him in a species-appropriate manner. Due to its guard and protective instinct, it is unsuitable for housing.

On a large piece of land he can live out his waking instinct. If you want to keep a Boerboel, you should fence your property securely. But even if your dog can regularly go into the garden, you should take him for a walk every day.

Diet Boerboel

The Boerboel is a healthy and robust dog. Health problems mainly occur in the area of ​​the joints. Adequate nutrition can partially prevent diseases such as ED and HD. You should feed your young Boerboel a suitable food for large breed dogs. These dog foods contain less energy.

This will prevent your dog from growing too quickly, which can promote joint disease. In principle, any type of feed is suitable for feeding.
The large dog requires large amounts of food, which it should not eat too quickly. It is best to feed your Boerboel several times a day, for example in the morning and in the evening. After eating, the dog should be able to rest.

Dangerous torsion of the stomach occurs especially in large dogs. If your Boerboel eats too quickly, you can offer him his food in smaller portions.
Most types of dog food are good for the Boerboel. Many brands offer special foods for the specific needs of large dogs. Such types of dog food usually contain less energy than dog foods for small and medium-sized dogs.

This prevents overweight, which puts unnecessary strain on the joints. Also, for large dog breeds, the chunks are larger, so the dog has to chew more. In addition to dog food, you should regularly offer your dog something to chew on. Bones are only suitable for this to a limited extent. Most dogs tolerate dried rawhide and similar chews better.

There is a large selection in the pet trade, even for large dog breeds. Never feed your boerboel off the table as this behavior can cause him to beg or even steal.
The large dog can easily get at tables and countertops, which can tempt him to help himself to your food. You should avoid this to prevent overfeeding, but also poisoning. Lots of food leftovers, such as boiled potatoes and pasta, can be fed without hesitation.

However, salty and spiced foods are generally unsuitable for dogs. Always let your Boerboel eat in peace and instruct your children not to disturb the dog while it is eating.


The Boerboel has a smooth, fine coat that requires little maintenance and rarely sheds. Brushing is therefore more of a massage for your Boerboel than a necessary care measure. The Boerboel likes to be outside and will certainly get dirty and wet in the process. However, he should not be bathed, as the natural protective layer of the coat can be destroyed by shampoo. The result can be irritation and skin diseases.

You should only shampoo your Boerboel in exceptional cases. If your dog has gotten dirty and wet, you should only dry him off with a towel.
In any case, the Boerboel needs daily exercise to be satisfied and fully utilized. An important aspect of keeping it is an escape-proof area that the dog will carefully guard. The territorial behavior of the dog should not be underestimated when keeping and caring for it, because it is innate in every Boerboel.

But caring for the Boerboel also includes integrating the devoted dog into the family. This includes, for example, regular games and obedience exercises that mentally challenge the dog. However, the Boerboel can only be used to a limited extent for dog sports, because it is playful but not necessarily obedient.


The name Boerboel means “farm dog” in Afrikaans. The dog was bred in South Africa for precisely this purpose: it is a house and yard dog that protects the family from strangers. Breed standards were not established until the 1980s. Before that, Mastiffs were bred randomly and used as working dogs.
An ancestor of the Boerboel is the “Bullenbjiter”.

The Dutchman Van Riebeek brought one of these dogs to South Africa in 1652, which mixed with the local and widespread working dogs. The descendants of this dog were kept by settlers to protect their farms. Due to its versatility and attachment, the dog was very popular. In addition to the task of securing his own property, he guarded children and cattle and hunted small animals.
The breed was later crossed with mastiffs brought by British immigrants in the 1820s.

Various bulldog-like breeds mingled with the existing working dogs. These ancestors can still be seen in the Boerboel today. The well-known Mastiff breeds are also similar in character. Crossbreeding with Bullmastiffs had a major impact. These dogs were imported as guard dogs in 1938.

Boerboel Accessories

Basically, no special things are needed to keep a Boerboel. However, you should be aware that the dog is very strong and heavy. He should wear a sturdy and well-fitting collar. Chains and collars with spikes are not suitable as they can cause pain to the dog. Depending on how well your Boerboel walks on a leash, he can be held on the harness.

The leash for an adult Boerboel should also be stable. The popular flexible leashes are unsuitable for very large and strong dogs and should not be used. In everyday life, a short leash is sufficient. You can use a tow line for training. In the beginning, however, it makes sense to have a dog trainer show you how to handle it.

Your dog needs a food bowl and a large water bowl, which should always be filled and accessible. The bowls should be made of an easy-care and stable material, such as stainless steel. It is also important that your dog has a solid place to sleep. You can offer him a basket or a large blanket for this. Dog mats that distribute the weight well and protect the joints are suitable for large dogs.

It is important that the dog is not disturbed while resting, which your children should also respect.
Your Boerboel will probably be happy hanging out in the garden. Here you should offer him a dry place to lie down from which he can observe the terrain. The human-oriented dog is unsuitable for pure kennel and outdoor keeping.

7.5Expert Score
Breed characteristics

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