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Boerboel – 10 Vital Dog Breed Information You Must Not Miss

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Boerboels are simply sophisticated but excellent guardians of family and home who mastered their skills while safeguarding South African homes from violent predators.

These dogs are confident and dominant, also eager and ready to learn. There’s a no-nonsense trait to this majestic avenger.

The Boerboel, pronounced as “boo-r-bull,” acquires its name from old Afrikaans that roughly means “farmer’s dog.”

These dogs are also called Bole, Borbull, South African Boerboel, and South African Mastiff.

Is Boerboel, The Best Companion For You?

If you prefer a dog who….

  • Is strong and powerful
  • Loves children and also works as a therapy dog
  • When provoked, is not easy to handle
  • Needs plenty of space for mobility
  • Looks large with a child-like personality

What are you waiting for? Go and grab your dog right now!

If you plan to avoid…

  • A monstrous dog built mainly for protection
  • A dog who suffers from major ailments such as hyperuricosuria, wobbler syndrome, and much more
  • Spending quality time for early socialization and training

This dog is probably not the right companion for you.

Boerboel Breed Characteristics

  • Origin: South Africa
  • Size: Large
  • Dog Breed Group: Working Group
  • Purebred: Yes
  • Lifespan: 9-11 years
  • Height: Males-24-27 inches, Females-22-25 inches
  • Weight: Males-150-200 lbs, Females-110-143 lbs
  • Coat Appearance: Shiny, smooth, short, dense
  • Coat Colors: Tawny, Reddish Brown, Red, Cream, Brown, Brindle
  • Temperament: Gentle, adorable, a bit slow, intelligent, dominant, strong, protective, loving with families
  • Good With Children: Better with supervision
  • Intelligence Level: Moderate-high
  • Good With Pets: Better with supervision
  • Hypoallergenic: No
  • Grooming: Moderate
  • Shedding: Moderate (seasonal)
  • Barking: Barks when necessary
  • Suitable For Apartments: No
  • Need For Exercise: High
  • Easy To Train: No
  • Good For First Time Owners: No
  • Health Issues: Heart problems, entropion, hip and elbow dysplasia, dental problems
  • Litter Size: 7-10 puppies
  • Average Price: $1200-$2000 USD

Boerboel History

In the Dutch language, “Boer” means “farmer,” was given to Huguenot, German, and Dutch settlers of South Africa. These settlers arrived in South Africa in the early 1600s.

In order to safeguard their remote homesteads, they brought with them big-sized guarding dogs, along with mastiff and bull types of dogs.

The interbreeding produced a dog which was loved by Boer settlers predominantly as a protector and big-game hunter.

Further refinements gave birth to the now known “Boerboel”, a tireless mastiff who mastered in the protection of home and hearth. Their innate monstrous strength is pretty useful when tangling or running off with ferocious wildlife, whether elephants or packs of plundering baboons.

Never come to a conclusion that the Boerboels are all a brute waiting for a fight. They are smart and sensitive enough to distinguish a friend from a foe.

Not known to withdraw when instigated, but their natural trait is to remain as a watchdog. These dogs are strong enough to perform well at weight-pulling competitions, but they also have a softer side of that as a healing dog.

This breed was recognized by the AKC in 2015.

Boerboel Interesting Facts

  • Reports are told of this dog vanquishing lions in this part of the world. These dogs are not known to haul a full-grown lion but, they were capable enough to ward off the occasional leopard.
  • It can actually do both, work as a loyal companion and shine as a working dog. These dogs were people’s dog and not only for the elite.
  • As a guardian dog, this dog may handle marauding baboons. They could do so without any danger if they have only a short tail.
  • The skin should be dark under his fur and on his stomach, as well as the top of his mouth. This darker shade was felt necessary in South Africa for protection against the heat and sun.
  • Obedience training and early socialization will go a big way in ensuring success. These dogs are both smart and clever and are ready to learn many tricks.
  • The Boerboels are assigned the popular Working Group designation.

Boerboel Infographic

Boerboel Infographic

Boerboel Size And Lifespan

Boerboel Height And Weight

  • Height- Male- 24-27 inches, Female-22-25 inches
  • Weight-Male-100-200 lbs, Female-110-143 lbs

Boerboel Lifespan

The average lifespan of this dog is between 9-11 years. By providing your dog with timely care and affection, you can expect them to live at least three to four years more than the average age.

Boerboel Appearance And Coat Color

Boerboel Appearance

Historically these dogs were developed as a normal farm dog by foreign settlers who adopted South Africa since the late 16th century.

These dogs were mostly the best line of defense primarily against predators. They were good at tracking and holding down the injured game.

Experts sing the praise of this dog’s courage, agility, and strength of the Boerboel.

The hot and tough conditions of the African continent allowed only the strongest to survive. The natural instinct of this dog is evident today, as is the confident, stable, and calm temperament of the breed.

The history and importance of the breed should be understood to preserve the qualities of this South African mastiff.

This is a large dog. It is muscular, confident, big, and strong in appearance with free-flowing, powerful movement.

When talking about this dog at play, it should display agility, nimbleness, suppleness, and strength.

Boerboel Face Proportion

Proper movement, proportion, and balance are of great importance than size.

Front and rear dimensions should be equal. Dogs are of heavier bone and a larger frame than bitches. Bitches are mostly feminine, however without weakness of structure and substance.

The head is flat and broad.  Eyes are horizontally set, beautiful and mostly in brown but much darker than the usual pelt color.

The muzzle is literally black with large nostrils. With powerful jaws and well-built teeth, they have razor sharp scissors like a bite. In addition, the ears are wide and high, V-shaped, and medium in size.

  • Neck – Very strong and muscular
  • Back – A straight back
  • Chest – Muscular and strong
  • Tail – Fixed high on the body
  • Front legs and hind paws – Slightly smaller and powerfully built dog

Boerboel Coat And Color

The coat is shiny, smooth, dense, and short. The skin appears loose and thick but fits smoothly.

Skin is nicely pigmented. The ideal patterns or colors are without or with a mask. Some prefer the black mask over the rest.

All shades of fawn, red, or brown with limited clear patches on the fore chest and legs are allowed. Brindle is permitted with any color.

Boerboel colors

This dog is well pigmented, ideally on the hair and skin around the genitals, paw pads, nose leather, the hair and skin around the eyes, palate, and on the lips.

  • Tawny
  • Reddish Brown
  • Red
  • Cream
  • Brown
  • Brindle

Ideal Markings

  • White markings
  • Piebald
  • Irish Masked
  • Black Mask

Boerboel Temperament

  • This is an intelligent and dominant dog with eagerness to please and strong protective instincts.
  • When approached is displaying a self-confessed aloofness; confident, stable, and calm.
  • He should ideally recognize a threat.
  • These dogs are loving towards family and children. A violent or offensive attitude towards other animals should not be mistaken.
  • Dogs that take part in the competition must be well-trained to permit examination.
  • This is an excellent guard dog and mostly patient and gentle with kids and small animals
  • Visitors are kept at bay unless and otherwise, they are familiar
  • Devoted and sincere, these dogs love to spend each and every minute with their families.
  • They are very trainable and smart, but they always need a leader to guide it.
  • Being a very strong dog with powerful jaws, it should not be permitted to take action on its own, or injury could happen anytime.
  • With an influential pack leader, these dogs make caring, loving, family pets.



Boerboel Health Problems

This dog is typically a strong breed. Any responsible breeder will ideally screen for various canine health conditions such as entropion, ectropion, heart disease, and hip and elbow dysplasia.

As will most other breeds, this dog’s ears and teeth need to be checked and brushed respectively.

1. The National Club Recommends 

  • Ophthalmologist Evaluation
  • Elbow Evaluation
  • Hip Evaluation

While the Boerboels are considered a strong and powerful dog, mainly developed for guardian and farm work, it is also prone to certain health issues faced by other larger breeds.

For this main reason, the American Boerboel Club strongly advise all breeders do the following health test.

2. Cardiac or heart function should be done by a recognized vet

  • Vet controlled registry mainly imported from another country
  • OFA-animal older than 1 year

3. Elbows need to be checked radiographically by a specialized vet

  • Vet controlled registry mainly imported from another country
  • OFA-animal older than 2 years

4. Hips need to be checked radiographically by a specialized vet

  • Vet controlled registry mainly imported from another country
  • OFA-animal older than 2 years
  • PENN Hip-animals older than 1 year

Major Health Issues


In this condition, the eyelids are inverted inward. The eyelashes rub or touch against the eyeball. Entropion may cause cornea and ulcers scarring. The condition can become much worse due to the weight of the face wrinkles, which in turn, causes ptosis of the eyelid.


In brachycephalic and toy breeds of dogs, inner eye inflammation and excess tears are major signs of entropion.

In larger breeds, it is easy to locate pus or mucus discharge from the eyes.


The shape of the dog’s face plays a pivotal role. In giant breeds, these dogs tend to have different slack in the sections around the eye. This allows the outer corners of the eyelids to bend inward.


Ulcerated corneas need triple antibiotic ointments. If the problem is minimal and the corneas look normal, vets may suggest artificial tears.

Vets through suturing turn the eyelid outward or inward.

Some cases may need facial reconstruction, but this is normally avoided.

Boerboel Care

These dogs actually need exercise so that they can remain in shape, maintain excellent health, and recharge their brains.

Dail activity also helps these dogs fight boredom, which has the capacity to cause unruly behavior.

In addition, some outdoor activity can reduce her tendency to chase, chew, dig, and retrieve herd.

Exercise needs change depending on your dog’s health condition and age, but a few strolls down the street daily and fifteen minutes outside is definitely not enough.

If your dog is between 6 and 18 months, his day-to-day requirement will be more.

Tips To Handle A Boerboel

Puppies are simple and easy to handle.

  • When moving a puppy, keep a hand under the chest, with your other hand or forearm holding his hind legs.
  • Always avoid lifting or grabbing your puppy by her tail, neck, or front legs.
  • If you wish to lift a full-grown dog, do as we mentioned earlier. Grab it from underneath, mildly holding her chest with your arm and back with the other arm.

How To Attend To Your Boerboel Puppy?

They need a calm peaceful spot so that they could have a good time. You can purchase a new doggie bed. Have a pillow and a clean sheet in the bed.

Clean the dog’s bed covering as frequently as possible. If the dog is spending more time outdoors, ensure he has access to clean, fresh water, and good cover from the hot sun.

Boerboel Grooming And Shedding

This dog has a dense, short coat. It sheds moderately.

Regular weekly brushing using a hound glove, a rubber grooming tool, or brush with a soft-bristle will aid to remove all the loose hair.

A nice steady brushing encourages new hair growth. Furthermore, it distributes skin oils to help them remain healthy.

They need only an occasional bath. Like with all other breeds, the dog’s nails should be regularly trimmed. Long nails cause dog pain and problems during running and walking.

Tick and Flea Problems

Daily monitoring of your pet for ticks and fleas in the dry season are vital. Brush your dog’s coat using a flea comb.

At present, there are plenty of new treatments for tick control.

Talk to your vet about the options available.

Boerboel Training

These dogs are a territorial, strong breed- definitely not suitable for a new owner.  He is amazingly loyal, highly intelligent, calm, and steadfast.

They need to move and stay with people and will suffer from separation anxiety unless maintained as the main member of their family.

Their natural instincts make early socialization compulsory, as is obedience training, begun at a very young age.

Puppies of this breed are pliant and soft, and novice owners may be forced into thinking that this dog will remain like this, but consistent training will tame the aggressive instincts of this dog.

Boerboel Exercise

The powerful, agile dog like this needs plenty of daily exercises such as-

  • Play sessions only in a safely fenced area
  • Long walks with the owner

These dogs need plenty of interaction and mental stimulation with their owners combined with physical activity. They will seldom keep quiet when challenged by other dogs.

Avoid visiting dog parks.

Due to their protective nature, they should always be kept on a leash. The breed often loves taking part in stock and protection sports work, agility, weight pull, rally, and obedience competitions.

Boerboel Foods

This dog should do exceedingly well on any high-quality dog, whether home-prepared or commercially manufactured.

Bear in mind, any diet should actually be appropriate and suitable for your dog’s age(senior, adult, or puppy).

Some dogs are easily susceptible to getting overweight. Kindly monitor your dog’s weight level and calorie intake.

Treats remain an integral part of the training, but eating too much can cause obesity.

Fresh, clean water should be provided at all times.

Boerboel Feeding Tips

  • Pups between 8 and 12 weeks need something close to 4 meals a day
  • Pups 3-6 months should be given three meals daily
  • Feed puppies between 6 months and 1-year at least twice daily
  • When your puppy is 1 year old, a single meal daily is enough
  • At times, adult dogs, however, can manage with 2 smaller cups. Be flexible with your dog’s eating habits.

Best quality dry food provides an ideal diet for any full-grown dogs. You can mix with water, broth, or canned food.

Your pets may love cooked eggs, veggies and fruits, and cottage cheese but these should never 10 percent of your dog’s daily diet.

These pups should ideally be given best-quality puppy food.

Avoid people foods, since it can lead to vitamin and mineral deficiencies, bone and tooth concerns, and may cause very choosy eating habits.

Favorable Foods

Must Avoid-Items

Boerboel Puppies Names

If you a novice dog owner, you better skip this dog breed.

This breed is strong enough to maul adults and children to death and families with little kids should try a different breed for safety reasons.

Since this dog represents the South African landscape, you should search for a suitable name in the African culture.

There are a lot of names that are not only peculiar but easy to pronounce.

Do not just rush when you planning to name your new South African Mastiff, research and find the best name for your pet.

Male Dog NamesFemale Dog Names
Chike – A very talented and gifted personDeka - The messenger from heaven
Kanye - Means “Freedom”Ayana - Beautiful flower
Femi - Loved by GodMasika - One who bring rains
Emem - Filled with peaceAnaya - One who admires God
Dakari - The place of joyIfe - A woman filled with love
Amare - One who sustains or buildsEshe - Everlasting peace or an immortal being
Jelani - One with tremendous strengthAmaka - God is beautiful
Imari - A loyal and faithful partnerZalika - Well-born child
Khari - Nothing short of a kingLerato - Beloved woman
Simba - Lion Delu - The one and only daughter

Recommended Read:

Most Popular Dog Names Research Analysis

Names For Small And Large Dogs

Boerboel Price And Breeders

Depending on the pedigree and the breeder of the puppy, you should not hesitate to spend $1200-$2000 USD for a puppy.

The annual cost for managing your Boerboels include-

  • License
  • Toys
  • Vet bills
  • Treats and meals

This cost could be between $420 and $780 USD. We have not included costs of a dog crate, carrier, leash and collar, and sterilization cost.

It’s better you plan well in advance before you bring home your Boerboel puppy.

Follow the licensing rules and some counties expect you to attach the license to the dog itself.

The ID tattoo, along with the license can help get your dog soon if it happens to get lost.

 Checklist of Dog Supplies

  • Dog toothbrush
  • Dog bed with towel or blanket
  • Training Crate
  • Brush and comb
  • Chewable toys
  • Water bowl
  • Food bowl
  • Best quality dog food designed only for similarly-sized dogs
  • Carrier
  • Good quality leash
  • ID tag and collar with license

Boerboel Puppies for Sale

It is always suggested you only buy a pet from a reputed breeder. Make sure that the breeder provides all the required papers at the time of sale.

If interested, contact your local rescue shelter.

Boerboel Breeders

  • Platinum Boerboels
    Melissa Downum
    Spanaway, WA 98387
  • Valor Guarding Dogs
    Kaliegh Sanders
    Bennett, CO 80102
  • Adara Ridge Kennel
    Michelle Convis
    Bellevue, MI 49021
  • Exotic Boerboel
    Jordan Pittman
    Cleveland, OH 44106



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