South African Boerboels


South African Boerboel

The South African Boerboel is an extra large Mastiff breed. At 23-28 inches tall and weighing in at 110-200 Lbs, these dogs have short, low maintenance coats that come in various shades of red and brown, fawn, white, black, and combination colors like piebald and brindle’s. Boerboels have a massive skull, a broad stance, and visible muscle definition when kept in shape. They have a scissor bite with 46 teeth. Their tails may be docked but ears should be left natural.

Boerboel History

It is uncertain which breeds were used to create the Boerboel, however research strongly suggests that the extinct Bullenbeiser was bred to the native South African dogs. This line was then subject to influences from Dutch, French, and British breeds that were brought into the country with new settlers. The word Boerboel comes from the Afrikaans/Dutch language in which “boer” means “farmer” and the whole word means “farmers dog”. This is because the settlers who bred this dog were mostly farmers who used it for protection from wild animals, cart pulling, and as a body guard for the family.

Boerboel Temperment

These dogs are said to be the only breed specifically bred as a guardian of the home and family. Though they may look the part they were never actually bred for dog fighting (Listen up Denmark), and do not have the natural dog aggression that other guard breeds have. Though the Boerboel is extremely protective of his “pack” (people, other dogs, cats, livestock, etc..) he will not be so in an inappropriate way. If a guest comes the dog will want to smell them head to toe and read their body language, NOT bark and snarl and scare off your guest. However if that guest were to become aggressive with you, your Boerboel would bring you their right arm as a gift.

NOTE: While Boerboels are not an overly aggressive Guard Dog Breed, they are Protective and Territorial Animals. A Boerboel without proper training still has these qualities but misdirects them into aggression. This is extremely dangerous with a 150lb+ Guard Breed! This shouldn’t scare you, just make you understand how important Boerboel Socialization and Training are.

Boerboels have the ability to be absolutely man stopping beasts, however there is a much more docile side. This dog is used as a therapy dog and a best friend for thousands of unsupervised children every day. Caution should be used with small children only because the dog might knock them over by mistake. Due to the fact that this dog was bred for protection and farm work, not dog fighting, there are minimal aggression issues to deal with naturally and socialization is made easier.

Boerboel Athletics

These dogs are highly prized as big game hunters around the world because they can track skillfully and hold large animals down until the hunter arrives. In Africa they are commonly used to hunt adult lions (does that make a Boerboel king of the jungle?). They are completely fearless dogs and when faced with an obstacle or threat the only option in their mind is to go deal with it by whatever means necessary so they can return to their pack.

Boerboel Needs

  • A Boerboel without enough mental stimulation and exersize will ruin your life, simple as that. These are 150# dogs on average and as such need exercise. This can be land to run on, a daily jog, or 3 daily half mile or more walks.
  • The Boerboel hates being in a crate! They hate being away from you even more!! Give your Boerboel the attention it deserves.
  • A Boerboel will do okay in a smaller house though, as long as you give him enough attention and outside time every day.

Boerboel Wrap Up

To sum it up the Boerboel is a very large, very strong breed of dog. He is one of the best guard dogs in the world partly because of his man stopping power and partly because he is smart enough to know when not to use that power. Boerboels are great with kids old enough to not be hurt by mistake. Also other animals in the home are safe if the Boerboel considers them part of the pack (dogs, cats, birds, livestock, etc…). This breed is an athlete and needs daily exercise to be happy and maintain his impressive natural muscle definition. They are great hunting dogs if your into that but don’t require it like hounds do.

Author: Janet Carr

Fashion, beauty and animal loving language consultant from South Africa living in Stockholm, Sweden.

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