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Boerboel -African Mastiff


Boerboel: Your new pet

The Boerboel is a friendly and powerful dog, native from the African continent. In its genealogy, there are already extinct dogs like the Bullenbeisser.

Its ancestors are the Bullmastiff, the Great Dane, and the Bullensbeisser, the last is an extinct dog.

These dogs were used to protect great land extensions in antiquity, which is why they are a great option as guardian dogs.

The Boerboel dog can impress you by its powerful and fierce aspect since is a giant dog breed. Is very imposing whether is a male or a female, both can measure 70 cm to their cross

The average weight of both sexes is 95 kg. Impressive!

It is not recommended as a family pet unless it has a master experienced in training that knows how to control it. Let’s remember that we are talking about a large and heavy dog.

Its fur is short and smooth. Between the colors that can have we find red, beige, yellow or tabby. Something magnificent is that the color of its eyes will be in accordance with its fur; these can be dark brown, yellow or light brown.

The Boerboel, although its imposing appearance, enjoys of a familiar environment, it is a polite dog with the family members. Its behavior is very good; it is obedient since, during a long part of its existence, it has helped men in their works. However, it is distrustful with strangers, so you must not pretend that someone who does not give the dog full confidence is attacking you. It is even convenient never pretending that someone is attacking you in the presence of this breed.

Because of its great affection sense, this dog would attack any person who is hurting its owner.

If we were to give a brief definition of the Boerboel we would say that it is trusting with its owners, distrustful to strangers and an extremely brave dog. It will not hesitate to integrate into the family kindly.

Although its imposing aspect is a dog that enjoys playing with kids. It is affectionate, careful and playful if it has been raised adequately by its owner. As a pup is recommended to join it with other dogs, kids, and adults, so it can socialize correctly and so that it is not so distrustful with people and other animals. It is convenient to teach kids how to treat them since, because of their size it could be dangerous if it gets angry for mistreatment.

The Boerboel can be kind to other dogs, but this depends directly on if it was socialized as a pup or not. Always remember that the education since the dog is a pup is fundamental for a large-size dog.

If the Boerboel has not socialized, then you will see how it acts with certain dominance in the presence of other dogs, but you do not have to worry, it can be reeducated.

The Boerboel is an excellent guardian dog. It is strong, bold and loyal, so it will not doubt in attacking a person who is hurting a loved one, or who infiltrates in its owners’ house. Due to these characteristics, it is also an excellent shepherd dog.

It must be trained with leash since is a pup and you have to take it out for walks, if you do not do this, walks may be a frustrating experience since, because of its great strength, the dog can walk its owners instead of them to it.

Besides, this dog possesses great intelligence to learn all tricks and commands you want, whether basics, medium or advanced.

The Boerboel dog is very active. It needs constant movement to exercise and to free the energy that has contained due to stress. It must eat on average 700 gr of food a day, which makes exercising even more necessary to prevent obesity. If you have decided to adopt or buy a Boerboel, you must put on your tennis and get ready for long walks and games.

To prevent its fur from being plagued with ticks or fleas you will need to brush it twice a week. Its fur is short so there will be no problems.

It is recommended that you do not force the animal to keep running or playing if it is already tired, you have to respect that and let it rest. Likewise, you must prevent your dog from being sedentary, this would make the Boerboel predisposed to suffer hip dysplasia

Alternative Names of the Boerboel

Over the years, history indicates that this magnificent dog has received many names, such as African Boerboel, South African Mastiff, South African Boerboel, Boele, and Burbul.

History and Origin of the Boerboel Dog

The Boerboel is a giant dog that saw its origins in South African lands, exactly in the Dutch colonies that established in this region and ruled it, but after the Boer Wars, it became a British colony, where this dog breed became very popular since it took good care of wild animals’ flocks.

The Netherlanders had already baptized this dog as Boerboel because “boer” means farmer in Dutch, so the dog kept the name that also means “the farmer dog”.

It is not known what background this breed has, but it is believed that it had an evolution product of dogs that were in that area, that is, Dutch, French and British dogs.

It is known for sure that the first Netherlander to get to South African lands was Jan Van Riebeeck. This man explored the zone to later communicate the habitability of the land to the people of his native land. When the first Dutch colonists of South Africa arrived, they found various dangers as wild animals, natural virgin zones, impressive mountains, and drought valleys, so they brought from Netherland many strong dogs to accompany them in their journeys and to protect them from the beasts that they saw in their first excursions.

The dogs that they took were breeds of great resistance, strength, and musculature, as the Bullenbijter. Then, when the British colonists threw the Dutch settlers out of these lands, they brought their stronger dogs like the Bulldogs and English Mastiffs. After this, the French contributed to the accomplishment of the breed as we know it today, thanks to their Bulldogs and finally the Italians completed the scene with their Mastiffs and the Cane Corsos.

Unfortunately, many persons and dogs died during these long expeditions, whether by attacks of wild animals as by the product of the inhospitable nature. Only the strongest dogs of each specimen survived.

This is reinforced knowing that, as companions and defenders of humans on their trips, these dogs had to be free from diseases to be in optimal condition to face possible combats. That is why all resulting specimens of the crosses between different species of dogs that lived in South Africa at that time had good health and were the strongest of their species.

Other species also came out from these crosses, such as the Bullmastiff, resulting from the cross between a Bulldog and a Mastiff.

In South Africa, there were also indigenous, who had a strong dog breed also destined to the protection of the villages, the African dog. The cross between African dogs and European dogs produced the first type of Boerboel, the primal Boerboel, also called the Boeleboel.

The Boeleboel dogs did not look like the current Boerboels, however, they were very strong and resistant to any disease, besides, they were excellent guardian dogs.

The Boeleboels were crossing with different breeds until they got the final appearance that we all know today. Due to these crosses, the Boerboel acquired the best features of each breed, becoming an excellent hunter, guardian, attack and companion dog.

Approaching the 20th century, the Boerboels were known as Boele dogs because they were commonly used on farms to guard the flocks. Then a tragedy occurred for the breed when the farmers started moving to the cities and left the country, and allowed the Boerboel to cross with other city-breed dogs, gravely affecting the breed.

The Boerboel did not select an equal breed to mate it just did not care. For this and the lack of interest of men to produce more pups of this breed, the Boerboels were about to extinguish.

But a group of people, lovers of the breed, knowing how brave and how good pets the Boerboels were, created the South African Association of Boerboel Breeders.

The temperament of the Boerboel Dog

The African Boerboel is a trustful, smart and obedient breed, with a developed instinct of guardian dog, which makes it a territorial dog. It is affectionate and playful with its owner tends to be protective with its family, and can be aggressive with strangers. It is a confident and dominant dog.

Principal Characteristics

The Boerboel possesses a formidable and superb aspect by its size and physical appearance.

It is voluminous, balanced and strong with defined muscles. This breed has a short and widened body. Its head tends to be rectangular. Its ears are medium-sized, separated and triangular. The fur can be of various colors such as light and medium golden, brown, dark red and spotted. It may or may not have a dark-colored border around the eyes.

The name Boerboel comes from the Dutch and Afrikaans expression “boer” which means farmer, so Boerboel would be “the farmer’s dog”. In antiquity, the African farmers managed this breed for work, guard and fights.

This dog can reach a height from 64 to 70 cm from the cross in males and from 59 to 70 cm to the cross in females. With a weight from 60 to 90 kg in males while females can be from 50 to 70 kg. Some dogs can weight more than the standard if it is too big.

This breed is not suitable for inexperienced people in terms of care since it is a big dog. It needs an experienced owner that can give it good training and mostly, control it.

The Boerboel is muscular, big and energetic. Its movements tend to be quick. It is more voluminous than a Boxer but smaller than a Great Dane. Its proportions are distributed equitably.

The female should have less musculature than the male. The specimen should be smart and obedient because it is on its genes. It is a dog bred to guard the house and its family. Its aspect is fierce and regal.

Its head is deep, wide and short. It can be black in the snout, eyes or in all the face. The face is united symmetrically to the rest of the head. It could have wrinkles on the forehead. The shape of the head also has a strong bond with the attitude of the animal.

Its snout is straight towards the stop and it should not be marked, only visible. The nose has big holes and black pigmentation. The nasal passage measures 8 cm to 10 cm being narrower in the front.

The lips of the Boerboel are asymmetric since the upper lip, just below the nose, covers the lower lip and on the sides tends to be shorter while the lower lip is more attached to the jaw because it does not hang.

The jaw is strong, wide and just a little thinner in the nose area. Its teeth are slightly separated, in a good position. Its bite is scissor-shaped.

The Boerboel’s eyes are from light to dark brown, but they are always darker than its fur.

Its neck is slightly curved thanks to its marked musculature. This is a medium according to the body. It is strong and muscular, wider to the shoulders and holds the head strongly.

Its body is straight and wide and it gets narrow on the shoulders. As for the loin is slightly short. Its musculature is marked in the thighs, shoulders, chest, and paws. The cross is strong and it is moderately spread sideways. The shoulders tend to be squared to the position of the front paws, of slightly elevated insertion.

The paws are pretty wide and have a tough and muscular contexture, are rounded with prominent pads. The fingers are strong, medium-sized and should always look forward. The nails are black or dark brown with a little curvature. The back paws are strong and athletic, but smaller than the front paws.

The movement of this breed is loose, athletic and erect, in which the back paws give a strong momentum thanks to its great musculature. While the Boerboel walks, it should remain straight and stable. The paws moves should be parallel.

Its skin is thick, rough and plump in the face. The skin below the neck is hanging, and so does the chest skin, but a little less. When the dog is lying, you can see small rolls of skin between the thighs and elbows.


The dark color pigmentation is present in all the body, mostly in the eyes, nails, elbows, lips, etc.

This dog does not have many health problems as most of the purebred dogs, this is due to the established rules to the exact eligibility criteria for each one of the pups and thus get better and better specimens

However, in some cases, the Boerboel may suffer from some diseases. The most common would be hip and shoulder dysplasia, patellar dislocation, allergies caused by mites or food, among others.

The Boerboel has a quiet character, smart and protective of its family, although its physical aspect can make you think the opposite.

It is very smart and independent. Many times, it communicates through grunts and tends to be territorial. That is one of the reasons why is known as a guardian dog.

In many cases, these dogs are sociable with other dogs and even with other types of animals, but there are some specimens whose instinct will define their behavior.


Basing on the instinct of this breed, it will be a small problem because it would be dominant with other dogs, especially if it is a dog of its same breed.

The dominancy is observed in many aspects and situations, for example, if the dog did not socialize as a pup, it could be insecure and distrustful with others in the future.

This temperament is due to the cross of different Mastiff breeds. In this breed, the female is a better guardian than the male. This is because the female has better reflexes to act in case an unexpected situation arises in her territory. The female can also show many dominancy signs during her zeal.

To an adequate behavior, you have to know that is not good to keep the Boerboel pup apart from its mother or siblings when it is not at least eight weeks of life, because this experience, besides of being good socialization, teaches the dog the adequate behavior that it must have to other dogs. This will give it more curiosity and enthusiasm to have positive social experiences in the future.

After this, you have to put it in touch with other dogs, persons, objects, smells, etc. To teach the pup new experiences and for it to get used to different moments of its life step by step.

If a pet is not used to relate with dogs and people, is probable that it shows abnormal conduct and even aggressiveness in the future. To not go through awkward moments for you and your dog, you have to avoid this kind of behaviors

There are even some cases where frequent walks can suppose a big problem because the dog will show fear and bewilderment of being in unknown territory for it. This will make the dog feel unsure and will lead it to react less correctly.

The vet visits will be even harder with this kind of character, so if the dog is in a panic state, its actions could be unpredictable. In some cases, someone could be harmed if it gets aggressive to the veterinarian, people, other pets or even its owners.


Like its master, we need to put limits and give firm orders without hesitation. It is extremely important not to show insecurity or fear so as not to put our dog in a worse mood.

If the dog is an adult, you have to introduce it to socialization little by little. When it gets used to socialization, make it a daily job. The fundamental key is patience since it will be a long process that will probably last years, or maybe a few weeks, it all depends on the specimen we are dealing with.

Reprehend all bad actions by ignoring them and putting the dog far from the center of the problem. Do not be aggressive or scream to the dog, this will only make it more insecure. The best you can do in these cases is to wait for the dog to calm and then try again. If it shows good behavior, congratulate it effusively and award it with candies or something that your pet likes, this way you will reinforcing this conduct.

If your dog can not establish a positive point in the socialization area, the most probable thing is that it has character problems. You can ask an expert or veterinarian with knowledge of dogs’ characters for help.

Diet and Alimentation of the Boerboel

The Boerboels are robust and giant dogs that require a good alimentation to keep all that power and potency that their bodies possess. Therefore, because of its exigent menu, you must know that the alimentation of this imposing animal must be a fundamental factor when you take it as your pet or guardian dog.

If you decided to adopt or have already adopted a Boerboel, then there is no turning back. You must think about how to keep the feeding of this imposing dog since it needs a few kilograms of balanced food a month. Now, if you have enough money to supply this exigent diet, then you will not have economic problems, however, you still need to know how to correctly feed a Boerboel.

Daily Alimentation of the Boerboel

A Boerboel can devour between 600 and 800 gr of balanced food for dogs daily, so we are talking about a nutritional regimen of 24 kg of food each month. But besides this, the exercise is fundamental to keep the musculature of this dog. If a Boerboel does not exercise daily adequately, it will suffer from overweight, because everything it eats will accumulate in its body and will become in accumulated fat because the body is not needing that energy so it will store it for when is needed.


Food supplements are necessary to a Boerboel since it is an energetic and muscular dog. When it is a pup, you must add these supplements to its diet for it to develop good health and to be happy. You must add small doses of calcium to its meals so it grows with strong bones and be capable of bear all the weight of this giant and strong breed.

Besides, is also necessary for the addition of proteins to its diet because this will prevent the tendency to overweight in your dog. You have to make your dog seize the most of the energy to prevent that it becomes in fats.

Does the Boerboel need much food because is a giant breed?

The answer could seem obvious, but it is not. A dog does not need too much more food because its size is bigger than other breeds. For example, an Irish Wolfhound pup eats barely a little more than a Chihuahua, but this does not mean that it requires three or six times the dose of food that a dog of this small size requires as an adult. Now, what this magnificent South African dog does need at every moment is that its food has a big amount of nutrients, which does not mean more amount of food.

What diet is convenient for a Boerboel?

When we talk about a giant dog as the Boerboel, the convenient thing is that you give it food specially made for these giant breeds. Usually, you find in the back of the food packages the instructions to feed a dog according to each breed, but these foods will not give a Boerboel dog enough nutrients since these are too generic in their composition. However, there will be no problem if you feed your Boerboel with these foods because you can add the necessary nutrients to them.


If you follow the instructions of the packages, you will end up overfeeding your Boerboel, why? Because, to give it the most of the nutrients it needs, you would need a little food mountain. You can simply opt for feeding correctly your pet, adding nutrients so it is completely satisfied, but not predisposed to obesity or stomach disorders, a product of the overfeeding.

Now, if a Boerboel dog is fed with food for small to medium-sized breed puppies, or for adult small or medium-sized dogs (even worst), your giant dog may eat and eat and never get satisfied because of the poor quantity of nutrients for its size. If a Boerboel puppy is fed with adult dogs’ food it will have the same effect or even worse since this contains fewer nutrients to prevent overweight in these breeds, so, as much as the pup eats, it will not be well-fed.

What happens if a Boerboel puppy is fed poorly?

The problems that poor feeding can develop in a Boerboel can be from mild to severe.

If a Boerboel does not receive the necessary nutrients from its food, it will eat more to get the energy it needs. Eating more than it would need if it were getting a balanced alimentation could trigger stomach diseases as diarrhea, stomachache, and the mortal gastric torsion.

As the last trigger, overweight can appear, which would make its bones and joints overstrain, which is not healthy for the dog because is not within the standard of kilograms these dogs can bear.

In conclusion, a Boerboel adult eats a considerable amount of dogs’ food, but this should contain proteins and minerals to be a complete meal. As much as you buy food for giant dogs, you will have to add these additional nutrients to it. To know how much nutrients you have to add, you have to check the components in the back of the package.

The best we can advise you is that you take your pet to the vet for it to tell you how much calcium, phosphorus, and vitamins are necessary for the dog’s current diet because if you overexpose it to these elements it could be harmful to its health.

A well-fed Boerboel dog will be muscular, strong and will always have the energy for sports and for playing with its owners for long moments. When you see that its desire for play has decreased or you notice sedentary behaviors that were not present before, you may be seeing the negative effects of a low nutritional alimentation and you must add more nutrients to its diet.

Necessary Cares of the Boerboel

The Boerboels are strong dogs and in general, have good health, but you always have to be on the lookout for it.

A Boerboel, just as any other dog, deserves care and checks with a veterinarian since it is a pup, thus you will be completely sure that your dog does not suffer from any disease nor is predisposed to any.

These dogs are considered giant dogs as the standard of its breed, which means it can develop typical diseases of these size breeds, such as hip and elbow dysplasia and the dangerous gastric torsion.


It is important to take care of the Boerboel’s alimentation since it tends to suffer from obesity. Due to its musculature, obesity would give it a weight that its bones would hardly bear and these would wear away very fast.

If unfortunately, our Boerboel suffers from hip dysplasia among other joints, obesity could inhibit it from walking, which would increase its weight shorten its life days.

Below we will mention the most frequent diseases that our Boerboel can suffer. It is vital that if you detect one of the symptoms, you take it to the veterinarian, but it is advisable to keep periodical checkups to prevent any type of disease.

Most Common Diseases

Elbow dysplasia: due to this disease that affects the joints of the elbow, our Boerboel could develop osteoarthritis in that area.

Hip dysplasia: as in the elbow area, a problem with the hip joints resulting from the deformity of the bones in that area can make the animal hobble.

Excessive itching: mites called Demodex cause this disease. It happens when the dog has an extreme itching and characteristics spots.

Vaginal Prolapse: it is possible that the females of this breed have their vulva out, a symptom that can be seen as a protruding tongue in its vaginal area.

Entropion and ectropion: these diseases affect the segregation of the eyes and increase the vaginal flow.

Cataracts: these may appear suddenly in the Boerboel’s eyes

Kneecap luxation: the kneecap does not adapt correctly to where it should be, thus producing the animal pain, and if is not treated, hobble.

Proliferative syndrome: this happens when the Boerboel does not exercise enough, but also if you do not feed it with all the necessary nutrients.

Allergies: mites are a factor that produces allergies to the Boerboels, just as pollen. The effects of these allergies are varied.

Cancer: luckily, the malignant neoplasms are not so frequent in this breed. However, if they appear, is possible that it will only affect old age dogs.

Boerboel’s Fur Cares


The Boerboel sheds hair twice a year, just as every dog breed, so you do not have to worry so much, even less when you take into consideration that the Boerboel’s hair loss is moderated. We recommend that during these times of fur shed you brush it twice a week.

Boerboel’s Ears Cares

You need to check the Boerboel’s ears frequently to prevent the appearance of infections or that certain insects as ticks or fleas stay in them. The particles may also cause an allergy in the area.

In conclusion, a Boerboel could suffer from many health problems that could be deadly in some cases, but with frequent veterinarian checks, the life expectancy of your Boerboel can be good and long. However, when we talk about favorable health conditions, a Boerboel can live 12 years. Usually, the Boerboels live between 10 and 11 years.

How to Train and Educate a Boerboel

From puppy, the Boerboel shows undeniable signs of intelligence, starting with its wide capacity for learning and its undeniable desire to make its master happy.

This positive attitude the dog shows in training does not mean that it will be easy to train. The Boerboel is a giant and strong dog, so you have to give it the best training that you can since it is a puppy, so as an adult it has clear limits and almost zero aggressiveness, more if there are other pets or kids in the house.

Although the African Mastiff (as this dog is also known) is obedient, on some occasions it can get excited for what happens around it, which is a bit risky because we are talking about an extremely big dog, hard to control with a leash. It may end up knocking you down and running where it wants to go. Therefore, it is necessary for training it to be obedient to you and to control itself when a situation excites it.

You must do physical activity next to your dog since in the past it was used as a dog for works, which means that it is used to work and exercise constantly. You can take these desires of playing and exercising to teach your dog some tricks and commands.

Training of the Boerboel as a Puppy

The South African Mastiff or Boerboel can be obedient to its owner, but the situations in the exterior disturb it and can make it go out of control. For this, is necessary that you train your Boerboel since it is a puppy with basic commands that all dogs should know, which are: quiet, sit down, come or leave.

Although you know your dog is obedient, the behavior of other people may seen suspicious to it. It is not a dog that would invite strangers to pet it or get too close to it, which will generate fear in persons.


The Boerboel dog is very obedient; however, if it does not see in you the necessity of being the leader of the pack, it may ignore you. You must be firm with it and train it the same way, but always understanding that you must treat it kindly and understandably. To prevent that it feels resentment towards you, you have to take care of it as any dog deserves, with love, comprehension, and firmness.

If the Boerboel does not see you as the leader of the pack but like someone weak, it will tend to dominate you, which is dangerous. It is a giant dog with impressive musculature and strength, so it is not convenient that it thinks we are weak and cannot give it orders. That is why you have to avoid the excess of caresses and you have to train it and be firm in your decisions and if it misbehaves, chastise it (with firm voice and gestures, not with mistreatments).

Ways of Training a Boerboel

The Boerboel has excellent results in training with positive reinforcement. With this kind of training your Boerboel will star being obedient in little time. The positive reinforcement consists of giving your dog a gift to eat when it does something right, although in some dogs a caress is enough, it is always good to count with some cookie so its interest is bigger.

When you are so happy that you are capable of rewarding your dog with a cookie or any snack (from your dog’s perspective), it will feel that it has done the right thing and will want to continue doing it as for pleasing you and to keep getting rewards. You must give it this award immediately when it fulfills an order. For example, once it gives you its paw when it comes if you call it or when it gets quite if it was exciting.

Another way of rewarding your Boerboel and that it is just as successful or even more, is taking it out for a walk or playing with it. The dog will rather a thousand times going out to play and drain all its energy in long games sessions or walks than a simple snack. You can also boost this by going with your family, the Boerboel loves spending family time.

Behavior with other dogs

The Boerboel can be a muscular and imposing dog, but that does not mean that its personality and treatment to other dogs and animals are completely rude and aggressive, in fact, the Boerboel is playful and has a great energy to play for hours and hours with other dogs.

The Boerboel is a smart dog, so it will enjoy playing games that use its mental capacity and will get even more excited if another dog is competing in those games, preferably of its same size and strength since the Boerboel tends to get excited and can result gruff, unintentionally, to small dog breeds.

The ideal profile of a dog partner for the Boerboel is a robust and big dog that can bear the games of the Boerboel (that many times are tough games). The Boerboel will be extremely happy if you give it an open and fenced environment for it to have fun playing to hunt and chase other dogs. It is a little bit of an explorer, so the fence is necessary for its safety when playing.

It is a familiar dog that has been close to humans for a long time, helping them in different activities, so it is used to the role of following and protecting the family. The Boerboel will not just protect the members of the family, but will also perform the job of protecting other animals that live in its space, including other dogs and cats.

The behavior of the Boerboel with puppies is extremely protective, just as the behavior that has with children. It prefers that they are always close to it, where it can be watching over them, and if they get too close to a stranger or vice versa, it will bark to the stranger, warning it that they “are part of the flock”, so it is not convenient that it harms them or touch them.

Your Boerboel must socialize with other dogs and strangers so its guardian instinct will not be so marked. When you are going to adopt your Boerboel it must have at least two months with its mother and siblings, because if you adopt it before that period, when it grows, it is probable that it will not know how to behave with other pets because he lacked interaction with other species. For that, it could act nervous or aggressive before different types of physical contact with other dogs.

You mustn’t skip any of these steps because it is a very big and muscular dog that if it fights with a small dog or cat, the results could be catastrophic for the little animal.

It will be very careful with other dogs because is a guardian dog and it will not like the idea of stranger dogs rounding its territory. If you want to adopt another dog and you already have a Boerboel at home, the best would be to separate the spaces in which the Boerboel and the new dog may be, allowing them to get to know each other although they cannot have a total physical contact. After a few days, you can take off what is hampering the full contact and see how both dogs react.

Of course, if one of both dogs is aggressive, it would be convenient not to get them together yet and train the Boerboel and the other dog to a correct interaction with other animals.

In summary, the Boerboel enjoys playing with other dogs, whether they are small (this interaction must be watched to prevent it from being too rough with them) medium, large dogs, or even cats. However, there is a big possibility that the interaction that has with dogs of its same breed it is strongly marked by dominance.

To prevent dominance between Boerboels is better that you adopt two Boerboels instead of one, this way, they will grow together and from the first moment they will know that none of them is the leader, but you are its owner and master of the house.

Behavior with Humans

The Boerboel can be easily identified as a strong, brave and risky dog. Some people tell the stories of how these dogs helped rangers to control the invasion of intruders to nobles’ lands. But as this dog was always with humans and even slept with the family of the ranger, it developed a great bond with humans, and for that, it thinks twice before harming them.Boerboel10

The Boerboel dog rarely shows symptoms of shyness or weakness, it is vigorous and smart. It is not an aggressive dog with humans or to other dogs, which is a relief since a dog of these features and a bad temperament would be a great danger. You must know that a good part of the character of an adult dog is due to how it has been educated. If a dog, independently if it is a Boerboel or not, receives bad treatments, is isolated and constantly scolded since it is a pup, it will grow up with hostility towards people and other dogs. If a dog is well educated, trained and socialized, it should not show a bad character.

Although it is a quiet dog, it has a beefy, muscular and very impressive body. Few intruders are capable of sticking to their plans if they see a Boerboel guarding the zone they want to get into.

Boerboels does not like strangers snooping its lands, so they will probably have to listen to their characteristic loud growl, which is enough warning to know that they should not pass to the area that it is guarding without permission and company of its owner or a relative of this.

The Boerboel as a Guardian Dog

The Boerboel is a guardian dog in all aspects, but it is surprising that besides this is its main job in many places in the world, it is also an amazing pet. First, we will talk about the Boerboel as a guardian dog, a job in which the female stands out being a better guardian for knowing how to react before certain situations, that is, that she thinks more before jumping and immobilizing someone.

The male on its behalf is a little more impulsive and protective than the female since its territoriality sense is more marked.

The Boerboels were used as shepherd dogs for a long time, due to their great abilities to guard flocks, so it is not convenient to keep them in an apartment or a small house. The Boerboel dogs love being free and being able to run and guard large land areas, so if they live inside a house, they would feel caught.

When a Boerboel dog is interacting with the family inside the house, it will act serene and obedient. This dog does not destroy things, but when you take it to the garden or you take it out for a walk, it will show the energy that is not commonly seen in dogs of this size. It likes very much to play with its owner and members of the family, as with kids who are its principal allies in games. The Boerboel loves kids and it is very patient with them. However, it is recommendable that you always watch it (as with any other dog) to prevent problems arising from the treatment children have with it.

To minimize any future problem when the Boerboel gets bigger and muscular, you have to make it socialize and train it since it is a puppy.

The Boerboel as a Pet Dog

The Boerboel is as good as a companion dog as it is as a guardian dog. It behaves very well with the members of the family and it is careful with strangers who visit the house (though is never hostile), just as with curious people or intruders that come close to the land that it is guarding (it will warn that is not happy with the presence of these).

In case these persons ignore the warnings of the Boerboel, this will no doubt in the act and run to where the intruder is to knock it down and immobilize it usually standing on top of them and barking to warn its owner that it has captured an intruder. It will not act with unnecessary violence, which is an important feature of this breed since is the result of its evolution and good relation with humans for hundreds of years.


It is a good dog with children, in fact, it loves playing with them and it is very patient with them. Such patience came from the good relationship that it has had with humans thanks to the rangers that, instead of leaving the dog outside on its own, they allowed it to sleep inside the house.

In summary, although its rude and rough aspect, this south African dog is incredibly playful, smart and eager to serve its owners. It is an extremely happy dog when it is free and into the land extension, it has to guard where it can run as much as it wants.

Ideal Environment of a Boerboel

The Boerboel is not just a giant dog breed, but also, in the past and currently in some regions still works as a shepherd dog. These two characteristics make the Boerboel have punctual needs when establishing an ideal environment for it to develop and grow from a puppy to an adult dog.

The giant dogs like the Boerboel must live in an area that does not put limits to its mobility, for that, if a dog with these features lives in an apartment or a small house, it could be hard, almost impossible. The Boerboels need space to move, stretch, investigate and finally play and run.

The only way a Boerboel can live inside a house or apartment is that these are big. In a big house, it will need a space that is his. Besides, it would have to be able to mobilize all around the place, and, on some occasions, run. This gets hard because of its big size and musculature, and it will probably end up destroying decorative objects unintentionally, which could upset their owners who may not know that their dog needs a lot of space to move since it is a shepherd dog.

Now, supposing that it has the space that it needs inside an apartment or house, you must take it out for walks daily. We are not talking about a walk of 5 minutes, you must dedicate at least two hours a day to exercising activities, thus avoiding stress from developing because of being caught and not draining its energy.

Run with it, walk for minutes, play with it to find the ball or the frisbee, or make him chase you. This way it will get tired and once it gets home, it will not want to waste more energy and could rest adequately, thus impeding that it has destructive or neurotic behaviors due to the lockup inside the house.

If you have a garden it is good news. Boerboels descend from dogs that helped rangers to immobilize intruders, therefore, they are used to guard great land extensions, but if you have a garden it can guard, it will be enough for it.

It is a very obedient dog and it will feel better having a job to perform, so if you give it a space like your garden to guard, it will feel very pleased. Now, as much as it has an outdoor space that it can guard, it is not convenient at all that you stop interacting with it and leave it just to guard that area of the house.

This dog did not only help rangers but it was also used as a shepherd dog, so it is used to have a good relationship with its master. Not paying attention to it will make it sad, so it is convenient that you let him into the house. It is a careful dog, so it will not be running around whenever it is inside.

With the Boerboels, you have to be careful when we talk about temperatures. Extreme temperatures, hot or cold, are prejudicial for it. It is important that if the dog lives outside, it has a doghouse to take shelter from the sun or the cold.

In conclusion, the Boerboel is a dog that performs splendidly its guardian work and it is just as amazing in the role of a pet. It is very obedient with its master and family, careful with children and careful when mobilizing inside the house.

If you want a Boerboel, but you do not have a garden, you will have to go out with it at least two hours a day so it can distract and drain its energies. It can be a long walk or various short walks of at least half an hour throughout the day.


If you do not know what activities you can do with it or unfortunately you do not have time to share with it during the day, you should know that there are associations where people dedicate to play with the dogs for many hours to exercise them and get them tired, ready to sleep and rest for a long while. These associations often offer dog training services, so it is a good idea that you take your dog there for training since is a puppy.

If you already have a Boerboel, now you know all the care that it needs. If your house does not have a garden, take it out for a walk! If you have a garden, perfect! Play and go out with it many times a week.