A brown Boerboel dog rests in the grass.
A brown Boerboel dog rests in the grass.

Boerboel

avatarJenna Kahn, MBA, VMD

Height22 - 27"
Weight120 - 200 lbs
TypeWorking
Life Expectancy9 - 12 years
Area of OriginAfrica

Energy Level

Playfulness

Friendliness to dogs

Friendliness to strangers

exercise requirements

affection level

friendliness to other pets

watchfulness

Grooming Requirements

Vocality

The Boerboel (pronounced “ber-bull”) is a large, courageous, and protective dog breed that originated in South Africa in the 1600s. Their name translates to “Farmer’s Dog,” which is significant in that their role was to protect the homestead of European settlers. The breed is still hailed today as a handsome and loyal guardian of the family and home. They are particularly well known for their innate ability to distinguish welcomed visitors from intruders. While they are touted for their strength, power, and protection, they also have a very warm and loving side reserved for their families.

Energy Level

Playfulness

Friendliness to dogs

Friendliness to strangers

exercise requirements

affection level

friendliness to other pets

watchfulness

Grooming Requirements

Vocality

Where Is the Boerboel From?

The ancestry of the Boerboel breed can be traced back to the “Boer Dog,” which developed from the interbreeding of Mastiffs, Bulldogs, and other large European dogs used for power and guarding. The Boer Dog served as both a hunter and protector for European settlers (the “Boers”) in 17th century South Africa.

The Boerboel was introduced to other countries by Dr. Carl Semencic, an American anthropologist. The breed was officially recognized by the American Kennel Club in 2015.

Where Is the Boerboel From?

The ancestry of the Boerboel breed can be traced back to the “Boer Dog,” which developed from the interbreeding of Mastiffs, Bulldogs, and other large European dogs used for power and guarding. The Boer Dog served as both a hunter and protector for European settlers (the “Boers”) in 17th century South Africa.

The Boerboel was introduced to other countries by Dr. Carl Semencic, an American anthropologist. The breed was officially recognized by the American Kennel Club in 2015.

Care

What Kind of Diet Does a Boerboel Need?

Because of their size and energy level, the Boerboel requires a nutritious, large-breed dog food. Be sure to exercise portion control, since these dogs are known to be voracious eaters.

Caring for a Boerboel

What Kind of Diet Does a Boerboel Need?

How Much Grooming Does a Boerboel Need?

Are Boerboels Healthy Dogs?

How Much Training Does a Boerboel Need?

How Much Exercise Do Boerboels Need?

What Kind of Diet Does a Boerboel Need?

Because of their size and energy level, the Boerboel requires a nutritious, large-breed dog food. Be sure to exercise portion control, since these dogs are known to be voracious eaters.

What Are the Physical Characteristics of a Boerbel?

Boerboels measure 22 – 27 inches in height and weigh 120 – 200 pounds. They are tall, stocky, and powerful dogs that bear a resemblance to the Mastiff breeds. Despite their body type, they are known to be quite agile.

The Boerboel’s head is blocky and well-muscled, featuring wrinkling of the skin atop the forehead and a loose, floppy upper lip. The muzzle is often darkly pigmented, as are the nostrils. The eyes are medium sized and can be any shade of brown. Ears are triangular in shape and hang forward.

The Boerboel is one of the strongest dog breeds in existence, and have a physical build to match their reputation. Their necks are muscular, backs are brawny and straight, and chests are deep and broad.

Boerboels are born with long, straight tails. Docking is common for the breed, resulting in a short tail set high on the rump.

The forelimbs are straight, well-muscled, and densely boned. Shoulders are sloped, and feet are compact.

Boerboels are typically brown, fawn, or red in color. Their coats are short, thick, and shiny.

Hindlimbs are well-muscled. The upper thighs are brawny and can be appreciated from the rear. Limbs are parallel and feet point straight forward.

Boerboel Facts

1

Boerboel enthusiasts claim that they are "the only breed in the world specifically bred to guard and protect.”

2

Traditionally, the Boerboel's tail was docked to protect it from being grabbed during a baboon attack.

3

The skin of the Boerboel is darkly pigmented to protect them from the sun's rays.

Other Breeds to Explore

Choosing a Bullmastiff
Cane Corso
Rottweiler

References

  • Morris, Desmond. Dogs: The Ultimate Dictionary of Over 1,000 Dog Breeds. Trafalgar Square, 2002.

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