Quick facts about Boerboels:

  • Boerboels are a dominant breed and this presents several challenges.
  • These dogs are a giant breed of dog that are normally born in litter sizes of between 7 to 10 puppies.
  • They are a large, strong and guardian breed and share some characteristics and traits with Rottweilers so there’s not necessarily going to be the sort of temperament clash that you sometimes get with a mixture of very different breeds.
  • Boerboels are a giant breed of dog that are normally born in litter sizes of between 7 to 10 puppies.
  • They are an intelligent, sensitive, athletic breed and need the mental stimulation, interaction and energy outlet provided through focused work and training.
  • This dog breed is foremost incredibly devoted dogs that form close bonds with the entire family.
  • They are friendly to their family and those invited into the house.
  • Boerboels are generally known for their good health.
  • They are hardy animals, equipped to survive the harsh African climate.
  • This breed is good companions for children, as they will accept the whole family, not just one person, as their master because they feel their primary duty is to protect all of you.
  • These dogs are intelligent and have natural pack instincts.
  • This breed is known as healthy dogs.
  • These dogs are not easy to train.
  • The Boerboel breed is 24 to 27 inches (22 to 25 inches for females) at the shoulder and should weigh between 140-200 pounds.

Life expectancy

Unfortunately, the Boerboel does not have the longest life expectancy. They generally only live between 8 and 10 years on average.


Boerboel Training Boerboel puppies are known for being easy to train and live with. Due to their easy-going attitude while in pre-adolescence, many people mistakenly believe training is not necessary. As Boerboels mature, their confidence, reactivity, dominance and willingness to protect increases substantially and owners need to be sure they can read their dog and maintain control in any situation. Structured obedience training and continual proofing of commands under a variety of distractions is necessary for raising the well-adjusted Boerboel. Many owners have found incorporating a NILIF (Nothing In Life Is Free) protocol from the very beginning avoids dominance issues and streamlines communication.
As a Working and Utility breed, Boerboels positively thrive when presented with the challenges and rewards of structured training.
Their name literally translates into “Farmer’s dog” and they possess a truly utilitarian nature and high biddability. Obedience, Rally-O, Weight Pull, Agility, Stock work, Protection Sports and Therapy work are all disciplines in which they are known to excel. As with any breed, individuals possess their own temperament and assortment of drives and are more suited for some activities than others. Boerboels are an intelligent, sensitive, athletic breed and need the mental stimulation, interaction and energy outlet provided through focused work and training. Research is of paramount importance when purchasing a Boerboel. After fully educating oneself on the demands and expense of owning this breed, patient and thorough research of breeders will help ensure the quality health and temperamental soundness of the puppy chosen.


I don’t have personal experience with the Boerboel breed but in my opinion, if you meet both parents of the pup you’re interested in and they are both calm, confident and don’t show any aggressive/fearful tendencies, then the pups are fairly likely to have sound temperaments also. After that, the way you raise, treat and train your pup will have the biggest influence on his eventual temperament and behavior.


With lots of training and socialization and the right owner, the Boerboel is an intelligent, friendly dog that is known for getting on very well with children. If you’re looking for a large pup to be your companion, read on below to see whether the Boerboel might be for you.


With their high energy levels, the Boerboel will love to be a part of a family that they can exercise with, joining you while you are hiking and running. However, they’ll also love to curl up next to you on the couch at the end of the long day for some love and affection.


Boerboels are known as healthy dogs. Still, like any other breed, they may have an inherited condition, and accidents may occur.


Boerboel colors include brindle, cream, brown, rust, and red, and their sleek coat can come in a variety of different markings. They shed a fair amount, but their short coats are easily cared for. Their eyes are brown, and horizontally set, helping give the boerboel its characteristic alert and intelligent expression. 


The Boerboel is a highly intelligent dog, with self-assured temperament.

History of Boerboels

  • In 1652, when Jan van Riebeeck and company arrived in Cape Town, they brought along a dog breed called the Bullenbijters for protection. 
  • In 1938, the diamond mining company De Beers imported Bullmastiffs to guard their South African mines, and these dogs were subsequently integrated into the Boerboel gene pool.
  • In the 1980s, aware of the predicament faced by the breed, enthusiasts revived and preserved the Boerboel.
  • In the 1980s, however, a group of breed enthusiasts sought to begin breeding pure Boerboels again.
  • In 1990 SABBA filmed and distributed a documentary on the Boerboel’s rich and extensive history in a harsh and unforgiving land.
  • In 1990 the Boerboel breed, according to the AKC, was in danger of being lost and a group of fanciers (later to become the South African Boerboel Breeders’ Association or SABT) started scouring South Africa for eligible dogs to use as a breeding base.
  • In 2002, Romania prohibited the import of the Boerboel, and restricted ownership to those with a court order allowing them to own the dog.
  • In 2010, the Boerboel was banned in Denmark.
  • In 2011, Russia designated the Boerboel an “especially dangerous breed,” subject to mandatory registration and certification.
  • In 2015, the AKC admitted the boerboel into the working dog category, which helped raise the breed’s profile in North America.