Boerboel

Working Group

Boerboel dog lying down in front of white background

Height at Shoulders

Females 22-25 in, Males 24-27 in

Weight

15-200 lbs

Life Expectancy

9-11 yrs

History

The Boerboel originated in South Africa, likely during the 17th century. It was around this time that Dutch, German, and French immigrants were settling in South Africa. They brought large mastiff-type and bull dogs with them as protection, and over the years, these dogs were bred to native South African dogs and other breeds to produce the Boerboel. The Boerboel's exact breed makeup is unclear, but they likely also had European breeds mixed in once European settlers came to the region. It is believed the Boerboel was being refined all the way up to 1928 when diamond miners imported Bullmastiffs to the region to breed with Boerboels to protect their mines. The breed's name come from the Dutch word "boer", meaning "farmer", and the Dutch/ Afrikaans word "boel", which is a slang word for "dog".

Breed Characteristics

While not all Boerboels will display the exact characteristics typical of the breed, most share a personality and temperament can be generalized by the characteristic rankings below. 

Intelligence

Affection Towards Family

Friendliness Towards Strangers

Friendliness Towards Other Dogs

Exercise Needs

★★★★☆

★★★★☆

★★☆☆☆

★★☆☆☆

★★★★☆

Energy Level

Sensitivity

Noise Level

Prey Drive

Shedding

★★★☆☆

★★★☆☆

★★★☆☆

★★★☆☆

★★★☆☆

Intelligence

★★★★☆


Affection Towards Family

★★★★☆


Friendliness Towards Strangers

★★☆☆☆


Friendliness Towards Other Dogs

★★☆☆☆


Exercise Needs

★★★★☆


Energy Level

★☆☆


Sensitivity

★☆☆


Noise Level

★☆☆


Prey Drive

★☆☆


Shedding

★☆☆

Common Traits

Calm and affectionate with family, and especially love children

May become destructive or anxious if not given sufficient mental stimulation or exercise

Protective and territorial, making them great guard dogs

May be uneasy around other dogs and strangers unless sufficiently socialized when young

Tend to be dominant- need firm and consistent training from a confident caretaker and plenty of early socialization