The South African Boerboel Mastiff, or most commonly called just the Boerboel, is one of the biggest domestic dog breeds out there today.

These large and intelligent animals are actually claimed to be the only breed in the world specifically bred to be a guard dog.

However, there is so much more to this beautiful breed than its protective instincts.

From the moment you see a South African Boerboel, you know you are looking at a powerful breed.

These stunning and powerful dogs resemble Mastiffs but often have more defined musculature than Mastiffs, as they are far more active.

This is not the only way that they differ from Mastiffs, which are known for being docile, gentle giants.

Boerboels are most commonly used for protection, as while they are calm and loving around their owners, they are known for being extremely territorial of their homes.

Brains and Brawn in Equal Measure

Just because these dogs have lots of brawn, it doesn’t mean they aren’t smarty pants as well.

Boerboels are just as intelligent as they are strong. Because of this, don’t be surprised if the Boerboel is also an escape artist.

However, their intelligence also makes them easier to train than other breeds.

Brindle, Brown or Black? The Many Colors of the South African Boerboel Dog

This breed has a beautiful, smooth, short thick coat that requires little grooming.

Coming in a number of different colors, with the most common color patterns being brindle, brown, and black, the South African Boerboel dog has a beautiful coat.

These pups can also be cream, red, reddish brown and tawny colors too! With typically docked tails and dark facial/black masks that cover their eyes, nose, and mouth, they look intimidating but deep down are a sweet breed of dog.

Warning: Not for First Time Puppy Parents

One of the most important facts to understand about the Boerboel is that this dog breed is not for first-time puppy parents.

These dogs are large, powerful, and highly intelligent, and require a firm hand and lots of training. Boerboel training is harder than it is with some normal pups like a Maltipoo.

Their protective instincts can make them difficult to control for those who aren’t familiar with powerful breeds. However, once the Boerboel is properly trained and in the hands of a seasoned owner, it can not only be a great guard dog but a great companion as well.

They Need a Strong Alpha

Boerboels are very intelligent animals, and they also tend to be quite dominant.

The Boerboel behavior is strong, fierce, and also bossy.

If you aren’t careful, your Boerboel may think that he is in charge and the leader of your pack.

These dogs need a strong alpha as an owner to let them know that they are not the ones in charge. Once they know their place in the pack they are typically quite loyal and obedient.

5 Facts You Didn’t Know About the South African Boerboel

Interested in learning more about the Boerboel? Here are some of our favorite facts about this unique breed.

  1. The Boerboel has a number of nicknames including Borbull or Bole.
  2. This breed comes from South African and are decedents of the ancient Boer Dogs.
  3. The name “Boerboel” actually means “farmer’s dog,” as this breed was originally bred to protect the farms of its owners.
  4. While the Boerboel may be one of the biggest dog breeds out there, they are also surprisingly agile.
  5. The Boerboel is a large dog breed and therefore may be prone to hip issues. While they like to exercise and often have lots of energy, they don’t always make great long-distance running companions because of their joint issues.

Breed Temperament

The general Boerboel temperament is quite protective, but these dogs are also very reliable and loyal as well.

They are known for being affectionate companions for owners who are able to firmly, kindly, and consistently train them.

Stranger Danger! Boerboel Dogs are Very Protective

If you haven’t already picked up on it, the Boerboel dog breed is protective.

Many people with properties to protect find that the Boerboel is one of the best guard dog breeds. However, this means you need to be cautious when introducing this dog to strangers. They are quite suspicious of new people, which makes them great for guarding the home, but difficult to socialize.

A Busy Dog is a Happy Dog

The best way to keep your Boerboel happy (and from chewing up your home) is to keep them tired and busy.

These dogs need a good amount of exercise and to feel like they have something to do during the day. This can be as simple as guarding their home.

Boerboels may also benefit from puzzles that can get them mentally exhausted as well.

Breed Lifespan

The Boerboel is known for being a relatively healthy breed with few hereditary issues.

These dogs are known for having a lifespan of anywhere from 10 to 12 years.

Boerboel Puppies!

While these dogs grow into large, regal creatures, Boerboels start as small, silly puppies. Typical litters are between 7 and 10 puppies.

The Boerboel puppy may start small, but within a few months, these dogs will grow quickly, and by four months old, can weigh between 50 to 65 pounds, more than most full-grown breeds.

When fully grown, males will typically stand between 24 and 27 inches and females between 22 and 25 inches. These dogs can typically weigh from 110 to 175 pounds, but some males have been known to weigh up to 200 pounds when fully grown!

Interested in adding a Boerboel puppy to your family? Here’s some important information you should know about finding Boerboels for sale.

  • Depending on the breeder and the pedigree of the puppy for sale, you should expect to pay between $1500 and $2000 USD for a Boerboel puppy.
  • It is easiest to find Boerboel breeders from South Africa, as this is where these dogs originate from. However, there are breeders all over the world. When looking for Boerboel puppies for sale, it is best to work with a licensed breeder. Make sure to have verified information from the breeder on the parents of your new puppy to highlight any potential behavior or health issues within the parent dogs.
  • There are dozens of rescues around the globe, but it may be difficult to find a lot of Boerboel rescues in your area, as this breed is still relatively rare. When adopting dogs from Boerboel rescues, make sure that you are aware of any past behavior concerns or training issues with this breed.

5 Tips for Owning a Boerboel Dog

If you are interested in being a proud owner of a Boerboel, then you need to make sure you are ready for this responsibility. In addition to being a strong leader and trainer for your pet, here are some other tips to keep in mind.

  1. Like many other large breed dogs, Boerboels may be at risk for bloat, which can be a serious condition if left untreated. Make sure to be on the lookout for signs of a bloated stomach in your pet.
  2. Make sure that you don’t let your Boerboel boss you around. Train them to obey your commands before they are rewarded so they aren’t confused that they are the boss.
  3. These dogs aren’t the most naturally social creatures, so start socializing your puppy with other dogs and other people early on.
  4. Boerboels need to be exercised daily. Otherwise, they may start being destructive inside the home.
  5. Never allow a stranger to enter your home unannounced with a Boerboel inside. Otherwise, they may feel threatened or as though they need to protect the home.

Rugged Ruffian and Gentle Giant All in One.

There is no denying that raising a Boerboel isn’t an easy task.

It will take training and dedication from you as an owner.

However, if you are an experienced pet owner who is willing to train your new pet and provide him with the structure he needs to thrive, the reward that comes from owning one of these dogs is greater than you can imagine.

Many who take the time to teach their Boerboel the correct way to behave find that these dogs are simply loyal and caring gentle giants that are wonderful companions.