- Activity Level: high
- Grooming Level: moderate
- Trainability: moderate
- Adaptability: moderate
- Kid/Pet Friendly: often
- Average Size: Giant
- Average Lifespan: 9-10
- Prey Drive: low
- Watchdog: aware
- Registered?: aca, akc
African Boerboel Breed Profile
Originating from South Africa, the South African Boerboel is a large Molosser type dog with a natural guardian instinct. The Mollosser is a large, solidly built dog, and many Molosser breeds are used for search and rescue, such as the Saint Bernard and Greater Swiss Mountain Dog. The Boerboel, like many of the Mastiff breeds, is used as a homestead guardian of working farm dogs. The Boerboel is thought to have been created by European settlers crossing strong, large working breeds with native domestic dog breeds. This began when the settlers arrived at the South African Cape in the mid-1600’s. The AKC recognized the Boerboel in 2015 as part of the Working Group.
The South African Boerboel is a loyal and dedicated ACA-recognized breed. While their appearance and size can seem intimidating, the Boerboel longs for human companionship. The breed is charming and good-natured, great with children, and easily courageous enough to put their life on the line to defend their family. A strong alpha pack leader role is required with a dog of this size and stature, assuring that he will remain always your obedient companion.
Socializing your Boerboel early to a variety of experiences will help in ensuring a well-mannered, mature dog. If dogs, in general, are not properly socialized they will often become aggressive and anxious. South African Boerboels are no exception to this rule. When they are puppies, socialize them with other canines and new people. Then, they will know they are safe around others, even when you’re not there.
The Boerboel is best-suited for a home with large square footage and property to roam. This breed is very sensitive to extreme temperatures, both hot and cold, so take your climate into consideration. The Boerboel is energetic and intelligent. Obedience training is recommended with this breed based on the sheer power of this dog, and an owner’s need to be in control. Make training an enjoyable thing and watch the bond and obedience between you and this awesome breed grow stronger and stronger.
The South African Boerboel is one of the healthiest of the large Mastiff-type breeds historically. Like any large breed, make sure you know the hip and elbow history of the parents to rule out a history of dysplasia. In recent years, there have also been some appearances of juvenile epilepsy as well, so make sure you talk to your breeder in detail about these issues to assure they are not in the parent’s bloodline.
Controlling food intake and balancing it with proper exercise will help keep your Boerboel’s weight under control. Like humans, as your dog matures we also suggest beginning physical therapy and possible brainteasers. This will keep the mind and body sharp while they age.
Based on the size and power of this breed, an owner with experience in owning large dog breeds is recommended. For someone who is unsure of their ability to effectively train a breed like this, seek the assistance of a professional dog trainer. Obedience training is recommended simply because of this breed’s size alone.
Once you have done detailed research on each breed, you should research reputable breeders. Don’t be afraid to visit a prospective breeder and ask any questions you may have. You will be pleasantly surprised by how excited breeders are to discuss their puppies and practices and what they can share about the breed itself.
The South African Boerboel is a moderate shedder. Give this breed a good brushing once or twice a week, and they will love you for it. As with all breeds, weekly tooth brushing and monthly nail clippings are recommended.
While it is a large breed, the Boerboel’s energy level is higher than its Mastiff cousins. A long daily walk or a vigorous game of fetch is recommended. Keep in mind that this breed was bred to be a worker, so keep him or her active for a happy and well-adjusted dog.
They are 24 to 28 inches in height and weigh between 110 and 220 pounds.
The South African Boerboel is known as the Boerboel and the South African Mastiff.