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Quick Facts

  • Weight: 154 - 200 pounds
  • Height: 23 - 28 inches

The Boerboel has a big, well-balanced muscular frame covered in loose skin with a short, dense coat that usually comes in off-white, brown, reddish brown and varying shades of brindle. Its broad, flat, square head has a black muzzle, wide nostrils, widely set eyes and hanging V-shaped ears. The Boerboel has a strong neck, deep chest and a short tail that is set high.


  • Dependable
  • Playful
  • Loving
  • Protective
  • Bold
  • Strong

Ideal Human Companion

  • Active singles
  • Outdoorsy types
  • Experienced dog handlers
  • Families with older children

What They Are Like to Live With

Famous in their native South Africa for being protective guard dogs without any aggressiveness, the Boerboel is also a gentle and affectionate household companion. It likes to stay close to its family, enjoying long games of fetch and togetherness during family gatherings.

Said to be highly perceptive, the Boerboel can supposedly sense its owner’s moods, especially alert when strangers are around. Once the Boerboel is properly introduced to family friends, it becomes much more welcoming. And that suits the Boerboel just fine—all the more people to play backyard games with!

Things You Should Know

The Boerboel can live as long as 13 years with relatively few health problems. Very easy to groom, it simply needs regular brushing and the occasional bath.

Large and active, the Boerboel might not be happy living in an apartment. A large, fenced yard is recommended for this breed. It also needs a daily walk to keep it mentally and physically healthy. Always keep the Boerboel on a leash, and don’t forget that this is a big, strong canine.

Boerboel History

In the 17th century an employee for the Dutch East Indian Company named Jan van Riebeeck was sent to South Africa to establish a trading post. He brought a large Mastiff-type dog that eventually mated with molossers and other large dogs that came with the settlers. Over the generations, the offspring that survived this harsh land were tough and durable and helpful, eventually forming the ruggedly handsome Boerboel.