General Information

Dog NameBoerboel
Other NamesVelcro Dogs
Scientific NameCanis lupus familiaris
Breed TypeMastiff
Country of OriginSouth Africa

Physical And Size

Min Life Span9
Max Life Span11
Min Ideal Weight for male60
Max Ideal Weight for male84
Min Ideal Weight for female60
Max Ideal Weight for male84


Intelligent Rank
Affection Level
Social Needs
Watchdog Ability


TemperamentConfident, Hardworking, Intelligent
Prey DriveYes
Fighting DogNo


Stranger FriendlyLow
Child FriendlyMedium
Cat FriendlyLow
Apartment FriendlyLow
Senior Citizens FriendlyLow
Service DogLow
Search and Rescue DogLow
Biting PotentialMedium
Country of OriginSouth Africa
Nicknames and Other NamesSouth African Mastiff
Velcro dogs
Scientific NameCanis lupus familiaris
Breed TypePurebred
GroupWorking Group
Guardian Group
Bred ForWorking farm dog
Recognized ByAKC, UKC
Life Span9-11 years
Ideal Weight150-200 pounds (male and female)
Ideal HeightMale: 24-27 inches
Female: 22-25 inches
Fur TypeShort, dense, smooth, shiny
Common ColorsBrindle, Tawny, Red, Cream,
Brown, Reddish Brown
MarkingsBlack Mask, Piebald, Irish Marked,
White Markings
AvailabilityModerately available
AchievementsUsed by police
Suitable for ApartmentsNo
Used in World WarNo
Most Similar ToBullmastiff

The Boerboel breed is the large, powerful and intelligent dogs that descend from the ancient Boer Dogs, Bullmastiffs, and other large working dogs.

The Boerboel is devoted to protecting the people as well as places he loves. He is an excellent watch dog as well as a perfect family companion.

Origin and History of the Boerboel Dog Breed

The Boerboel breed, also called the South African Boerboel, was originated in South Africa in the mid-1600s for the purpose of guarding the homestead. They were bred as the working farm dogs and excellent watchdogs.

The Boerboel got its name from the African word “Boer,” which means “farmer.” This refers to the white Dutch farmers that settled in South Africa and used huge, Mastiff-type dogs to protect their farms and families.

According to Petwave, when Egypt was conquered, Assyrian dogs spread to South Africa and to the rest of the world. Assyrian dogs further developed into two basic types which were the hounds and the mastiffs.

The Boerboel breed dogs were used for guarding and protection. Image Source: Boerboel Farm Dogs

Tough farmers in South Africa developed the Boerboel breed between 1652-1900 in a hard school. The farmers were threatened by every kind of dangerous predators in the challenging climate.

The farmers didn’t have the circumstances which exactly encouraged the conservation of rare breeds of dog. They needed a brave powerful virile dog breed to protect themselves as well as their farms from the wildlife.

The Boerboel breed was developed from the best mastiff-type dogs available in South Africa and was brought here by soldiers, colonists and settlers from Europe as well as migrating African tribes.

Are they Child-Friendly?

Yes, they are indeed very good companions for your kids if they know each other well. For this, early socialization is very necessary.

A Boerboel dog playing with children. Image Source: Kevlarkennels

Behavior, Temperament and Personality of the Boerboel Breed

Boerboel breed is affectionate, playful, loyal, loving and confident with their families. It is a dominant breed and they have a strong watch and guard dog instincts and are fearless and extremely protective of their loved ones.

Boerboel dogs make excellent guard and watchdogs. Nothing protects a home from intruders like an angry, aggressive 200-pound dog that mistrusts strangers and has an alpha attitude.

Two adult Boerboel dogs playing with each other.

The Boerboel dog is relatively reliable, obedient and highly intelligent breed. He is a unique combination of roughness and gentleness that makes him a good family pet if he is raised and treated properly.

Trainability of the Boerboel Breed

Boerboel dogs are intelligent and have natural pack instincts. Puppies are easy to train, as long as their pack instincts are taken into control and training is started before adolescence sets in.

A Boerboel Dog being trained.

The Boerboel dog breed needs dominant but kind owners that are willing to give them clear commands consistently. Due to the large size, the strong and aggressive temperament of the Boerboel, it is very important for the owner to be the alpha and the dominant one from the beginning.

The Boerboel puppies should be made familiar to the surrounding as soon as possible to make them socialize well and obedience training, is indeed a mustdo a thing for the Boerboel breed.

Facts About the Boerboel Breed

Here are some facts about the Boerboel breed that you would know:

  • The Boerboel breeds are self-assured and fearless dogs.
  • It is highly devoted to family and affectionate with children it knows but can be aggressive toward any stranger.
  • They live an average life of 10 to 12 years.
  • They normally weigh 200 pounds.
  • They are excellent watch and guard dogs.

Common Health Issues found in the Boerboel Breed

General HealthHealthy
Common Health IssuesAllergies, Hip Dysplasia, Epilepsy, Heart Disease
Vaginal Hyperplasia, Joints Dysplasia
Vaccination RequiredRabies, Canine Distemper, Leptospirosis,
Canine Parainfluenza, Canine Parvovirus,
Kennel Cough, Canine Coronavirus
SheddingModerate Shedding
DroolingQuite a Lot
GroomingEasy and minimal grooming required
Weight Gain PotentialAverage
Separation AnxietyHigh Chance
AllergiesSkin Allergies
Diets and SupplementsProtein: 26% for puppy and 23% for adult
Fish Oil

The Boerboel breed suffers through a series of health issues and diseases in their lifetime. Some of them are as follows:

  • Bloat (gastric dilatation and volvulus (GDV); torsion)
  • Ectropion
  • Entropion
  • Elbow dysplasia
  • Hip dysplasia.
Boerboel dog. Image Source: My Little Boerboel

Color Patterns of the Boerboel Breed

The Boerboel dogs are found in eight different colors. They are mentioned as follows:

  • Black
  • Brindle
  • Cream
  • Red
  • Brown
  • Mahogany
  • Fawn
  • Piebald


The Boerboel puppies are fairly easy to train if the training is started by the moment you bring them home. If you make them socialize to the outer world, you won’t face any problems rearing him.

Size of the Boerboel Puppies

The puppies start as small silly beings and weigh to 50 to 65 pounds in their juvenile stage which is heavier than most of the full-grown breeds.

Cute strong Boerboel puppies. Image Source: Big Dog Breeds

Price of the Boerboel Puppies

If you are willing to buy a Boerboel puppy, you’ll have to spend an amount ranging from $500 to $3000 USD.

Which Dogs are they similar to?

Some dog breeds that are quite similar to the Boerboel breed are as follows:

Visit Doglime for more dog breeds information.