There are lots of dog breeds all over the world. One of them is a short, sleek coated, and strong-framed dog named the “Boerboel“. But, what is a Boerboel dog? The Boerboel exudes a sense of strength and bravery just by looking at it. The lion is no match for this mastiff-type dog, which was bred specifically to protect its owner’s property.
Family is highly important to them, and it usually stays with them. However, it is a large dog making it not suitable for first-time fur parents. South African Mastiff, the other name for the Boerboel, is among the largest dog breeds. The calm 200-pound Boerboel is a great watchdog or guard dog.
To know more deeply about them and understand what is a Boerboel dog, let’s explore more about this large dog breed!
What is a Boerboel Dog – Its Breed Details!
This huge dog was bred in South Africa. It keeps a close eye on valuable things like farms and diamond mines. His short, wavy coat loses a fair amount but otherwise requires little maintenance. It is not recommended for inexperienced dog owners to bring home a Boerboel. The Afrikaans phrase for “farmer’s dog,” “Boerboel,” refers to this Mastiff breed.
He was created by Dutch colonists in South Africa in the 17th century to keep predators away from their homes, farms, and livestock. This breed is easily recognizable by its square jaw, broad chest, and red, fawn, or brown coat that often features a black mask. The breed looks like it came from mastiffs because it has a wrinkled brow, a wide, deep muzzle, and a big body.
When they are young, Boerboels are known for having a lot of energy and being very agile for their size. The Boerboel is great at agility, protective sports, therapeutic visits, obedience trials, pulling weight, rallies, and working stock. Boerboels do best in homes with a fully enclosed yard. No one should ever let him out in the open.
❇ Breed Characteristics
The Boerboel is known for its self-assurance and its warm care for its family. While it occasionally proves to be a decent dog among children, it more commonly displays a healthy amount of skepticism when meeting new pets or people. This dog has a strong personality based on its high intelligence and, at times, stubbornness.
❇ What is a Boerboel Dog – Quick Facts about Them
- The Boerboel’s mission was to scare away predators like baboons and leopards.
- The Boerboel’s dark undercoat may provide protection against the sun and heat of Africa.
- The coat colors of the Boerboel can range from brindle and white to brown and tawny to red and reddish brown. Some are entirely black, while others are marked with white. Piebald and Irish pattern markings are also present.
The History of Boerboels
Dutch farmers brought their dogs with them to South Africa. Jan van Riebeeck was one of the farmers who arrived with a canine breed named Bullenbijter or Bullenbeisser. They both roughly translate to “bull biter.” The Boerboel is related to both native African dogs and this dog that looks like a mastiff but can’t be named.
Farmers required sturdy canines that they believed could thrive in the region’s hot, arid environment and protect their livestock from wild animals like hyenas, large cats, and baboons. The farmers, who are sometimes called “Boers,” made a dog that was loyal, obedient, and safe. These dogs were then crossed with bullmastiffs, which were brought in to protect the diamond mines. The Rhodesian Ridgeback was another important breed in the evolution of the Boerboel.
In the 1980s, dog enthusiasts in South Africa worked to create a breed standard. For the study, they chose 72 dogs to represent the breed. Boerboel is still an uncommon breed worldwide. The American Kennel Club says that the Boerboel is a working dog. The AKC officially recognized the breed in January 2015. It opened the door for it to compete in conformation shows and other AKC activities.
Temperament and Personality of a Boerboel
This dog is not only intelligent but also hard-working and has a calm demeanor. Having steady employment is crucial for him. He does well as a livestock guard dog, property protector, and (health permitting) dog sports competitor.
In general, this kind of dog is very attached to his family, especially the kids. If he is brought up with other pets, he will treat them as members of the family and get along well with them. Choose a male Boerboel if you possess a female dog, or vice versa, to prevent fights between the sexes.
Some Boerboels are more outgoing than others, but in general, most of them are somewhat reticent around new people. Boerboel may be nice with kids, but he is not a sitter and shouldn’t be trusted with very small kids on his own. On the flip side, no matter how calm he appears to be, kids should never touch, prod, or otherwise torture him.
Boerboel: the Good Family Dog
The Boerboel is a fantastic family dog, so don’t let the thought of taking home a 200-pound dog scare you if you have young children. They exemplify the term “gentle giants” in every way. Although the Boerboel is typically patient and kind around children, you should still keep a watch on them as they play.
Your toddler may fall while walking or running, and your giant friend may accidentally knock them down. Regarding training, they make an excellent companion for the home. As soon as these dogs learn the house rules, they obey them without question, no matter who delivers the order.
Boerboels on Being Good Guard Dogs
Boerboel’s talents extend beyond those of a watchdog. As such, they make excellent watchdogs and guard dogs. When you consider that they were originally developed to deter intruders from settling near farms and mines, it’s easy to see why they make excellent guard dogs.
If you have a South African Mastiff, you may rest assured that he will do all it takes to protect you, your loved ones, and your property. They’re extremely loyal canines who will risk their lives to protect you. Their natural suspicion of strangers and new environments makes them excellent protection dogs. You should be aware that he has a biting force of 800 PSI and could use it to defend your family if he feels threatened.
Boerboels as Good Hunting Dogs
There is a genetic and ancestral reason why Boerboels can be effective hunting dogs. In the 1900s, the mastiff and bulldog were utilized to hunt big game. The Boerboel is related to many different types of hounds, all of which are known for their natural ability to hunt. In some ways, the Boerboel is a common breed.
This breed excels in maintaining focus and locating prey at great distances. They’ll rush to their objective as soon as they hear the word “go,” and they’ll keep at it until they’ve taken it over. Do not assume that your Boerboel will know immediately what to do on a hunt without proper training on your part.
Boerboels Getting Along with Other Dogs and Cats
The situation is somewhat complex. Chances are pretty good that you’ll be able to get your Boerboel used to other pets in the house, like other dogs and cats. In most instances, the determination of the breed is based on each dog.
Large breeds like the Boerboel can be hostile to same-sex dogs. So, if you’re dead set on getting another dog, it’s wise to get one of the sexes you already have. This breed, surprisingly, gets along nicely with felines. That’s probably because the dog has never learned to hunt rabbits or squirrels.
Diet and Nutrition
Keep clean water handy at all times for this large dog. And give it a high-quality, nutritionally balanced canine diet, split into two servings daily at roughly the same time. Ask the vet for recommendations about dog food and the amount that can be consumed by your pet.
Several factors may necessitate dietary changes, including age, degree of physical activity, and others. Monitor the weight of your dog and don’t overfeed him or her. Particularly for large-breed dogs, it’s important to keep their weight down to protect their joints.
Do Boerboels Have a Lot of Shedding?
The Boerboel’s short coat is a plus because it doesn’t shed nearly as much as longer-haired varieties. The amount of shedding experienced by a Boerboel is about average for the breed. Even so, you shouldn’t expect your friend to have any tears at all during the whole thing.
In addition to bathing your dog once every few months, you should brush him once a day (or at least once every few days). The low-maintenance nature of this breed is certainly a plus. Regular brushing will also get rid of any stray hairs and help the coat grow back smoother.
❇ Basic Grooming
The slick, short coat of this dog requires little maintenance. Remove dead hair weekly using a curry brush. Give him a bath as often as he needs it, using a gentle shampoo designed for pets. The rest is routine maintenance. Schedule nail trimming on a couple of weeks basis and wash teeth using pet toothpaste approved by the vet. This is for the Boerboel to achieve fresher breath and a healthy lifestyle.
The American Kennel Club says that the life expectancy of a Boerboel is within 9 to 11 years. But there are many variables to consider, such as your canine’s physical and mental well-being as well as his or her amount of exercise and food.
Large dogs may suffer from dysplasia of the hips and elbow. The Boerboels and Mastiffs are not an exemption. Your dog’s enormous size and weight are major contributors to these diseases, as they cause the joints to wear down over time.
Keeping your dog at a healthy weight and giving him supplements for his joints (like chondroitin and glucosamine) will make his life span much longer. The recommended amount of exercise for health benefits, including weight control and reduced risk of joint pain, is around an hour per day.
❇ Common Health Problems
Although generally healthy, the Boerboel can be affected by the following inherited conditions:
- Dysplasia of the hip
- Impingement syndrome in the elbow
- Disorders of the heart
- Entropion and ectropion
Finding a Boerboel
Whether you choose a breeder, a charity, or a refuge, keep these points in mind.
❇ Choosing a Boerboel Breeder
It’s best to locate a reputable breeder to help you select the ideal puppy. Before giving you a puppy, a reputable breeder will carefully consider your health and lifestyle. They will have done all the required health checks. Their top priority is to find loving families for the puppies than generating a lot of money.
Good breeders always appreciate you asking questions about your dog’s temperament and health certificates. They will also ask you about your preferences for a dog and the things you can offer your dog with.
A reputable breeder will be able to fill you in on the breed’s background and break down the criteria for what makes one puppy “pet quality” as opposed to another. Additionally, they will also detail the common health issues faced by the breed as well as the preventative measures she takes.
❇ Adopting a Dog from a Rescue Center
If you wish to adopt a dog, you can pick from many wonderful possibilities at local shelters and breed-specific organizations. However, you should be aware that Boerboels are a relatively scarce breed. There aren’t many of them at shelters or with breed-specific rescue organizations.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: I am curious about the intelligence rate of Boerboels, can you tell me?
Boerboel is among the smartest breeds of canine. They’re noted for being quick to learn new commands and adhere to household norms. But remember to keep workouts relatively brief. The breed is prone to boredom, so extending a training session past its natural termination point could provoke negative emotions or even aggression.
The breed’s intelligence also makes it a good fit for the role of guard or watchdog. Whenever they see an immediate threat to their family. They will bark at the intruder, alarm their masters, and then launch an assault.
Q: Are Boerboels dangerous or aggressive?
The Boerboel is known for being mean, especially to other dogs of the same gender. If introduced and socialized appropriately, the breed gets along well with cats, kids, and grownups. Usually, a Boerboel will only show aggression toward an unfamiliar person or animal.
This kind of dog has a reputation for reacting aggressively toward visitors and strangers, based on its natural suspicion that they pose a threat. There have been documented occurrences of this breed attacking humans with great viciousness. So, if your Boerboel is outside, he needs to be on a leash or in a secure area with a gate.
Q: Is there a lot of barking in Boerboels?
Most people think that the Boerboels are not that very loud which is one of the nicest features of this dog breed. They aren’t the type of dog that barks for the sake of making noise. Because of this, it’s important to find out why your dog barks if it ever does, especially if it does it often. This dog is extremely cautious and only barks when it senses imminent danger.
The intruder could come dangerously close to the house, or someone in his family could be physically assaulted. Keep in mind that the Boerboel’s primary function is that of a guard dog. As such, his tendency to bark at every sign of danger should come as no surprise.
Q: Can a Boerboel be suitable for apartment living?
You can actually bring your Boerboel to an apartment, but doing so is not the best one. The reason for this is that apartments are not suitable for this type of dog since they lack the space needed for playing and running around. The Boerboel’s true breeds are problematic, too.
Some apartment complexes forbid Mastiffs, Bulldogs, and their mixes, so a Boerboel may not be allowed. Most apartment buildings have restrictions on having large dogs within their premise. It’s going to be difficult to find a place to live that allows pets, especially one as large as your 150-pound dog.
Q: Are Boerboels hypoallergenic?
“Hypoallergenic” is a term that describes a canine that sheds hair in little to no amount and is therefore suitable for those with allergies. Because of how much hair this dog loses, it is definitely not hypoallergenic. Though not hypoallergenic, they don’t shed as much as some other breeds.
Moreover, if you’re set on getting a Boerboel despite your dog allergy concerns, there are steps you can take to lessen their impact. Brushing and showering regularly can help remove loose hair and dandruff. Also, hair that may have fallen to the floor or furniture during the day can be easily removed by giving everything a daily vacuuming.
The Boerboel is a fantastic choice for a pet at home. It has a golden heart despite its protective nature and frightening demeanor. This dog mingles well with the kids and would be a wonderful additional family member.
If you want a well-behaved, friendly adult, training this huge breed as a puppy is essential. In order for it to know how to act with other canines, socialization is also required. In general, this is not the best dog for a first-time owner to get because of the time and effort required and the unique space requirements.