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Origin / History The Boerboel originated in South Africa and is still undergoing refinement. There has been much written regarding the descent of this breed, but no one knows for certain whether the Boerboel is the result of two or more different breeds. What has been confirmed, though, is that Jan van Riebeeck brought a "bullenbijter" when he went to the Cape. The "bullenbijter" is a large, Mastiff-type strong dog. Persons who went with Jan van Riebeeck also brought similar dogs with them. Over several decades, only the most capable dogs were able to survive in what has become a desolate area.

In 1938, Mastiff-type dogs were brought by De Beers to South Africa so that these dogs could be used as guards for the diamond mines located in that area. During this time, a champion dog was imported to South Africa by the Hottentots. The champion dog was included in the development of the Boerboel. These dogs were crossed with the Bull Mastiff and English Bulldog during the early and late 1950s. Boerboels are also said to be descendants of Great Danes and Saint Bernards.

Appearance Boerboels are large working dogs with a strong build. Their body is well-muscled and they have good balance. Male Boerboels look significantly more masculine than female dogs of this breed. These dogs have a square-shaped, short, deep, and wide head that is well-muscled with well-filled cheeks. The black muzzle of these dogs feature large, evenly-spaced nostrils. Boerboels have medium-sized ears that are v-shaped. Their eyes come in various shades of brown and are horizontally set. The chest of these dogs is sturdy, well-muscled, and well-developed. These dogs have a trail that is short and straight. Their coat is short and dense.

Colours Boerboels come in a wide variety of colours, including pale tawny, cream white, brown, reddish brown, and all shades of brindle. These dogs can also have white markings on their neck, head, legs, and chest.

Temperament With their strong territorial and protective instincts, these dogs make great guard and watchdogs. These dogs are intelligent, obedient, and reliable. They are playful and affectionate towards their family members and love to bond with them. Although they can be aggressive towards strangers, Boerboels are kind and gentle with their family and the people they are already familiar with. Once properly introduced to people, these dogs can get along well with them. Dogs of this breed also get along well with children.

Height and Weight Male dogs of this breed are 25 to 28 inches high, while females are 23 to 25.5 inches high. The weight of these dogs ranges from 154 to 200 pounds.

Common Health Problems This breed underwent natural selection, so Boerboels are very healthy and have no known genetic health problems.

Living Conditions Boerboels are not recommended for apartment life. Owners should provide these dogs with at least a large, fenced-in yard where they can run around and do some physical activities. It is important, though, that these dogs aren't left to run on their own because they tend to be very protective and don't respond well to strangers.

Exercise Requirements Dogs of this breed should be allowed to run around and play. Aside from that, though, owners should still take the time to provide these dogs with long walks daily. These dogs would also benefit from playing various games.

Training Requirements Owners of these dogs should train Boerboels using firm methods. It's important for owners to show strong leadership skills when training Boerboels.

Life Expectancy The life span of Boerboels is approximately 12 years.

Grooming Boerboels are easy to groom and care for. Owners just need to brush the coat of these dogs occasionally and bathe them once a month. These dogs are average shedders, and owners should brush the Boerboel's coat more frequently during the shedding season.

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