Dog Breed


Guard DogGiant
Primary image of Boerboel dog breed
Full Name
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Life Span
10 - 12 years
110 - 200 pounds

Obedient, Confident, Intelligent, Dominant, Territorial

South Africa
Bred For
Guarding the homestead, farm work.
    Family Considerations
    Child Friendly

    Is the Boerboel good with children?

    Yes, the Boerboel is very friendly with children. We still recommend introductions to children while they are young so they get used to them, but the Boerboel naturally loves children.
    Stranger Friendly

    Is the Boerboel friendly with strangers?

    The Boerboel is not naturally friendly with strangers. Dogs who are timid or defensive with strangers have typically been bred that way, and it is not always a fault.
    Dog Friendly

    Is the Boerboel friendly with other dogs?

    The Boerboel is not naturally friendly with other dogs, but with a good amount of early socialization as a puppy they can learn to get along with most breeds of dog. Proper training is required before letting the Boerboel go off-leash or to dog parks.
    Likes to Cuddle

    Does the Boerboel like to cuddle?

    The Boerboel is not a cuddle bug, but it can still appreciate affection. It just has different boundaries with physical affection.

    Does the Boerboel like to play?

    The Boerboel is playful both as a puppy and as an adult dog. As they get older they may appreciate their alone time, and may not be in the mood for constant play, but certainly will have plenty of time for play as well.
    Service Dog Ability

    Does the Boerboel make a good service dog?

    The Boerboel would not be a great fit as a service dog for several reasons.
    Overall Ease of Breed
    Ease for Novice

    Is the Boerboel good for first-time owners?

    The Boerboel would not be a good fit for first-time owners. A breed is only good for first-time owners if it is raised for home companionship, and is open to training and pleasing its owner.
    Training Potential

    How well can the Boerboel be trained?

    The Boerboel does not have high levels of training potential. There are exceptions, but the Boerboel is not typically seen in competitions or as a service dog or police dog.
    Amount of Shedding

    Does the Boerboel shed a lot?

    The Boerboel does shed, but less than average.
    Ease of Grooming

    Is the Boerboel easy to groom?

    The Boerboel requires very little grooming relative to other dog breeds, their coat is very low maintenance.
    Exercise Need

    Does the Boerboel need a lot of exercise?

    The Boerboel has a lot of energy and getting daily exercise is very important, both for their well-being and for their focus, which is important when you train them.

    How smart is the Boerboel?

    The Boerboel is very smart. Above-average intelligence means they can pick up on cues and signals quickly when it comes to training. But it also means that they need to be challenged mentally, in addition to their standard exercise needs.
    Amount of Barking

    How much does the Boerboel bark? Does the Boerboel bark too much?

    The Boerboel occasionally barks, but only for specific reasons such as when they need something, for protection, etc.
    Guard Dog Ability

    Is the Boerboel a good guard dog?

    The Boerboel can serve as an excellent guard dog. It is both physically intimidating and also enjoys having a "job" to protect its family and property.
    Tolerates Being Alone

    Is the Boerboel good at staying alone? Is the Boerboel independent?

    The Boerboel does not enjoy being left alone for extended periods. They can do well for a couple of hours alone, but may have anxiety for time beyond that.
    Home and Environment Considerations
    Good for Apartment Living

    Is the Boerboel a good apartment dog?

    The Boerboel is not a good dog for apartment living for several reasons. It is still possible to make it work if the owner is dedicated to plenty of training and daily exercise, but it may be challenging.

    How big is the Boerboel?

    The Boerboel is one of the biggest dog breeds in the world. In the "giant" category!
    Tolerates Heat

    How much does the Boerboel tolerate hot weather? When is it too hot for a Boerboel?

    The Boerboel can do very well in hot weather. Owners should still be aware of over-heating as this is one of the most common reasons for dogs going into the emergency room, but overall the Boerboel can do well in hot climates.
    Tolerates Cold

    How much does the Boerboel tolerate cold weather? When is it too cold for a Boerboel?

    The Boerboel can tolerate some cold, but should not be over-exposed to cold weather. In general, they can live in cold weather climates, but may need clothing on particularly cold evenings or in snow.
    Potential to Run Away

    Does the Boerboel try to run away?

    The Boerboel does not have a large drive to run away. They can still be distracted and run, so precautions should be taken, but overall they have a less than average urge to run away.
    Physical Characteristics
    General Health

    Is the Boerboel a healthy dog? The health of a Boerboel should be measured not just by how many years they live, but also by how many health issues they've had. It is important to know which health conditions your breed is prone to- hip problems, eye problems, bloating, and arthritis are all common dog health problems.

    The Boerboel is very healthy, but it is still important to feed the Boerboel high-quality food and to live a healthy lifestyle.
    Energy Level

    How energetic is the Boerboel?

    The Boerboel has some energy and requires daily walks, but overall the Boerboel has less energy than average.
    Amount of Drooling

    How much does the Boerboel drool?

    The Boerboel is one of the dog breeds that drools the most. It may not be the most important factor, but something to consider if you live in a home where that may bother you.
    Prey Drive

    Does the Boerboel have a large prey drive? Does the Boerboel like to chase birds, cats, and other small animals?

    The Boerboel has some prey drive, so should not be left alone with very small animals such as birds, mice, or gerbils, but with some gradual introduction should be fine living with a cat in the same home.

    Is the Boerboel atheltic?

    The Boerboel can have athletic moments, and bursts of speed, but does not have the endurance as other highly athletic dog breeds. They would do great for occasional jogs, but probably not the best for long-distance runs or anything more athletic than that.
  1. Working
  2. Boerboel
The Boerboel is a purebred dog that falls within the larger Working dog breed group.
Working group: Working dogs encompass a wide range of different breeds- but they all were bred to assist people, so they are used to working hard. It is important for them to feel they have a "job" as their roles traditionally have varied from rescuing people to pulling sleds. Because of their large size and intensity, they may be a handful for first time dog owners. On the other side, they can be trained well, so any owner who can exercise and dedicate to training their working dog, will be well rewarded. A common misconception may be that the working dog's jobs are only in physically challenging jobs; actually working dogs can also make excellent service dogs, since they are also kind and attentive to their owners.

Boerboels for adoption

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