Do Boerboel Dogs Make Good Pets?

boerboel guard dogsBoerboel dogs are very strong and powerful dogs. They were raised to be great guard dogs and are very loyal and protective of their owners and their property. They are generally very calm and well-tempered dogs, but they do require a certain type of environment in order to thrive. You should consider several things before deciding if this is the right type of dog for you.

Boerboels Need Space

The male Boerboel dog is substantially larger than the female, and can grow as high as 28-inches tall and weigh as much as 200 pounds. While this dog will do very well be kept either inside or outside the home, it is important that they have enough room to run around. Since these dogs are very protective and do not deal well with strangers, it is important to have fenced in area for the dog to be able to run. Before purchasing a Boerboel dog for your home, be sure you have enough space to care for it.


These dogs are also very social and require at least some interaction with you throughout the day. They become not only protective of their owner and his family, but they also become very loyal and require consistent interaction. They are very good with children once they get to know them. They will allow them to tug at them and ride on their back without being scared or aggressive. These dogs love to play catch, and will let you throw the ball with them for hours. You must be sure that at least some members of your household have the time every day to play with the dog.


The Boerboel dog is a pack animal and requires an owner with experience in training and caring for a dog. If the owner cannot take on the role of the pack leader for the dog, it can become unruly and unmanageable. Therefore, it is not the best breed for someone who has never owned a dog before. You must be able to take command of the dog right from the beginning in order to properly train him. The good news is that these dogs are very intelligent and confident, which makes them very easy to train.

Overall, the Boerboel dog is a friendly and obedient dog. The dog will do well within a family setting and can get along with other animals once he gets to know them. On the other hand, this is also a large, very energetic breed that requires both exercising and socializing. You must be certain that you have the space, time and experience needed to properly care for this type of dog before purchasing one.

What You Should Know About Boerboels

Before purchasing a dog of this breed, it is wise to conduct some research.  An owner should be educated as to the expense and demands of owning a Boerboel.  This information will help keep the dog healthy and temperamentally sound.

Being easy to live with and train is a reputation held by Boerboel puppies.  Because of the easy-going nature of the puppies, some people believe training is unnecessary.  As Boerboels become older, willingness to protect, dominance, reactivity, and confidence substantially increase.  Owners need to be able to read these dogs and maintain control over them.  A Boerboel will remain well-adjusted if it is subjected to obedience training that is structured.  Continually checking command proof under various distractions is needed.  Training puppies avoids dominance issues and makes communication easier.  When regularly left alone, the Boerboel can become dangerous, reckless, and destructive.

Rewards for presented challenges are what make Boerboels thrive.  The name “Boerboel” literally means “Farmer’s dog”.  These dogs possess a utilitarian nature.  They excel in therapy work, protection sports, stock work, agility, weight pull, Rally-O, and obedience.  Individual dogs have unique temperaments and are better suited for some tasks than others.  Focused training and work provide Borboels with the energy outlet, interaction, and mental stimulation they need.  They are athletic, sensitive, and intelligent.

Boerboel Health

The Boerboel is easy to groom.  Brushing occasionally is all that is required.  The breed is generally healthy.  Much like other large breeds, they are susceptible to bloat and hip dysplasia.  Overfeeding should be avoided.  Meals should be spaced throughout the day.  A life span of 12 years is considered normal.

Due to exercise needs and size of the Boerboel, apartment living is not a recommendation.  A large yard with a fence is the best environment for these playful dogs.  Long walks can also provide some of the required exercise.  When walking, a Boerboel should always be on a leash.  If strangers are near, the dog needs to be closely watched.  The dogs are very protective.  Strangers may not be welcomed.

Boerboel Appearance

To protect these dogs from the sun and heat, nature has given them a dark skin on the stomach, under the fur, and on the roof of the mouth.  The coat is dense and short.  Colors of the coat include black, dilute, white-cream, yellow-cream, fawn, red, red-brown, brown, and black.

Males grow to heights between 25-28 inches.  Females measure 23-26 inches in height.  They weigh between 100-200 pounds.  A well-muscled Boerboel is powerful in appearance.  Many people find them intimidating.