The Boerboel Dog Breed is a type of dog, also called the ‘farmer’s dog’ in Afrikaans. The breed originates in South Africa and was created by mixing various African and European breeds possibly including the Bulldog, Bullmastiff, and Rhodesian Ridgeback. According to some reports, the Boerboel was brought to South Africa by Jan Van Riebeeck.

The first dogs that were imported to South Africa by settlers were large mastiff and bull breeds. These types of dogs became known as the Boerboel, which means farmer’s dog in Afrikaans. Over time, more dogs were imported from other parts of the world such as Britain and Germany, creating a variety of different sizes and shapes.

A kid holding two Boerboel dogs

In the early 19th century, they roamed huge farmlands in South Africa. They were created to defend homesteads and livestock from predators such as snakes and baboons. Settlers from the Netherlands arrived in South Africa and created a dog breed that’s perfect for hiking. Boerboels are tough, strong dogs that were originally used to guard farms.

The Boerboel was bred to protect farmers and their families. Farmers valued the dogs for their efficiency, courage, and devotion to family members. When farmers went to work in the fields, the dogs would go with them.

They protected the farmer from wild animals and thieves who might steal cattle or crops. It is a large, muscular dog that possesses great strength and agility. This breed can easily overpower dangerous animals and be nimble enough to avoid them. The breed is known for its intelligence and ability to recognize danger, courage to face it, and caution to stay clear of it. The jaws are particularly strong.

Boerboel Dog Breed Physical Appearance

  • The Boerboel dog is a large, well-muscled dog.
  • It may weigh as much or more than its owner.
  • Boerboels are between 27 and 34 inches tall and weigh from 150 to 200 pounds.
  • They make for powerful, agile companions who are much stronger than other dogs of this size.

Boerboel dog showing its full physical appearance

They have a variety of different coat colors, including brindle, cream, brown, rust, and red. Their coats are sleek and short-haired. They shed occasionally but are easy to care for. The eyes of this breed are brown and set horizontally; their intelligent expression has earned them the nickname “Africa’s Gentle Giant. The Boerboel’s skin should be dark on his stomach and under his fur. This protects him from the sun and heat. Their coat is short and dense.

Boerboel Dog Breed Behavior

The Boerboel is affectionate and devoted to its family. It can be aggressive toward strangers, though it is usually friendly with children it knows. The dog will get along well with other pets if introduced to them early in life. Their inborn guarding instincts necessitate early socialization, as well as structured, long-term obedience training.

Too often new owners are lulled into thinking the dog will remain easygoing and pliant for a lifetime, when in fact consistent training must be well underway before those qualities fade.

A Boerboel displaying its behaviour

Boerboel Dog Breed Training and Caring

Boerboels have short, dense coats that need minimal grooming. Brushing once or twice a week with a rubber grooming mitt will help to remove loose hair and keep the coat looking healthy. A good brushing also promotes new hair growth and distributes skin oils throughout the coat to keep it healthy.

Boerboels only need baths occasionally. They are medium-level active. They need a medium to long walk or jog for exercise. They don’t do well in dog parks, preferring challenging sports such as tracking. Their coat requires minimal care, consisting of an occasional bath or brushing.

They adapt well outside in temperate climates. Boerboels are working dogs that need both mental and physical stimulation. They are independent thinkers but still crave companionship with their owners. The breed needs some sort of physical activity on a daily basis.

A Boerboel dog ready for training

Boerboel Dog Breed Health

Boerboels are a large breed, and as such, they suffer from the same health issues as other giant dog breeds. Some of these issues include hip dysplasia, cancer, bloat, elbow dysplasia, and heart disease. The average lifespan for a Boerboel is 9–12 years.

A Boerboel dog with health issue

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