Boerboel Dog Breed: Puppies, Breeders, Price, Temperament, & More


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If you love big, powerful dogs, and you’re an experienced dog owner, you may be considering inviting a Boerbel into your family. This isn’t a dog for everyone, though, and in the belief that forewarned is forearmed, we invite you to consider the information that follows before making a commitment. Read on to learn everything you need to know about this amazing breed!

Boerboel Overview

Looking at the Boerbel, your first reaction is likely to be “Wow, he’d make a great guard dog!” And indeed he would. Boerboels are really big dogs – males usually stand anywhere from 24 to 48 inches and females between 22 and 25 inches. Boerbels of either sex can weigh up to 200 pounds. A 110-pound Boerbel is considered to be small for the breed.

In fact, that’s one of the original purposes of this African-bred canine. Boerbels were bred not just to protect home and hearth, but also to hunt big cats, baboons, and hyenas. Boerbels also served as companion dogs to South African homesteaders.

The Boerbel isn’t the oldest dog breed in the world by any means, but it does go back a bit. It’s believed that they were first brought over by Dutch settlers during the 1600s. Life in South Africa was hard and dangerous, and big, tenacious dogs were needed to keep homesteaders safe. So, settlers brought big dogs with them and crossed them with indigenous dogs and other breeds over the next few centuries.

As the English began to settle in South Africa, they also brought dogs with them – mainly Bull Mastiffs, which were used to guard the South African diamond mines. These dogs were bred with the ancestors of the Boerbel, and this breeding has led in a large way to the development of the breed we know today.

There may have been other dogs in the mix, but nobody really knows for sure. All that really is known is that these dogs would have been bred for the ability to tolerate hot temperatures and to fend off hostile wildlife.

Fast forward to the 1800s, colonists decided that they weren’t all that happy with British rule, and they started to move farther inland. Some took their dogs with them, but others, sadly, left them behind.  Following the world wars, Boerbels were bred with other dogs, with little or no regard for the purity of the breed. It took a long time before an interest in breeding to the original Boerbel took hold, but finally, around 1980, breed enthusiasts made an effort to revive the Boerbel.

The effort never really took off outside of South Africa. That’s why, even today, if you’re looking for a purebred Boerbel, you might actually have to have one transported to you halfway across the world. Outside of South Africa, the Boerbel is still a rare breed.

Boerboel Puppies

The thing with a Boerbel is that it’s not going to take much time before that cute little puppy you brought home becomes a very, very powerful dog. If you’re wondering how to train a Boerbel dog, the first thing you need to know is that you can’t wait until he’s an adult – if you do, he’s going to be too much to handle. You don’t have to start training the day you bring your Boerbel puppy home, but you should definitely start training on the second day.

Training really isn’t all that difficult. There are certain commands that your Boerbel puppy is going to have to understand, but fortunately, they’re easy to learn. The basics of obedience training, sit down, stay, come and heel, and it’s vital that you teach all these commands, for two reasons – first, a disobedient Boerbel can be a danger to other people and animals. Second, a disobedient Boerbel can be a danger to himself – running into traffic and other dangers. We won’t go into obedience training here since you can find out how to do it at various sites online. In fact, here’s a good one.

Before you start obedience training, though, the most important thing you can do is socialize your Boerbel. This means taking your Boerbel puppy with you when you go places, and letting him meet other people – and dogs, too! Visit friends and neighbors – especially those who have adult dogs that your puppy can meet. Go walking around the neighborhood. And if your Boerbel puppy’s shots are up to date, take him to the dog park.

A note on dog parks – some will not allow dogs over a certain size. Your Boerbel puppy is going to end up being a substantial dog, and he may not be welcome everywhere. It’s not right, and it’s not fair, and it sucks. But sadly, dog park administrators get to make the rules, so shop around first and make sure that you find a park that will welcome your new best buddy.

Boerboel Breeders

If you are looking for recommendations here, we can’t offer them. We do much of our research online, and during the course of that research, we find sites that are quite obviously scams, sites that might be scams, and sites that we’re still not sure of.

One thing we know for sure – if a site promises you overnight delivery of a Boerbel puppy, anywhere in the world, it’s definitely a scam. Overnight delivery can’t be done because of airline restrictions. The other thing is, no responsible breeder is going to send you a puppy based on nothing more than “cash down.” They’re going to want to know about you and be sure that you’ll give a puppy a good home. In fact, they’re probably going to ask you more questions than you might expect if you went to a job interview, asked for someone’s hand in marriage, wanted to work with young people post-Jeffrey Epstein, and… well, you get the idea.

Not all breeders are reliable, and in fact, not every website purporting to be a legitimate breeder site is on the level. You could end up sending money for a puppy that doesn’t even exist. Be careful. Be so very careful.

The best way of finding a Boerbel puppy is to look for a breed club in your area. Interact with people. Ask around. You’re not going to find a rare breed like a Boerbel overnight, and if you think you have, that, in and of itself, should be a red flag.

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Boerboel Price

Here’s where another scam comes in. The Boerbel is a rare breed, right? So you should expect to spend a lot of money, right? Like upwards of $3,000?

But you’ll get your puppy overnight.

Look, take the blinders off. It’s so easy, when your heart calls you to a particular breed, to want to believe that everything is legit. The fact is, though, what you should spend for a Boerbel puppy is anywhere from $1,000 to $2,000. That’s from a reputable breeder.

Boerboel Temperament

This is where we run into difficult territory. There are people like John Boyle who will tell you that Boerbels are inherently dangerous dogs. Others will tell you that they’re the kindest, gentlest dogs ever bred. Still, other people will tell you, “It’s not the dog, it’s the owner.

The truth is actually somewhere in the midst of those opinions.

There has been one dog bite fatality attributed to a Boerbel in recent memory.


And if you click on that link, you’ll find that you won’t know if that was a full-on attack on a human, or if the human just got caught in the crossfire of a dog fight. What you will learn is that the dogs in the equation were known to have been poorly socialized and poorly trained. In other words, it was just a matter of time before something bad was going to happen.

According to the American Kennel Club, Boerbels are smart, playful and loyal. The AKC says that this breed is a great guard dog for sure, but also very loving with children and cordial with strangers provided that they’ve been properly introduced. The AKC does point out that the Boerbel is not a breed that is a good choice for first-time owners, and we agree with that.

The AKC goes on to suggest that Boerbels have to be properly socialized, and again, we agree – any breed of dog should be properly socialized, and it’s even more important with large breeds.

Another thing that we agree with the AKC on is that the Boerbel is most definitely not a good choice for a first-time dog owner. They require an owner that is kind, but firm, and very comfortable being the alpha in the human/canine relationship. In the hands of the right owner, the Boerbel can be a good canine citizen. In the wrong hands, he can be a menace.

So, can you have a Boerbel around your children?

Yes, you can. The key here is as much about training your kids as it is about training your dog. A Boerbel isn’t going to be overly fond of having his ears pulled or his tail yanked. As long as kids can be civilized around your Boerbel, though, you’ll likely have nothing to worry about. Train your kids before you train your dog, and everything will be fine.

Boerboel Colors

Boerboels come in various colors – brown, fawn red, brindle and black, usually. Some might have white spots around the paws, neck, and face. For show purposes, it’s considered to be a fault if the Boerbel has more than 30% of white in his coat.

More questions? Let’s do a quick run-through of things we might not have covered.

Common Questions

1. Do Boerbels drool?

Yes. Maybe not so much as other members of the mastiff family, but you can still expect a fair bit of slobber from a Boerbel.

2. How to make a Boerbel muscular?

Exercise makes muscles. Make sure your Boerbel has a lot of daily exercises – at least half an hour a day – and he’ll bulk up.

3. Are Boerbel’s lazy?

No, they’re actually very active and could become bored and destructive if not given enough to do.

4. How do you pronounce “Boerbel”?

You pronounce it “bore bull,” with the emphasis on the first syllable.

5. Can a Boerboel live in an apartment?

It’s not really a good idea. Boerbels are large, high energy dogs, and best suited to a home with a large back yard where they can get a lot of exercise.

6. Are boerboels good family dogs?


7. Do Boerboels shed?

Not much. Brush your Boerbel a couple of times a week, and you’ll have no trouble keeping the shedding under control.

8. How to make my Boerboel aggressive?

If you’re even asking this question, all we can tell you right now is that you must be a special kind of stupid. Find your answer somewhere else, and get OFF this site!

9. How strong is a Boerbel bite?

A Boerbel can place about 800 pounds per square inch on a bite, which means that you have no prayer in the world of making a Boerrbel let go if he decides that biting is a good idea. Train vigorously, and make sure your Boerbel is socialized, and you won’t have to worry about

10. How do you take care of a Boerboel?

This one is easy. You feed him, you exercise him, you make sure that he gets regular checkups and shots, and most importantly, you love him. You tell him every day that he’s the most wonderful boy in the world. You make him feel as though he’s your whole world. Done!

There you go – that’s everything you have to know about the Boerbel. Is this dog right for you? If so, we wish you much happiness.

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