Fun Boerboel Facts For Kids

Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason
Jan 31, 2024 By Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Luca Demetriou
Fact-checked by Spandana Kantam
Boerboel facts about the purebred dog breed with a calm temperament.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 12.4 Min

Boerboel is a South African mastiff and is regarded as a strong and ferocious dog whose name means 'farmer's dog' in Afrikaans. Boerboels, which are famous for their aggression, and don’t mind fighting with other dogs. But still, they manage to be loved and pampered by their owners. A Boerboel is a loyal pet who never leaves the master alone, and always acts as a fearless companion. These South African mastiff dogs were brought into the country by the founder of Cape Town, Jan Van Riebeeck. Ever since that Jan Van Riebeeck introduced the Boerboel into the country, it has earned a reputation as a ferocious working dog who makes for a great pet as well. Though, Boerboels are generally known for good health, they tend to suffer from certain ailments from time to time, hence their health requirements must be taken care of by the human family.

If you are a fan of strong and powerful dogs, then a Boerboel breed dog will not be a new name for you. These huge dogs are full of strength, confidence, and dominance. These South African dogs are the best guard dogs that one can ever have. They have medium to high intensity exercise needs and require training before being taken in as a pet. It will be fun to learn more about this wonderful breed. So, let’s begin with some interesting Boerboel facts.

Boerboel Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Boerboel?

A Boerboel is a large, fearless, and strong dog who loves to dominate other dogs in the area. A Boerboel is a powerful dog breed, and these dogs never hesitate to start a fight with other dogs. This breed is also known as farmer's dog as the meaning of the name 'Boerboel' in Afrikaans is 'Farmer's dog'. But despite their intimidating appearance, Boerboels love to play ball and make for a great companion with kids as well as with adults.

What class of animal does a Boerboel belong to?

A Boerboel belongs to the mammal class of animals. This breed was the 183rd dog breed to be recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC). The AKC recognized Boerboel as a dog breed in 2015. In terms of breed popularity, AKC ranks this dog breed from South Africa at 121.  

How many Boerboels are there in the world?

A Boerboel is not a very rare breed of dog, and there are many Boerboels in South Africa as well as other countries with similar weather. There are thousands of Boerboel dogs in South Africa. The exact figure of their population is not ascertained but their number can easily run into hundreds of thousands.

Where does a Boerboel live?

A Boerboel puppy can live in a house. But this breed is very energetic, and adult dogs need a very large area for running and playing, so only a big house is suitable for these South African Mastiff dogs.

What is a Boerboel's habitat?

A Boerboel dog can live easily at a place having a moderate temperature. These dogs, because of their short coat, can tolerate heat to some extent. These dogs are domestic dogs, suitable to live in a house.

Who do Boerboels live with?

Boerboel, being a domestic dog, lives with people.

How long does a Boerboel live?

The Boerboel life span is around 10-12 years. The Boerboel life span can be increased slightly by providing proper diet, regular exercise, and obedience training. This breed of dogs is native to South Africa and requires similar climate and weather to survive.

How do they reproduce?

Dogs reproduce through sexual reproduction. After the mating process is completed, a Boerboel bitch can give birth to a litter of around 7-10 Boerboel puppies. While a Boerboel puppy looks extremely cute but after growing up, they transform into a ferocious breed.  

What is their conservation status?

As per Boerboel Club of UK, the conservation status of these working dogs is of the least concern. Whether it be a Boerboel puppy or Boerboel adult dog, they are easily available in South Africa, and there is no threat related to their survival.

Boerboel Fun Facts

What do Boerboels look like?

A Boerboel dog is a big-sized pet dog with a black mask, short coat, cute little tail, and muscular body. These dogs are aggressive, loud, and full of confidence. The overall personality of these dogs is really impressive. As per American Kennel Club (AKC), the average weight of this breed can range between 150-200 lb. In terms of life expectancy, the AKC puts the estimated life span as 9 years to 11 years.  

Boerboel requires regular training and exercise for better health.

How cute are they?

Despite being enormous and strong, these working dogs somehow manage to look cute. They have very innocent faces, making them look like cute dogs with enormous bodies, prominent muzzle, and sleek coat. These working dogs are friendly and loyal towards their owners, and their affection for their owners makes them look more adorable.

How do they communicate?

A Boerboel is not just enormous in size; they are enormous in brains too. These friendly dogs are intelligent, smart, and good at communicating. They can howl, bark, growl, and whimper to express themselves.

How big is a Boerboel?

A Boerboel is a tall dog breed. The average height of a male Boerboel dog is 24-28 in and average height range of 22-25 in for females. These dogs are almost three times bigger than smaller breeds such as pomeranian and Shih Tzu.

How fast can a Boerboel run?

A Boerboel is a friendly dog full of energy and muscular strength. Their unmatchable energy and strength enable them to run at a speed of 45 miles per hour. These friendly dogs are really impressive runners, and their enormous energy allows them to run at such fast speeds for a longer duration.

How much does a Boerboel weigh?

These giant dogs are heavy, and the average weight of a male Boerboel dog is 132–174 lb and 121–60 lb for a female.

What are their male and female names of the species?

A male Boerboel dog will be called a dog, and a female Boerboel dog will be called a bitch.

What would you call a baby Boerboel?

A baby Boerboel dog will be called a puppy or a Boerboel puppy.

What do they eat?

Boerboel dogs are carnivores, and they can eat small animals such as rabbits, pigeons, small births, rats, and other small animals. However, if this dog is kept as a pet, then they should be given high quality dog food that contains all the essential food items such as meat, cereals.

Are they slobbery?

These dogs of the Mastiff family actually drool a lot, but a Boerboel is an exception as it drools less than the other mastiff dogs, making for a good pet.

Are they hypoallergenic?

No, Boerboels are not hypoallergenic. These dogs are pretty clean and healthy, so there is no risk of hypo allergies if this dog is adopted as a pet. Boerboel's light coat reduces the worries of developing allergies.

Would they make a good pet?

Yes, if trained properly, these dogs can make a good pet. These dogs are really affectionate, loving, and calm with their owners, and they are also said to be friendly with human kids. Their temperament can be easily calmed during with help of obedience training as pets. Moreover, these dogs are strong and powerful, which makes them best suited for a guard dog. So, yes they can make good pets as long as you take them on a long walk every day and feed them healthy food.

Are Boerboel dogs dangerous?

Yes, Boerboel breed dogs have really aggressive characteristics, and their huge size and enormous strength can prove to be really dangerous. Because of their aggressive nature, these dogs are generally kept as guard dogs as they can repel any unwanted intruder very well. But in many cases, these dogs can be violent for no reason, and in such a case, they can cause serious harm to others. Therefore, it is recommended to put on a muzzle to control their behavior.

How much is a Boerboel?

A Boerboel dog can cost you somewhere between $1500-$2000. The price can vary according to the breeder and the breeding practices and conditions being followed for these pets. Breeders also charge a premium price for these dogs as they are powerful purebred dogs who can function as pets as well as guard dogs.

How to train a Boerboel to be a guard dog?

A Boerboel dog breed is well known for its strength and aggressive nature. These dogs are short-tempered, and they get irritated real quick. When they face irritating conditions, they can behave violently with humans. Also, these dogs are really violent with other dogs and they get into fights with other dogs real quick. And that’s why a Boerboel breed dog needs proper training to fulfill its exercise requirements and conditions.

Proper training will allow these dogs to socialize properly, and their violent nature will reduce to some extent. A well-trained Boer dog can be the best guard dog, but an untrained Boer dog can cause a lot of trouble. So training these big buddies is really important.

How do you train a Boerboel? A Boerboel is said to be a very obedient dog with its high energy level, and they are smart enough to understand your command. Hence, the trainability is really high but it will take an experienced trainer to train this breed, so, if you know the right way of training a dog, then training them will not be a challenging task. First, make sure it gets its regular walk. A Boerboel is not suitable for small apartments as these dogs require large open areas for their proper body movements. So, provide these dogs with a large open area for their exercises, playing, running, and other activities.

So, the first thing you need to do is that you need to teach your dog how to socialize. Generally, such aggressive dogs can be violent with every single stranger. And in order to reduce such behavior, proper socialization of your dog becomes crucial. Proper socialization will reduce their aggression to some extent. If they come in front of strangers, then always supervise your dog about their presence and tell your dog to calm down.

Another important part of training is helping them achieve an appropriate dominant position. A Boerboel dog is generally very much confident and dominant in nature, and you do not have to make any special efforts to make him dominant. All you have to work on is to balance their dominance with intelligence. A proper balance between the two is important because a dominant dog can be violent with strangers for no reason and a good guard dog needs to be well behaved. So, try to supervise your dog each time they get violent for no reason. This will help a lot in reducing their over-dominant nature.

Did you know...

The gestation period of a Boerboel dog is 63 days, but these figures can vary by a few days. A Boerboel bitch can give birth to 7-10 Boerboel puppies at once.

A Boerboel dog is also known as a working dog. Boerboel breeders are generally large dogs but still, these dogs have diversities in their types, size, behavior, and colors. The Boerboels can generally be of four types which are as follows: mastiff type Boerboel; terrier type Boerboel; bulldog type Boerboel; hound type Boerboel.

The vocalization in dogs generally begins at the age of two to three weeks. The puppies of this age start to grunt, whine or howl a little. By the age of seven to eight weeks, their vocal organs are developed, and they can bark properly. Although in some cases, the puppies may take up to 16 weeks to bark properly.

Boerboels are very smart dogs. They are obedient and super easy to train. They can follow the commands very nicely. They are very alert about their surroundings, and they can easily detect any suspicious behavior, and that’s why they are usually kept as guard dogs.

The Boerboels were banned in many regions. The reason behind this was their over-aggressive nature. These dogs started to be considered as fighting and dangerous dogs. These dogs have, many times, caused great harm to humans and street dogs.

A Boerboel dog is usually nice with children but in some rare cases, a Boerboel dog can behave violently with a kid. Although the possibility of such an incident is not high, it can still happen. So, it is advised that kids should never be left alone with such giant dogs.

Jumping can be a little challenging for these heavy dogs. Their weight acts as a major barrier that restricts them from jumping over six feet objects. A Boerboel can jump over a five feet or less object very easily.

No, leaving a Boerboel dog alone in an apartment is not at all a good idea. They are aggressive dogs, and they can create a huge disaster in your apartment. And another reason why you should not leave them alone in your apartment is that they need a large open area for their daily exercises, running, and other stuff, and if you trap them in an apartment, then you might have to face some broken furniture or torn pillows.

Characteristics and health issues

The South African Boerboel breed can suffer from several diseases such as hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, vaginal hyperplasia, entropion, ectropion. Recently, one more major health issue detected in these pet dogs is juvenile epilepsy. The behavior of these dogs can change over the ages and you can expect these dogs to accompany you for a considerable time as Boerboel life span 10 years or more is a standard for similar breed of dogs.

A South African Boerboel being a large dog, needs a lot of food. These dogs require a proper amount of nutrition in their diet to grow properly and reduce unnecessary shedding of the coat. A Boerboel should be given high quality dog food that consists of all the essential food nutrients. The dog is to be fed twice a day.

An African Boerboel is an intelligent, obedient, and loyal dog. These dogs can never show their back to their owners. They are sweet, loving, and calm dogs, if not tempted. These dogs also have a dominant, confident, and territorial side. They usually fight a lot with the other dogs. The territorial and aggressive nature of an African Boerboel makes them the ideal choice for a rescue dog.

An African Boerboel does not have a very long coat, and they are super easy to groom but due care should be taken around the shedding season. Grooming them once or twice a week is completely enough. Regular grooming can help get rid of the shedding and dead hair, and also, gives the coat of your dog a good massage, and allows efficient circulation.

Getting your own Boerboel

A Boerboel can be the best fearless companion dog. Having the Boerboel's loyalty means that no one will ever dare to mess with you because your fearless buddy will rescue you like an Avenger! A Boerboel can be a good companion, though, but there are some really important things which you should need to know about these dogs before having one. If you wish to buy a Boerboel, then do not miss these useful things about a Boerboel.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our Boerboel coloring pages.

Boerboel Facts

What Did They Prey On?

Small animals such as rabbits, birds

What Type of Animal were they?


Average Litter Size?


How Much Did They Weigh?

Male: 132-174 lb Female: 121–160 lb

What habitat Do they Live In?


Where Do They Live?

south africa

How Long Were They?


How Tall Were They?

Male: 24-28 inFemale: 22-25 in‍







Scientific Name

Canis lupus familiaris

What Do They Look Like?

Black, brindle, fawn, piebald, cream, mahogany, brown, red

Skin Type


What Are Their Main Threats?


What is their Conservation Status?

Least Concern
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Written by Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason

Bachelor of Science specializing in Mass Communication.

Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason picture

Adekunle Olanrewaju JasonBachelor of Science specializing in Mass Communication.

With over 3+ years of professional experience, Olanrewaju is a certified SEO Specialist and Content Writer. He holds a BSc in Mass Communication from the University of Lagos. Throughout his dynamic career, Olanrewaju has successfully taken on various roles with startups and established organizations. He has served as a Technical Writer, Blogger, SEO Specialist, Social Media Manager, and Digital Marketing Manager. Known for his hardworking nature and insightful approach, Olanrewaju is dedicated to continuous learning and improvement.
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