Boerboel: Traits, Health, Diet and Care


Explore the world of Boerboels, where we cover everything from their strong bond with family to their care needs, including diet, health, and training for a well-rounded life.

Coat Type: Smooth
Coat Length: Short
Male Height: 24-27 inches
Female Height: 22-25 inches
Male Weight: 150-200 pounds
Female Weight: 150-200 pounds
Life Expectancy: 9-11 years

Breed Characteristics

Adaptability level
Affectionate with family
Drooling level
Barking level
Coat grooming frequency
Energy level
Good with other dogs
Good with young children
Mental stimulation needs
Openness to strangers
Playfulness level
Shedding level
Trainability level
Watchdog protective nature


Boerboels, a powerful and majestic breed, have been rapidly gaining popularity among dog enthusiasts worldwide. Their striking appearance, coupled with a loyal and protective temperament, makes them a top choice for families and individuals alike. Originating from South Africa, these dogs are not only known for their strength and confidence but also for their gentle nature with loved ones, striking a perfect balance between a fearless guardian and a devoted companion.

In this comprehensive guide, we delve into the world of Boerboels, providing insights into their unique characteristics, dietary needs, common health concerns, effective training methods, and care tips.

Whether you're a seasoned Boerboel owner or considering adding one to your family, this article is designed to equip you with the knowledge to ensure your Boerboel thrives. Join us as we uncover the essentials of raising a happy, healthy Boerboel, and discover why so many have welcomed these impressive dogs into their hearts and homes.

Boerboels Traits and Characteristics

Boerboels, originating from South Africa, are robust, large, and muscular dogs with a commanding presence. Known for their loyalty and protective instincts, they make excellent family pets and guardians. This breed has a short and smooth coat, which comes in a variety of shades, including fawn, brown, and brindle.

  • Affectionate with Family: Boerboels form strong bonds with their families and are known to be loving and protective. They are particularly good with children and often become gentle giants around the younger members of the family.
  • Good with Other Dogs: While they can live with other dogs, Boerboels might be selective about their canine friends. Early socialization is important to help them develop good manners around other pets.
  • Shedding and Grooming: These dogs have a moderate level of shedding. Their grooming needs are relatively low, requiring regular brushing to maintain a healthy coat.
  • Drooling: Potential owners should be prepared for a moderate amount of drooling, especially after eating or drinking.
  • Openness to Strangers: With a natural wariness towards strangers, Boerboels make excellent watchdogs, yet they can be polite if properly introduced.
  • Playfulness: They have a moderate playfulness level, enjoying interactive games and activities with their family.
  • Watchdog/Protective Nature: Boerboels have a strong protective instinct, making them excellent watchdogs who will not hesitate to guard their home and loved ones.
  • Adaptability: This breed has a fair level of adaptability. They can adjust to various living conditions as long as they have enough space to move around and regular exercise.
  • Trainability: Boerboels are quite trainable, responding well to consistent, firm training methods. Obedience training from an early age is recommended to manage their strong-willed nature.
  • Energy Level: With a moderate energy level, they require regular exercise to keep them fit and to prevent boredom.
  • Barking Tendencies: Their barking level is moderate. They may bark to alert you of something unusual but are not excessive barkers.
  • Mental Stimulation Needs: Intelligent and eager to please, they need mental stimulation to prevent boredom, which can lead to destructive behavior.
  • Physical Traits: Males typically stand between 24-27 inches tall, while females range from 22-25 inches. Both males and females weigh between 150-200 pounds.
  • Lifespan: A Boerboel can be expected to live for approximately 9-11 years.

These traits make Boerboels formidable yet affectionate companions that thrive when they are part of the family and involved in daily activities. Proper care, training, and socialization are vital to ensure that they grow into well-adjusted and friendly adults.

Food and Nutrition - Keeping Boerboels Healthy

Boerboels are powerful dogs with specific dietary needs to maintain their health and vitality. A balanced diet for a Boerboel should include high-quality proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals to support their muscular build and energy requirements.

It's crucial to provide them with nutrient-dense, low-fat dog food that caters to their size and activity level. Ensuring that the food you choose meets the nutrient requirements for Boerboels will help them maintain optimal weight and muscle strength.

Treats and chews, like our chew product, play a supplementary role in a Boerboel's diet. While not a primary food source, they offer additional benefits. Our chew product is hand-crafted, 100% natural, and contains limited ingredients such as yak and cow milk, with no preservatives.

High in protein and low in fat, these chews are ideal for promoting dental hygiene in Boerboels. The hard texture helps in cleaning teeth and gums as the dog chews, reducing the risk of dental issues. However, it's essential to remember that these are treats and should not replace well-balanced dog food for Boerboels.

When considering how many times to feed a dog like the Boerboel, consistency is key. Typically, adult Boerboels do well with two meals per day, while puppies may require more frequent feeding. Always ensure fresh water is available, and monitor your Boerboel's eating habits, adjusting portions as necessary to prevent overfeeding.

High-calorie dog treats should be given sparingly to avoid obesity. By providing a diet that fulfills all the dietary needs of Boerboels, you can help ensure that these majestic dogs lead a long, healthy, and happy life.

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Health Information of Boerboels

Boerboels, with their strong build and active nature, generally enjoy good health, but like all breeds, they are prone to certain health conditions. By being aware of these common health problems, owners can be proactive in ensuring their Boerboels live full and healthy lives. The life expectancy of a Boerboel is typically around 9-11 years, and with routine care, they can spend those years as a healthy member of the family.

Some common health concerns for Boerboels include:

  • Hip Dysplasia: A genetic condition where the thigh bone doesn't fit snugly into the hip joint, which can lead toarthritis or lameness.
  • Elbow Dysplasia: Similar to hip dysplasia, this condition affects the joints and can cause pain or mobility issues.
  • Heart Conditions: Boerboels can be susceptible to certain heart diseases, such as dilated cardiomyopathy.
  • Ectropion and Entropion: These are eyelid disorders where the eyelids roll inwards or outwards, potentially causing irritation or injury to the eye.
  • Vaginal Hyperplasia: Common in female Boerboels, this condition involves swelling of the vaginal tissue, which might require veterinary attention.

To help maintain your Boerboel's health, there are several dog health tips to follow:

  • Regular Check-Ups: Annual veterinary visits for check-ups and vaccinations are vital for early detection and prevention of health issues.
  • Balanced Diet: A well-balanced diet is crucial for keeping your Boerboel in good shape and supporting their immune system.
  • Exercise: Adequate exercise is necessary to maintain a healthy weight and prevent joint and heart problems.
  • Mental Stimulation: Mental engagement helps prevent anxiety and destructive behaviors, leading to a happier dog.
  • Dental Care: Regular brushing and dental check-ups will help avoid dental diseases, which can affect overall health.

Antler products can play a role in maintaining a Boerboel's health by providing a natural and healthy chew option that supports dental hygiene. Chewing on hard substances like antlers can help scrape away plaque and tartar build-up on teeth, promoting good oral health. However, it's important to monitor your dog while they chew to ensure they are not breaking off and swallowing large pieces.

Always keep in mind that while these tips can help maintain your Boerboel's health, they are not substitutes for professional veterinary care. If you notice any changes in your Boerboel's behavior, mobility, or health, it is essential to seek advice from a qualified veterinarian. Early diagnosis and treatment are key to managing health issues effectively.

How To Train and Care Boerboels

Training Boerboels requires patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement. These intelligent dogs respond well to clear and firm commands but also need to be treated with respect and kindness. Obedience training for Boerboels should start early to instill good habits and establish the owner's role as the pack leader.

Basic dog training commands like 'sit', 'stay', 'come', and 'heel' are essential for their discipline and safety. Consistent training sessions and repetition are key to their learning process, making sure they understand what is expected of them.

During training, treats can be an excellent motivator and reward for positive behavior. Our Puffs product, containing the same natural ingredients as our chew product, can be particularly useful. These treats are not only delicious for Boerboels but are also healthy, high in protein, and low in fat, making them an ideal choice for use during training sessions. The size and texture of the Puffs make them convenient for owners to carry and quick for dogs to eat, allowing for immediate rewards after following a command, which reinforces their good behavior.

To ensure the best care for Boerboels, it's important to integrate training into their routine care. Regular grooming, proper nutrition, and sufficient exercise are pillars of a healthy lifestyle for these dogs.

Remember, Boerboels thrive on structure and routine, so keeping their training and daily care consistent will help them understand their boundaries and expectations. For any training or behavior concerns, it's always advisable to consult with a professional dog trainer who has experience with large and powerful breeds like the Boerboel.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Boerboels

Are Boerboels good family dogs?

Absolutely. Boerboels are known to be affectionate and protective of their families. They bond strongly with their owners and can be gentle with children, making them excellent family pets when socialized and trained properly.

Can Boerboels adapt to living in smaller spaces like apartments?

Boerboels are large, active dogs that typically require space to move and exercise. While they can adapt to various living conditions, they do best in homes with more space, such as a house with a yard. Regular exercise is also key to keeping them happy in smaller living spaces.

How much exercise do Boerboels need?

Boerboels have a moderate energy level and require regular exercise to maintain their health and prevent boredom. A daily walk, coupled with some playtime and mental stimulation, is usually sufficient to meet their exercise needs.

What are the best training methods for Boerboels?

Positive reinforcement and consistency are crucial in training Boerboels. They respond well to firm, fair, and consistent training from an early age. Using treats like our Puffs product can help motivate them and reinforce positive behaviors.

Do Boerboels require a lot of grooming?

Boerboels have short coats and are relatively low-maintenance when it comes to grooming. Regular brushing will help manage shedding and keep their coat shiny. They also need basic care like nail trimming, ear cleaning, and dental care.

Are Boerboels prone to any health issues?

Like any breed, Boerboels may be susceptible to certain health conditions such as hip and elbow dysplasia, heart diseases, and eyelid issues. Regular check-ups with a veterinarian can help catch and manage these conditions early.

Is the Boerboel breed aggressive?

Boerboels are protective by nature, which can be misconstrued as aggression. Proper socialization and training are essential to ensure they are well-behaved and can distinguish between normal situations and genuine threats.

How often should Boerboels be fed?

Adult Boerboels typically do well with two meals a day. Puppies may require more frequent feeding. It's important to follow a vet-recommended diet and monitor their food intake to prevent obesity.

What should I do if my Boerboel starts showing signs of anxiety or stress?

First, try to identify the cause of the stress and address it. Providing a secure environment, regular exercise, and mental stimulation can help alleviate anxiety. If the behavior persists, seek the advice of a veterinarian or a professional dog trainer.

Can I train my Boerboel at home?

Yes, with the right knowledge and consistency, you can train your Boerboel at home. It's beneficial to educate yourself on training techniques or consult with a professional trainer to ensure you're using effective methods suited to your dog's temperament.

Remember to always seek professional advice for specific dog care questions or concerns about your Boerboel's health and behavior.


This article shares information about dog breeds for educational purposes only, using the American Kennel Club (AKC) as our main source because they're experts on dog breeds. But remember, every dog is unique. What we share might not fit every single dog, even if they are from the same breed. If your dog needs help, whether it's for health or behavior, it's always best to talk to a vet or a dog trainer. They can give advice that fits your pet's specific needs.

We want to help you learn about dogs and how to take care of them, but we can't replace professional advice. Always check with a professional if you're not sure about something to make sure your dog is healthy and happy.