About the Boerboel
I am a Boerboel
Written by Jenny Wells (reprinted with her direct permission)
I am a substantial dog driven by love and loyalty to my nearest and dearest.
I am an impressive figure of strength with my stature, musculature, bearing and demeanor.
I can be the most reliable and loving family companion and a thoroughly determined force of nature if they are threatened.
I can be a clown and I have a sense of humor.
I am smart, make sure you are smarter! I will make decisions if you don’t!
I was created in a school of hard knocks over generations on the farms in South Africa. I am tough, hardy, adaptable and can turn my paw to many uses and tasks.
I require love, attention, good food, guidance and proper accommodation – but most of all I require a responsible owner that will care for me and make time for me.
I don’t like to be left alone for long periods of time and I can be destructive when I get bored.
I am happiest when you are with me.
I eat a lot and my vet bills can be expensive.
I am generally contented but I do require regular exercise and mental stimulation.
I need training to show me how to behave in various situations and let me know how to please you. I respond very well and learn fast with kindness, consistency and food rewards! I don’t respond well to bullying, violence or rough handling.
I am sensitive to your needs and moods. I feel your stress.
I am protective of my family and those I consider my family, I will defend them to my last breath.
I am a Boerboel, you are my life, my love and my world. I am your guardian, your companion and your faithful friend until the last beat of my heart.
I am not just a Boerboel, I am your Boerboel.
More than just another mastiff…
Temperament, Health, & Requirements
TEMPERAMENT – Boerboels are an intelligent and energetic breed. They are loyal, usually great with kids and tend to be protective of their family and territory. They are quite charming when not being lazy, and will not hesitate to defend their loved ones to the death. The Boerboel also requires training and firm handling from an early age.
HEALTH – Boerboels are generally known for their good health. However, Boerboels can suffer from hip or elbow dysplasia, vaginal hyperplasia, ectropion, and entropion. Recently, juvenile epilepsy (with attacks brought on by metabolic changes or stress) has appeared in the boerboel breed. The average life expectancy is ten years to twelve years.
REQUIREMENTS – Prospective owners must recognize that owning a boerboel requires a significant commitment in time and energy as they need to be trained and properly socialized in order to be happy, well-adjusted family members.These dogs thrive under positive reinforcement training techniques and require human companionship and structure. If left isolated, Boerboels will digress and may become destructive. Owners should be wary of trying to forcefully control the dog as it is detrimental to their psychological health and could cause potential behavioral backlash in the future. These dogs benefit from an owner who respects their size and strength but is not fearful of it. If you are considering adding a boerboel to your family or already own a boerboel and are thinking of moving (to a smaller home), remember this – bored boerboels are destructive boerboels and at 150 lbs (68 kg), can do a lot of damage. Although more suitable for large yards, Boerboels are adaptable and can live in small environments as long as they receive regular exercise and a lot of attention. Whatever the amount of space available, they need to have plenty of physical and mental exercise. The Boerboel can be exercised in a large, securely enclosed yard, but at a minimum this type of dog needs to be taken on a long walk every day.