African Boerboel Temperament – Interesting, Must Know Breed and Buyers Info

Hailing from Africa, the African Boerboel temperament is calm, confident, and loyal.

Their name, “Boerboel” comes from the Afrikaans/Dutch words for farmer (boer) and dog (boel).

Photo of Boerboel Dog sitting in the Woods | Confident Temperament


The South African Boerboel were farmers’ dogs. Dutch settlers created the breed in the 1600s in South Africa.

Boerboels defended and hunt wildlife such as baboons, leopards, hyenas, and other large cats.

While they were popular in South Africa for quite some time, colonists began to protest the British rule in the 1800s and the breed became scattered and taken in by isolated areas. Post-World Wars, South Africa became urbanized and Boerboels began crossbreeding with other dogs.

During the 1980s, enthusiasts started breeding purebred Boerboels and the breed gained popularity again.

Boerboels are, however, rare outside of South Africa.

African Boerboel Temperament and Personality

The African Boerboel is playful and loving. This breed loves to have a job to do. When they are using their mind they are happiest.

African Boerboels love their humans – especially children – and can be a bit too overprotective at times.

Because of their large size, always supervise the Boerboels around with young children.

Photo of Boerboel Dog | Dominant Temperament

If your child is having a play date, it’s probably best to keep your Boerboel separate. He may deem your child’s friend as a threat!

This breed does get along well with other pets, especially if they grow up together. However, same-sex Boerboels can be competitive and aggressive. If you are adding a second dog to the mix, consider adding one of the opposite sex.

Their instinct is to protect and watch. You must socialize your Boerboel to prevent it from becoming aggressive or territorialism. When friends come to the house, be sure to introduce them to your Boerboel properly to avoid the dog mistaking your friend as a foe!

African Boerboels are a smart breed with a great work ethic. Boerboels would love to help with tasks such as guarding livestock, protecting the home or even competing in dog sports.

Boerboels are not recommended for inexperienced or first-time dog owners as they tend to think of themselves as natural leaders. African Boerboels do best with patient owners.

Training an African Boerboel

The Boerboel is steadfast, highly intelligent and calm. Early socialization is an absolute must for this breed. Expose your Boerboel puppy to everything you can – new places, people, and situations. This helps decrease the chances of an aggressive or shy adult.

A Boerboel dog needs consistent, structured, and long-term training. Boerboel puppies can be easygoing and flexible. Inexperienced dog owners may think an adult Boerboel will be the same, but that’s not the case.

Patient and consistent training works best with this breed.  Use positive reinforcement with a Boerboel as they do not respond well to harsh training methods.

Portrait of a Boerboel Dog

Finding the Perfect African Boerboel

Ready to add an African Boerboel to your family? Your first decision should be whether you would like a Boerboel for sale from a breeder or to adopt a Boerboel from the shelter.

Getting a Boerboel from a breeder will ensure the dog is purebred. Whereas with adoption, it can be difficult to determine if they are 100% Boerboel.

African Boerboel Puppies for Sale

Because of their rarity, the African Boerboel price ranges from as low as $1,300 to as high as $7,000 depending on the lineage.

The price of South African Boerboel puppies for sale depends on the breeder, your location, availability of litters, and the lineage. The more superior the lineage, the higher Boerboel dogs for sale will cost.

African Boerboel Rescue and Adoption

Looking for Boerboel adoption? You can either adopt from a dedicated Boerboel rescue group or contact your local shelter.

Giant Paws Boerboel Rescue, Inc. is a great source for finding adoptable Boerboels.

Or, you can reach out to your local rescue or shelter to see if they have any Boerboel or Boerboel mixes available for adoption.

Because the breed is so rare, you may have a difficult time finding purebred Boerboels for adoption. However, there are plenty of mixes available for adoption in shelters!

Read the following to help you make a great choice at the shelter.

African Boerboel Breeders

If you decide to purchase an African Boerboel from a breeder, make sure to do your research. Head to the American Kennel Club to find information on breeders based on location and lineage.

And, while the American Boerboel Club doesn’t provide member breeders just yet, they do offer tips on finding the perfect Boerboel puppies for sale.

When it comes to finding the perfect breeder, make sure to do your research. Boerboel breeders should be knowledgeable about the breed and able to provide health certificates.

Breeders should be more than happy to answer any question you may have pertaining to the breed. Expect good ones to also ask you questions to determine if an African Boerboel is right for you.

Photo of a Black Boerboel Dog in Garden

Caring for an African Boerboel

The Boerboel is of Mastiff descent so they are quite large. The Boerboel weight is between 150-200 pounds. They stand between 22-27 inches and have a life expectancy of about 9-11 years.

Grooming an African Boerboel

The African Boerboel has short and smooth overcoats. They come in shades of fawn, red, brindle, brown, or black.

This breed is an average shedder and doesn’t require much grooming. Weekly brushing along with monthly baths will be enough.

African Boerboel Health and Exercise

The African Boerboel requires daily exercise like long walks or play sessions. This is a breed that needs mental stimulation as well as physical exercise to avoid boredom. A bored and mentally unfulfilled Boerboel can become destructive.

Give your Boerboel puzzle toys and regular training along with physical activity to keep them happy and healthy.

Despite their size, the Boerboel is generally healthy with relatively few hereditary conditions. However, they are prone to some health conditions such as

A Final Word about the African Boerboel Temperament

The rare African Boerboel is a great breed for experienced dog owners. They are loyal, protective, and intelligent.

Start socializing Boerboel puppies early to ensure they do not become aggressive or territorial adults. And, start training as soon as possible as this is a headstrong breed!

Though large, the Boerboel is devoted to his humans and adores children, making them a great family companion!

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