South African Boerboel
Afrika's Tina CGC, OB.1, BST, HIC
of Proudfoot Kennels

Photo courtesy of Proudfoot Kennels

Breed Registries:

Note: The breed registries indicated above are the most recognized all-breed registries. The breed may be recognized by other registries not indicated here. For further details about dog registries, please see the document: Dog Breed Registries in North America.


South Africa


Males: 25-30" at the withers - Females: 22-26" at the withers

Breed Profile:

The development of the Boerboel is believed to have originated with the arrival of the first European settlers to South Africa. These mastiff type dogs may have been bred with indigenous dogs which eventually resulted in the Boerboel as he is known today — a very versatile, adaptable, sound and agile dog.

In the harsh South African environment, the settlers were largely dependent on their dogs for protection and as a warning against danger. For these tasks, a strong, agile and watchful dog was required to protect their home and property from wild animals such as lions and leopards as well as raiders. The dogs were also used as livestock guardians and trackers of large game.

The Boerboel is a large, well-muscled, powerful and balanced dog. The breed is intelligent, self-confident, protective, calm and obedient. This is a working dog, bred to guard and protect. He is extremely devoted and loyal to his family and has a special liking toward children. The Boerboel's temperament is considered to be one of the breed's most attractive and important qualities. Typically, the Boerboel is not a one-man dog but is equally devoted to the entire family and will protect and guard with great courage.

The Boerboel's coat is short, dense and smooth. The skin is tough and supple with strong pigmentation in order to protect them against the sun.

Health Issues

As with all breeds of dogs, the Boerboel may be susceptible to certain health problems, including but not limited to: Hip Dysplasia, Elbow Dysplasia, Eye problems including Ectropian/Entropian, Wobbler's Syndrome, Prolapse and Vaginal Hyperplasia.

In addition, another concern for all large breeds is Bloat or Gastric Torsion. If you are not familiar with this condition, it is absolutely necessary to learn about it and know the symptoms — This is a real emergency and a life threatening condition that requires immediate Veterinary attention. See Gastric Dilatation Volvulus (GDV) - Bloat in the Health and Nutrition section of Canada's Guide to Dogs for more information and First Aid for Bloat for an article describing some of the things you can do if you are faced with this situation.

If you are considering the adoption of a Boerboel puppy, or any breed, it is very important to be selective in choosing a responsible and reputable breeder. Ensure that the prospective puppy's parents have all health clearances. Breeding of any dog should not be done until after they have been proven to be free of evidence of significant hereditary diseases. (For more information on selecting a breeder, see the articles on the main Breed Listing and Breeders page.)

Additional Health Resources:

Only Natural Pet Store

Breed Standards

Grooming Information

  • Grooming — This section of the Canada's Guide to Dogs website includes tips, articles and information covering all aspects of dog grooming along with a listing of Groomers from across Canada.

Training Resources

The Boerboel has very strong protective and guarding instincts. Early training and socializing are a must for this breed.

  • Training — For training information, see this growing section of the Canada's Guide to Dogs website for tips, articles, as well as listings of training centres across Canada.

Training Tools & Equipment
Choose from a wide variety of items from

Additional Information

  • Boerboel Pedigree Database
  • Clubs, Sports & Activities — For information on the many sports and activities you can get involved in with your dog.
  • Working Dogs — The Working Dogs section of the Canada's Guide to Dogs website provides information and listings of organizations that are involved in various dog jobs, such as Guide Dogs, Therapy Dogs, Police Dogs, Protection Dogs, and much more.

Select from the following links to view Breeder listings; Breed Clubs; Rescue Organizations; as well as Books and other Merchandise specific to the breed:

Breeders  /  Breed Clubs  /  Rescues  /  Books & More