boerboel breed information


The Boerboel is a mastiff-type dog that hails from South Africa. Its name translates to “farm dog”. The Boerboel is a cross between native African dogs and those that were brought to Africa by Dutch, French and British settlers. In fact, the breed may trace back to Jan van Riebeeck, who brought his dog with him for protection when he founded Cape Town. He then crossed his dog with other native dogs, possibly resulting in the large breed today known as the Boerboel.

At around 150 pounds, the Boerboel is a fierce and loyal protector, and in addition to farm work, he also historically protected his owner’s home and possessions against predators. The Boerboel is extremely powerful and brave, which can be challenge for inexperienced pet parents.

Although typically calm and aloof, this breed needs a strong leader and plenty of obedience training. They have proven to be kind and gentle with family members, but a Boerboel needs guidance.

In addition to their strong personalities, like all breeds, Boerboels are also known for being predisposed to hereditary and congenital conditions that can adversely affect their health – as well as your family’s finances. Some of the conditions and illnesses Boerboels are prone to include eye conditions such as entropion and ectropion; neurological problems such as epilepsy; and joint conditions such as elbow and hip dysplasia.

Thankfully, Petplan pet insurance covers all hereditary and chronic conditions as standard. Which means if your Boerboel inherits anything more than a love for the outdoors, you’re protected.

Common health issues

Use the condition checker tool to learn what common conditions your pet may have.

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