About the Boerboel

A Boerboel is a large, molosser type breed of dog from South Africa. The word boerboel is Afrikaans for "farmer's dog".  Boerboels are also known as South African Mastiffs or the African Boerboel.  The Boerboel is a big, strong and intelligent working dog, which was bred in South Africa since the seventeenth century. Various Mastiff types’ dogs from Europe as well as big dogs from Africa contributed to the development of the breed. A typical Boerboel’s characteristic is very similar to that of the Assyrian of the period up to 700 BC.

Boerboels are intelligent, reliable, and obedient, with a strong watchdog instinct. They are self-assured and fearless, but responsive to the needs of the family. Like other large dogs with a strong guard instinct, the Boerboel needs to be watched around strangers, introduced to friends early on, and properly socialized to avoid aggressive behavior.  Keep in mind, Boerboels grow to be 110 - 200 pounds!  Behaviors that may seem "cute" in your puppy (i.e. chewing on your shoes, jumping up on you, etc...) will not seem so "cute" when your dog reaches its adult weight.  In addition to consistent handling, Boerboel owners must be willing to complete obedience work with their dog.   Since dogs are pack animals, successful dog ownership requires a person to have an alpha attitude towards their dog.  Dogs naturally find their place in either the dominant or the submissive role.  If the dog owner is not viewed as the alpha pack leader by the dog, the dog will attempt to, or will in fact, dominate its owner to the detriment of the person and to society at large. 

General Appearance:


The Boerboel is a perfectly balanced dog. He has well developed muscle he should have strong, smooth movement. He is an impressive, imposing dog of strength. Males should be more masculine than females.

The Boerboel is a big, strong, healthy dog, well balanced, with good muscle development and swift in movement. The dog should be impressive, and imposing. Male dogs stand 25-30'' at the withers and appear noticeably masculine while bitches stand 22-26'' at the withers and appear noticeably feminine.

  The head is the most important feature of the Boerboel, as it represents its total character. The head is short, broad, deep, square and muscular with well-filled cheeks. The part between the eyes must be well filled.  The jaws are strong, deep and wide in the back and slightly narrow at the sides towards the front.  The teeth should be well developed and correctly spaced in a scissor bite.  The color of the eyes can be any shade of brown, but should be darker than the pelt.  Ears should be medium sized, V-shaped and in proportion to the head.  The neck is quite strong and muscular, firmly attached to the head and gradually broadens up to the point where it is attached to the shoulder. The neck, head and shoulder should form a unit.  The scruff of the neck is loose under the chin and tightens up as it reaches the chest. 
The topline of a Boerboel should be straight with prominant back muscles and a short loin.  Boerboels should be well muscled throughout their back, shoulders, and legs.  The body should narrow slightly towards the loin.  Their gait is balanced and smooth, powerful, with ground covering strides showing strong driving action in hindquarters and corresponding reach in front.
  Boerboels have a short, sleek, and dense coat.  Boerboels come in a variety of acceptable colors including all shades of yellow, brown (red), and brindle.   White is accepted on the chest, toes (although the dog should still have black toenails) and a small stripe on the muzzle.  White is considered a fault if it is anywhere on the dog's upper thighs, legs, back, or neck.
For further information on the process for acquiring a Butterfly Fields Boerboel, please call 410-867-1910.