Boerboel: Temperament

Legends tell of how a Boerboel hunted down a lion. But that can be classified in the realm of legends. Even such a large dog has no chance against a full-grown lion.


Bred by Dutch settlers in South Africa, used to guard farms and diamond mines. Translated, Boerboel means farmer’s dog. In the mid-1700s, settlers brought their European guard dogs, mastiffs, and bulldogs, with them. Today’s Boerboel was created by crossing these breeds.


The fearless and powerful dog should never be allowed to roam free and unattended! Distrustful of strangers, he guards his territory, nothing escapes his attention. Protecting herds and guarding property is in his blood.

A very good and early socialization is extremely important for the Boerboel. Nothing would be worse than an anxious or aggressive dog. This dog breed is definitely not recommended for beginners! The owner of a Boerboel has to radiate calmness and be able to handle every situation with self-confidence. The owner’s insecurities when encountering people or animals result in the dog’s readiness to defend itself. He will consistently defend his family.

The Boerboel is not necessarily suitable for keeping in the city. If you live in the country and your nearest neighbor is far away, you will have an excellent guardian of your house and yard with the Boerboel. Uninvited visitors are deterred by the dog’s appearance alone and hardly dare to “get in” with you.

Is the Boerboel Dangerous?

In the wrong hands, it can be dangerous. Anyone who cannot deal with the breed and steers the deeply rooted protective instinct in the wrong direction will have an unpredictable dog on a leash. Dogs from dubious breeding are also ticking time bombs. As always, the dog is not the culprit, it is the people who make it a “fighting dog”, consciously or unconsciously. Any breed of dog can be primed, but there is a difference between a 5kg dog and a 70kg Boerboel.

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