Boerboel (South African Mastiff) Characteristics And Personality Traits

The Boerboel, also known as the South African Mastiff, is a large and powerful breed known for their loyalty and protective nature. Here are some of their characteristics and personality traits:

  1. Size: Boerboels are a large breed, typically weighing between 150 and 200 pounds and standing 24 to 28 inches tall at the shoulder.
  2. Appearance: Boerboels have a muscular and athletic build, with a short and dense coat that can be a variety of colors, including brown, brindle, and fawn. They have a large head with a powerful jaw.
  3. Personality: Boerboels are loyal and protective dogs that are devoted to their families. They are intelligent and independent, but also require strong leadership and consistent training. Boerboels can be wary of strangers and other dogs, and may require early socialization and training to ensure they are well-behaved around others.
  4. Energy level: Boerboels have a moderate energy level and require regular exercise to keep them healthy and happy. Daily walks or runs and playtime in a fenced yard are recommended.
  5. Health: Boerboels are generally a healthy breed, but can be prone to hip dysplasia and other joint issues. Regular veterinary checkups and screenings are recommended.

Overall, the Boerboel is a loyal and protective breed that requires consistent training and socialization to ensure they are well-behaved and safe around others. They make great companions for experienced dog owners who are committed to providing them with the proper care and attention they need.

Common Health Issues For A Boerboel (South African Mastiff) And How Often Should You Screen?

Like all dog breeds, Boerboels can be prone to certain health issues. Here are some of the more common health issues for Boerboels and recommended screening:

  1. Hip and elbow dysplasia: This is a common issue in large dog breeds like Boerboels. Screening for hip and elbow dysplasia should be done early in life and then periodically throughout their lifetime. X-rays can be used to diagnose dysplasia.
  2. Bloat: Also known as gastric torsion, this is a life-threatening condition where the stomach fills with gas and twists on itself. Boerboels are at an increased risk for bloat due to their deep chest. Feeding several smaller meals throughout the day, rather than one large meal, can help reduce the risk.
  3. Eye problems: Boerboels can be prone to various eye conditions such as cataracts, entropion, and ectropion. Annual eye exams by a veterinary ophthalmologist are recommended.
  4. Heart issues: Boerboels can develop heart conditions such as dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), which can lead to heart failure. Regular cardiac screenings, including echocardiograms and EKGs, are recommended.
  5. Cancer: Boerboels can develop various types of cancer, including bone cancer and mast cell tumors. Regular check-ups with your veterinarian can help detect any suspicious lumps or bumps early on.

It’s important to work closely with your veterinarian to develop a preventative health care plan for your Boerboel. This may include regular wellness exams, screenings, and diagnostic tests. Early detection and treatment of any health issues can help ensure your Boerboel lives a long and healthy life.

What Do Boerboels (South African Mastiffs) Like To Eat, How Much And How Often Per Day?

Boerboels are a large and active breed, so they require a healthy and balanced diet to support their energy needs. Here are some general guidelines for feeding your Boerboel:

  1. Choose high-quality dog food: Look for dog food that is specifically formulated for large breed dogs. The food should contain a balance of protein, fat, and carbohydrates, as well as essential vitamins and minerals. Avoid foods that contain fillers or artificial preservatives.
  2. Portion control: The amount of food your Boerboel needs will depend on their age, weight, and activity level. As a general rule, adult Boerboels should eat around 4-6 cups of food per day, split into two meals. Puppies will need to eat more often, with three to four meals per day until they are six months old.
  3. Avoid overfeeding: Boerboels are prone to obesity, which can lead to a variety of health problems. Avoid giving your dog table scraps or treats that are high in fat or sugar. Stick to healthy, low-calorie treats like baby carrots or small pieces of apple.
  4. Monitor their weight: It’s important to keep an eye on your Boerboel’s weight and body condition. If your dog is gaining weight, you may need to adjust their food intake or increase their exercise.
  5. Provide plenty of fresh water: Boerboels need access to fresh, clean water at all times. Make sure to refill their water bowl throughout the day.

As always, it’s important to consult with your veterinarian about your Boerboel’s specific dietary needs. They may recommend a different feeding schedule or type of food based on your dog’s individual needs.

How Often and How Should You Groom Your Boerboel (South African Mastiff)?

Boerboels have a short and dense coat that requires minimal grooming. Here are some tips for grooming your Boerboel:

  1. Brush their coat: Use a firm bristle brush or a rubber curry brush to remove loose hair and dirt from your Boerboel’s coat. Brush them once a week to keep their coat looking shiny and healthy.
  2. Bathe them as needed: Boerboels don’t need frequent baths unless they get very dirty or start to smell. Use a mild dog shampoo and rinse thoroughly to avoid leaving any soap residue on their skin.
  3. Trim their nails: Boerboels have strong, fast-growing nails that need to be trimmed regularly. Use a sharp nail clipper and trim the tips of their nails, being careful not to cut into the quick.
  4. Clean their ears: Check your Boerboel’s ears once a week for signs of infection or wax buildup. Use a cotton ball or soft cloth to wipe away any dirt or debris from the inside of their ears.
  5. Brush their teeth: Boerboels are prone to dental problems, so it’s important to brush their teeth regularly to prevent tartar buildup and gum disease. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and dog-friendly toothpaste to brush their teeth at least once a week.

Overall, Boerboels are a low-maintenance breed when it comes to grooming. However, regular grooming can help keep them looking and feeling their best, and it also provides an opportunity to bond with your dog.

How Often And Long Should You Exercise Your Boerboel (South African Mastiff)?

Boerboels are a large and powerful breed that require regular exercise to stay healthy and happy. Here are some guidelines for exercising your Boerboel:

  1. Exercise for at least 30-60 minutes per day: Boerboels need a moderate amount of exercise each day to keep their muscles toned and their minds stimulated. This can include walks, runs, or games of fetch in a fenced-in yard.
  2. Build up their endurance gradually: Boerboels have a lot of energy and strength, but they can also tire quickly if they’re not used to exercising regularly. Start with short walks or play sessions and gradually increase the length and intensity of their exercise as they build up their endurance.
  3. Avoid exercising during the hottest parts of the day: Boerboels can overheat quickly in hot weather, so it’s best to exercise them during the cooler parts of the day, such as early morning or late evening.
  4. Provide mental stimulation: Boerboels are intelligent dogs that thrive on mental stimulation. Consider providing puzzle toys, obedience training, or other activities that challenge their minds as well as their bodies.
  5. Supervise them during exercise: Boerboels are strong dogs that can be prone to chasing small animals or getting into fights with other dogs. Always supervise them during exercise and keep them on a leash or in a fenced-in area to ensure their safety.

Overall, Boerboels need daily exercise and mental stimulation to stay happy and healthy. With the right amount of exercise and attention, they can make great companions for active families.

How Important Is Obedience Training And Early Socialization For Boerboels (South African Mastiffs)?

Obedience training and early socialization are crucial for Boerboels (South African Mastiffs). As a large and powerful breed, it’s essential to train them properly to ensure they are well-behaved and socialized with people and other animals.

Early socialization involves exposing your Boerboel to different environments, people, and animals while they are still young puppies. This process helps them learn how to interact appropriately with others and develop positive behaviors. Without proper socialization, Boerboels may become fearful or aggressive towards other people or animals.

Obedience training is also essential for Boerboels, as it helps to establish a clear hierarchy within your household and teaches your dog basic commands such as sit, stay, and come. This training helps to establish a bond between you and your dog and also ensures that they are well-behaved and responsive to your commands.

It’s important to start socialization and obedience training at a young age and to work with a professional trainer who is experienced in working with large and powerful breeds like Boerboels. With proper training and socialization, Boerboels can make loyal and loving companions.

About the Author Joycey

All my life I've been in love with one big dopey Mastiff family member after another. No other breed has given so much pleasure, so it's a joy for my team and I to research everything there is to know about them in this blog. We hope you enjoy the reading as much as we enjoy the writing :)