The Boerweiler: Your Guide To The Rottweiler Boerboel Mix

A Boerboel and a Rottweiler: when mixed they make Boerweiler

The Boerweiler (also called the Boerenweiler, or RottieBoel) is a unique blend of two powerful, guardian-type dogs, the Boerboel and the Rottweiler. This mixed dog inherits an impressive blend of confidence from the Mastiff roots and intelligence from the Rottweiler. They’re steady protectors and companions but not the best for novice owners. This is definitely a dog for experienced handlers only.

If you’re confident in your dog experience and need a family-oriented, loyal canine buddy, this large mix may be right for you. From temperament and appearance to maintenance requirements, this article fills you in with everything you need to know about the Boerboel Rottweiler mix.

History of the Boerboel Rottweiler Mix: Where do they Come From?

Boerenweilers don’t have much in their historical records. They are most common in South Africa, where occasionally, they are bred as guard and sentry dogs. Initially, the Bullmastiff Rotweiler cross was more popular, but as the Boerboel gained ground as man-stoppiing powerhouse, crossing Boerboels to other guardian breeds like the Rottweiler became more common.

The Boerweiler parent breeds have rich and fascinating origins that provide insight into the mix. Boerweilers can be F1 mixes (first generation) from purebred parents. They can also be multigenerational (F2, F3, and so on) from Boerweiler parents.

Rottweiler History

This ancient German dog breed walked the alps with Roman legions, making them among the oldest breeds. Descending from cattle-driving roman dogs believed to be named Molossus, Rotties found their way into farms in today’s Rottweil, Germany. They pulled meat carts, herded and protected cattle, and were nicknamed “the butcher’s dog.”

The rise of railway transport saw the decline of the Rottie’s cattle-droving and the breed’s usefulness. The breed’s popularity declined so much that the first Rottweiler club was made in 1901. The Regained significance after the world wars as police and military dogs and all-round working dogs. Their popularity has only been on a steady incline to one of the most popular dogs.

Boerboel History

Boerboel is a South African guard dog where “Boer” means farmer and also refers to descendants of Dutch colonists who settled in South Africa. The “boel” phonetically similar word to “bull”, referring both to their connection to the bullmastiff and other bull-baiting type dogs, and to an actual bull, as in a male cow. This is a reference to their size, loosely meaning that they are as big and strong as a bull.

Settlers coming to South Africa in the late 1600s came with large bull-baiting type guard dogs to protect their families and farms (the extinct Bullenbeisser or bull-biter). These dogs interbred with native South African dogs and other imports, eventually giving rise to the brawny and fearless Boerboel. During the diamond-mining years, Bullmastiffs were added to the bloodlines, which is why the two breeds are often mistaken for one another.

The key difference between the Boerboel and the Bullmastiff, is not so much the differing genetics (the Boerboel is relatively new breed) but what we call “splitting.” Splitting is what happens when a dog bred for a purpose (like herding, protection, or pulling a sled) enters the showring and pet market.

To a large degree, splitting is what happened to most modern day Rottweilers and to all modern Bullmastiffs. While both dogs were originally working dogs bred for a purpose, as they gained popularity around the world, they entered the showring and became pets. Gradually, both the Rottweiler and Bullmastiff lost most of their original working genetics, and while they kept some defense instinct, they became pets rather than working dogs.

*With the caveat that their are still Rottweilers bred to work and who are excellent at it, but working Bullmastiff lines have essentially died out, leaving companion dog only.

Unlike Rottweilers and Bullmastiffs, the splitting has not yet properly occurred with the Boerboel, and we mention this as the breed gains popularity in the US and Europe. Like the Rotticorso, this is a manstopper. It has been bred as sentry dog far more than as a pet. They work independently, guarding their territories with deadly ability.

Many Boerboels are the sweetest dogs you may ever meet (no breed is a monolith), but unstable temperaments do exist. These dogs often have low bite inhibition (biting people doesn’t bother them much), and they are tremendously dominant and powerful. The moral of the story? This dog is for experienced and responsible handlers only.

What are the Physical Features of a Boerenweiler?

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Height22 to 27 inches ( 54 to 69 cm)
Weight90 to 200 lbs (40 to 90 kg)
ColorBlack & tan, black & rust or mahogany, brindle, brown, cream, red, black, tawny
NoseA solid black nose on a short, powerful muzzle
EyesRound or almond-shaped dark-born eyes with an watchful expression
CoatStraight, short to medium-length coarse double-coat

Boerboel Rottweiler mixes are blocky, muscular, and all-around powerful. It’s hard to predict exactly how this dog will look because it’s a blend of two breeds. The prominent jowls, square and massive head, and over-powering physique, are hard to miss no matter the parent the mix takes after.

Many Boerweilers have the rust-marked coloring of the Rottweiler and the muscular sturdiness of the Mastiff (both parents are Mastiff-types).  Many breeders may dock the Boerenweiler’s tail to conform to the breed standards for both their parent breeds. 

General Care of the Boerboel Rottweiler Mix

HypoallergenicNot hypoallergenic
SheddingModerate shedding that intensifies during shedding seasons
Lifespan9 to 11 years
Exercise 1 to 2 hours of exercise to cater to energy levels
TemperamentLoyal, intelligent, calm, confident
Trainability Agreeable, especially with early training. Not for novice owners

Energy

Boerweilers need at least one hour of daily exercise and preferably two. As an offspring of two energy-filled dogs, Boerenweilers require a physical release to avoid obesity, aggression, and boredom. These smart dogs also need plenty of mental exercises to work out their intelligence and keep them satisfied.

As with most dogs, Boerenweilers’ energy levels gradually decline as they reach adulthood. The bouts of zoomies and random energy releases will fall, but daily walks or runs keep their weight and happiness in check. These athletic dogs will do well in weight-pulling, agility sports, and even obedience drills.

They may become lazy as they age and prefer to sleep the day away, so be sure to keep them active to avoid issues with obesity.

Housing

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Boerenweilers aren’t suitable for apartment living. Their strength, size, and energy require at least a fenced yard for their well-being. Even if you have a yard for your Boerboel Rottweiler mix, don’t neglect daily exercise because it’s the best way to burn energy and avoid destructive behavior. 

Food & diet

Boerenweilers thrive on a high-quality, protein-based diet for large or giant breeds, depending on their size. Generally, the larger the dog, the more they feed but be careful that your mixed dog doesn’t eat too well and becomes obese. Keep their calorie count low to avoid them growing too fast while they are young, as this can lead to bone and joint issues.

A vet consultation is the best way to go about deciding on a diet, especially if you want a raw diet or suspect medical conditions. A nutritionally-dense diet and harmless supplements like fish oil, antioxidants, and probiotics are good for most Boerenweilers but look out for your dog’s reaction.

Split your Boerboel Rottie’s daily meal into 2 or 3 portions because many large to giant dogs are prone to bloat (GDV). Some report Rotties to have sensitive stomachs due to indigestion, inflammatory bowel disease, and even allergies. Work with your dog, and vet if need be, to settle on the most comfortable diet.

Grooming

A Boerenweiler’s grooming isn’t too intensive because they have straight, short hair. Using a pin brush to brush their coat at least twice every week reduces tangles and distributes natural oils on the coat. Washing your dog every 4 to 6 weeks effectively removes dirt and odors. 

The teeth should be brushed at least twice every week, and nails trimmed every other week or when needed. Ensure you check the ears for any odors and clean them regularly with a vet-cleaning solution, never water. They have moderate shedding that increases during spring and fall. Therefore increasing coat brushing frequency can be beneficial.

The Health of a Boerboel Rottweiler Mix

Boerboel Rottweiler mixed enjoy “hybrid vigor” and are generally healthier than both Rotties and Boerboels. They are, however, predisposed to health conditions found in the parent breeds, typically dysplasia, heart, and eye diseases.

Hip and elbow dysplasiaThese painful conditions occur as a puppy develops, where the joints don’t form properly. Osteoarthritis can eventually develop.  
Eyelid conditions like ectropion and entropionIn this condition, the eyelid turns in (ectropion) or turns out (entropion)
Heart diseasesDilated Cardiomyopathy or enlarged heart is the most common heart condition. 
CancerCancer occurs in all breeds but is quite common in Rotties.
Eye problemsProgressive retinal atrophy and cataracts
Skin conditions Eczema and atopic dermatitis
Epilepsy Observed in Rotties
GDV (Gastric Dilation and Volvulus)The bloat is common in large, deep-chested dogs

Other issues

  • Chronic diarrhea
  • Dental issues
  • Aortic Stenosis
  • Cruciate Ligament Rupture
  • Spinal problems

What is a Boerenweiler’s Life Expectancy?

A Boerboel Rottweiler mix has a lifespan of 9 to 11 years. Proper nutrition, exercise, and medical checkups ensure your dog lives their longest, healthiest life. Age-decay due to medical issues creeps in sooner in larger dos, explaining their shorter lifespans than smaller breeds.

The Trainability of a Boerenweiler: Temperament and Intelligence

The Boerboel Rottweiler mix is loving, even-tempered, relentlessly loyal, and fearless when protecting loved ones. They have a sweet spot for children but may get territorial with other dogs and wary of strangers. You’ll get a great companion guarder with a well-trained and socialized Boerenweiler. 

They’re impressively intelligent and easy to train, getting commands after a couple of repetitions. As with all dogs, early training and socialization give you an obedient do that recognizes you as alpha. However, despite their intelligence, Boerenweilers are not the best for novice owners due to their size, power, and energy.

Are Boerenweilers Good with Other Pets?

Boerenweilers are territorial and powerful and may fare poorly with other animals. If the Boerenweiler has been raised with the other animal, there’s a better chance of possible friendliness. If you must have a multi-pet household with these dogs, ensure aggressive socialization from puppyhood to avoid reactivity.

Suitable Home: Are Boerenweilers Good Pets?

Boerenweilers are suitable for experienced dog owners, well-versed in training and socialization. Their brute strength and power can prove fatal if there are gaps in training and they don’t see you as the leader. Highly active individuals that can meet their energy requirements keep the breed happy and healthy.

How Much Does a Boerboel Rottweiler Mix Puppy Cost?

A Boerboel Rottweiler mix puppy can cost anywhere from $500 to more than $1000, depending on the breeder. Mixed breeds are more affordable than purebred but aren’t ridiculously cheap, as that suggests poor breeding. You can rescue a Boerenweiler from a shelter for about $300

Final Thoughts

Rottweilers and Boerboels are mixed to get the powerful guard dog, the Boerenweiler. These dogs aren’t suitable for novice owners due to their territorial tendencies and size. Boerboel Rottweiler mixes are well-tempered, fearless dogs with a deep love for their owners. 

They’re generally good with kids with compulsory supervision but not the best around other animals. A Boerenweiler is great for you if you can meet their energy, food, and training requirements. Several of these mixed dogs can be found at shelters for a basic medical fee.

About Tamsin de la Harpe 16 Articles
Tamsin has worked extensively in dog behavior problems and is passionate about canine nutrition. She has worked with trainers who specialize in Shutzhund and protection training, and worked with many Rottweilers. Her passion for dogs shows in her writing and she loves sharing her knowledge with Rottie lovers!