What are the reasons to get a Boerboel Rottweiler Mix?
- A very confident and balanced temperament (click here for details)
- A good family dog who is fun, playful and fiercely loyal (click here for details)
- Minimal grooming requirements (click here for details)
- Can be trained to a good standard (click here for details)
- A superb guard dog (click here for details)
- An energetic dog who will suit owners with an active lifestyle (click here for details)
What are the reasons not to get a Boerboel Rottweiler Mix?
- Not a dog for a novice owner
- Needs a strong and confident owner
- Some potential health problems associated with a big dog
- Need a secure outdoor area
- Will need consistent training and obedience exercises to be kept stimulated
What is a Boerboel Rottweiler Mix?
The Boerboel Rottweiler Mix offers a blending of two very powerful parent breeds, the Boerboel and the Rottweiler. This mixed breed offers a combination of all the strength and confidence of a Mastiff-based dog, with an alloy of high intelligence supplied by the Rottweiler.
Both breeds have proven their usefulness working alongside humans. Interestingly both the Boerboel and the Rottweiler were bred for similar functions, not only for protection and guarding of livestock and property but also in the herding and controlling of cattle.
With this mixed breed you are effectively inheriting an impressive canine legacy which extends right back to 16th Century Africa in the case of the Boerboel, and even back to Roman times in respect of the Rottweiler.
What are the history and origins of the Boerboel Rottweiler Mix?
In order to truly understand the qualities and character of a classic or hybrid breed it is essential to have an idea of their original purpose and development.
The Rottweiler – Origins and History
It is generally accepted that the strength and size of the Rottweiler comes directly from early interbreeding of Mastiffs and local shepherding and herding breeds. Originally this is likely to have been Italian Mastiffs from Italy which are also the direct forebears of the Cane Corso.
Others claim that this Mastiff influence on the Rottweiler continued in the Medieval era. Some speculate that the Tibetan Mastiff, brought by invading Huns, may have also contributed to the development of the Rottweiler.
But it is certain that with the founding of the town of Rottweil in Germany in the first century AD, that inscriptions reveal that the breed of dog now known as a Rottweiler was recognized as a distinct and valued breed. The influence of local shepherding breeds making this dog an excellent herder and a versatile breed able to take on a number of roles including protecting and driving cattle.
The Rottweiler is also believed to have swept around 14th century Germany with the order of Swabian Knights. Their primary purpose here was the dangerous occupation of boar hunting.
In the more modern times the Rottweiler became used for pulling carts as well as guarding and protecting. Indeed this breed became known as the ‘Butcher’s dog’ for their use in delivering meat in small carts as well as protecting the pouches containing the meat-sellers’ earnings which were sometimes tied around the necks of these magnificent dogs.
With the advent of the railway and the move away from transporting livestock on land, these dogs became increasingly rare. But they were saved in the early twentieth century by a group of enthusiasts who promoted their usefulness to both the German military and police force.
The Rottweiler fully proved its worth during WW1. It was a reliable messenger and deliverer of medical supplies. This breed also proved adept at using their tracking skills to locate missing and wounded men. To this day Rottweilers have proven themselves to be expert trackers often winning tracking competitions. This is in keeping with its heritage as a capable hunting dog of yesteryear.
Later in the 20th century this attractive breed became established and popular. The American Kennel Club first recognized it as a breed in 1931. The UK Kennel Club followed suit in 1965. Today the Rottweiler rightfully remains very popular. According to the AKC 2021 registration data, the Rottweiler is currently the 8th most popular breed in the United States .
The Boerboel – Origins and History
This magnificent Mastiff represents a culmination of centuries of intermingling large and healthy Bulldog and Mastiff breeds to guard the farms and homes of colonizers in South Africa.
Indeed in the Afrikaans language ‘Boer’ means farmer and ‘Boer’ translates to dog. So the Boerboel is a dog bred to roam large areas protecting territory and livestock from incursions by both wild animals and human intruders.
A Dutch colonist named Jan van Riebeeck is named as a founding figure for this breed in bringing over a large number of the big dogs from Holland in 1652 as a means of protecting trading posts from the wild animals. These Bullenbijiters (or Bulldogs) also had the added benefit that they could herd cattle, and it is thought that this function was further enhanced through breeding with indigenous African herding dogs.
Over the next couple of years it is thought that further interbreeding with English Mastiffs and Bullmastiffs brought over by British colonists also contributed to the gene pool. Some sources also cite the lion-hunting Rhodesian Ridgeback may also have been an influence.
This combination of Mastiff and herding dogs has produced a breed with brains as well as brawn lending the Boerboel the versatility and intelligence to both protect and herd cattle on the sprawling ranches being established.
Sadly, the historic role of the Mastiff, as exemplified in the history of both the English Mastiff and the Cane Corso, as a hunter of large beasts of prey was also taken up by the South African Mastiff.
The Boerboel was also put to this purpose in the veldts of South Africa hunting large game including big cats such as lions and leopards. There are even reports of a pack of Boerboels taking down elephants. Other unfortunate quarry included hyenas and baboons.
Indeed one story reports that the tails of this breed were initially docked to avoid being pulled upon by the latter. But it is more likely that the main reason was their function as cattle herding dogs that led to the removal of their tails.
This is in keeping with the traditional docking of other cattle driving breeds such as the Rottweiler in German and the Old English Sheepdog in England, to avoid painful injury should their tails be trampled upon.
This very regrettable and bloody chapter of the Boerboels history came to an end when the large and magnificent beasts were hunted into local extinction in large areas of South Africa near the newly established colonies.
In modern times the Boerboel has become largely used to fend off human threats such as rustlers and cattle thieves. Indeed their role as effective guard and protection dogs, alongside being doting and gentle canine family members, is very reminiscent of the traditional role of the Bullmastiff in England.
As a breed the Boerboel is not currently recognised by the FCI. But in 1983 the Kennel Union of South Africa was the first to officially recognise the breed and since then they have been a centrepiece at shows in South Africa ever since.
As this breed became increasingly valued in the United States the AKC followed suit in 2015, placing these dogs alongside other Mastiff breeds in the Working Group.
Linked Hybrid Breeds:
What is an interesting fact about the Boerboel Rottweiler Mix?
There are many breeds in the Working Group, but not all of them have names or nick-names that tell us exactly what job these dogs actually did.
But this is not the case with the Boerboel and the Rottweiler. The Boerboel translates as ‘Farmer’s dog’ from Afrikaans, while the Rottweiler became known as ‘The Butcher’s Dog’ in nineteenth century Germany.
This just shows how useful and versatile both breeds were considered in working alongside humans.
What is the temperament and personality of the Boerboel Rottweiler Mix?
The Boerboel Rottweiler Mix offers a very powerful Mastiff based breed but without the characteristic stubbornness sometimes associated with Mastiffs, and with an added dash of intelligence gained through the Rottweiler influence.
The Rottweiler is not just brawn; it also has plenty of brains. In Stanley Coren’s ranking of intelligence this breed appeared in the top 10 . The Rottweiler is highly intelligent and responds very well to training. and is highly valued for its versatility. Here it rubs its muscular shoulders with dogs like the German Shepherd and the Doberman. It is an alert dog which has been used for a variety of purposes in the military and police services.
Add to this the fact that the Boerboel is no dullard, and is celebrated also for its intelligence and versatility in its native South Africa. This makes for a clever, indomitable and courageous companion who will prove a highly affectionate member of any human family who will always want to be at the center of any family activities.
Additionally, the Rottweiler Boerboel Mix is likely to adore children and will be highly protective of them. But as with any breed of dog, any interaction with children must be closely supervised at all times.
But both parent breeds have a guarded and wary approach to strangers so socialization will be necessary to ensure that this mixed breed is entirely biddable around visitors.
Both these members of the Working Group are at their best when they are given a job to do and must be kept active and stimulated, and the inquisitive and active temperament of this dog means that they will enjoy regular obedience training.
This hybrid breed is also likely to have a degree of independence and will gain physical and mental stimulation from happily patrolling and exploring in a secure, outdoor area.
The Rottweiler Boerboel Mix will generally be gregarious with other dogs but there may be a possibility of domineering or aggressive behavior between males.
The herding influence through both the Rottweiler and Boerboel also means that they will generally not be a one-person dog within a family context and will distribute their affections.
Both the Boerboel and the Rottweiler can be sensitive so training must be based around positive reinforcement This should include extensive socialization at puppy classes and generally around other dogs and people in range of different contexts and situations.
This means that a well-socialized Boerboel Rottweiler Mix will be playful and friendly with other dogs in the park.
This mixed breed dog can usually live with other dogs, although this may be easier if they are different genders. But if you are bringing a puppy home to an established dog this should be done in a carefully structured way as outlined in introducing a puppy to an older dog.
For the different stages in a puppy and adult dog’s development please click here.
What does the Rottweiler Boerboel Mix look like?
It is always important to remember that there is no exact science to predict how a specific mixed breed dog will favor one of the parent breeds in either physical appearance or temperament.
But, it is very likely the Rottweiler Boerboel Mix will have many physical features in keeping with its strong Mastiff heritage (Rottweilers are originally a blend of Mastiff and German herding dogs).
This will include a large, broad head with a relatively short powerful muzzle (likely to be around a third of total head length). The flat head will be framed by medium-sized ears that are likely to be slightly pendant. The eyes will be almond-shaped and suggest an alert or inquisitive expression.
The powerfully muscled body will be characterized with a straight back leading to a thick tail carried no higher than slightly above horizontal to the body. The legs powerful with well-muscled hindquarters. The feet are likely to be rounded and cat-like.
The whole frame of this dog will give an impression of muscular sturdiness combined with agility and stamina.
To see this mixed breed dog in all of its beauty click here for a stunning example of a Rottweiler Boerboel Mix puppy at 9 weeks.
What exercise is required for the Boerboel Rottweiler Mix?
The history of both parent breeds relates to ranging across farms, driving cattle over many miles and hunting large quarry also over long distances.
These dogs should be kept lean and healthy and require a good level of physical and mental exercise. A Boerboel Rottweiler Mix should receive at least 1.5 hours of walking each day and this ideally should include games such as fetching games such as Frisbee and ball games.
It would also include, ideally, obedience drills as this working dog will enjoy learning a range of commands.
At home this dog will be keen to engage in interactive play at every opportunity and mental stimulus may be provided by puzzle games and toys, as well as ‘treasure hunts’ and similar activities which involve challenge.
The Rottweiler is also an excellent tracking dog, and the Boerboel is also no slouch in this areas. So this dog will also benefit from any trailing and tracking that may be offered. On a walk ‘find it’ games could be introduced along with scatter-feeding for stimulating meal times.
Is the Rottweiler Boerboel Mix a good family dog?
A Rottweiler Boerboel Mix will offer an excellent family dog, loving and affectionate with all members of the human family. This dog will be absolutely devoted to all members of the family and will offer a fun, energetic and playful canine addition to a household.
Both parent breeds have the reputation for being tolerant and patient towards children. But, as with all dogs, they should never be left unsupervised. This is particularly true of very small children who might be vulnerable to unintended harm due to the sheer bulk of this dog.
This dog is likely to quite high-energy and will suit a family with an active lifestyle.
This hybrid breed is also very likely to be the confident and alert in guarding the family. They are only likely to bark when something unusual happens or strangers approach the home. This means that this dog will not interfere too much with a nice, quiet ambience at home.
The Rottweiler Boerboel Mix is also likely to be well-behaved and clean around the house. Although a large dog its agility and alertness means that there should be few accidents in the family home.
Who is the ideal owner of a Boerboel Rottweiler Mix?
The Rottweiler Boerboel Mix is a devoted dog but will need strong canine leadership to ensure they are confident and entirely manageable.
Experience with large and powerful breeds would be hugely beneficial. An owner will also need the physical strength and confidence to manage this Mastiff-based mixed breed both inside and outside the home.
This dog will also need a good-sized and secure outdoor area. This will offer the opportunity of both physical and mental stimulation as the Boerboel Rottweiler Mix patrols.
This dog will have both brains and brawn. So an owner who can provide the stimulation if regular and consistent obedience training would be optimal. This mixed breed dog will also relish an owner who can provide man-trailing or scent work.
Due to the protection and guarding role being ingrained heavily in the temperament of this dog, they will want to be very close to their humans as much as possible. This means the ideal owner will be able to provide human companionship most of the time.
If it is essential to leave the Boerboel Rottweiler Mix for any period of time regularly then it is absolutely imperative to offer training for separation anxiety at an early stage to prevent destructive behaviors in the house which will be the reflection of the dog’s stress.
What are the grooming requirements of the Boerboel Rottweiler Mix?
The Boerboel Rottweiler Mix will have a lovely short, sleek coat that only requires very minimal maintenance. A couple of brushings a week to remove dead hair and circulate natural oils around the skin will suffice.
The Boerboel is well-adapted to all temperate climates, but the Rottweiler can suffer in the heat. It is therefore advised that brushing should be undertaken daily during periods of hot weather as well as other measures to ensure that this dog is kept cool.
How much space is required for a Boerboel Rottweiler Mix?
The Boerboel Rotttweiler Mix is certainly going to be a dog that needs some spacke. This mixed breed will also be full of energy and will require large amounts of physical and mental stimulation.
This means a prospective home for the Boerboel Rottweiler Mix will need a large, secure outdoor area in which this dog can engage in interactive play as well as independently patrolling to gain further mental and physical stimulation.
Indoors this active dog will ideally have space in which to roam as well as a good area in which to stretch out and lay down.
This mixed breed should not be considered for apartment living.
What is the lifespan of the Boerboel Rottweiler Mix?
This means that the probable lifespan for a Boerboel Rottweiler Mix is between 10-11 years. Sadly the larger examples of the breed will tend towards the lower end of this lifespan.
What are the potential health issues for a Boerboel Rottweiler Mix?
Mixed breed dogs are potentially healthier than classic breeds of dogs, but it is still important to be aware of some of the health complications that can afflict the parent breeds. This will heighten awareness of how best to care for your dog in consultation with a vet.
Potential health problems for the Boerboel Rottweiler Mix include:
- Coronary Heart Disease and other related heart conditions
- Gastric Torsion (bloating)
- Hip dysplasia
- Elbow dysplasia.
- Bone cancer
- Brain tumors
What kind of training is required for a Boerboel Rottweiler Mix?
The Boerboel Rottweiler Mix promises to be a quick learner in any training class and able to master a range of commands.
The Boerboel is at the trainable end of the spectrum of Mastiff breeds and are an intelligent and versatile breed in keeping with their combined herding and training background. Add this to the fact that the Rottweiler is a highly intelligent dog who does well in obedience and trials and any Schutzhund based trials.
A priority for this powerful dog will be loose leash walking and heel work. This should be prioritized along with establishing good safety behaviors such as ‘stay’ and ‘wait’ to ensure that this powerful dog is entirely biddable and manageable on a walk.
Ideally this dog will develop really good recall, as this inquisitive dog will enjoy exploring off-leash on a walk in a safe area.
If possible this dog will enjoy any being trained for tracking or trailing based activities as this will offer extra stimulation and exercise.
A conscientious owner will also ensure early socialization and training is consistent. This will ensure that this large, powerful dog is both confident and secure in a range of situations including interactions with unfamiliar dogs and people.
Training for separation anxiety should also be introduced at as early as stage as possible for the Boerboel Rottweiler Mix to avoid genuine distress for your dog and any destructive behaviors in the house.
For an example of the impressive aptitude that a Rottweiler Boerboel Mix can achieve in training please click here to see Penny the puppy in action.
How big will a Rottweiler Boerboel Mix get?
The Boerboel has very heavy musculature and all the broad and robust features typical of a Mastiff breed. The male Boerboel stands at least around 25-26 inches (64-66cm) from feet to withers with the female slightly shorter at 23-24 inches (61-63cm).
The Rottweiler male stands generally between 24-28 inches (62-69cm). The female is slightly shorter characteristically between 23-26 inches (57-65 cm) tall
A Rottweiler Boerboel Mix is likely to reach the following sizes:
Male – 24-28 inches (61cm-71cm )
Female – 23-26 inches (58-66cm)
How much is a Boerboel Rottweiler Mix likely to weigh?
The robust Rottweiler is a heavy dog with the male between 87-135 lbs (39kg- 61kg) and the female weighing in at between 84-100 lbs (38-45 kgs).
The weight of the Boerboel is approximately 130-180 lb (59-82 kg).
This means that an adult Boerboel Rottweiler Mix is likely to weigh:
- Male: 110 lb to 170lb (50-77 kg)
- Female: 105lb to 160lb (48-73kg)
Where should I get a Rottweiler Boerboel Mix from?
If you are looking for a Rottweiler Boerboel Mix puppy then always contact a reputable breeder. You should always have the opportunity to see the puppies interacting with the mother.
If there is little interaction with the ‘mother’ be cautious as occasionally unscrupulous breeders can bring in another female dog for appearances. A breeder should also have details of the father available on request.
In addition you should have access to the medical records of both parents and any kennel club certificates.
If possible, adoption is a kind and rewarding option. But ensure that you thoughtfully discuss the details of a rescue dog with the charity or rehoming organization in order to offer a dog an appropriate forever home.
If you already have a dog , then please feel free to browse these tips on how to introduce a puppy to an older dog.
What are the feeding requirements of a Boerboel Rottweiler Mix?
It is always a good idea to consult with a vet or animal dietician regarding feeding requirements in the early days of ownership, as each dog will be unique. This will ensure that your Boerboel Rottweiler Mix will receive a balanced diet in the correct portions. It is also important to balance feeding against exercise to maintain a healthy weight.
The Rottweiler can suffer from gastric torsion. This means exercise for this mixed breed should be carefully planned not to coincide within an hour either before or after eating to fully protect your dog from this potentially life-threatening condition. If you have any concerns or want extra information on this then consult a vet for advice at the earliest opportunity.
Should I get a male or female Boerboel Rottweiler Mix?
Each dog is unique, so the following only offers a general guide rather than a rule but male and female dogs can have different dispositions. In general the female Rottweiler Boerboel Mix will tend to be slightly more independent and mature more quickly than the male.
The male dog will tend to be a little more boisterous in play and can be aggressive towards other males. The male dog may also have a greater tendency to be a ‘one-person dog’, although still loyal and devoted to all members of their human family.
Both genders will make excellent family dogs as well as powerful and alert guardians of the home.
What colors are common for a Boerboel Rottweiler Mix?
In general the Boerboel Rottweiler Mix can be a variety of solid or partial colors if they favor the Boerboel parent breed but the following will be common:
(White patching on the legs and fore chest can occur with the Boerboel)
It is also possible that they will favor the Rottweiler and have the classic black and tan coloring of this parent breed.
Does a Rottweiler Boerboel Mix get on with other dogs?
This large mixed breed will get along with other dogs in the household, but ensure you follow clear steps in introducing established dogs to a puppy or another dog.
If that there is an established dog in the house who is small, however, ensure that socialization is put in place with the puppy so it continues to be sensitive and careful in play when it reaches more gargantuan proportions.
Does a Boerboel Rottweiler Mix get on with cats?
If sensitively introduced to cats as a puppy then it is often the case that that they can successfully live with these smaller pets. This is helped by the fact that the Boerboel and the Rottweiler have a low prey drive, and are known to be respectful of feline members of their family.
But careful and structured introductions should be put in place to ensure canine-feline harmony in the house. To summarize ensure you take the following steps:
This introduction should start with putting down items that belong to the Boerboel Rottweiler Mix puppy before the arrival to accustom the cats to the scent.
Confine the puppy to a specific area in the house using a baby gate or other suitable barrier. This should certainly include at feeding times. This could be a room with a baby-gate. The area of confinement should be swapped around the house as well as a safely enclosed outside area.
When ready allow the puppy out on an appropriate leash or harness and proactively praise positive interactions and correct any chasing.
Ensure the cats always have escape areas including high places to promote their sense of confidence and safety.
Does the Boerboel Rottweiler Mix make a good guard dog for the home?
This Boerboel Rottweiler Mix will prove to be an absolute natural as a canine guardian of the family and the home. It is perhaps hard to think of a better combination of alertness and protectiveness than this powerful mixed breed.
This dog is also highly trainable and biddable offering the owner the necessary control over this magnificent canine protector.
The Boerboel Rottweiler Mix will also bark an a alarm should they sense that anything is amiss.
Where can I found out more?
If you are considering a hybrid breed such as the Boerboel Rottweiler Mix always research both founding breeds to ensure that you are fully prepared for the arrival of your dog and nuance your training and lifestyle provision for your exciting new canine family member accordingly.
Please feel free to browse our breed guide for more information on the Boerboel, Rottweiler and other breeds. Also a good breeder should be willing to offer you advice and guidance when you take your puppy home.
As noted above if you have any queries or doubts regarding the health or feeding of your Boerboel Rottweiler Mix puppy consult a professional vet or animal dietician at the earliest opportunity.