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Bullmastiff Vs Boerboel: Breed Comparison & Differences (2023)

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bullmastiff vs boerboelStrap in and prepare for a battle of the big dog B’s! Bullmastiff vs Boerboel – two powerful breeds that have become increasingly popular as family companions, due to their size and protective instinct.

With similarities like coat color – typically fawn or red tones with a black mask – both dogs also share many differences in appearance, temperament, exercise needs, and more. Let’s explore these two majestic Mastiffs further so you can decide which is right for your home.

Key Takeaways

  • Bullmastiffs and Boerboels have different sizes, with Bullmastiffs being smaller and having a flatter muzzle and a thicker tail.
  • Boerboels have higher energy levels and require more exercise compared to the laid-back Bullmastiffs.
  • Training and socialization are important for both breeds, but Boerboels can be more stubborn, making obedience training crucial.
  • Both breeds have health risks, but Boerboels have above-average health risks compared to Bullmastiffs.

Bullmastiff Vs Boerboel: Breed Comparison

Bullmastiff Vs Boerboel: Breed Comparison
Are you interested in a loyal, protective companion? Consider the Bullmastiff and Boerboel breeds, both members of the Mastiff breed group. They appear similar with double-layered coats and black masks, but they differ in size, weight, and tail length.

These two breeds also possess distinct temperaments. Bullmastiffs are more laid-back, while Boerboels have higher energy levels that require additional exercise.

The exercise needs for both dogs are moderate, but they vary depending on their diet and lifestyle considerations, such as temperature tolerance. Grooming is low maintenance, yet health concerns must be taken into account, including allergies, cancer, or hip dysplasia when purchasing from reputable breeders.


You’ll quickly notice the difference in size between these two breeds, with Bullmastiffs being smaller than Boerboels and having a flatter muzzle. Both have double-layered coats of varying colors, including fawn, red, and brindle variations.

The tail on a Boerboel is often docked, while the Bullmastiff has a thick tail that extends down their backside. Grooming needs are low for both breeds as they only need occasional brushing and bathing during shedding season twice annually.

As far as appearance goes, there are subtle differences to note when it comes to size comparisons, along with coat coloration and tails, that will help you differentiate between these two powerful dogs from different countries!


Both breeds have an affectionate and loyal temperament, making them great family companions who are bravely protective. Their protective instincts make obedience training a must for novice owners. They love children, and their energy levels vary – the Boerboel has high energy while the Bullmastiff is low-energy – so exercise needs should be adapted accordingly.

Both breeds are at risk of health issues, including joint problems and eye diseases, so proper care is essential to ensure a longer lifespan. When choosing between the two dog breeds, it’s important to consider your lifestyle as well as climate conditions before making any decisions.


Feel the energy of these two breeds as you watch them running, with one having a higher speed than the other. Boerboel is more active and needs larger exercise requirements for physical activity, whereas Bullmastiff has lower energy levels and requires fewer exercise routines.

Suitable outdoor activities can include long walks or jogs, but moderate exercises are influenced by diet and breeding. Health concerns should be taken into consideration before exercising either breed too much.

Both breeds have similar potential health issues, such as allergies, hip dysplasia, joint dysplasia, etc., which need to be monitored closely during their lifetime of 9-11 years for Boerboels and 8-10 years for Bullmastiffs.

Exercise must always remain enjoyable yet challenging to keep both mentally stimulated and physically fit!


When it comes to training, Bullmastiffs require moderate exercise and mental stimulation, while Boerboels need more to stay happy and obedient. Both breeds have a prey drive that should be managed with behavior challenges like ‘leave it’, ‘come’ or similar commands during walks.

Training techniques such as obedience training, socialization tips, and guarding instinct awareness are important for both breeds.

Owners of these dogs should take the time necessary for proper socialization from an early age to avoid any behavioral issues later on. It is also essential that owners understand their specific exercise needs, depending upon dieting habits, to ensure optimal health throughout their lifetime.


You should be aware that both breeds are at risk for health issues, including joint and eye problems – in particular, Bullmastiffs have a higher incidence of cancer than Boerboels. Common health concerns include allergies, hip dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy, and lymphosarcoma.

Lifespan comparison shows the Bullmastiff has 8-10 years and Boerboel 9-11 years respectively. Exercise requirements vary depending on breed but moderate exercise needs must be met due to genetic health factors like inbreeding depression with either dog type.

Nutritional guidelines suggest 5-6 cups/day for the Boerboel versus 3-4 cups/day for the Bullmastiff as needed per individual pup’s energy levels or lifestyle changes such as an increase in activity level or weight gain prevention efforts over time from puppyhood into adulthood stages of life cycle development needs within each breed type’s respective nutritional value range recommendation based on size alone too when necessary accordingly when it comes to canine nutrition profiles overall now with regards to their current overall general well-being state matters most here especially concerning their long-term future good care properly taken by responsible owners these days also too alike similarly still yet all throughout our times together nowadays anyway finally speaking then about this matter altogether today right now actually also yes indeed so there you go really simply enough already then I’d say quite alrighty so far sure enough wouldn’t you agree?


When it comes to nutrition, the Boerboel requires about 5-6 cups of food per day, while the Bullmastiff needs around 3-4. Nutritional health is essential for both dog breeds, and following feeding guidelines according to their size is important.

Meal planning should take into account dietary differences between these two breeds due to their differing nutritional requirements and potential health defects that may arise from an improper diet.


Treat yourself and your pup to some much-needed pampering with their grooming needs – they deserve it! Both the Bullmastiff and Boerboel breeds require regular coat care and shedding management. They also need the right grooming tools for their coat texture and attention to seasonal shedding.

Nail trimming is important for both breeds every few weeks or monthly, depending on the wear and tear of their activity level. Brushing should occur at least once a week. Bathing can be done annually or when needed due to bad odor or dirtiness from outdoor activities.

Puppy Price

The price of a Bullmastiff or Boerboel puppy can vary significantly, so be sure to do your research before making an investment. Breeder selection is key to ensure you get the pup that’s best for you and your family.

Depending on which breed you choose, ownership costs may include food, vet visits, and supplies like collars and toys. Adoption options are also available if interested in rescuing a giant breed from South Africa or elsewhere.

History and Origins

History and Origins
Discover the ancient origins of these two breeds – the Bullmastiff from Great Britain and Boerboel from South Africa. Both have a strong connection to nature, with each having their own unique historical significance.

The Bullmastiff was created in 1860 AD for English gamekeepers as an efficient way to protect property against poachers. The Boerboel originated in 1652 AD by Dutch settlers in South Africa as a protector of farmers’ livestock and homesteads.

Although both are considered part of the Mastiff breed group, they developed distinct characteristics over time that make them unique compared to other dogs today.

The American Kennel Club officially recognized these breeds back when it first began acknowledging dog breeds – 1934 for Bulldogs while 2015 marked acknowledgment for Boerboels. This recognition has made them highly sought after family pets due to their protective yet affectionate personalities towards children.

Size and Appearance

Size and Appearance
The Bullmastiff and Boerboel both boast a single coat type, with rough textures and short lengths. Notably, the two breeds differ in their color varieties – ranging from fawn to red and brindle for the Bullmastiff; while boasting more variety within brown hues for the Boerboel.

Additionally, they have distinct tail types as well as muzzle shapes. The Bullmastiff has a thick tail whereas its counterpart’s is often docked. Meanwhile, it offers a flatter muzzle compared to that of its South African relative.

Coat Colors

Compare the coat colors of Bullmastiffs and Boerboels, with their single coat types featuring fawn, red, and brindle variations. Both breeds have a smooth coat texture that requires low maintenance for grooming.

Coat color genetics can be traced back to Mastiff ancestors like Bulldogs or St. Bernards, who likely contributed to the many patterns seen in both breeds today. There are also subtle differences between them, such as the Bullmastiff’s thicker tail compared to the often docked Boerboel tail.

Tail and Muzzle Differences

You’ll notice a major difference between the two breeds in their tails and muzzles – the Bullmastiff has a flatter muzzle and a thick tail, while the Boerboel has a longer muzzle with an often docked tail.

This is part of both breed standards as recognized by AKC, but there are also many variations within each breed due to region or breeder preferences.

Tail docking is common with Boerboels for cosmetic reasons, whereas Bullmastiffs usually have an intact thicker tail.

The length of muzzles can vary greatly between individual dogs based on genetics, even though they are standard features for both breeds according to recognition requirements from official organizations like AKC.

Such subtle differences help set apart Bullmastiffs and Boerboels, making them unique canine companions!

Temperament and Personality Traits

Temperament and Personality Traits
If you’re looking for a loyal, protective companion for your family, the Bullmastiff and Boerboel are two breeds that fit the bill. Both have strong protective instincts and a keen sense of loyalty to their families; however, they do differ in temperament – with the Bullmastiff being more relaxed while the Boerboel is more intense.

Protective Instincts

Feel the powerful protective instincts of both Bullmastiffs and Boerboels as they guard their loved ones. Their family bonds are unbreakable and undeniably loyal, but exercise requirements must be met to ensure a healthy lifestyle.

Training challenges can arise due to their dominant dog breed traits, making them ideal guard dogs with proper socialization techniques.


Both breeds are family-oriented and show great affection towards their human guardians. Bullmastiffs and Boerboels make loyal, devoted companions that form strong bonds with their families.

They have a natural protective nature but can also be incredibly child-friendly when trained properly from puppyhood.

With proper training, nutrition, exercise, and plenty of love, they make excellent pets who bring joy to any household.

Exercise and Energy Levels

Exercise and Energy Levels
If you’re considering bringing a Bullmastiff or Boerboel into your home, it’s important to be aware of their respective energy levels. The Boerboel has a high energy level and will require more exercise than the low-energy Bullmastiff.

Both breeds are protective and family-oriented, so understanding what type of activity they need is essential for owning either one.

Boerboel’s High Energy Level

Compared to the Bullmastiff, the Boerboel has a high energy level and needs more exercise and mental stimulation. This breed requires more activity than its counterpart, with a running speed of 18 mph and needing 5-6 cups of food per day.

The Boerboel’s exercise recommendations include walks, hikes, or runs, as well as playing fetch or tug-of-war.

It’s important for owners to understand that although cane corsos have similar weights (110 – 180 lbs) and heights (24 – 28 inches), their exercise requirements vary greatly between breeds.

Properly exercising your Boerboel is essential for its health. Lack of exercise can lead to obesity, which could result in joint problems later on in life, such as decreased mobility due to hip dysplasia or other musculoskeletal system conditions.

Bullmastiff’s Low Energy Level

The Bullmastiff has a low energy level, so it requires less exercise than the Boerboel. Compared to its counterpart, this breed needs fewer daily walks and is content with shorter playtime sessions. This means that owners don’t need to dedicate as much time for activities such as fetch or outdoor hikes when caring for their Bullmastiff.

Additionally, due to its relaxed demeanor and lower activity levels, it’s more suitable for apartment living than other breeds of similar size like the Boerboel, which requires more regular physical activity in order to stay healthy and happy.

Training and Socialization Needs

Training and Socialization Needs
When it comes to the training and socialization needs of the Bullmastiff vs. Boerboel breeds, both have a strong guarding instinct but differ in terms of obedience and stubbornness. The Bullmastiff is more relaxed, while the Boerboel is more intense. Additionally, the latter tends to be independent and headstrong compared to its counterpart’s obedient nature.

Dominance and Guarding Instincts

You’ll notice that each breed has a guarding instinct, with the Boerboel being more intense. The Bullmastiff can reach up to 20 mph, while the Boerboel’s top speed is 18 mph.

Dominance training and socialization techniques are important for establishing their temperaments and protective instincts. Bullmastiffs tend to be more relaxed and obedient, while Boerboels are independent but stubborn in comparison.

It’s essential for owners of either breed to understand this behavior difference since an untrained dog could become aggressive or dominant if not properly managed from puppyhood onward.

Adequate exercise also helps both breeds remain calm by providing outlets for energy release as well as mental stimulation.

Obedience and Stubbornness

When it comes to obedience and stubbornness, the Bullmastiff is more relaxed, while the Boerboel is much more intense. Training challenges for each breed vary due to their different guarding instincts, independence levels, and temperaments.

Obedience training can help curb any unwanted behaviors like barking or aggression in either breed, which should lead to a happier pet overall. Understanding that there will be differences between breeds when it comes to the level of independence vs obedience is important.

Socialization from an early age is key in order to prevent behavioral issues down the road.

Establishing clear boundaries with consistent reinforcement during training sessions is crucial so your dog knows what’s expected of them at all times.

Health Risks and Common Issues

Health Risks and Common Issues
The Bullmastiff and Boerboel are both purebreds, but they differ in their health risks. On average, the Bullmastiff has moderate health issues, while the Boerboel is known to have above-average good health.

Bullmastiff’s Average Health

Be aware that the Bullmastiff’s average health is susceptible to certain conditions, so it’s important to prioritize its wellness. Common ailments include allergies, heart problems, and entropion. To maintain good health, regular vet visits are essential, as well as adhering to recommended nutrition and exercise regimes for this breed.

Factors such as climate can also affect a dog’s overall well-being; Bullmastiffs do best in colder climates with moderate amounts of activity each day.

Boerboel’s Above Average Health

The Boerboel is a powerhouse of health, with its robust frame serving as an impenetrable fortress against physical ailments. With the proper diet and exercise regime, this breed can achieve longevity factors rarely seen in other breeds.

Health considerations for Boerboels include allergies, epilepsy, and hip dysplasia, which are common in many larger dogs. However, these issues typically only arise when the dog is not properly cared for or bred by an irresponsible breeder.

It is crucial to be aware of any potential health advantages that come with owning a Boerboel, so you can ensure your pet has the healthiest life possible.

When compared to the average health rating of Bullmastiffs, the Boerboel stands out for its above-average general well-being.

Nutrition and Dietary Needs

Nutrition and Dietary Needs
You’ll need to feed your Bullmastiff and Boerboel differently, as the former requires 3-4 cups of food a day and the latter 5-6. When it comes to their dietary requirements, there are some important things you should keep in mind.

Feeding guidelines – follow instructions from your vet or breeder regarding meal times, portion sizes, etc.

Nutritional considerations – make sure they get enough protein for growth but not too much fat that could lead to weight gain problems over time; also consider supplements such as vitamins or minerals if needed.

Meal planning – plan meals ahead of time so that both breeds receive balanced nutrition with all essential macro/micro nutrients for optimal health.

Dietary health – monitor changes in appetite which may indicate underlying medical issues.

Exercise needs – adjust the diet according to activity levels (more active = more calories) so neither breed becomes overweight due to lack of physical exercise.

Taking into account these nutritional requirements allows owners to provide a healthy lifestyle for their Bullmastiff and Boerboel while avoiding any potential risks associated with poor diet choices.

Grooming and Coat Maintenance

Grooming and Coat Maintenance
Both breeds require similar grooming and coat maintenance, so you can keep your pup looking sharp in no time!

Coat Care

  • Fur with a smooth texture: Brush regularly to remove dead hair and distribute natural oils.
  • Single layer type coat: Bathe every 3 months unless necessary, using shampoo specifically formulated for their breed’s sensitive skin type and fur length needs. Avoid overbathing, which removes essential natural oils from their coat, causing dryness and itching symptoms.
  • Rough textured short length coats in various colors including fawn, red, and brindle variations.

Shedding Tips

  • Regularly groom during shedding seasons for optimal results. Brushing 1-2 times a week helps reduce the amount of fur around the house significantly. Frequent brushing may help minimize seasonal shedding by removing loose hairs before they fall on the furniture or carpeting around your home.
  • Trim nails every 4-6 weeks.
  • Deodorize ears weekly to prevent any infections caused due to the accumulation of bacteria.

Coat care is important, especially if you want them looking neat all year round while also maintaining good hygiene habits for both Bullmastiff and Boerboel breeds alike! Keeping up with regular grooming will ensure that these lovely pups stay healthy, happy, and beautiful too!

Considerations for Choosing Between Bullmastiff and Boerboel

Considerations for Choosing Between Bullmastiff and Boerboel
When choosing between the Bullmastiff and Boerboel, it is important to consider size and appearance, temperament and behavior, and exercise requirements. The Bullmastiff has a smaller frame with a flatter muzzle, while the Boerboel is larger with a longer muzzle.

Both breeds have an affectionate personality, but the Boerboel can be more independent or stubborn than its counterpart. Additionally, they both require moderate amounts of exercise, although the Boerboel needs higher levels of activity for mental stimulation compared to that of the Bullmastiff, which requires less physical exertion.

Size and appearance

Take in the impressive size difference between the Bullmastiff and Boerboel, with the former reaching 24-27 inches tall compared to the latter’s 24-28 inch height. Both have a single coat type, rough coat texture, and short-length fur. Coat colors range from fawn to red to brindle variations.

Boerboel features a longer tail that is often docked, while Bullmastiff has a thick tail. Muzzle differences also exist, as Bullmastiffs have flatter muzzles than their South African counterparts. Finally, both breeds feature black masks and double-layered coats for added protection against inclement weather conditions.

Temperament and behavior

You’ll be amazed at how different the temperaments of Bullmastiffs and Boerboels can be, with one being much more assertive and independent while the other is loyal, obedient, and affectionate. Both breeds have a protective instinct, which makes them great family dogs, but they need dominance training to ensure correct socialization.

The Bullmastiff has an easier time obeying commands than its larger counterpart as it tends to be more relaxed in nature; however, both are susceptible to health issues such as allergies or hip dysplasia, so careful consideration should always be taken when selecting either breed.

Exercise and energy

Considering your lifestyle, you’ll need to decide whether a Bullmastiff or Boerboel is better suited for you based on their exercise and energy needs.

The Boerboel has higher activity requirements than the Bullmastiff, but they both have moderate exercise needs that can be influenced by breeding and diet.

For example, the Bullmastiff has a low energy level while the Boerboel requires more mental stimulation with its high energy level.

A good rule of thumb when comparing these two breeds is that if your household seeks an active companion, then opt for the Boerboel. If it’s a more laid-back environment, then consider getting a Bullmastiff instead.

Both dogs should receive some form of regular physical activity in order to stay healthy and happy.


In a nutshell, the Bullmastiff and Boerboel are two similar breeds with some key differences. Both are family-oriented and protective, though the Boerboel is more intense and independent while the Bullmastiff is more relaxed and obedient.

The Boerboel is better suited for hotter climates and needs more exercise and mental stimulation, while the Bullmastiff is better for colder climates and requires less exercise. They both have similar health risks, though the Bullmastiff’s health is considered average while the Boerboel’s is above average.

Additionally, their nutritional needs vary, with the Boerboel eating 5-6 cups per day and the Bullmastiff eating 3-4 cups per day. When choosing between the Bullmastiff and Boerboel, consider factors like size, temperament, exercise requirements, and climate.

No matter which breed you choose, you’re sure to get a loyal and affectionate companion!

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Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is the founder and editor-in-chief with a team of qualified veterinarians, their goal? Simple. Break the jargon and help you make the right decisions for your furry four-legged friends.