Discover Common Boerboel Colors and Markings

dog camera
Jaromir Chalabala/

Written by Alyssa Shea

Published: January 26, 2024

Share on:


These fierce guardians are descendants of the mastiff, which you can see in its build and appearance, as they are easily one of the largest breeds of dog in the world. Boerboel colors vary in types of coloring and markings. Which one of the below is your favorite?

Strongest Dog Breed Bite - Boerboel

Boerboels are thought to have been bred as hunters as well as protectors.

A Brief History of the Boerboel

South African Boerboel

Closeup portrait of a beautiful South African Boerboel with white markings and a black mask.

The history of this cross-breed of¬†mastiffs¬†and bulldogs is long and varied! Originating in South Africa in the 1600s, the name “Boerboel” originates in Dutch and Afrikaans. The word “boer” means “farmer,” and “boel” translates to “dog.” This breed would guard large estates and farms from big game such as lions. They have a short, sleek coat, strong bones, and well-toned muscles. As such, they require a lot of activity and exercise! They can be pretty stubborn, so starting training efforts at a young age is essential.

The Boerboel’s height ranges between 22 to 27 inches, and they can weigh up to 200 pounds. The average Boerboel can live up to 11 years old and is known for its dominant personality. These dogs are still the best choice for many farmers in guarding against predators, as well as those looking for home defense.

Their loyalty and intelligence are incredible to behold, and they’re known to be very affectionate with children. Boerboels have strong protective instincts, so teaching them how to accept and behave around strangers in their homes is crucial. Despite all this, these gentle giants are full of love and devotion!

Boerboel Coloring and Markings

Boerboels with black mask markings are the most common.

Standardizing efforts for the Boerboel breed began in the 1980s, and through tireless efforts of breeders and enthusiasts, interest in the breed across the US spread like wildfire. The breed didn’t receive full American Kennel Club (AKC) recognition until 2015. Due to the breed’s popularity, many breeders tried to take advantage of the situation and create “rare” colors, most notably the color black. This isn’t a historically accurate or accepted color, and it caused many breeding clubs to fracture due to disagreements. Below are the officially recognized colors of Boerboels.

  • Brown
  • Brindle
  • Cream
  • Tawny
  • Reddish Brown
  • Red

The different types of markings that come with this breed make every dog so unique! The arrangement of markings will differ for each dog, creating a unique and beautiful coat.

  • White markings
  • Piebald
  • Irish marked
  • Black mask

Caring for Your Boerboel’s Coat

South African Mastiff begetters

These Boerboel dogs have a brindle coat.

You shouldn’t need to bathe your Boerboel more than once a month. Some dogs might even be able to go longer without a bath, which will always benefit their skin. Bathing dogs removes their natural skin oils, so bathing them only when necessary will ensure their skin doesn’t dry or become irritated. Their soft, smooth coats must be brushed weekly to remove foreign objects and help distribute their skin’s natural oils more evenly. You can use a rubber mitt or medium bristle brush, but beware of all the hair! These pups are big shedders, especially in the spring and fall seasons, so be prepared!

Ready to discover the top 10 cutest dog breeds in the entire world?

How about the fastest dogs, the largest dogs and those that are -- quite frankly -- just the kindest dogs on the planet? Each day, AZ Animals sends out lists just like this to our thousands of email subscribers. And the best part? It's FREE. Join today by entering your email below.

What's the right dog for you?

Dogs are our best friends but which breed is your perfect match?


If you have kids or existing dogs select:

Other Dogs

Should they be Hypoallergenic?

How important is health?
Which dog groups do you like?
How much exercise should your dog require?
What climate?
How much seperation anxiety?
How much yappiness/barking?

How much energy should they have?

The lower energy the better.
I want a cuddle buddy!
About average energy.
I want a dog that I have to chase after constantly!
All energy levels are great -- I just love dogs!
How much should they shed?
How trainable/obedient does the dog need to be?
How intelligent does the dog need to be?
How much chewing will allow?

Share this post on:
About the Author

I'm a 36-year-old mother of 2 and military wife. I have 2 dogs and a cat that I'm thoroughly obsessed with. When I'm not writing for work, I'm writing as a hobby. You can find me knee deep in a pile of books or way too invested in a video game.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.