Evaluating your living conditions is an important part of deciding which breeds are best for you. It's simply a fact of life that some breeds need more space than others in order to live a happy, fulfilling life and African Boerboels are no exception. Unlike other members of the mastiff family, these dogs are extremely energetic and need plenty of room to run around and exercise. It is for this reason that they are not considered to be appropriate for condominium or apartment living. Here we'll take a brief look at the Boerboel's background and why these big dogs need plenty of room to roam.
The Boerboel is the beloved "farmer's dog" of South Africa that was an important part of the Afrikaner's existence for several centuries. These intelligent, loyal and fierce protectors were not only excellent family dogs but were prized for their skills in protection. The romanticized view of the Boerboel today is that the dog should have been able to escort the children out to the fields during the day to watch over the cattle, hunt up some small game for the children's lunch, escort them safely home and finish the day by relaxing with the family around the fire and guarding the family from any threats that came in the night. It's no wonder that they are so prized for their skills in their native South Africa!
But unlike other members of the mastiff family that may have served a working purpose in the past but today are content to be big lap dogs, the Boerboel still needs plenty of exercise throughout the day in order to be happy and to stay healthy. The best case scenario will see a Boerboel in a family with a large yard with plenty of space to run and play. This doesn't mean that the Boerboel has to be an exclusively outdoors dog, as he'll certainly appreciate spending lots of time with his family, but the more access he'll have to an outdoor area where he can burn off all the energy he's stored up, the better for him and for you! In the worst case scenario, those that live in an apartment that still want to adopt a Boerboel should be prepared to spend every day passing through a park so that the dog can burn off that stored up energy, as a simple daily walk just isn't going to cut it.
Just as the Boerboel is a very social dog and shouldn't be left all alone for very long periods, neither should he be cooped up in a small space for long hours. This is just a recipe for disaster: a large dog, no social interaction, boredom setting in. Unfortunately, many a dog may be tempted to show his boredom or frustration by destroying anything he can get his teeth on. The simple fact is that the Boerboel really does need plenty of room to roam during the day, and if you don't have the space, you may need to consider a different breed for adoption.