Pet Insurance for Boerboels

Find out all about Boerboels and their common health conditions, and then compare pet insurance options from some of Australia’s leading insurers.

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, updated on September 15th, 2023       

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Price range



61cm - 70cm


70kg - 90kg


Confident, loyal, protective

Coat length

Short, smooth

Exercise needs

Very high



Life expectancy

9 - 11 years



The Boerboel is named after the Afrikaaner settlers in South Africa and its name translates to ‘farmers’ mastiff.’ It is an ancient breed, going as far back as the 1600s. It was originally bred as a tracking, hunting and guard dog, but almost became extinct after the Second World War until the South African Boerboel Breeders Society was established to safeguard this dog’s unique genetics. It was officially recognised as a distinct breed in 2010. It is a large, powerful and loyal breed known for its protective instincts. It has a short, dense coat that requires very little grooming.  

Boerboels are affectionate with their families and make excellent guard dogs. They will bond with a family unit rather than one person in particular, and take their guard dog duties very seriously. They are highly intelligent but can be strong-willed and stubborn, requiring early socialisation and consistent training to establish a pack leader. Boerboels need homes with experienced owners and a large property to protect and call their home turf.  

Common diseases and conditions of Boerboels

  • Hip Dysplasia: This is a common orthopaedic condition affecting the joint's development. It can lead to discomfort and mobility issues. Responsible breeding practices and regular veterinary check-ups are essential to prevent and manage this condition. 
  • Elbow Dysplasia: Another common orthopaedic condition which affects the elbow joints and can lead to lameness and mobility issues.  
  • Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus (Bloat): A serious condition affecting many large breeds where the stomach twists, potentially causing a life-threatening emergency. 

Breed-specific issues:

The Boarboel’s protective nature can make them reserved around strangers, so early socialisation is important. They require an owner who can establish themselves as the pack leader, and although they can be protective of children and babies, they should never be left alone with young children due to their large size. They should never be left alone with cats or smaller pets as they have a strong prey drive.

How much does pet insurance cost for a Boarboel?

Most Australians can expect to pay between $20 and $60 a month for pet insurance. There are many factors that can influence the cost of pet insurance for your Boarboel, including the following:

  • Age: The older your dog is, the more pet insurance is likely to cost. This is because senior dogs tend to have more physical health conditions and illnesses due to age, and so present a higher insurance risk.    
  • Type of insurance you choose:  There are three basic types of pet insurance available in Australia; accident-only, accident and illness, and comprehensive insurance. An accident-only policy is the cheapest type of insurance available, with comprehensive coverage costing the most.  
  • The policy annual limit: Each pet insurance policy has an annual limit, which is the maximum amount that will be paid out on the policy in one financial year. Annual limits range from around $10,000 up to $25,000 or more.   
  • Sub-limits: In addition to an annual limit, there may also be sub-limits that apply to the policy, for example, a $300 sub limit for consultation fees, or a $5,000 limit for cruciate ligament conditions.   
  • Benefit percentage: Pet insurance does not cover 100% of the cost of your vet bill. Instead, it may pay a percentage of the total bill. This can range from 50% for cheaper policies, up to 90% for the best policies available.   
  • Excess amount: This is the amount you’ll need to pay out-of-pocket each time you make a claim on your policy. Some pet insurance policies do not come with an excess amount, whilst others do.  
  • Any add-ons you choose: It’s possible to add on more cover options to a basic policy, such as emergency boarding fees, routine care and dental care. These add-ons extend the scope of your pet insurance, but do increase the overall cost of the policy.  
  • Discounts: some insurers offer discounts of between 5% and 15% if you have multiple pets insured together, if you pay your premium annually, or if you bundle your pet insurance with other forms of insurance with the same company.

Types of pet insurance you can choose from

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Common questions about Boarboels

Are Boerboels aggressive?

Yes, they can potentially be. Boerboels are known for their protective instincts and can be highly territorial and cautious around strangers. They are fierce and brave if confronted by intruders while on guard duty, and will fight to the death to protect their owners. Although they are generally affectionate and gentle with their families, early socialisation and training are crucial to ensure that they are well-behaved and not dangerously aggressive. 

Do Boerboels make good guard dogs?

Yes, Boerboels can make excellent guard dogs due to their intelligence, protective nature and imposing size. 

How much exercise does a Boerboel need?

They are high energy, powerful dogs who require a large backyard to live in with plenty of space to run around. They also require strenuous exercise, at least an hour a day in order to keep them fit and happy. 

Do Boerboels get on with other dogs and pets?

No, they generally don’t get on too well with other dogs, particularly other male dogs, and they can show aggression. However, they can be socialised and trained to tolerate other pets in the family if raised with other pets from an early age. However, they should never be left alone with cats or other smaller pets as they may view them as prey, and their hunting instinct may kick in.  

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