Difference Between Boerboel and Rottweiler

Main Difference – Boerboel vs Rottweiler

Both Boerboel and Rottweiler are huge mastiff type dogs. These dog breeds were mainly used as watchdogs. However, they have now become very famous home dogs who are very loyal and extremely devoted to their owners. The main difference between Boerboel and Rottweiler is their appearance, typically their coat color; Boerboels have brindle, tawny, brown and red brown colors while Rottweilers have only one color: black with rust marking.

Key Areas Covered

1. Boerboel
      – Facts, Characteristics, Behavior
2. Rottweiler
      – Facts, Characteristics, Behavior
3. What is the Difference Between Boerboel and RottweilerDifference between Boerboel and Rottweiler - Comparison Summary

Boerboel – Facts, Characteristics, and Behavior

Commonly known as the South African Boerboel, this breed first came with immigrants to South Africa early in the 1600s and 1700s. It is believed that they have some Mastiff ancestry along with other breeds. Boerboel is a large dog breed with a heavy boned muscular body and has a height of 22 to 30 inches. The head is heavy and large with dropped ears. Boerboel has a strong and broad back and deep chest. Its tail is short. The coat is short and smooth and available in brindle, tawny, brown and red brown colors.

Difference Between Boerboel and Rottweiler

Figure 1: Boerboel

This dog breed is not an active dog. However, it was first bred as watchful and protective dogs. Low to moderate exercise and regular grooming is needed for this dog type. This dog breed is intelligent, confident and self-assured. Training should be well planned and should begin early in order to make sure that the growing dog understands its owner. Boerboel is recommended for owners who have experienced managing Mastiffs in the past. This dog is extremely devoted and loyal to their owners who understand the working dog temperament. The longevity of this dog breed is about 9 to 10 years.

Rottweiler – Facts, Characteristics, and Behavior

Rottweiler is a mastiff-type breed originated from the large drover dogs of Rome. They were first used as war dogs by Roman army owing to their endurance, strength, and willingness to work under stress conditions. However, later in the 1900s, this dog breed became popular as police dogs. Even today, this dog serves as a perfect police dog in many countries. In addition, they have become one of the best companion dog breeds. The female dog has a height of 22-25” at withers, whereas height at withers of a male dog is about 24-27”. The average weight of a male is about 43-61 kgs and that of a female is about 37-46 kgs.

Main Difference - Boerboel vs  Rottweiler

Figure 2: Rottweiler

The dog breed has only one coat color: black with rust marking. The outer coat is hard and glossy and found close to the skin, whereas the inner coat exists on the neck and the thighs. The coat is dense with medium to short length straight hairs. The life span of this dog breed is around 12 years. They have characteristically broad skulls. The head is large with heavy broad jaws. The almond shaped dark brown eyes are medium sized. The ears are pendant, moderately sized and triangular shaped. The most characteristic feature of their body is the robust, heavy body with well-demarcated muscles. Their limbs are straight and heavily boned. The feet are round and compact with well-arched toes. These dogs are highly intelligent and well known as guard dogs. Moderately exercise and regular grooming are needed.

Difference Between Boerboel and Rottweiler


Boerboel: Boerboel is about 22 to 30 inches in height

Rottweiler: Rottweiler is about 24 to 27 inches in height.

Body Size

Boerboel: An adult male of Boerboel is larger than that of Rottweiler.

Rottweiler: An adult Rottweiler is smaller than a Boerboel.

Coat Color

Boerboel: Boerboels have brindle, tawny, brown and red brown colors.

Rottweiler: Rottweillers have only one coat color: black with rust marking.

Coat Texture

Boerboel: The coat is short and smooth.

Rottweiler: The coat is hard, glossy and dense.

Life Span

Boerboel: Boerboels live 9 to 10 years.

Rottweiler: Rottweillers live about 12 years


Boerboel: They are useful as working dogs and guard dogs.

Rottweiler: They are useful as drovers, police dogs, and companions.


Both Boerboel and Rottweiler are huge dog breeds and well characterized by their large muscularized body. Both are similar to Mastiff type dog breeds. Boerboels are available in brindle, tawny, brown and red brown coat colors, whereas Rottweilers are available in only black color with rust markings on their coat. Both dogs are well known as watch or guard dogs. The main difference between Boerboel and Rottweiler is their appearance.


1. Bell, Jerold S. Veterinary medical guide to dog and cat breeds. Jackson, WY: Teton NewMedia, 2012. Print.
2. Palika, Liz. The Howell book of dogs: the definitive reference to 300 breeds and varieties. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 2007. Print.

Image Courtesy:

1. “Boerboel” by (CC BY-SA 3.0) via (Commons Wikimedia)
2. “02 I Exposición Monográfica Club Rottweiler de España – Santa Brigida – Gran Canaria.” By JUAN RAMON RODRIGUEZ SOSA  (CC BY-SA 2.0) via Commons Wikimedia

About the Author: Yashoda

Yashoda has been a freelance writer in the field of biology for about four years. He is an expert in conducting research related to polymer chemistry and nano-technology. He holds a B.Sc. (Hons) degree in Applied Science and a Master of Science degree in Industrial Chemistry.

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