Is a Boerboel the right breed for you?
“I will protect you with my life, but I need my human to guide me through mine”.
No dog is perfect, but a Boerboel can get pretty dang close. Although, we believe this is one of the best breeds in the world, we also believe prospective buyers need to fully be aware of what it means to own a giant protection breed such as a Boerboel. This breed is strong, this breed is dominant, and this breed is not the easiest, nonetheless, their unique temperaments and personalities will make it more rewarding than you thought was possible from a dog. The Boerboel will absolutely put its life on the line for you and its family, however, without proper SOCILALIZATON and guidance you can easily have a 160lbs+ monster on your hands. They make outstanding family dogs as long as they’re getting the right training and SOCIALIZATION from the beginning. Their family is absolutely everything to them and its up to you to not fail them. Once you own a Boerboel, AKA Velcro-dog, you’ll begin to see other breeds as inferior; I mean, is your neighbor’s Labradoodle or Frenchie even a real dog. This breed turns head!
African Boerboel Temperament– Territorial, Dominant, Loyal, Calm, Playful, Intelligent, and Confident.
Territorial– First and foremost, a Boerboel is a guard dog. This is a dog that will not think twice about risking his/her life to protect its family. Boerboel’s were bred to protect farms in South Africa, so they’re naturally very territorial and will require lots of SOCIALIZATION.
Dominant– This is a dominant breed that will require their owner to be the pack leader. They think of themselves as natural leaders and have the ability to step all over you if you let them. If you let this dog own you, you’re going to have a big problem. If you fear big dogs and don’t stand up to them, this is not a breed for you.
Loyal– The breed is insanely loyal to its owner and family members; they will do anything for those they love.
Playful– Although Boerboels are generally calm, the Boerboel can be a playful breed that requires space for them to be able to run and play. They’re happiest when they have a job, whether it be guarding the house or farm, or even a sport.
Intelligent– Boerboel’s are very smart and eager to learn/please. With proper training they can easily learn commands and discipline. We’ve owned several breeds and find the Boerboels to be the easiest to train in our experience.
Confident- The Boerboel is a confident breed which is why they make great guard dogs. They tend to be fearless and won’t think twice about attacking an intruder or protecting their owners when in danger.
SOCIALIZATION– They will become as good as a dog as you help them to be.
A Boerboel’s instincts are strong, therefore, socializing your Boerboel is one of the most important tasks as a Boerboel owner. They can be standoffish with strangers and can show aggression when feeling uneasy. This instinct can be curbed by introducing the dog to lots of new people and pets when young. The more strangers your Boerboel puppy is introduced to, the better. We also suggest introducing them to all sorts of sounds and objects at a young age.
Socialization does not have to be an overwhelming task, simply taking them to Lowes, The Home Depot or any other pet friendly public place will go a very long way. Because Boerboels can be wary of strangers, especially in their own territory, it’s best to introduce them to close friends and family at a young age. Properly introduce your Boerboel when you have company, so they don’t mistake them as a threat. We like to give our Boerboel’s a safe spot in the home when strangers are over. Boerboels may not warm up to strange people as quickly as many other breeds, so if you’re looking for a dog who gets overly excited to see strange humans walk in their home, then we suggest looking into a different breed.
Children– Boerboels tend to love their tiny family humans, but it’s important to teach the child how to respect the dog. As with any large breed dog, we suggest never leaving a child alone with them no matter how friendly they are with them. They could hurt them by accident due to their size. Boerboels need to be introduced to children at a young age, even if you don’t have children we still suggest doing so. Boerboels will be the most protective of their tiny humans so we suggest possibly putting them away when kids have a play date over. If another child was to pinch their tiny human, then they could see them as a potential threat, so supervision is always best.
Boerboels with other animals– Boerboels tend to do great with the animals they’re raised with. However, same-sex Boerboels can become competitive and aggressive towards each other, so if getting two, we suggest a male and a female. Boerboels will do better with animals that they are socialized with at a young age. If you want a dog friendly Boerboel then be sure to let them meet many new dog friends when they’re young (once vaccinated). If you want a farm dog, then be sure to introduce them to all the farm animals they will be guarding at a young age. If wanting a Boerboel for the farm, then you must ensure they’re still part of the family with daily family time and given proper shelter for the climate.
Training– Boerboels are highly intelligent, steadfast, and calm but again, SOCIALIZATION is a must (cannot stress this enough). Expose your new puppy to any and everything as well as everyone; new places, sounds, new situations, and new people. Every single encounter they have will help drastically decrease their chance of becoming an aggressive or a shy Boerboel. They will need consistent and long-term training. The Boerboel needs structure and they need to understand who all their pack leaders are, including tiny humans. Just because you have an easy Boerboel puppy (they tend to be calmer than most puppies) does not mean they will turn out that way as an adult without proper training. We suggest using a combination of positive reinforcement with corrections. NOT a hand! Boerboels can be easily sensitive to their owners because they’re so loyal, they do not need physical punishment. E-collars that beep or a simple “no” from their alpha are usually all it takes to correct an unwanted behavior from a Boerboel if they’re being properly trained. Enrolling them in training classes young is always a great option!