Is The Boerboel Breed For You?

boerboel right for youDeciding to welcome a Boerboel into your life is a major commitment and a huge honor! These hulking, slobbery dogs will truly add enormous value to your life, but as with all dogs they require time, effort and dedication to be properly trained and socialized so that they can be happy, well-adjusted family members. Before settling on this breed of dog, you need to have a deep understanding of the underlying psychology that drives these dogs.

The Boerboel has a bad reputation as a vicious attack dog – this is both undeserved and categorically untrue. In fact, these gentle giants are old souls – incredibly sensitive and deeply in tune with their owners feelings. This means that this breed does best with a calm, confident, assertive leader who is respectful of their size and strength but not scared of it. The boerboels sheer size can be daunting to prospective owners, but these are essentially 70+kg lapdogs who thrive on physical affection, structure and pampering. Their great size and strength does however mean that you need to establish clear, consistent boundaries early on. They are born guard dogs who are naturally alert, vigilant and watchful and definitely do not need to be trained to be aggressive as they are a formidable force when needed.

Boerboels are not solitary animals. They crave human companionship and will not do well if they are left alone for long periods. If they are isolated they will be unhappy, bored and may become destructive – you will have a 70kg wrecking ball on your hands! These dogs are incredibly easy to train using positive methods because 1. They are intelligent, obedient and have an intrinsic desire to please and 2. They are very food-oriented. A treat, some praise and a cuddle is all that is needed to effectively train a boerboel. Trying to exert forceful control over them will have a negative effect on their psychological well-being and you are setting the stage for future behavioral backlash. Treat your boerboel with love and respect and you will have a devoted friend for life. Boerboels are very adaptable, and although a yard with plenty of space is preferable, they are sedentary animals and can live comfortably in a smaller space. However, they will then need to be taken on regular walks and be given plenty of attention and mental stimulation. Boerboels learn quickly to walk properly on a lead and are very focused dogs who will remain by your side. These homebodies have a strong territorial instinct and have little interest in roaming even when off-lead. This probably stems from the fact that they were bred primarily to protect the homestead. These charming dogs are full of character – regal, proud and innately protective, their calm composure and confident demeanor are much sought after traits. That being said, they are incredibly playful with a good sense of humor and can be totally goofy with their owners. You are guaranteed many laughs and lots of fun when you welcome a boerboel into your home. Boerboels are great with children and other animals in the home that are considered part of the pack. It is not an uncommon sight to see the children riding him like a horse in the garden or the family cat curled up with him in his bed! They are loyal to a fault and very protective of those close to them.

As with any four-legged furry companions that you are considering adding to your family, you need to do proper research into not only the breed itself, but into the breeders. There are many unscrupulous people out there, so always make sure you get your animal from a reputable breeder with good references.