The Personality and Temperament of Boerboel Dogs

boerboel personalityBoerboel dogs are large, mastiff dogs that are originally from South Africa. Today, they are still being successfully bred in South Africa and shipped to many locations across the globe. They are known to be a good guard dog and can also be a good work dog on the farm. Hunters have found these dogs to be very successful at tracking game and holding the wounded animal down for the hunter. Some guard dogs and hunting dogs can be very aggressive, but not the Boerboel dog. Below are details about the temperament of this special breed of dogs.

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The Boerboel dog is a very loyal dog to both its owner and the owner’s family and property. As a pack animal, this breed will look to its owner as its leader. Once this leadership role has been established, the dog will remain loyal to its owner for life. The dog is always willing to fight any perceived aggressor of its owner, and is willing to fight to the death to protect the owner and its family.


This breed can be as large as 200 pounds and 28-inch high. It is very strong and muscular, which makes it an extremely energetic dog. Without the proper amount of exercise, this dog can become bored and overweight. It is best to have a fenced in yard, so the dog can run freely throughout the day.


The Boerboel breed is also very confident and will not hesitate to attack if it feels threatened or believes its master is threatened. This dog is not quick to back down against an aggressor, unless ordered to do so by his owner. It also typically obeys on its master first command and rarely needs the command to be repeated twice.


These dogs are highly intelligent and easy to train, especially when done at an early age. Once the owner has established leadership, training the dog to follow his commands is fairly simple to teach. Due to its loyalty, this dog is eager to please its owner and obey its commands.


Despite the guard dog attributes of this breed, it is generally a calm and stable type of dog. This makes it a great choice of breed for families with children who want a friendly but protective dog. It is very rare for these dogs to turn on their owner or go against their owner’s command.

Overall, this dog has a great temperament that would work well with most families, as long as they have properly trained the dog and have enough space to raise this large and energetic breed. For a guard dog particularly, the Boerboel dog has both a confident attitude and a family-friendly temperament that makes them perfect for many people.

Misconceptions About Boerboels

Boerboels are not mind readers or psychic.  They are not instinctively aware when an owner feels threatened.  Many dogs can pick up on psychological differences after spending time with an owner.  The best environment for Boerboels and owners is one in which the dog is treated almost like a family member.  They will, then, develop the sense of something being wrong in much the same way that other family members do. There are many misconceptions about Boerboels but with proper training they are very well-behaved and useful dogs.

Because of good-naturedness as puppies, many owners do not feel the need to have Boerboels trained.  Allowing any large dog breed to develop and decide who presents a threat, on its own, is irrational and irresponsible.  There have been  many innocent dog bite victims because of owners’ lack or vision.

Many Boerboels do have a natural tendency to protect and guard.  That cannot be a blanket statement.  Known cases of Boerboels abandoning children to pursue and kill an animal, that might become dinner, have been documented.

Boerboels have descended from ancient dogs.  Good dogs were matched with good dogs to derive the species that now exists.  That fact does not guarantee that Boerboels are the healthiest breed in the world.  Proper care and training go into having a healthy dog.  Like so many other large dogs, they are susceptible to bloating and hip dysplasia.

Having a large fenced yard is, of course, ideal for this breed.  It is not a necessity.  Boerboels thrive when they live indoors and are treated like one of the family.  The need for mental stimulation and physical exercise can be provided without having acres of land.

Train Your Dog to Avoid Further Misconceptions About Boerboels

Training for Boerboels is absolutely necessary.  The kind of training these dogs receive is just as important.  Kindness must be blended with training to develop a pet that provides protection of its owners.  Improperly training a Boerboel can result in a dog that displays avoidance behavior.  The dog may not fully bite.  If a decoy relaxes, the dog will not re-grip.  The attack mode is mainly lunging nips and an unwillingness to fully engage in fight mode.  Boerboels need to have their drive challenged on a continuous basis.  Along with socialization and friendly treatment, the dogs need to be taught to counter attack by re-biting a different body part.  Boerboels also need to learn to avoid being hit.  Putting these dogs in a frenzy, will not turn them into close personal protectors.

There is a great deal of hype about Boerboels.  They are not necessarily the strongest, most fearless, healthiest, protective, or dangerous animal that is sometimes reported. Don’t believe all the misconceptions about Boerboels that you may hear.