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Behavior and training are two totally different things. Most people are under the impression that if their dog is trained in obedience then the dogs behavior will be fine. Let me assure you this is not always the case.

One of the first questions anyone genuinely researching any breed will ask is “What kind of temperament is this breed known for?” Randy gives all his new customers upon purchasing a Proffer puppy a brochure full of new and useful information and the following is an excerpt from his brochure:

“You now have as an addition to your family a puppy who will grow to be as big as many adults. Couple his size with his natural inclination to guard and protect and there is no need to formally “train” this dog to guard. What seems to happen most often when people intercede with a dogs natural guarding/protection instinct is they simply end up with a mean dog that can not be trusted or controlled around others. Many breeds today have a terrible reputation as fighting dogs, aggressive dogs, etc. even to the point that some insurance companies have established policy that will cancel your insurance if they find one of those known breeds living on the premises. Randy will not be a part of anything that encourages the Boerboel breed to become assimilated as one of those fighting or aggressive breeds. Trust your Boerboels’ natural instinct to protect you and your family and you will find just as the South Africans have before you, he will give his life fighting a threat to his family.”

Behavior is much more than training. It is the way a dog thinks and relates to its’ surroundings. Dogs by their very nature have the pack mentality. Pack mentality means that one dog will be the leader and the others will be followers of that leader. Dogs think, learn and live within your family as if it were a pack. If you are not a good pack leader, guess what? The dog will rise to the occasion and become the alpha or pack leader. Suddenly your sweet, cute and cuddly little puppy will become a nightmare to live with, possibly even harming you or your family members.

Being a good pack leader means being firm in and being fair in corrections. It means being consistent and being clear about what you want. It means commitment to your dog and never putting your dog in a situation where he has to choose or make a decision for himself. More times than not the dog will make the wrong decision. Wrong decisions can be simple like peeing or defecating in the wrong spot or not so simple and more dangerous like correcting the children of the family with a nip or a bite.

Boerboels can be a very dominate breed. They can and will take over the home if you let them. Therefore, the following is a list of things NOT TO DO with a Boerboel puppy or adult dog.

  • Sleep in your bed
  • Go through the doors before you
  • Drag YOU on walks
  • Growling at you while eating
  • Growling at you while playing
  • Biting your hands in play
  • Biting your clothes during play
  • Jumping on you

These things can all lead to big problems down the road. Be aware that things you allow and think of as cute in your puppy can escalate into dangerous situations when the dog is mature.

Don’t yell at your dog. Dogs don’t yell and can’t understand why this crazy person is standing there yelling their heads off at them.

Keep an eye on your dog at all times when out in public, in fact, I advocate using a leash simply because it’s wise on the part of any dog owner. Never allow a stranger/strangers to just walk up and reach out to pet the dog. The dog, like people, should be introduced first and allowed to become comfortable with that person.

Of equal importance, don’t allow your children to abuse the dog either. Sooner or later the dog will get tired of being abused. Boerboels are good natured with children but you should never allow a child to hurt or abuse the dog. The dog will only be good with the child as long as he can tolerate the abuse and one day, he will be able to tolerate it no longer.

If you feel your puppy is developing some of these problems now, don’t wait until the dog is older; correct the behavior NOW.