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Question for Boerboel breeders Thanks

Discussion in 'Dogs - all breeds / types' started by MyPetTherapyDog, Jan 22, 2008.

  1. MyPetTherapyDog

    MyPetTherapyDog New Member

    This question is for the South African Boerboel breeders/owners.
    I have been training a very cute one that is 4 months old.
    Its a boy puppy.
    This is my first pup of this breed I have trained so I don't have any other dogs to compare him to.
    He is very smart.
    But, here is what I am seeing.
    He seems not sure of you would be the proper words when you first meet him, then he warms up to you. I think this is his breed standard and didn't see anything wrong with this.
    He is a boisterous pup and has lots of energy. Ok, normal puppy behavior.
    If you touch his collar, he gets very upset and out of control We have been doing some desensitizing.

    He doesn't seem to like to be touched even if its in a non-threatning way.

    Next, I was told that He got very upset and tried to bite some relative visiting , (She was watching a tv show) and thought she would alpha roll the pup. Well, I am told the pup did not take too kindly to that and tried to bite her. He was very young when this happened or so I am told.

    Next another trainer got to his level and touched his flank area and he called the dog a problem dog that has underlying aggression issues. The pup did not take kindly to this trainer.

    Well, I come along now.

    The pup seems to really like me. My first impression was he was a bit fearful but warmed up nicely when he met myself and my husband. Again, I chalked this up to probable breed standard.

    I have never worked with a dog of this breed so I don't have anything to compare him to.

    Its three weeks into our training. We were doing some work for the CGC and during my going to pet him he tried to bite me. We repeated the exercise again and he tried to nip at me again. He meant it. It was no warning.
    On our walk in the neighborhood, I noticed his hackes up when he passed by strangers.

    I was also told that he tried to go at a family friend when he approached him.
    When he first met my husband, it was inside the pups house and he was great with him.

    The dog has gone to the vets without incident and earlier that day strangers were petting him and he was fine with them.

    It seems to come out of the blue.

    What do you experts make of his behavior.

    Is this normal behavior for a 4 month old pup of this breed?

    I would greatly apprciate some insite on these dogs so I can work with the owners.

    Also, what is the best training method for these dogs.
    We are using postive reinforcement training.
    He learns quickly and is very smart and cute.
  2. Samsintentions

    Samsintentions New Member


    First of all, boerboels are dominant dogs. One thing I have to throw in here, is he's already had so many diffrent things done, wrongs happened, and now he's got fear thrown in there from mixed signals, he sounds to me like he's just sooooo confused.

    A boerboel should NOT be behaving in this manner at 4 months of age. First off, I'm aggrivated that someone other than his OWNER alpha rolled him. Not sure why anyone would do that unless it warrented. Boerboels will bond very strongly to one person or a small family. They generally will not obey outsiders.

    First off a history of his bloodline needs to be done, see if agression is in there, and then a good health panel from a vet.

    Boerboels need obediance from the get go. Lots of socilization and strong reenforcement. They are a guardian breed that is bred to protect. They shouldn't readilly accept strangers and should be protective.

    Mastiffs in general will go thru whats call "fear stages". This I have learned over the past years and from others as well. As they grow so much and so fast, their bodies ahve a bit more of an adjustment to overcome than most other breeds. Hormones are changing, size is changing adding in pain from growing pains, theres also that sense of "out of body" where hes uncoordinated and doesn't have the best control overhimself, so that puts him in a bit of a "frustrated" state and fearful state.

    He's already been thru so many hands, that alone is sparking issues. Boerboels are not a dog that goes from place to place, person to person. They are meant to be a territory guardian. One place, one person/ small family. Thats not saying you can't do that with a boerboel, but it takes socializing and training.

    Now that being said, I'd strongly reccomend just socializing him. Letting him know your good, not bad; but at the same time, let him know your dominant. Petting him, brushing, bathing... this will all help him overcome his nipping and biting from body touching.

    With the collar issue, I've found that starting them off as puppies with harnesses is less intrusive to them. Collars on young pups will give them the sense that they are strangling. Harness gives them a more calm and natrual feel. Its where mother carries them, does not give them the choking sensation and seems to work much better. Once we have leash training down with a harness I'll move on to a collar.
    If he's flailing, I'd definatly reccomend the prong collar. He'll learn very quickly that its uncomfortable when he resists, and much better when he's relaxed, and you can maintain your control.

    Neutering him may help as well.

    Feel free to call or email me anytime if you haveany further questions. I'm sure i left out alot.. my mind is about fried at the moment!!!
  3. Sara

    Sara New Member

    Sams did a good job explaining the breed for the most part but I think it needs to be said that Boerboels are very handler sensitive...so if you are nevous that he'll act out then he probably will...almost without question he will act out. THIS is where owners run into problems with the dogs because they see this behavior (4months is YOUNG and nearly guaranteed to be a fear response not aggression/dominance). THIS confuses a young dog and basically is telling the young dog who's job it is is to protect said family that there is a threat and he will react...especially if he's already had some pretty fearfull situations. Boerboels as a breed are dominant but they don't need alpha rolls...they're a lot like a Dane that they are sensitive as well.

    Anyway because Boerboels are so handler sensitive they need YOU or their family to be CLEAR about what a threat is and what is NOT a threat... Hackles is a form of posturing and I would correct this behavior once the dog is comfortable with corrections... He may be so fearfull that corrections pose a problem. In this case...he's not ready for outings...once he's okay with corrections then take him out to meet people and do it often...always correct the dog for aggressive posturing or behavior towards strangers...he'll slowly learn that YOU are who will tell him when and where to go and what to be cautious of.

    THIS won't cause him to not protect when needed...it only lets him know that he's not on his own with a VERY big job...that you're behind him etc...

    Hope that helped too... Updates would be great!
  4. MyPetTherapyDog

    MyPetTherapyDog New Member

    Thanks everyone for your advise.
    This past week, he seemed much better.
    I am not using a prong on a 4 month old puppy. Personally that isn't the way I train.
    But I did put the family on a strict NILIF program and we are using positive re-inforcement training rewarding him when he is acting in a correct manner and NRM when he isn't.
    Funny, I got another client of the same breed (She is beautiful and all black) She came from NJ.
    So, we are doing boerboel puppy training school beginning this Sunday.
    It will be fun for me and the pups!
    I did ask my new client about his dogs temperament on the phone and she was not showing any of the above signs I mentioned so it will be interesting to see.
    At any rate, he is doing much better and if I knew how to post pics of them, I would, Maybe after Sunday, I can get one of your e-mails and send them to you then one of you could post them for me!
    I have to say, this breed of dog is georgous!!!
    I will keep everyone updated!
    Thanks for all the advise!
  5. Samsintentions

    Samsintentions New Member

    Glad to hear he's doing better!!

    They are a phenomenal breed if bred right and trained. One of the first things i let people know is these guys need obediance from the get go. NO ifs, ands, or buts about it.

    Prong collars aren't that bad, IF used correctly. I never use it to walk a dog, its always on as an accessory tool. I walk with a regular collar first, and only use the prong as back up.

    One thing you'll knotice is the female wil be a much more "serious" dog. Less goofy, easier to train, and smarter. THe males tend to be the more defiant, playful and goofy.

    Would LOVE to see photos if you get any!! And good luck again. Sounds like your on the right track, and unfortunate he's already had a rough start to his training.
  6. MyPetTherapyDog

    MyPetTherapyDog New Member

    Give me your e-mail and I will be glad to send them to you!
  7. Sara

    Sara New Member

    I think as a rule male dogs tend to be more goofy and playful and never seem quite as smart as the girls. Who knows though. Hard to say.
  8. MyPetTherapyDog

    MyPetTherapyDog New Member

    e-mail anyone?
  9. Sara

    Sara New Member

  10. Samsintentions

    Samsintentions New Member

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