One of the reasons the African Boerboel is increasing in popularity all over the world is its reputation as a wonderful family dog that is good with children. This doesn't mean, however, that a Boerboel can be left in a room with small children without supervision. This breed may be known as kid friendly, but new owners will still have a bit of work ahead of them to make sure both dogs and kids can play together safely. Whether you're concerned about integrating a Boerboel into your family, you intend to expand your family in the near future, or are concerned about visiting children, here are a few tips to make sure your Boerboel and children will get along.
The most common concern for parents of young children is the idea of their dog snapping at the kids. It may surprise them to learn that this is most often not the fault of the dog but of the kids. Never allow children to tease the dog, whether it is physically or verbally. A small child that shrieks or jumps around the dog can do nothing but make the dog nervous and lash out because of fear. The same goes for pulling a dog's tail or not reading the dog's cues that he doesn't want to play anymore. If a child is teasing the dog endlessly, it is the child that should be removed. At the same time, the dog should have a safe haven he can retreat to, such as a crate, which the children understand is out of bounds.
Another concern is snatching away tempting food from little fingers at snack time. Train your dog from puppyhood to sit and wait before eating. This will become second nature and even the most tempted dog will sit and wait for a command in front of small children that are eating.
Little puppies are tempting targets for small children, but never allow your young child to pick up a puppy. Your three year old cannot keep your puppy safe from falling and the puppy is sure to panic and may even snap in his attempt to be released.
When children visit your home, the first thing you should do is insist that they follow the same rules as your own children in regards to your Boerboel. Take the time when they arrive to safely introduce the visitors to your dog and go over the rules with them. It may seem harsh, but children that cannot follow your safety rules should be asked to leave in order to avoid the worst.
Start training your Boerboel as soon as you bring him home and make sure you get your children involved in the training as well. You can even bring your children to a puppy obedience class so that the whole family will learn the proper ways to teach and discipline your dog. Making sure your children understand the best way to act around your Boerboel will ensure that they will grow up together safely and create fun filled memories that last a lifetime.