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African Boerboels

Aliases: Boerboel, South African Mastiff, Boer Dog

African Boerboel For Sale

Living with the Dominant Boerboel

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Tags: African Boerboel, Training, Behavioral Training, Obedience Training

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One of the concerns that some people have with the African Boerboel is whether or not it is considered to be a dominant dog. The truth is that most Boerboels are indeed dominant to some degree, but that doesn't mean that they can't learn their place and become an important part of the family. In order to train your Boerboel to accept his place in the family, it is important to understand why dogs need the ever important obedience training from an early age. Dogs that have been overindulged or never disciplined correctly are often said to "walk all over" their owners, but they are really only displaying their natural tendency to try to be the "leader of the pack."

All canines, from our beloved domestic dogs to the wolves that still roam wild today, instinctively live in packs. Within these packs a hierarchical structure naturally falls into place, with the leader as the most dominant and the others falling into place into their own position, with those more dominant above and those less dominant below. Your new Boerboel puppy sees his new family as not just a pack, but as his second pack. His first, naturally, was his mother and littermates, with his mother as the leader. Even at this young age, your puppy was ranked in order of dominance with his brothers and sisters.

As your Boerboel grows, he will naturally try to elevate his position in the pack. If he is allowed to do anything he wants, is overindulged, or receives mixed signals about what is appropriate and what isn't, he will assume that he has achieved the position of pack leader. This is why the dog must constantly be reminded of who is in charge. These reminders are the most clear when all "life resources" are controlled by the family, including food, water, access in and out of the house, and even permission to sit on the bed or the couch. This is most effective when the training has begun as soon as possible and is constantly reinforced. It is also important that it is his family that trains him, and not a professional trainer, so when seeking out a training facility, be sure to choose a program that you can take along with your Boerboel.

Of course, there is always a danger of taking dominance too far. Just like any living creature, Boerboels will certainly learn that you are dominant if you hit or kick your dog, but he will also learn to fear you. This can turn into a dangerous situation in which the dog may feel the need to defend itself with its teeth if he is pushed too far, or may even take out his frustration on easier targets, such as those lower down in the pack, like children. Consistency and firmness are the most important elements of confirming your status as a pack leader. If the dog finds that you are inconsistent, it is only natural that he will test you. It is important to remember that obedience training is not all about dominance and force - even pack leaders in the wild show affection towards their followers!


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