Posted by: Shaz | 2009/01/26

3yr old Boerboel now aggressive/biting

Hi, Please help......
A friend has a 3yr old mail neuted boerboel who now seems to be ' turning'  on her children and in particular the 8yr old as well as nipping at the 16 year old. He tries to bite the 8 year old without being provoced in any way ie she is just walking past him and he tries to bite her from behind. He has also taken to growling at her when she is just standing at the kitchen gate. She has never teased him as was brought up with the understanding that dogs are to be treated kindly and never teased.

What should she do as he is a beautiful dog and it would seem a shame to have to get rid of him......would it be best to try and rehome him where there are no children ??
Please help

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Our expert says:
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Dear Shaz

Even with the help of a behaviourist the dog's days are numbered.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

Our users say:
Posted by: Bronwyn | 2015/05/11

Hi, I have been reading the comments and my opinion is that its hard for others to truly give the 100% correct advise as they do not live with "your fury friend"... I have a 6 year old Boerbull (bought from a registered breeder). He has the most wonderful nature, protects our property when the need arises yet the friendliest dog I've ever known. My grandchild from small till about a month ago used to lay all over him, hug him, play with him etc... he NEVER did her any harm. Then yesterday, my grandchild (now 4 years old) was sitting next to him on a blanket with my husband (who to our Boebull is the leader of the pack) a few feet away ... when our loving dog just "lost it" and pinned my granddaughter to the ground, causing her lip to bleed with scratches on her face... The moment my husband spoke our dog got up and thankfully my granddaughter was not badly injured. I have no idea why he did what he did. Now all of a sudden... my love for my dog did not disappear, it saddens me what happened and now I make sure my grandchild is not alone outside with the dog at all. She will not go and hug him anymore and basically will stay away from him. Could it be that he is getting old? Who knows. All I know is that they both mean the world to me and I want to keep them both protected, safe and loved. But I must say, if there was no way I could keep my grandchild from staying safe, I too (as much as my dog is part of my family and has been since he was 6 weeks old), I would find him a home where there aren't children as I don't believe they truly want to hurt a child...

Reply to Bronwyn | 1 comment (hide)
Posted by: Anthony Marsh | 2015/12/06

I am astounded that you even allow your dog near your grandchild again. But then, not everyone cares about their grandchildren as much as they do about their dogs.

Posted by: Mandi | 2009/01/29

I wasn' t revering to the original post with regards to the growling. I was revering to a comment made by Chivaz' s mom.

Reply to Mandi
Posted by: Chill | 2009/01/27

No need to get defensive, Chivaz' s mom - nobody accused you of anything. Your kids must ALWAYS come first, nobody is arguing about that.

Mandi - all dogs growl now and then. But if a dog growls at a kid, it would be criminally irresponsible not to take heed. Once the damage is done, it' s too late. Read the original post again - we' re talking WAY more than a mere little growl here.

Reply to Chill
Posted by: Mandi | 2009/01/27

Growling alone does not mean aggression. Its a warning. Its a dogs way of saying " I don' t like what you are doing" . My dog growls when I kiss her head, simply because she doesn' t like it. She also growls at the basketball when she can' t manage to pick it up. Does this mean I have to immediately get rid of her? Are dogs expected to simply take it if we do things which they don' t like?
A growl should be read along with the dog' s body language like a half-moon eye for example.

Reply to Mandi
Posted by: Chivaz' s mom | 2009/01/27

who' s talking about discarding the dog in the back yard?

I have never taken any dog/ cat/ horse to SPCA, the collies was probably taken to Border Collie heaven...since who ever i adopted them from was bitten as well, thus... having a history of biting....and...they were socilized.

Each story is different and each one has its own nicks and turns: A person who gets RID of a dog- is not the EVIL one, I for one am a mother who will protect my kids BY ALL MEANS... even if that means that i will get rid of a dog that means the world to me...

Reply to Chivaz&#39 s mom
Posted by: Carol | 2009/01/27

I wonder when people will learn that when getting a dog its not a toy or something to be discarded in the yard when the novelty of puppyhood wears off??

Dogs especially big dogs need proper socilization as puppies , proper training and this needs to be continued into adulthood.

The dog must have his proper place in his human pack !!!!

And yes Chill has a point . What is happening to all these dogs that are becoming aggressive ????

Reply to Carol
Posted by: Big dog lover | 2009/01/26

It would appear that spayed bitches make better family dogs than male dogs. My brother has 2 Rotties both spayed bitches. They r excellent guard dogs but they r very good with his children + even with the freinds + neighbours'  kids. They would play all day with the kids if they could.

Reply to Big dog lover
Posted by: Chill | 2009/01/26

This dog is a time-bomb, and quite likely it' s not her fault.

I have a question... everyone seems to be ' getting rid of'  their dangerous dogs....

Does this mean handing them on to the SPCA with some excuse, so that it becomes someone else' s problem?

Reply to Chill
Posted by: WR | 2009/01/26

Not ALL growls are signs of aggression.
Puppies should be PROPERLY socialized when young. They should ALWAYS see humans as superior - ESPECIALLY when you have or are planning to have kids.
My GSD would attack (probably try and kill) when needed, but she won' t even look at a child ' funny' . And NOT because she is a ' special'  dog - it is done with training/ socialization.
If there is the first or ANY sign of a lip curl, or too much attention given to a child one should IMMEDIALTELY stop that behaviour - by any means possible.
Yes, some say it is evil and vicious to discipline a dog (ie a slap or a loud NO) when needed, but by you being the dominant force, or rather, teaching the dog that he/she is the lowest ranked member of the " pack"  form the word go, you' ll save yourself LOTS of trouble.
I am not saying ALL dogs WILL bite/growl/ dislike children either.

Reply to WR
Posted by: Big dog lover | 2009/01/26

Hi there Shaz, We' ve always had big dogs - spayed females. We' ve had Dobermans, Bullmastiffs + 1 Border collie. Any growling must b seen + treated as a sign of agression. When our youngest child was 7 the Border collie startred 2 growl at her. We got rid of her immediately. It was not long b4 she bit her new owner' s neighbour' s child. Our big dogs never ever did this although they were all good guard dogs. They all protected us + our kids. Growling MUST be seen as aggressive behaviour + treated as such. Strange that the not so big dog did this.

Reply to Big dog lover
Posted by: Shaz | 2009/01/26

Hi All,
Thanx for the sound advise.....will be passing it on.

Reply to Shaz
Posted by: Chivaz' s mom | 2009/01/26

all Boerboels are lovely.. they are the best! Chivaz is my pride and joy and has never snapped at my kids and yes- she is boerboel. You get the good, the bad and the UGLY. I think it can be to do with breeding or just the way they are, irrespective if he gets alot of love and attention. But i aint no fundi...
Mandi...the collies started to is a dog.. they are not even to GROWL at kids, GROWL means aggression. I have taught my little ones to respect her, not to tease her, not to mess with her food, to look for ' signs' s...raised hair, growl, teeth, that certain ' walk'  they do if they annoyed...and get away if it should ever happen, which i pray dont...

Reply to Chivaz&#39 s mom
Posted by: Mandi | 2009/01/26

I agree with Chivaz' s mom. You can try to re-home him to someone who would be willing to put in a helluva lot of time and effort, but fact is he cannot stay where he is. Growling is one thing, but the fact that he actually tried to bite the child is inexcusable.

Reply to Mandi
Posted by: Chivaz' s mom | 2009/01/26


I saw the signs as well and a week later my 4 yr old was laying in hospital with plastic surgeons trying to put her face back together... and that was mere border collies, imagine the damage a fully grown Boerboel can do.......

Reply to Chivaz&#39 s mom

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