Temperament of the Boerboel.

Archeological research indicates that a wolf-like animal roamed the earth some 25 to 30 million years ago. It was presumably the ancestor of the wolf, jackal and prairie wolf. Furthermore, there is proof in Europe, Asia and America that the first domestic animal (roughly 12 thousand years ago) was a wolf.

The friendship between man and these first dogs, is presumably the longest standing and far lasting companionship and cameradie of all times. In each vicissitude of life, be it peace or war, riches or poverty, in defense, security, in hunting or on the sport fields, you could expect to find man and his dog! Man and wolves click for obvious reasons - they have corresponding social rules and, in general, tend to possess the same instinctive traits: they live in pairs, albeit a single group leader is followed when hunting. They exhibit delegation of tasks: specific tasks are performed by individuals regarding tracking, ascertaining direction, isolation of the victim and the most competent or strong individual would have to go for the victim's throat.

It is possibly so that man - who lived in family clusters - threw bones out for roaming, hungry animals. Wolves, in turn, came to understand that man was his superior in hunting... and gradually came to accept man as the pack leader from a distance. After such a hunt, the wolves followed man back to his abode, where they would scavenge the discarded left-overs! It is logical that mans' possessive nature would cause him to tame some of these cubs. As time passed, these carnivores no longer remained spectators, but partook in the hunt keenly!

Where other wild animals are kept captive in order to tame them, dogs differ in that they accepted mans' authority out of their own free will - the dogs' acceptance was much rather a relationship of friendship between dog and man - which grew closer over centuries. Mans' best friend was not only a big help during the hunt, but also protected him when in danger!

When looking at protection, the following needs attention: THE INBORN NATURE OR DISPOSITION, i.e. THE TEMPERAMENT OF THE DOGS, BUT SPECIFICALLY THAT OF THE BREED UNDER SCRUTINY: THE BOERBOEL OF SOUTHERN AFRICA.

Defining temperament brings the following to mind: APTITUDE; DISPOSITION; VIOLENCE/VEHEMENCE; MOODINESS; NATURE AND IRRITABILITY.

APTITUDE: Inborn inclination, tendency, ability and predisposition.

DISPOSITION: Character, nature and being.

VEHEMENCE: Implies violence, brutality, uninhibited, not to be controlled.

MOODINESS: Unpredictable, ill-tempered, cantankerous.

IRRITABILITY: Snappy, pungent, irritated, susceptible, volatile, short-tempered.

You might also have been surprised at the divergent areas included in the term "temperament". Therefore, when we discuss the temperament of dogs, it entails the most important characteristic of this breed. The mass of the Boerboel, in combination with an aggressive temperament, would be as risky as letting your children play with a loaded shotgun in your backyard. You would in fact, be facing mutilation or even death!

We would like to emphasize the importance of the above mentioned again:

THE TEMPERAMENT OF THE DOG IS THEREFORE HIS INBORN NATURE AND DISPOSITION.

This temperament/disposition, determines how intense external stimuli will penetrate his mental or intellectual make-up. Also what his reaction will be, and the intensity of his reaction.

At this point, there must be clarity regarding intelligence and temperament:

Intelligence implies to which extent the dog can "learn" things. Breeds differ regarding learning speed as well as the quality of tricks learnt (i.e. intelligence). Within breeds, intelligence differs too!

Paternal- and maternal characteristics are of vital importance and need in-depth research. Two aspects are significant, namely the build and temperament/disposition. It is common knowledge that if the father bites children, a large percentage of the offspring could be the same way inclined! Timidity or shyness, as well as irritability, could therefore be noticed in descendants/offspring too!


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