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At What Age Does A Boerboel Become Aggressive?

Did you just buy a new Boerboel dog and have been wondering when your new pet will become aggressive? A Boerboel dog’s chances of developing canine aggression hinges on his genetic makeup and upbringing.

This article will answer your questions by analyzing Boerboel’s level of aggression by age and the signs of growing aggression you should look out for.

We will also look into the causes of sudden aggression in your dog and how to deal with it. 

Boerboel’s level of aggression by age

Boerboel's level of aggression by age

8 weeks

A Boerboel dog is still at the puppy stage at about 8 to 14 weeks from birth. At this stage, their eyes are wide open, developing bonds and picking up some sensitivity to the people and animals around them.

There is little to no aggression at this stage, and it is a learning window that most dog owners utilize to instill preferred behaviors into their dogs. 

Boerboel dogs at this age care more about learning about their new family. It is very rare for a Boerboel this young to be aggressive.

3 months

A Boerboel dog at 3 months old is still considered young and learning but may begin to show a little aggression. Some conditions may worsen the aggression, though. 

For instance, bringing a three-month-old puppy into a new home can make it fearful and even tricky to integrate into the family.

Consequently, it will take much socialization to instill positive behaviors in the dog so that it can be relaxed and interact with other people or animals.

If socialization isn’t done properly, a three-month-old puppy can become more aggressive than it should be.

If you believe that your Boerboel has an aggression problem, then we highly recommend that you take a look at our 7-part series on how to correct any problematic behavior in 10 minutes.

8 – 9 months

Boerboel dogs at this age are not puppies anymore, as they grow in size and purpose but are still tender at heart and mind. 

They assume the responsibility of ensuring the family’s safety, which ultimately breeds an aggressive presence that is fearful enough to make strangers not want to come close.  

This is the age many Boerboel owners think their dogs may get out of control. But no, that’s not true in any way. It all comes down to how you handle your dog from here on. 

Depending on the parent stock, some Boerboel puppies have natural shyness and fearfulness, while some can be very aggressive, and it becomes glaring at this age.

As a tip for safe nurturing, you must know that a Boerboel puppy will look up to its owner or handler for protection and companionship, ensuring that its aggression is minimal and controlled.

Holding your dog firmly and resisting the urge to let go when it tries to wriggle out can significantly reduce the possibility of excessive aggression and dominant behavior as it grows older.

20 months+

As adulthood commences, you will notice your Boerboel dog showing a commanding presence, barking at strangers to scare them off, and guarding your family and property. 

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A twenty-month-old Boerboel dog is expected to have some hormonal surge that causes the dog to be protective and territorial. 

If you were not careful with the upbringing and training, this is the stage you have a dog with objectionable aggressive behavior.

4 signs of growing aggression in a young Boerboel

Signs of growing aggression in a young Boerboel

Having a young Boerboel is akin to welcoming a new family member, one everyone would love to huddle around. Even children in the house would see the puppy as their new playmate.

It would be best if you didn’t ignore the warning indications of canine aggression in your young Boerboel, as this behavioral issue isn’t normal in puppies. 

This is a list of growing aggression signs in a puppy, which gives you a chance of transforming a negative disposition into a positive one.

#1 Possessiveness over foods or toys

When your puppy starts to exhibit the following behaviors, you can be sure of imminent canine aggression, which is abnormal at this early stage:

  • growl as you walk by while eating
  • becomes protective over their food bowl
  • lunge at you as you help them retrieve a dropped piece of food
  • snap at other animals around the house 

More so, young Boerboel can be possessive over toys, particularly those that belong to your children.

#2 Baring teeth

This is arguably the most significant growing aggression sign in a young Boerboel. Your puppy dog bares his teeth at you or other animals to signal, “Back off!” 

You must also be careful not to misinterpret this gesture, as some dogs can bare their teeth while playing. However, when accompanied by a growl and stiff body language, it becomes nothing short of aggression.

#3 High prey drive

You must understand that aggression is slowly creeping into your young Boerboel when he begins to show weird high prey drive. 

He might begin to chase down or nip at anything that passes by. This is abnormal behavior in a puppy that dog owners must pay rapt attention to and correct while they still can.

#4 Biting hard

Sometimes, biting may not necessarily mean that your young Boerboel is becoming aggressive. It is normal for puppy dogs to bite, some even bite so hard, and it is always painful. 

Yet, dog owners must be wary of this sign, particularly when they start biting hard on objects or other animals around more frequently.   

What causes a Boerboel to be suddenly aggressive?

What causes a Boerboel to be suddenly aggressive?

Having a profound knowledge of why a dog becomes aggressive is a massive step in preventing it from happening in the first place. 

Many dog trainers believe that most dogs show canine aggression when they are in pain, threatened, or want to be territorial.

A usually gentle Boerboel may suddenly become intimidating and frightening to family members, strangers, other dogs/animals, or even you as the dog owner. 

Understanding the root cause of the aggression may take a little bit of observation and patience, but the list of 3 possible causes below may guide you.


This is perhaps the first thing that comes to mind when a tame and gentle dog suddenly becomes aggressive. 

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When a Boerboel dog gets startled or frightened, he may get aggressive to either prepare for combat or run away. 

You may have scared your dog by simply raising your hand over his head, making him misinterpret that you are going to hit him, hence getting aggressive to ward you off.

The fear factor is a good reason dog owners must be patient in training their dogs. You must ensure to properly socialize them while they are still puppies and give them good companionship. These are suitable measures to prevent provocation of canine aggression.   


Most dog owners want their dogs to be a bit territorial, which is an excellent trait. 

However, an overly intimidating dog may become scary and pose a safety problem when a dog is too possessive. 

Consequently, aggression sets in; they become overly territorial and may bite every stranger close to their food, toys, children in the house, and many more.


Aggression born out of frustration is often called redirected aggression or barrier frustration. 

Like humans, frustration builds in dogs when on a short leash for too long, confined to a chain-linked fence that restricts their movements. If you notice any of these, you may afford some freedom to loosen them up.

Why is my Boerboel NOT aggressive?

The Boerboel breed is playful and loving, particularly when they have children to play with. Many would ask if this breed is good to have with the family; yes, it is. But, then, the adult Boerboel you have in your possession hinges on the upbringing.

Regardless of the type of dog you want, pet or security dog, a little aggression is often tolerated if not appreciated. It becomes a concern when your dog is not aggressive. The following are possible reasons why your Boerboel isn’t aggressive.

Dog training

This is a proven reason a Boerboel dog can be non-aggressive. The training starts when they are young and introduced to the family. 

They get nurtured into adult dogs, and the training lives with them forever and defines the kind of dog they are. 

It is almost unlikely to train a Boerboel dog to be aggressive, and it turns out otherwise. 

Spaying or neutering

Spaying and neutering procedures have proven to significantly reduce aggression in dogs. A spayed or neutered dog can become less territorial or possessive. 

Therefore, you may wonder why your Boerboel dog is not as aggressive as it should be; if spayed or neutered, it could be a factor.


The Boerboel breed is naturally territorial, which explains why owners must provide proper handling and early socialization to ensure a good adult dog.

Aggression builds in them with each stage of their life. Still, early exposure to the new family, the sight of pleasant things, different sounds, people, and other dogs ensure they can react appropriately and adapt to any strange situations.

These dogs are great and pleasant to have around, particularly for their history with families. Their affectionate temperament has caused many dog owners to consider a Boerboel dog as their new pet.