German Shepherd vs Boerboel

Breed Snapshot

Life Expectancy:
12 to 14 years
Size:

Large

Maintenance Level:

High

Shed Level:

Very High

Best For

German Shepherds are best for active households and experienced pet parents who are ready to train this highly-active pup.

German Shepherd Temperament

Born guardians, the German Shepherd’s best trait is their intense, unwavering loyalty to their families. (There’s a reason they make some of the best police dogs.) The fearless breed has also been known to put themselves in harm’s way before they let a family member get hur...

Born guardians, the German Shepherd’s best trait is their intense, unwavering loyalty to their families. (There’s a reason they make some of the best police dogs.) The fearless breed has also been known to put themselves in harm’s way before they let a family member get hurt.

Not surprisingly, friendliness is not the German Shepherd dog breed’s strong suit. They can be aloof, and you definitely have to earn their trust. Naturally wary of strangers, a German Shepherd will default to “guard dog mode” if they believe their family is in danger.

Early social interactions with kids, babies and other animals is also important if you want your German Shepherd to be well-behaved around guests. With the proper education, this easy-to-train pup can be a great family dog.

German Shepherds are born talkers. They will bark when they’re bored, and they’ll bark to alert you if something isn’t quite right. But training and exercise can help curb a lippy pup and keep their barking to when you need it the most.

These dogs are incredibly smart, and they are at their best when they have a job to do, whether working as a police or military dog, doing tracking or search and rescue, serving as a guide dog or at home practicing scent work or solving puzzles for a treat. And when they’re with their family, German Shepherds will let their silly side show as they flip their toys in the air and roll around on their backs.

German Shepherd Traits

Friendliness
Exercise Needs
Health Issues
Barking Tendencies
Grooming Needs
Shedding Level
Training Needs
Good With Kids
Good With Cats
Good As A Service Dog
Good For Apartments & Small Homes
Biting Tendencies
Energy Level
Good With Other Dogs
Playfulness
Sensitive to Cold Weather
Sensitive to Warm Weather
Good For First Time Pet Parents

Breed Snapshot

Life Expectancy:
9 to 11 years
Size:

Extra Large

Maintenance Level:

Medium

Shed Level:

Medium

Best For

The Boerboel is best for experienced and active pet parents with a lot of land where the pup can run around. They do well with kids in their family and are best as your only...

The Boerboel is best for experienced and active pet parents with a lot of land where the pup can run around. They do well with kids in their family and are best as your only dog. They get deeply attached and dislike being far from you for too long.

Boerboel Temperament

The Boerboel is a guard dog and a family dog rolled into one giant pup. These dogs are loyal to their loved ones and are often described as being a great playmate for kids; they’ll let children they know well crawl all over them. Even with their playful nat...

The Boerboel is a guard dog and a family dog rolled into one giant pup. These dogs are loyal to their loved ones and are often described as being a great playmate for kids; they’ll let children they know well crawl all over them. Even with their playful nature, these are powerful dogs, so all interactions with kids need to be supervised. That goes double when neighborhood kids are in the mix. If your dog misinterprets a friend’s actions as a threat instead of play, they will protect your child.

Boerboels are on guard duty 24/7. Even when playing with you, they’ve got one eye looking for trouble. They are wary with strangers and will not let someone they don’t know into your home. You’ll always need to make proper introductions between new guests and your pup when meeting for the first time. (Emily Post would be so proud.) But once your dog knows you consider them a friend, they’ll consider them one, too.

If the stranger is not welcome (intruder alert!), your Boerboel will be aggressive, and you’ll quite possibly be thankful for their strong bite force. Their loyalty to their family means they will put themselves in harm’s way to keep you safe.

This mastiff-type dog does best in a home where they’re your one and only, but may do OK with other dogs or cats if raised with them from puppyhood. As with all interactions, proper socialization, starting when they’re a puppy, is important to get them used to meeting new people, dogs and situations.

Boerboels are strong dogs with a high level of intelligence, and they need a confident and calm pup parent to show them the ropes. The strength and size of the Boerboel is often intimidating to people looking for their first pet, so these dogs are best suited to someone who’s had a dog before.

Boerboel Traits

Friendliness
Exercise Needs
Health Issues
Barking Tendencies
Grooming Needs
Shedding Level
Training Needs
Good With Kids
Good With Cats
Good As A Service Dog
Good For Apartments & Small Homes
Biting Tendencies
Energy Level
Good With Other Dogs
Playfulness
Sensitive to Cold Weather
Sensitive to Warm Weather
Good For First Time Pet Parents
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