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Boerboel breed dogs, also known as South African Mastiffs, are substantial, powerful animals that were developed in order to help defend South African farms from large predators like hyenas, leopards, and lions. While they are large and strong enough to intimidate most people, these dogs are typically very gentle with their family, particularly the younger members of the family, although they can tend towards overprotective in some situations. This breed of dogs is quite versatile and is typically able to participate in a number of different activities.
In the year 2000, a new activity was introduced, known as geocaching. People from all walks of life began to participate in this worldwide treasure hunt using cellular and GPS technology. Participants use an app on their phone to search for a container that contains anything from a simple note to special trackable metal coin that can be purchased directly from the geocaching website. The app gives information regarding the coordinates of the container along with additional information regarding what kind of container it is and what is likely to be enclosed. Dogs that enjoy tracking often enjoy helping their owners locate their quarry when geocaching.
Dogs like the Boerboel are extremely powerful animals with independent minds, and in order to have a safe and sound companion, it is important that they learn how to control their impulses. Some trainers and pet parents are able to help their canine companions learn to control their impulses using fun training games that mimic games that many schoolchildren have played for a very long time. Red Light, Green Light is one such game, and it can help reinforce that a quick and clear response to any command that you give is expected and will be promptly and properly rewarded.
While feeding your dog a healthy wet food or kibble out of a clean bowl that is placed openly in the same place each night is a perfectly acceptable way to feed your dog, allowing your pet to search for their food can turn dinnertime into a game to add mental stimulation and excitement to their daily lives. Another benefit of feeding your Boerboel this way is that it causes them to slow down when eating rather than wolfing down their food, which may help to prevent bloat, also referred to as gastric torsion, a serious disorder that can be instigated by eating too quickly.
Schutzhund is a training program in which dogs are taught tracking, obedience, and protection techniques in order to protect their owners or other handlers.
Boerboel dogs are both independently minded and eager to learn, and these traits are both beneficial for a search and rescue operation.