With our last dog of nine years (a cockapoo), we used a doggy door and electric fence. It worked great. Kai could leave for potty or to chase squirrels (never caught one) as he pleased during the day; over time we got to the point where he wouldn't try to escape the yard and could leave the doggy door unlocked even when we were not home for 8 hours. But he always wore the collar during the day, and we always locked the doggy door at night. We became rather careful about that after forgetting one night. He jumped on our bed at 1 am after being sprayed by a skunk. It was so powerful that my eyes were burning and I was coughing. (A mix of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda works well we found.)
I suppose we'll have to build up that trust with Sanji. I don't trust him to stay within the fence yet, though he is doing very well. Fast learner. Over the past month, he's really learned what it's about. He intentionally challenged it once, knowing that he'd get a "correction." I was surprised at how boldly he just ran to it knowing he'd get zapped. He wasn't chasing or distracted by anything. He just decided to ignore my verbal warnings, the sound association we had been working on (a deep "Uh uhn"). I had it on the lowest setting so I guest he thought he'd challenge me and it. I put it on a higher setting and after he challenged again within moments, he learned it wasn't worth it. It'll take a long time for me to trust him outside, so we'll continue to supervise when he's out and reassess in six months.
I was very careful to introduce it slowly over weeks: flags on the perimeter, leash walks with sound warnings first. It's worked well.
In our front, people and dogs will walk by, and in our back, there's a park with regular dog-walkers and a basketball court. In both front and back he has consistently respected the boundaries for a few weeks now: he sits and watches, particularly to sun bath. Kai never sun-bathed. I'm impressed with his poise at just 4.5 months.
So, I'm hoping this will work out as well as it did with Kai, but I cannot imagine him not wearing the electric fence collar during the day and not being supervised, at least loosely from a distance or from inside. If he wasn't wearing it, sooner or later, he'd accidentally or intentionally wander across the barrier and then I don't know what would happen. That happened with Kai a few times and I had to go find him in the neighborhood. Scared me quite a bit. Ironically, he got killed by a car in a small and never-busy dirt parking area of a park last Dec. when my daughter turned to greet an arriving friend and he ventured away for just a few seconds. It was something of a freak accident because he avoided cars and I still can't figure out how it happened. Obviously, I'm super cautious with Sanji.
And at 4.5 months, I'm beginning to see why people love this breed. He's way more affectionate, smart, and curious that Kai was (not to diminish his wonderful ways and character). Frankly, I don't like puppies. They look cute, but they don't behave cute. Training and care is hard work, very time consuming, and they're so unruly. As Sanji has relatively settled down and his character is coming through, I enjoy him more and more everyday. He's really growing on me. I never had a dog that loves to snuggle the way he does; and he's such a beautiful creature.
I have all these questions about besanjis because I want to do the best for him so he can be the best dog he can be. We're off to a great start, and the advice and knowledge I'm getting from you all is appreciated. Glad I found this site! Thanks!