@sanjibasenji - We have a gate from the family room to the hallway/front door. We do not open the door until we a sure the Basenjis are safely behind it. I don't have collars on them to protect them from injury... such as getting their mouths caught on the collars when playing or hung up on something.... especially when we are not home. A collar will not help much if they escape... chances of some stranger grabbing the collar is slim to none. All of our Basenji are chipped....
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!
Training and care is hard work, very time consuming
Done properly, it is indeed ! But it is very well worth it.
Back in 1981 we took a long hard look at the property and pondered on how to make it Basenji proof. The large garden is surrounded by hawthorn and beech hedges so we cut these all in half, installed heavy duty netting on independent posts tight in and allowed the hedges to grow back. Within a couple of years you couldn't see the netting and the hedges were back to their natural beauty. They get trimmed twice a year.
We put in gates - I managed to pick up several very cheap that had been mis-measured for another property.
It was not a cheap exercise, I have 2/3 acre of garden. But it was so well worth it for peace of mind. No Basenji has ever escaped unless a gate has been left ajar by a careless visitor. Believe me, they never do it a second time. . . so I don't need electric fences but do understand the need for them and the care that needs to be taken in training the Basenjis.
The first thing I work on with every puppy is recall. So that when we are out and about in the forests, I can trust the pack. That is so worth while, even if you are not allowing them freedom to hunt squirrels (mine have killed many over the years !) Kito is more interested in wood pigeons. Mku's tally is three squirrels and one rabbit.
@sanjibasenji, you want to be very careful using an electric ("invisible") fence with a Basenji. The dog may well decide the momentary discomfort is simply the price of freedom! Really, you can have this issue with any dog breed. My best friend had 3 dogs and an electric fence. Two of them never challenged it, the 3rd would run through it if the distraction was sufficient for her to "pay the price". Personally I would not trust an electric fence alone when the dog is unsupervised, but it makes a really good backup to a physical fence if you have a climber. There are alternative designs, the best of which they cannot run through with impunity, since the correction kicks in and continues until the dog is back within the specified area.
As I have stated on this forum before, I am not opposed to using a "shock collar" for safety, as long as it is used correctly. My Perry enjoyed off leash freedom because I knew I could control him at a distance, and it also made him safer if someone was careless and he left the house without a collar or leash. Because he was accustomed to being loose, he didn't get excited or play "keep away", but returned readily to my call.
@sanjibasenji - I would never use the invisible fence especially for a Basenji.... one shock is NOT enough to deter them from running through in the heat of the chase. And you can't stop other dogs from entering the yard or people for that matter. In fact as a breeder I will not place pups in home that are going to use this type of fence. And once a Basenji figures out that they can run through it and they will... they will be gone. Your story about the skunk and your cockapoo is a total example, the skunk can get in the yard....
Regarding invisible fence, I know of one dog (not a Basenji, but I can see one doing this) that figured out if he stayed close enough to the fence to trigger the warning tone but not the correction, eventually the battery on his collar would wear down, the tone would cease, and he was free to leave without consequence. Really smart dog! Probably discovered it by accident, but after that there was no keeping him in....
This is off the subject but I just had to reply. When I had German Shepherds they actually grit their teeth and ran through the electric fence. Even funnier was when I was young I had a shetland pony that would get down on his knees and crawl under the electric fence. As for my Basenjis I would never trust the with an invisible fence. I just think their hunting drive is so strong they would go right thru it. And then they would be afraid to come back in.
- Is a good brand for a martingale collar for a 4-month basenji?
I alternate between a regular padded martingale and this Hurtta Weekend Warrior Collar. The wide, soft neoprene padding seems to be gentler on her throat when she's determined to pull!
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Thanks again! Awesome. I like that collar! What size did you get?
With Hurtta collars, size 10-14 works well. There's a little give to the band. That would also give Sanji room to grow into it.
Next size up, 14-18, will also fit an adult or a Basenji with a thicker/larger neck.
Where did you find your padded martinagle?
Alas, that lil' online megastore....
ComfortFlex PetPDC Limited Slip Collar
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It may not last years but I like that it is soft and flexible, and most likely more gentle on the throat. (our B. walks well but does have her pulling moments....)
Also... please get into the habit of removing the choke or martingale collar at the end of walks. There are just too many opportunities for mishaps, like that dangling ring!
I've generally left collars off in the house unless it was a dog that was new to me, or if something unusual was happening that involved a lot of coming and going and opening outside doors, especially when people were visiting. I look at my dog photos and there is occasionally one with a collar on the dog inside, but for the most part no collar in the house. Interestingly, fetching a collar was not something my dogs liked to do, although it generally meant going for a walk, but I guess it isn't a pleasant thing to carry. If I insisted, yes, it would be done.
@sanjibasenji - One of my Tri Basenji girls (Mickii) would chew off any collar left on one of the other kids. And since I do put baby collars on pups pretty early, she would immediately chew them off! So those were only on when I was home! Easy enough for them to get their mouth stuck around them.....among other things.... I have a rack in the hallway and as soon as they see me reach for the collars they know exactly that they are going somewhere! And yes sanjibasenji, they are much prettier/handsome being naked!