Interesting Observation

Yesterday we went to the dog park. A much needed visit as it's getting cold here in the Northeast. I'm not able to put Mick outside as much. He shivers and does not like being out there when it's cool. So as I was saying we went to the dog park and noticed he would run off with some of the dogs but always managed to come back to me to sort of "check in". So I did a little experiment. Keep in mind that our dog park is huge. I walked the perimeter not really paying much attention to Mick. I didn't call him but he walk with me the whole way. He occasionally would run off with the pack but always came back to where I was. I was pleasantly surprised. Is this normal? Is this an indication that we may eventually be able to walk without a leash? What other technics should I use to encourage him to come back to me? Should I be using a certain call? Sorry for all the questions but I'm so excited about my little boy learning something new.

I would never unless in a secure place ever walk without a leash…. because you never know what might peak his interest and have him chasing it... and it is pretty normal for them to keep and eye on their "masters"... and follow along....

What an awesome feeling though to have him following you, he just had to know where Mom was going!

Zahra pretty much only does this with Chase, they are inseperable.

I am always in awe of the fact that, like Mick, when we are at the dog park, jack will run of with the pack, but comes to check in, no matter if I have moved- he always seems to find me.

The problem with off leash is that if they saw a "critter" they wanted to chase, and this animal went across a road, the b's would follow.
That could be awful for everyone.
IMO, its just not worth it unless you have a car free area to let them loose.

@sharronhurlbut:

The problem with off leash is that if they saw a "critter" they wanted to chase, and this animal went across a road, the b's would follow.
That could be awful for everyone.
IMO, its just not worth it unless you have a car free area to let them loose.

Exactly Sharron!!

And I can attest to that – my previous beastie took off one time while on a walk after a rabbit and disappeared into a woodsy area. Although it was a small area (we live in a metro area) there are roads and highways nearby and I couldn't see where he was going because of the bushes. Scarry to think I could have lost him. Don't take chances!

I don't think folks realize how far a basenji can travel before they figure, oops my owners aren't around.
I hear of dogs traveling miles in a short period of time.
So, figure, when you do decide to let a dog off leash, how far they can run, if chasing something, what will there be a mile or 2 out there for them to be hurt by, and really, IS IT WORTH IT?
Watch them run is heaven, so take them to lure coursing..get them involved in that and everyone can stay happy and safe.
Otherwise, its fine, until it isn't…then its vets and tears.
I really don't think I am overstating this.

I have had 'realtively' safe places in the past where I let my dogs off leash and they stayed pretty close, but I still worried like a maniac. That is why I love our dog parks, they allow the dogs to run and play off leash, and still be safe (at least from cars, etc). Most dogs check in with their owners from time to time, especially if we are moving about. A few just go off on their own, I think it never occurs to them they might lose you!
When one of the dogs does "misplace' their humans, they really get busy looking for them!
I vote for running free at the park, but stay leashed in open areas unless you are far from traffic! 2 or 3 miles is nothing to a chasing basenji.
Anne in Tampa

I would NEVER let him off the leash. Only in the dog park. All can rest assure. Thanks. BTW he did it again today 🙂

Congrats on him being such a good boy for you. Zaire gets off leash on the Oregon coast if we are there early enough to not have allot of folks around. (Speaking of if anyone is ever coming on a trip to the Oregon coast let me know and I will tell you about two GREAT beaches for taking your dogs on). Other than that she gets off the leash at the dog park or when we are out hiking as we are MILES from the road.

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