Question to all Basenji Owners

My partner and I are considering adopting a Basenji pup and were told by the breeder that the dog must always be on a leash or in an enclosed pen/run. We were wondering if this is truly necessary as we have a large fenced property (a few acres) in a rural area. Thanks for any advice or experience that you can provide.

@Smartbasenji:

My partner and I are considering adopting a Basenji pup and were told by the breeder that the dog must always be on a leash or in an enclosed pen/run. We were wondering if this is truly necessary as we have a large fenced property (a few acres) in a rural area. Thanks for any advice or experience that you can provide.

IMO, yes…it is truly necessary. Unless the fence is the type that a Basenji can't slip through. A fenced yard/property is adequate...but the general rule is, if a Basenji can chase something, get lost, or get hit by a car, they will.

@Smartbasenji:

My partner and I are considering adopting a Basenji pup and were told by the breeder that the dog must always be on a leash or in an enclosed pen/run. We were wondering if this is truly necessary as we have a large fenced property (a few acres) in a rural area. Thanks for any advice or experience that you can provide.

If you have a secure fencing in your property, then they should be fine.. however, understand that they could if left to their own devices.. find a way through the fence if they are chasing game…. The most important thing is "secure" fencing... so depends on the type of fencing.

Just make sure your yard is escape proof as Basenjis are really good escape artists. They can dig under a fence. Off leash depends on the dog and were you are. Some Basenjis will just take off on you and some are good at staying with you. My past 3 Basenjis were really good off leash at beaches, large fields, up in the hills hiking. But never off leash walking on the street or near roads. Now the new Basenji I just got I have to be careful of because he's high energy and very enthusiastic. I've been testing him at the beach here and there. I've always felt that Basenjis need some frredom but you have to use common sense. Like I said it depends on the Basenji.

I have only had my B girl since March but even with after classes we do not turn loose on our street. Back yard with us it is fenced. WHAT IF they see it smell it. I LOVE MY DOG, I LOVE ME LEASH.
There is that certain time and place for loose. SAFETY, SAFETY, SAFETY.

Rita Jean

Welcome to the forums.

Great question. Just remember some Basenijs are climbers. I heard tell that a chain link fence is just a simple step ladder to some. Although mine don't climb, I did have the experience with a new yard waste composter too close to the fence. With a simple hop, skip, and a jump my old boy was over the fence chasing a feral cat that had wandered into the yard.

Have you read this short 8 panel informational at BCOA? "Is a Basenji Right For Me" has good general information and may give you an idea about Basenji ownership…....
http://www.basenji.org/learn/Index.htm

Again welcome. Do you have your eye on any particular pup?

Houston

I too would agree that yes they are fast and they will run if given the oppertunity. My Otis got hit by a car at about 4.5 mo. old. He was in the front yard (no fence), saw our other dog gun it after a squirrel and nothing would've stopped him. He ended up being OK and didn't get hurt badly, but you usually only get one warning, next time will be that last time.. We have 8 foot tall wooden fencing around our backyard, I walk the yard once a day to make sure the gates are locked and that none of the dogs have started to dig anywhere..once that is done, they are free to play without our supervision.
Welcome onboard and good luck in finding your perfect B baby.

I have a 12.5 year old dog that has 30+ titles to his name. Most of those titles are agility titles (where the dog performs a series of obstacles off leash), but he also has a rally title, conformation title, coursing titles and is a certified and titled therapy dog. I am on 5 acres of which some is fully fenced (dogyard- about 300ft x 100ft and agility yard 120x120) but the entire 5 acres is only fenced on 3 sides. To this day, I still would not just take Digital off leash on my property outside of the fully fenced areas.

My concern with a large fenced area (say more area than you can easily see), would be the type of fencing (my female can wiggle through field fencing, and some basenjis will climb) and the other critters that come onto your property. I've seen coyotes easily hop over 4.5+ foot fencing with out even breaking a stride. Which is why I am always outside with my dogs when they're out. But if my front were fenced in, I would, on occasion, give them run of the entire acrage, but again, only if I'm out there with them. And they (I have 3 basenjis) are all prompt on their recall on snowy winter days. In the summer they tend to ignore my recalls more often.

Cars and b's don't mix. If you want to keep your basenji with you for a long time, you walk it on a leash, unless its a car free area, like a beach front, or a fenced dog run, and you keep it in a fenced yard..WHEN you are home.
I think most b's climb out of fenced yard when they are home alone, looking for company and things to do.
IMO, b's should always be inside unless your in the yard with them.

IMO yes, they definitely need to be on leash, in a fenced yard, or in some cases, both. My Sugar will climb the fence and she has escaped lidded x-pens in about 1 min flat. Everyone was surprised one day, at a show, to see her come up to me no sooner than I had put her in and finished telling them she wouldn't stay-no matter if it was lidded or not. She would find a way, and she did. They are wonderful escape artists if they want to be. I wouldn't trust a cow fence (large squares) or a chain link. She will use the chain link as a step ladder and would worm her way through the cow fence.

First Basenji's

I agree… in a fenced yard or on a leash.

When we moved from an apartment to a house with a fenced yard, Cody escaped every day (twice in one day) for about 3 or 4 days straight. Thankfully he was ok each time, and it taught us all the places that needed to be fixed. Our back yard is now sealed tighter than Fort Knox. We ended up having to put a chain and lock around the gate because he learned how to open the gate latch the second day we were here. Even so, I don't let him outside alone because we have a chain link fence. He hasn't tried to climb it yet, but I know it could be a possibility.

Good luck and welcome to the forum!

We have 2 BRAT rescue dogs. We NEVER let them out without a leash. We have a 6 ft chain link kennel that we put a wire roof on so they will not get out. We are VERY careful around the doors as we did have jonny get out 2 times and it was VERY DIFFICULT to catch him. The most scary hours of our dogs owning lives. They are VERY fast and very tricky.

Everything stated here is so true. I too have 3 basenjis, but one is missing. My young girl Dot has climbed the fence and not returned. It has been three weeks of heartbreak and you do not want this to happen. We have about 1.5 acres fenced with 48 inch high fence with barbed wire at the top and Sofia will still get through. She has been on a leash or under close supervision since Dot's escape. My other firl Femi does not try to climb or get out a all. She is more food motivated and recalls extremely well! A fence is a must and still is not "safe."

Still searching….

I have a 6 ft hight fence - buried 6 inches in the ground, 18" inside of the fence with field rock so footing is a bit uneven. That has kept mine in so far but would not consider a fence any shorter - and my B's are never out unless I'm out too because…...

Our fence is 12ft privacy fence… ours are out when we are not home, via the doggy door... since it is a 12ft solid wood fence they can't climb it... and/or dig under it as also buried.... we are in a very old quiet neighborhood and set back from the street and we have about 1/4 of an acre, most of which in the backyard.... our neighbors are not close on either side, unlike many of the new neighborhoods that they build now days... and our gates are padlock from the inside...

If I lived in a newer development... I might have second thoughts about having them out when I am not home... especially when a lot of them have restrictions on types of fence, height of fence, etc....

@tanza:

Our fence is 12ft privacy fence… ours are out when we are not home, via the doggy door... since it is a 12ft solid wood fence they can't climb it... and/or dig under it as also buried.... we are in a very old quiet neighborhood and set back from the street and we have about 1/4 of an acre, most of which in the backyard.... our neighbors are not close on either side, unlike many of the new neighborhoods that they build now days... and our gates are padlock from the inside...

If I lived in a newer development... I might have second thoughts about having them out when I am not home... especially when a lot of them have restrictions on types of fence, height of fence, etc....

You have a 12 ft high fence?? Don't think I've seen a wood fence that high. I leave Buddy in the back all day when I'm not home with a 6-1/2 ft fence no problem. I have chiken wire buried along the edge but he's not been digging. I walk him 30 minutes before leaving for the day. He doesn't even try to jump my 3 ft pickett fence in front.

My first basenji was a digger, my second could jump (but thankfully rarely did), my current one is a runner; and my breeder has one that can clear a 6 foot fence without problem!
I have a fenced yard with the usual 4 foot backyard chainlink and I periodically make sure there are no holes - the only escapes (so far) were when I stupidly left the gate open (twice). I have a lot of landscaping in which critters come to nest and feed and that seems to keep my current basenji occupied but also gives me fits when I can't see her. I have trained mine to respond to a dog whistle (special treats just for this) and it has worked pretty well so far but I would never let mine go off-leash anywhere but my yard, the dog park, or for racing. Basenji prey instinct is very very strong and rarely do they quit chasing just because you call their name. They become so focused that nothing will deter them - not even a vehicle barreling down on them.
Diligence is very important with these guys - but don't let that scare you off - they have many great qualities.

A Basenji will ALWAYS be looking for a way to run, run, run! They are hunters and the least chance to chase something will completely take them over, regardless of their training. Yes, keep them always on a leash, unless the fencing you are talking about is high, deep in the ground so they can't dig under it, and chain link is not a great idea because they will climb it - they also jump pretty high with the right motivation, like a squirrel, a rabbit, a bug, a butterfly, the wind blowing in that direction, a noise in the next county, etc., etc.. Also be really careful when you leave the house, a they will slip through your legs and be gone before you can react. This one I know from experience, and I about killed my old legs chasing her - thank God she unknowingly ran into a dead end corner where I could grab her up before she charged me trying to get past.

We have a 1/2 acre lot fenced just with regular field fencing and have never had a problem, EXCEPT once when the fence was damaged. Keoki found the damage before we did. They – that is ours -- are always looking for an easy way out, but never try to break out even if there's a dog on the other side teasing them. They dig all over the yard looking for the mole, but never dig by the fence. Maybe mine aren't too bright, LOL.

That said, We NEVER EVER leave the house with them outside, on the off chance that they DO get out, I want to be home to bring them back -- though the one time that Keoki did get out that torn fence, they came right to the front door!

Houston

I once heard, and I guess this might be especially important with our B's, that you should always, or at least occasionally, walk out and then after the walk, also walk in from the front door, that way the dog knows what his house looks on the front. Many dogs only see the backyard, so if they break out, they have no clue which one of the houses are theirs.

Looks like your connection to Basenji Forums was lost, please wait while we try to reconnect.