Camping and hiking with a Basenji???

We plan on taking young Shaun on a couple of camping trips to the North Cascades Mountain Range and Olympic Peninsula (Washington state) this summer.

We have done this in the past with our former dogs (Rhodesian Ridgeback and Catahoula).

This will be car camping and we will be sleeping in a tent. We plan on doing several long walks/hikes during the day.

I am sure Shaun will do fine. He is a fit young dog (less than 7-months old) with lots of energy and curiosity. We will bring his crate for the car rides and a an extra long leash for the campsites.

But are there any Basenji warnings or gotchas to be aware of? How about posting some pics of your camping experiences with your B???



many basenjis can chew through their leash in a matter of seconds. Bring a back up (or 3) leash and watch for him to do that.

you may want to bring water from home. i've read that adding a little lemon to the "new" water can help prevent upset tummies, but have no idea if that's true.

is your sleeping bag big enough to share with shaun? you need to consider that.

otherwise, i dont really know. i don't camp, but have travelled many miles with my basenjis.

Could an exhuberant puppy chew through your tent at night and get out? Maybe it will be best to crate him and night inside your tent.

If Shaun is anything like my Pepper, I would take along a lot of snacks to entice him. Are you considering letting Shaun off leash? If so, expect to spend some considerable time chasing him throughout the countryside. How I wish basenjis did not have the desire to run free. I would certainly be interested in hearing how you went with Shaun.

Our Bx sleeps in the back of our 4wd(door shut) when we camp.
Tried her on a chain once but she got no sleep at all with all the noises.
We have never crated her(didn't know about it when she "turned up").
We take a sheepskin she is supposed to use at night but she prefers the couch with a pillow:eek:
She knows when it's laid out it's bed time. Happy B, happy me:D

I was given a cattle dog chain that we tie her up with during the day.
Not going to chew through that:) and never tried.
I only let her off lead when on single tracks(not main roads).
Or late when she's to tired to run, I do keep her next to my chair thow.

I always use the water for her the rest of us drink.
She tried spring water once and now won't drink unless it in a bowl,another lesson learnt.

Note to self….take more pics of Bella when out camping.

Now that the heat has finally hit our area, I would make sure your b doesn't overheat..

Thanks for all the tips.

We are still working out the details, like were to go etc…

I have taken Kahirah hiking several times and she loves it. Have fun!

I would be very cautious with that young of a Basenji being off leash in the wild. If he runs off chasing some small critter he could easily get disoriented and lost. If you're in a camp ground forget it. I had my first Basenji off leash in a camp ground in 1977 and she ran around eating old food around other camp sites and got so sick she spent 2 days at the town vet on fluids and antibiotics. Other than that you should have a great time with him.

Shaun will be on a leash (short or long) the entire time…

I'd take Nobarkus' tips to heart - a B off leash while camping can become a forever lost B. We take our two camping with us all the time, and they love it, but we don't tent camp. - I'd be sure he is content to sleep with you in the tent, but keep him leashed just in case. Whenever we are out of the motorhome we tie them out with a ground stake, and hook their leads to both their harness and their collar, so if they get out of one, the other will hold them - but - they are never out of our sight - ever. And we carefully police our camping site to be sure there is nothing they can eat that will harm them. Because as we know, they'll eat anything new just to find out if it's edible.

Everyone has given great suggestion. I would add that I would pick up a real chain leash, you can get them at Petsmat, and use that as your 'tie-out" leash when you are hanging out around camp and not walking/hiking etc. I use one on my boy when I am in my front yard because my boy will instantly attack his leash when he gets frustrated and/or bored if I am not paying attention to him or something like that when I am working out in the yard or walk around the corner of the house.

Petsmart does sell ties outs but they are braided cable wrapped in the plastic and in the event that a dog starts chewing that in could hurt their mouth, however you could hook the chain leash to that, that is what I have done in the past. I always get one size up in the recommended weight class. I never get the chain tie-outs that they have they tangle to easy and knot up and also easily get wrapped around the dog. That is why I just like the chain leashes that you can get there, I get the medium weight ones.


Shaun will be on a leash (short or long) the entire time…

good - i think that is safest


I live in Renton and have taken my 2 bs on 2 "solo" camping trips.

Both trips were to Deception Pass State Park. I stayed at the Bowman Bay campground, which is before you pass over the Deception Pass bridge.

I left both dogs leashed in the campground, the entire time. I use the braided cable wrapped in plastic tie outs and they work well. I never left my dogs unattended. Oh, I did sneak in a quick shower the 2nd night when my pups were snoring in the tent.

There's an excellent beach on the East side of Whidbey Island called Ala Spit. At low tide, there is a huge stretch of beach the dogs can run on. Only locals really know about this beach. You can let the dogs run free because there is nowhere for them to go, as long as you keep herding them and stay behind them. Again, it's a super cool beach. Let me know if you want the directions and stuff.

There's also the South Whidbey campground, outside of Freeland, that is cool and has a neat beach to run on.

I have a HUGE sleeping bag. Big enough for me and 2 bs. Neither of them tried to get out of the tent at night, they were so tuckered out. I brought one big dog bed they both shared, that I layed out at the end of both of their tie outs. They were close enough to sit together, but not close enough to get tangled up!

Wherever, you decide to go, you'll have a blast. My bs love to be outside and don't mind being tied up as long as they can sniff, dig, and stare at the world going by. It's work but worth it!:):):)

Hello Max,

Clarisse and I, like the outdoors, so fishing and hiking is a norm in this household and one of the many things I do with Kairoe when it comes to bonding. His mom has him for the show ring and when Kairoe and I are together, I get to show him what it's like to be a loose dog in the wild.:p In fact, it was at Shaun's age was when we began recall training with our B - which we've concluded as an everyday adventure. We haven't gone camping yet, but came back from the cottage over the weekend; a first for all of us. Our big worry was the fire pit, ticks and insect bites, but he did quite well and enjoyed the warmth in a pit he dug by the fire. We also kept Benedryl close by just in case he got bit.

We only have off-leash advice to offer, as most of Kairoe's training sessions happened during our hikes or on fishing excursions. It's great that you have this opportunity with Shaun, as camping = hiking = a more relaxing way to figure out the trust issues you'll have with your B and a wonderful way to help you understand his quirks. Shaun being 6 months old, will not have his legs or the confidence when it comes to his full out running potential. So, testing him off leash in an unknown environment is a lot simpler because your dog will look to you more for guidance. If you think your B is fast now, wait til' he hits 12 months…then you'll be more paranoid as to how fast he can bolt out of your sight. I used to be able to out run Kairoe, but now, he's almost twice as fast as I am and he's just 19 months old. I consider myself physically fit and was a former track athlete.

Some advice would be to definitely know your trails, just in case he does wander off. Always...always keep your B's leash tethered to him, this will give you that extra 6.5' to grab onto for the "just in case" times - like squirrels, rabbits and other dogs. I believe some people on the forum have 12' & 40' training leads when out and about; we're also considering adding more length to his hiking lead because as you know, there's nothing more beautiful than watching your dog enjoying itself off leash and running in the wild. Always...always, look ahead of you for said critters until his recall is good enough to keep him from bolting. Many people would disagree to keep the dogs leash tethered to him while roaming freely but I think it's more logical to have some sort of tether on him. I figure that IF he does bolt, the leash will eventually get caught in some brush and he'll call out for assistance and will give you that extra time to catch up to him. I would never use a chain leash and opt for his climbing rope leash just in case the little guy needed to chew his way out of a predicament. I also attach a carabiner to the free end of the leash which makes for easier tie downs and serves as a noise maker when I do let him investigate into the bush. A bell on Shaun's collar is another option, while a whistle on hand is a great way to get his attention. And, even a walking stick comes in handy from time to time.

All this may seem easy, but like anything with a B, it took time. We were a bit nervous at first, but knowing the lay of land and having no roads nearby, helped sooth our thoughts. At first, we started off by holding onto the leash to make sure that he was calm. Then we began dropping the leash unsuspectingly to see how he'd react. One key training method that helped keep Kairoe at bay was to make it a habit to randomly step on Kairoe's leash just to remind him that he's not the Alpha and that he had gone too far ahead. We do this with Kairoe and it works like a charm. It keeps him close to our side and makes him more attentive when he's off leash.

Hopefully, you'll get over any your fears, because having our free roaming time made playing games like "catch up' - keeping him in the middle of the path while one of us walked ahead and called for him, was fun. I like taking photographs during our walks, so having your B come back and stare at you like he's saying "c'mon, catch up" is a beautiful thing. Sooner or later the games would have us running away in the opposite directions and have the dog catch you. lol - reverse psychology for B's.

One of the best advices we got was from a Weimaraner owner who was out in the bush when his dog decided to chase after a bear. He was so peeved at his dog's recall that he decided to play hide and seek with his dog. He'd wait til his dog wasn't paying attention to him and then hide behind a tree and watched how his dog would react. We learned so much just by playing this simple game.

Recall training was some of the best times we had with our B. We hope that your hikes will be as pleasurable and hopefully you'll figure out that some of the paranoid stigma that's attached to this breed doesn't necessarily pertain to your own dog.

Enjoy your trips together and stay safe!

BTW - we have a 12' wire tether wrapped in a plastic outer for the cottage or camp site and works perfect - even moreso when your dog understands the 'leave it' command. It's light and fits perfectly in any camera bag / back pack and gives the pup a little more freedom to roam with the added bonus that he cannot chew through it. We rarely use the corkscrew tie down that comes with the package and prefer to latch the tether onto a tree, picnic table or even a back pack.


Emmanuel + Clarisse + Kairoe

Posted are a few pics from some of our hikes.

Kairoe @ 6 Months - "C'mon, catch up!"

Kairoe @ 9 months - THE one time I knew I should've brought my own camera!

Kairoe @ 11 months - My Fishing buddy!

What cute pictures - and what a beautiful pup!

Beautiful Basenji amongst beautiful scenery.

Beautiful puppy.

Great stuff and nice photos. Its nice to see pics of Basenjis outdoors.

When we used to take basenjis to a big off leash area (unfenced, but remote) I trained them all to come to a sports-type whistle. That sound carries much further than your voice, and with only a short time of treat training, my guys would come back immediately (if no rabbits were involved) and after 10 or 15 minutes with intermittent whistling, if they bolted into the swamp! I am a huge fan of a good whistle (usually part of hiking equipment, anyway) and "high-value' treat training for recall, before venturing off leash.

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