Basenji Escape Prevention

Lately we have been seeing too many Basenji escape stories posted on the forums. Some of the escapes resulted in a great scare for the dog's owners and some of them in the tragic loss of the the beloved pet.

Basenji Forums were put together to share knowledge and experience about this wonderfull breed. Lets see if we can use these forums to collectively come up with a checklist of things to do in order to minimize the risk of escape. Feel free to reply to this post with your suggestions.

Why do basenji's try to escape?

The Basenji is a a strong and fast dog, its intelligence, determination, curiosity, and highly developed hunting instincts can sometimes lead it into trouble. Once it sets sight or scent on something it is not easily discouraged or distracted. The Basenji fears nothing and once loose, pays little attention to anything around it, including its owner or dangers in its path, such as cars.

Basenjis are accomplished escape artists. Tree climbing is a specialty, and six-foot fences are easy to clear. Leave your Basenji unattended with an escape route and you may come home to find no Basenji.

How do I prevent Basenji from Escaping?

  • Don't leave your Basenji alone in a yard
  • Crate your Basenji (A large wire crate is best so it can still see what is going on)
  • Exercise your Basenji when you're around
  • Do not use electric collars with basenjis
  • Use at least 6 foot wood fence (install an electric "cattle" fence wire along the bottom and top of the wood fence)
  • Do not use chain-link fencing. It's nothing more than a ladder for basenjis
  • When opening the door to go outside make sure your basenji is crated or leashed

Thanks for posting these tips! The thing is with basenjis you can't let your guard down ever. They never stop trying to escape no matter how old they are or how well trained they are. It's like they're just watching for the perfect opportunity to do it again. My Abbey has escaped at least 5 times, the last time before Christmas when my daughter in law opened the front door just wide enough to scoot out, and Abbey went right past her and out into the street. A total stranger stopped his car and called her and she went right to him! She runs back and forth across the street in and out between cars when she gets out. She becomes a total deaf fool and no amount of calling will bring her back. I've always thought basenjis look on cars as PREY and they have absolutely no fear of them. My heart just aches for these people who have lost their beloved basenjis. We all love our B's but we can never be too vigilant or forget even once to crate them even if we are just going to answer the doorbell. They're clever little dogs but sometimes that spells their doom.

I took this of one of ours that can open our sliding glass door. He can open it going in like in this video, but he can also open it to go out. He wouldn't open it with me sitting there, as soon as I got up and moved away…..he's in. We have to watch this door, lock it or put a stick in the track.:rolleyes:

i have a little kid, so all the doors have the childproof covers so that he or his friends cant open the door and let the dog out.

Oah my B. Boy! What an escape artist you have there!!!!!:eek:

@Basenji_Boy:

I took this of one of ours that can open our sliding glass door. He can open it going in like in this video, but he can also open it to go out. He wouldn't open it with me sitting there, as soon as I got up and moved away…..he's in. We have to watch this door, lock it or put a stick in the track.:rolleyes:

Hi, yes I too have an escape artist, but I am teaching them to wait at the door, and not go out till I say okay.
Well it may take a long time but I am trying. ggg
Hope no ones B gets out, they hate coming back, BUT, if they get loose, we fall on the ground and make noises, they came to see what was wrong. gggg Carol

@Vanessa626:

Oah my B. Boy! What an escape artist you have there!!!!!:eek:

I've learned not to underestimate them at all, sometimes they just amaze me.

None of our basenjis are climbers, so we're lucky there. Along the bottom of our fence we made a 6in trench, and filled it with lava rock. The basenjis refuse to try to dig through it. Even some of the fosters that we've had that are accomplished diggers refuse to dig through the lava rock.

I'm leaning towards an "Invisable" fence system for my Basenji. Has anyone tried it with theirs ??

PLEASE! Do NOT get an invisible fence system for your basenji! There's another thread here somewhere where we discussed this.

@Harley:

I'm leaning towards an "Invisable" fence system for my Basenji. Has anyone tried it with theirs ??

Yes, I tried it. It was a joke. My basenji had a collar on it with 4 prongs, and the largest battery. It was literally a collar for a St. Bernard. He would prance right through, yelp, and keep on going. If they see prey outside of the yard, nothing will talk them out of trying to kill it. Nothing. The same dog would blow out safety collars when he hit the end of his chain.

At this point, fortunately for us, he refuses to go down any stairs. We have to carry him down the stairs if we want him to go down them. He just gets all freaky and prances around and refuses to go down them. Right now we have a makeshift gate to keep him in the living room. It is so high that we need to use a chair on one side and a giant treat container on the other just so we can get over it ourselves. It didn't take him long to figure out how to jump on the chair and go over the top of the gate. We have two garden ties, on top of each other, and on that we have plywood. He now either pulls it over or pushes it out at the bottom and gets out that way. I never seem to get a chance to just relax. Thankfully he is okay in his kennel, but there are times when he doesn't want to go into it. He yelps and sounds as if someone is killing him, and he tries to dig out the bottom. There are times I just have to kennel him in order to get anything done.

My kids escaped once and we never figured out how. The yard they were in was "basenji proof" but they somehow escaped. I spent half the night and kept several friends up searching to no avail. The first thing the next morning I went to the animal shelter and fortunately they had been found.

They were found on a car dealers lot about a mile away from home. When the animal control people took me to the cage Chike was curled up on the floor. When I called him he picked up his head, did his normal wake up stretch and yawn, and looked at me like, "well it's about time you get here, I'm hungry".

The only other time he has gotten away was when he somehow snapped his leash to chase a squirrel. The squirrel got away and he didn't try to go anywhere else.

I was wondering why you should not use electric collars with basenjis I have because our neighbors have chickens and they often let them out so my B's were stating to try to dig under our fence I used the electric collars to teach them not to dig and it has worked for me it has worked so well that now I just do the warning buzz and they stop. Also there is a basenji in my home town, his owners have the under ground fence and they say it has worked great for there Basenji I was quite surprised to see this.

We have Invisible Fence brand electronic fencing, and it works like a charm. It's very important to get quality electronic fencing and have your dog professionally trained.

It may not be the best solution for all Basenjis, but I know of a number of Basenji owners who have Invisible Fence brand fencing, and it does its job for all of them. For me, the risk of my boy escaping his boundary (which he's never done) is acceptable when balanced against life on a leash/tie. Once he was professionally trained, he's chased rabbits, squirrels, cats and deer through his area and stopped when he reached his boundary. He's never unsupervised when outside or left alone in his area. He's got two acres to romp around in and run to his heart's desire.

We live in a rural area on a dead-end street, so, of course, that figured heavily into our decision to go with the IF system. Due to the way our land is used, physical fencing was not an option, so I researched various methods of containment for a couple of years before deciding to go with IF. It was not a decision made lightly.

(I'm not out to start an argument here. I just wanted to express a viewpoint from my own personal experience.)

@gbroxon:

We have Invisible Fence brand electronic fencing, and it works like a charm. It's very important to get quality electronic fencing and have your dog professionally trained.

It may not be the best solution for all Basenjis, but I know of a number of Basenji owners who have Invisible Fence brand fencing, and it does its job for all of them. For me, the risk of my boy escaping his boundary (which he's never done) is acceptable when balanced against life on a leash/tie. Once he was professionally trained, he's chased rabbits, squirrels, cats and deer through his area and stopped when he reached his boundary. He's never unsupervised when outside or left alone in his area. He's got two acres to romp around in and run to his heart's desire.

We live in a rural area on a dead-end street, so, of course, that figured heavily into our decision to go with the IF system. Due to the way our land is used, physical fencing was not an option, so I researched various methods of containment for a couple of years before deciding to go with IF. It was not a decision made lightly.

(I'm not out to start an argument here. I just wanted to express a viewpoint from my own personal experience.)

I'm glad this works for you, but I could never do it where I live. We have coyotes, bear, fishers, etc. that if they came into the yard and Ruby couldn't escape, that would be the end of her. Also, my friends have Invisible Fence around their yard and their professionally trained German Shepard chased something, ran thru the fence, but then was afraid to come back in the yard…it took them a day to get him back...not good. For those 2 reasons alone, I couldn't ever feel comfortable with it. The prey drive is so strong, that I don't think it can ever be 100% predictable what Ruby would do.

As I said before, I'm not out to start an argument. I just thought the person who asked about it (Harley, I think) needed to know that it is indeed used successfully with Basenjis and shouldn't be dismissed out of hand. And also that a lot matters on the quality of the system and professional training is key. The systems you can get a PetSmart, Walmart, Cabela's, etc. are NOT quality systems.

Basenji Mix

@gbroxon:

As I said before, I'm not out to start an argument. I just thought the person who asked about it (Harley, I think) needed to know that it is indeed used successfully with Basenjis and shouldn't be dismissed out of hand. And also that a lot matters on the quality of the system and professional training is key. The systems you can get a PetSmart, Walmart, Cabela's, etc. are NOT quality systems.

I agree, as I have an underground fence. I have a Pet Safe Professional Pro Tx-1. It was professionally installed. We got it last year when Duke was 5 months old. This year Daisy got her collar when she was 5 months old. I don't know if the age of training has anything to do with keeping them within the boundry. We have been fortunate so far. Or maybe it's just that luck will have it and that every dog is different. I do not let the dogs outside without supervision either. We too have circumstances that prohibit actual fences. Our neighbors would have us tear down a privacy fence for sure. (Neighborhood Association Rule) We have a partially wooded 1/2 acre the dogs love hunting and running around in. Lots and lots of squirrel and rabbit. Duke & Daisy stop short of the boundry and do victory dances when they've bannished the varmints from their yard. 😃

I do agree GBroxon it seems that success with IF is really tied to the quality of training performed for the dog. A experienced 'fence' trainer will have much more success. I have had many, many clients be very happy with the Invisible Fence brand name.

I would certainly use IF in conjunction with a physical barrier, but I would be unlikely to use it alone, because of the fear of 'other' dogs coming into our yard, or cats, or coyotes. But if I had no other choice, I would absolutely use it, and just always ALWAYS supervise my B outside.

I do think that it is important for anyone considering the use of an IF system to be aware that there can also be behavioral consequences to the use of an IF system. Here is a link to one study, http://www.leaonline.com/doi/abs/10.1207/S15327604JAWS0304_6;jsessionid=nFup

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