Can Basenjis Be Off-Leash?

Dogs are the most acquired and loved pets by many families worldwide due to the loyalty, love, and mental and physical benefits they offer. We know that there are many dog breeds around the world, and each one presents different characteristics, including size, physical appearance, ability, habit, etc. 

Dogs love to play, walk, run, jump, swim and exercise. They love to do each of these activities freely without being tied to a leash. 

One of the most interesting and rare breeds that we can find is the Basenji. This canine is characterized by being small and athletic. It is an intelligent, curious, independent, alert, and loving dog, especially with its owners and members of its human family.

These animals can be more distant towards children, strangers, and other animals, so it will not be a good family dog if it is not properly trained. 

Basenjis were used as hunting and working dogs by the ancient Egyptians. That’s one of the reasons why it has a predisposition to chase animals and things. Although it may get along with certain dogs, it is essential to provide socialization training. 

This breed of dog loves to do any type of physical activity freely, that is, without a leash. However, it is not advisable to leave any dog off-leash as it could be dangerous. If you want to do that, you will need to train it properly to behave well and obey you every time you call it. However, this is not an easy thing to achieve in Basenjis. 

Can Basenjis Be Off-Leash? 

Basenjis tend to be independent and aloof with strange people and other animals. It is possible that this canine exhibits inappropriate behavior in the presence of them. We have to remember that Basenjis have a predisposition to hunting, so it is not recommended that they live with other small animals since unfortunate events could occur. 

For that reason, it is important not only socialization training but also obedience training in these canines. We need animals of this type to behave appropriately and be under the total control of their owners’ voice. That is especially important when we take them out for a walk. 

If we take our dog for a walk on a leash, there will not be many problems since we will have control over it. However, most dogs love to run free, so they will want to go off-leash.

That can be dangerous in many ways as your Basenji will want to chase everything that moves due to its hunting instinct. That includes animals, people, and even cars, which is dangerous as an accident could occur. 

Basenjis have “selective hearing.” That means they will obey certain orders and ignore others. That is an aspect that must be trained since a dog that does not follow our orders can be in danger if we leave it off-leash in unsafe areas. 

Risks We Have to Consider with Basenjis

If you want to walk your dog off the leash without previously having trained, then you have to know that you are endangering its life and that of the people around it.  

It is also essential to consider that there are certain countries that have dog leash laws in order to avoid unfortunate incidents. If you live in one of these countries, you most likely will not be able to walk your dog without a leash. Otherwise, you will receive fines. 

Training is a fundamental part so that our dog can go out without a leash since we can order it to come to us whenever we want. However, one of the peculiarities of Basenjis is that they have selective hearing. Not all dogs are the same.

Some may learn and respect the orders of their masters, but there are others who can be easily distracted. Therefore, although training is essential, it does not 100% prevent our dog from being in danger in any particular situation. 

Many dogs, including Basenjis, are carried away by their instincts. As we know, these canines tend to chase smaller animals, cars, or anything that moves. 

Similarly, we have to take into account the personality of our Basenji. Maybe our dog is scared by certain things such as loud noises, lights, etc. If any of these factors occurs while we are walking our canine off-leash, it will surely run away in fear, putting its life in danger. 

Basenji Off-Leash Training 

As we have said before, there is no training that guarantees 100% of our canine’s safety. However, we can reduce the chances of a dangerous situation occurring. 

Obedience training is essential in these situations as it will allow us to train our Basenji to follow our orders without problem. The first thing we have to do is teach it some basic commands: 

  • Heel. 
  • Come. 
  • Stay. 
  • Leave it. 
  • Drop it. 
  • Look or Watch me. 
  • Go to (a place). 

A practical and effective method to ensure that our dog can walk off-leash, avoiding any dangerous situation is: 

Basenji Recall Method 

This method consists of making your Basenji come to you when you call it. You can start by playing hide and seek with your canine inside the house. It is recommended that your pet obey the “stay” command since we need it to remain static in one place while you hide. 

Your Basenji needs to recognize the “come” command as well. That’s because once you’ve hidden, you need to make it look for you by saying the order “come” loudly and cheerfully. If it does, reward it with a treat and praise it. That way, your dog will realize that what it is doing is okay. 

After practicing this for several days with your dog, you have to increase the difficulty by taking it to play in the garden. This time it will be a bit more difficult as there will be many more distractions. 

At this point, you can walk your canine while practicing with it. While you are walking, say the command “come” each time it moves away from you. You can increase the difficulty by allowing your Basenji to be further away.