Do Basenjis Run Away? 5 reasons and Tips

Do Basenjis run away? Is Basenji’s recall good? As a Basenji owner and lover I can assure you that you are NOT alone in wondering.

You are in the right place in this article, we will help you get a better understanding of this issue so stick around!

The Basenji is well known for being aloof and will tend to pretty much do their own thing when you take them for a walk. What is the possibility of them running off though? Here is a short answer:

In short, Basenjis are classified as a hound and have a strong prey drive. They can easily get distracted and follow a scent or small animal. Unless they are very well trained, they will tend to have bad recall and may get lost. Microchipping them is a great way of keeping them in check.

Are Basenjis Obedient – Do They Have Good Recall?

Basenjis are not known for their obedience or recall. You can train them to be obedient, but it takes a lot of work and patience. And you’ll still have to face the fact that they’re natural escape artists who love to run away — sometimes for long periods of time.

Basenji Running Away

Basenjis are independent dogs, which means they don’t always follow commands the way you want them to. While they’re affectionate with their owners and can be very sweet, they’re also stubborn and sometimes a bit mischievous.

If you want a dog that will always do what you say, a Basenji is not the right breed for you. If you want an affectionate companion who will make you laugh at their antics (and who might need more training than other breeds), then this is the right breed!

Are Basenjis Escape Artists?

Many breeds of dogs have a reputation for running away, but Basenjis are truly escaping artists. They’re fast and agile, able to run at high speeds, jump over or dig under fences, and generally do whatever they want to break free of their enclosures.

brindle basenji up close
A close-up of a Brindle Basenji dog with his tongue out

This can be a problem when you want or need to keep them confined in your yard or home. The good news is there are many things you can do to keep your Basenji safe and secure.

Basenjis can be taught not to run away from the yard if they have a reliable place that they know they’re allowed to go to relieve themselves. This could be a dog door in the house, or a kennel outside that is bolted to the ground.

You should also use voice commands to tell them where their “potty area” is so that they don’t get confused and wander off somewhere else. They will learn this quickly if you consistently reinforce it every day with rewards like treats or praise!

In addition, you’ll want an outdoor fence made of sturdy material such as chain links or wood panels so that they can’t dig their way out from under it.

Are Basenjis Good Off-Leash?

Basenjis are an independent breed, and they’re not the kind of dog that you can easily train to stay in one place. If you’re looking for a breed of dog that is good off-leash, a Basenji is probably not for you.

However, if you have enough space and are willing to invest in training, it’s possible to work with a Basenji to give them more freedom while still keeping them safe. With enough exercise and training, they can become reliable off-leash.

Basenjis are excellent at hunting prey and will chase anything that runs away from them quickly. They may be a great running partner if they’re trained properly.

A Basenji being asked to wait during training
A Basenji being asked to wait during training. They respond to movements as well as verbal cues.

How Far Can a Basenji Run Before Getting Lost?

Surely it’s possible for a Basenji to get lost. However, the distance they can cover before this happens may be surprisingly far.

Basenjis are renowned for their intelligence and their ability to understand human cues. In fact, some Basenjis will come when called by name in a variety of different languages, including French and German.

This suggests that the same natural abilities that allow them to learn new words and respond to them could also allow them to find their way back home from farther distances than one might expect.

Other factors may also help them not get lost over long distances. They are very fast runners and can easily outpace humans they don’t want to be around, but they are also more likely than other breeds to run great distances alongside their owners when they choose to do so.

This companionship is likely part of what makes them such popular dogs among runners.

stunning tri color Basenji puppy
A stunning photograph of a tri color Basenji puppy

How Can I Track My Lost Dog?

We’re sure your Basenji is going to come back, but just in case, here are some steps you can take to help find him.

1. Search nearby yards and behind bushes, since Basenjis are known for being able to squeeze through holes that are up to one-third of their body height.

2. If you have any neighbors with small children, ask them if your dog has been bothering them—Basenjis love kids!

3. If you had a fence around your yard, check it for loose boards and other openings that your crafty dog might have been able to take advantage of.

4. Put up flyers in the local area with a good picture of your dog and a phone number where you can be reached.

basenji boxer mix
A rare mix is the Baseni X Boxer


In short, the natural inclination of a Basenji would be to run away due its high prey drive, independence, and curiosity.

If you are looking for a dog that can be an independent buddy and is not afraid to challenge you (and we mean that in the nicest sense of the word), then a Basenji is worth considering. If you want an obedient lap dog, then Basenjis are not your best choice. The end.