Will Basenji Run Away?

Having a dog that tends to run away can be a problem. This type of behaviour must be treated in time to prevent our pet from suffering an incident.

The first thing you should know is that no dog runs away because it wants to. There is always a cause or external agent that triggers this behaviour.

No matter how attached your canine is to you, it will still tend to escape according to certain circumstances. It is possible that all breeds of dogs exhibit this behaviour, but some tend to do it more frequently. That is the case with the Basenjis.

First, we must know a little about this breed. The Basenjis are recognized as an ancient breed that was born in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and is characterized by being affectionate with their loved ones but distant from strangers, children, and other pets.

These dogs are very active and energetic; they love to play and can be destructive if you don’t provide them with enough mental and physical stimulation.

Running away is one of the common behaviours in this breed of dog.

Will Basenjis Run Away?

The Basenjis are known as escape artists. These dogs have a tendency to stay away from their owners and home if they get the chance.

They need to live inside a house with the necessary security measures so that they do not escape, as well as install a fence in the garden or backyard.

A Basenji may feel the need to chase other smaller animals either at home, in a neighbour’s house, or the park. That is because these dogs have a hunting instinct that they have developed from their origins.

In addition, these dogs get bored easily and quickly, so they would feel the need to run to seek entertainment, either by playing or simply running.

Basenjis are independent dogs, and despite suffering from separation anxiety, it can be easier for them to get away from their humans for a few hours than other breeds that also suffer from this disorder. Therefore, it is essential to train it and take adequate security measures at home.

Why Does My Basenji Run Away?

In the beginning, we said that Basenjis don’t run away because they want to. There are certain reasons why these dogs may exhibit this type of behaviour:


All dogs, including Basenjis, can feel fear in an unknown situation. These canines can feel nervous and stressed when they are exposed to loud noises:

  • Electrical storms
  • Fireworks
  • Police sirens
  • Gunshots

Also, your Basenji may be afraid of you if you are someone who tends to mistreat it. Dogs have feelings and can feel sad when they are constantly physically and verbally mistreated, especially by their owners, who are the people they love the most in this world.

These situations will progressively cause the Basenji to fear, and it will try to run away because of it.


Basenjis tend to get bored easily. They are very playful dogs that have a high level of energy that must be used throughout the day.

They love and need lots of physical activity and play with their owners outdoors. Suppose you do not provide your Basenji with enough entertainment either through exercises, games, or training.

In that case, it will run away in order to find a place where such activities are provided.


All dogs love to eat, and the Basenji is no exception. These canines might walk away from you while you’re walking through the park because they smell a delicious aroma coming from a food stall.

Similarly, if this dog’s owner does not provide it with a good quality of life, including not feeding it well, it will try to run away from home to find food.


Some Basenjis can be more emotionally independent than others. Although these dogs can spend a few hours alone at home, they can suffer from separation anxiety when that time is too long.

Basenjis can generally be left home alone for around 4-5 hours a day, although that time can increase to 8 hours if they have been trained properly.

Whatever the case, your pet could start to suffer from separation anxiety in these situations, and that will lead to inappropriate behaviours such as running away from home. Why? They will try to run away so they can look for you since they miss you.

Recommendations to Prevent My Basenji from Running Away

  • Provide obedience training. That way, you will be able to make your Basenji obey you and come back to you every time it tries to walk away.
  • Make sure you meet your pet’s physical needs; otherwise, it could develop destructive behaviours. Basenjis need a lot of daily exercise, so you should physically stimulate them through activities such as walks to the park, games, etc.
  • Take into account the necessary security measures to make your home a safe place for your pet. As we have already said, Basenjis are known as escape artists and are very clever at locating any escape route.
  • If none of these recommendations have worked for you, then you can opt for a more practical option. Buy a GPS so you can easily locate your Basenji wherever it is.

Can I Make This Situation Worse?

Unfortunately yes. Previously we have shown you some tips that you can follow to prevent your Basenji from running away.

However, there are certain actions that could make the situation worse and make your pet want to get away from you and your home as soon as possible.


Many people have little patience, and because of that, they end up verbally and physically punishing their Basenjis for their bad behaviour.

In this case, it is not good for our dog to tend to run away, and it is a behaviour that we should correct, but we must never resort to physical or verbal violence to achieve that.

Your pet will not understand the reason why you are punishing it. Therefore, there will be no positive effect. Punishing your Basenji can generate the opposite effect. That is, you will be motivating it to run away.

Physical Aggression

We have already explained this a bit as one of the causes that make our Basenji want to run away is related to the previous point.

There are some Basenji owners who beat their pets for displaying inappropriate behaviour. Obviously, doing this is a mistake since it will only achieve the opposite effect.

Dogs are sensitive creatures that can act on their feelings, just like humans. They are not capable of knowing what is right and what is wrong unless they are properly trained.

If they are physically abused, it is normal that they want to escape from you. Keep in mind that these animals are intelligent and use their past experiences to learn. For example, if a person constantly hits his Basenji, it will try to run away every time he gets close.

We must never physically attack any animal. On the contrary, we must always resort to intelligent methods so that they learn to behave appropriately. Training them and using positive reinforcement is best.

Lack of Freedom

Basenjis are free-spirited dogs that love to run and play outdoors. They have a high level of physical activity and want to exercise every day to stay fit and happy.

Unfortunately, not all owners please their pets, and the main reason for this is because they usually work all day and don’t have time to dedicate to it. That inevitably means that they leave their pets locked up at home all day.

Obviously, this is a terrible thing for Basenjis as they are dogs that get bored and develop unwanted behaviours, including running away.

You should always allow your Basenji to exercise for at least an hour in your garden or backyard. You just have to make sure you have a fence high enough for it to run away.


Basenji dogs are animals that feel the need to run away for certain reasons that we have already mentioned throughout the article.

It is true that they are independent canines, but they will still need attention and love often. Caring for an animal of this type, like any other pet, is a huge responsibility.

If your Basenji is happy, it will never want to leave your house or you.

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