The Basenji Club of America African Stock Project

Project Library

Toward Importing African Basenjis

by Alice Bair

    After the importation of Wau of the Congo to England, with the advent of his descendants on the American and Canadian show scene, the columns of the dog magazines were filled with the praise of breeders for the new line. How many breeders since then have dreamed of going to Africa and bringing back their very own Basenji or Basenjis to start a new line? It is not impossible. Over the years, new Basenjis have been coming from Africa to America in a steady trickle, mostly unheralded by the fancy. People who go to Africa, including Peace Corps volunteers, anthropologists, employees of American corporations, missionaries, and those who travel to explore or adventure, simply bring back the dogs they have acquired as pets.
  Many modern-day fanciers have not studied the history of registered Basenjis enough to know how small the pool of dogs from which they derive. The number of African-imported foundation dogs registered by the AKC was four: Kindu, Kasenyi, Phemister's Bois, believed to have been the English African import Bakuma of Blean who was called Bois by the Rogers, and Phemister's Congo. Importations by Gwendolyn Stanich in the 1960's introduced little fresh African blood - less than one quarter of the pedigrees of the dogs finally registered by the AKC. Also, Dr. Leon Standifer brought Kiki of Cryon from Liberia and bred her to the AKC registered Gunns Ramses. Two of their grandchildren sired by Khajah's Black Fula Challenge went to England and now have distant descendants here.
  The remainder of our present bloodlines derives from nine (9) African imports to England who have descendants among the present-day registered stock plus whatever new blood was introduced by the Sadler-Ford "Taysenji" dogs. Over the years, American breeders have been extremely dependent upon England. It is time we struck out for ourselves, and with the fresh winds blowing at the AKC, now may the time to expend some efforts toward doing so. America now has real depth of experienced breeders, and already some of them have begun acquiring and working with new African dogs. There is everything to be said for selection of dogs in Africa by experienced Basenji people. We know some of the things we have to look for in temperament in order for the dogs to survive in American homes. We have a consistent idea of the soundness and type wanted in imported dogs. And we have a moment in time when travel in Africa is diplomatically, physically and financially possible.
  A seminar will be held after the Greater Chicagoland Basenji Club Specialty on September 26, 1987 where interested fanciers can explore some possibilities....


Reprinted from
The Basenji
Volume XXIII Number 9 September 1987 p. 6
Copyright © 1987 The Basenji, All Rights Reserved
Used with permission.