The Basenji University

205 History of Obedience

Kinte Cloth

Obedience enthusiasts can thank Mrs. Helen Whitehouse Walker for developing a series of exercises to prove her standard Poodles had more to offer than their distinctive bouffant hairdos. In October 1933, under her direction, the first AKC Obedience Test was offered, the second test was held June 1934 and AKC Obedience took a permanent hold.Attention at Heel - Photo: Steve Bull

Obedience emphasizes accuracy and military like precision with the dogs sole attention on its handler; not exactly strong suits of our independent breed. This does not mean basenjis can not do well, they can and do; in fact there is nothing more satisfying then entering an obedience ring with a nice working basenji and hear the hum of surprised spectators watching you work as a team; then again there is nothing quite as humbling as stepping in with the same nice working basenji, only to have it lose its brain for a moment and zoom around the ring as though it were a lure coursing event. Such is obedience life with a basenji.

Charles L. "Bud" Kramer (who developed the National Committee for Dog Agility which later merged with UKC - see Agility timeline) turned what used to be obedience warm-up practices (also known as doodling) into the latest performance craze, Rally obedience (also known as Rally or Rally-O). Rally became an official AKC titling event January 1, 2005.

While obedience requires an exhibitor to rigidly follow the judges verbal instructions, in Rally an exhibitor navigates a course at their own pace consisting of up to 20 stations that give instructions on what to do. Unlike more formal obedience the emphasis in Rally is less on accuracy and precision and more on having a realistic relationship with our dogs during a performance event and beyond.

  Basenji Title Firsts

Titles are explained in the section Scoring and Titles.

Obedience AKC:

Phemister's BarrieCD – Phemister’s Barrie, 1942* owned and handled by Al Phemister           Photo to the right >

CDX – Phemister’s Barrie, 1944 owned and handled by Al Phemister

Baronfield's Cyclone

UD – Ch. Baronfield’s Cyclone, 1969 owned and handled by Vernon T. Cash     <  Photo to the left

UDX – Sukari's Akuaba the Hustler, 1995 owned and handled by Margot Fusci     Photo under UKC below

Aljor's Back to Sonbar

UDX 2– Aljor's Back to Sonbar, AKC UDX2, CGC, CANADIAN CDX, TDIEVA    Photo to the right >

* The basenji was not yet eligible for AKC registration but could be shown in Obedience trials and earn titles.


Obedience UKC:

Merits By Jove


CD – UUD, CH Reveille Wassail, CDX, TD, LCM and UCDX Maurine's Romeo (aka Barika's 'Ere's To Sundance, UD, CGC)

< Romeo Photo Left - Wassail Photo Right >

UUD – UUD, CH Reveille Wassail, CDX, TD, LCM, 1988

Both owned and trained by Maurine, Terry and Sandi Atkinson


Sukari's Akuaba The Hustler


UOCH – Sukari's Akuaba the Hustler, 1996 owned and handled by Margot Fusci         Photo right >




Rally AKC:

Apu Liottle Red Lentil - Photo: Mary Bloom



RN – Apu Little Red Lentil, 2005 owned and handled by Susan Marsicano      < Photo left>


Lacada's Con Man K's Kaper


RA – Lacada's Con Man K's Kaper, 2005 owned and handled by Belinda Kaufman       Photo right >

RE – Lacada's Con Man K's Kaper, 2005 owned and handled by Belinda Kaufman

RAE – Lacada's Con Man K's Kaper, 2006 owned and handled by Belinda Kaufman

Ph'nx and Ford

AKC Rally Champions finished titles on November 6th, 2021 – AM CH RATCH MACH2 RACH Sinbaje's Thyme2Rise CDX PCDX BN RM3 RAE2 SC MXG MJC NAP NJP NFP SWN NW3 NAC TG-O TN-N WV-N and mHIT TDCH FC RACH ELT-CH Sinbaje's Africans Continue2inspire CDX BN RM2 RAE2 SC MX MXJ MJB CA DCAT SWM SHDN TKP RATN <Photo left>


Rally UKC:

Itzyu Figaro TD




URO1 – Itzyu Figaro, 2013 owned and handled by Sandi Atkinson. Figaro went on to obtain many other titles.<Photo left>

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