The Basenji University

204 The Standard

Kinte Cloth

The Standard Dissected


     All breed standards endeavor to divide up the various parts of the dog to explain each in detail and to describe the whole that makes up the unique breed. When studying the individual pieces of a dog, one must keep in mind that the connection between all the parts and their relationship to the functions of the animal are what make up the whole dog.  

     The Basenji Standard is meant to describe an ideal Basenji.  Nature doesn't fully cooperate with dog breeders so each dog has its good and not so good features.  It is the job of the judges and breeders to make decisions about the overall quality of each dog.  It is an essential aspect of a successful breeder to select those dogs for breeding that compliment each other in their best points and improve each other in their lesser features.  The more a breeder understands the Standard and the more unbiased their view of dogs' virtues and weaknesses, the closer the breeder will come to producing ideal Basenjis.

     Peter Luyten, all-breed Australian judge, wrote: There are small fundamental differences between how a judge accesses an entry at a show, as opposed to how an expert breeder will derive from the same entry his choice for use in his kennel. A judge looks at his exhibits and knows that as many points as possible should conform to the standard, and therein lies your winner.  The breeder seeks to uncover the stud dog or brood bitch that in their mind’s eye will improve the next generation.”
     (Classic Terriers in “DOGS Victoria” August 2012)

     The Standard Dissected goes through the Standard sentence by sentence discussing what it all means.  Click on the links to the right to learn more.

Note: This presentation is intended as an aid to Basenji breeders. It in no way constitutes a change to the official Basenji Standard as adopted by the Basenji Club of America in 1990.

The photos illustrating this study still belong to those who have allowed them to be used. Some photos are borrowed from the 1983 AKC Slide Show on the breed. The remainder come from the files of the authors and additionally from: Veronica Tudor-Williams (from Basenjis: The Barkless Dogs 1954), Bryan and Laurie Gregory, George Woodard, Jolene Krohn, Julie and Kathy Jones, Erika Heilmann, Jane Johnson, Michael Jameson and Patrick Allison, Sue Kite, Sally and Kari Wuornos, Debbie Hauri, Andrew Sawler, Joe and Cathy Tomey, John Forbes, Jennifer and Shelby Millers, Debra Blake, Linda Siekert, Katy Scott, Valerie Cortez, Stella Sapios, Barbara Naddy, Lisa Voss, Jean Martin, Kim Noyes, Alicja Nowak, Kim Byrd, Kylie Delacourt, Terray Boomir, Rick Christensen, Lynn Jackson, Joe and Lisa Stewart, Liz Crusberg, Sarah Smith-Falkner, Dolores Brigham, Chris Maxka, Michael Work, Cheryl Myers-Egerton, Kathy Britton, Pat Cembura, Tari Parish, Simone Gaudet, Claire Wisch, Mirka Miklišová, Millissa Fox, John Gaidos, Helena Strombert, Katie Campbell and Susan Kamen-Marsicano.  The skeleton representation was prepared by Jon Coe. George Woodard prepared the video of the trotting Basenji.  Thank you to Kay Eldred and Laurie Gregory for their reviews and suggestions.


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