What does it mean to add genes?


I totally agree with Pat (again I'm butting in - can't help myself, sorry but after all this forum brings us together whichever country we live in and I'm just as concerned about the situation wherever it occurs).

If one dog from an area where others have been accepted is considered not worthy of approval how can the others be approved (after all they could even be from the same parents).

Sharron I do hope no one is referring to the gorgeous Miss Wheat - if so I hope you're covering her ears! As you know, I'm one of her many fans.

It depends on what you mean by not worthy of approval. If you mean "clearly a part Beagle", that's one thing.

If you mean a cream or a saddle or a sable, or a Fanconi carrier, or with a loopy tail, or an off bite or with a longer back - the original founding dogs came from populations with those issues, as was discussed in great detail by the writings of various breeders over the years. Our "pre 1990 domestics" have exactly those issues today. Our domestics don't meet that standard.

A lot of this discussion, to me, appears to have a point - I just don't know what that point is. Some people here are basically saying that "we have enough founders, why add more" and genuinely not understanding. Some people appear to me to have issues about specific dogs that they don't want to post publicly. Some people are saying things that are VERY not accurate.

My viewpoint. I came from a big extended family that bred and breeds animals (dogs, horses, cattle, sheep, etc) and especially Arabian horses. I don't claim to be an expert horse breeder - I'm not - but I've been visiting stud farms since I was about 5, and reading Arabian horse pedigrees and reading the writings of people like Bazy Tankersley and later Michael Bowling since I was 11.

Arabians are also a land race breed. Purity is a huge issue with Arabian breeders. There are distinct bloodlines. A lot of people in and linebreed and some are passionate advocates of such. So there are some points in common.

Bottom line is, with Arabians, you see a fairly good number of different bloodline groups, and it's not rare to have people stay within their own bloodlines. The bloodline groups are preserved, in part, explicitly for the reason of diversity. Whether it's Davenport, Crabbet, CMK (which is a larger group that includes Davenport and Crabbet), Babson Egyptian, Straight Egyptian, Blue Star, Blue List, Pure Polish, Spanish, Russian (a blended group) - you name it. You don't just have options - even at this date, you have actual outcrosses available to you, with little recorded pedigree in common.

In Arabians, those outcrosses come from different bloodline groups that go back to different known founders. You get overlap (particularly via Crabbet, which has some infuence in most bloodline groups) and the various Ali and Abbas Pasha influences - but you have many, many different founders - and many of those are represented in one group but not in another.

And a founder, BTW, when used to refer to a domestic breed, is the animal where the known pedigree stops. Founders are not expected to be unrelated - the term means they have no recorded pedigree in common. It's not the same thing. All individuals of a breed, including a land race breed, are expected to have some degree of relatedness. That's why they are a breed.

Arabian horses have about 100 existing unique tail female dam lines where the pedigree ends. Not just 100 unique female ancestors - there are many, many times that represented in the middle of the pedigrees - but 100 distinct tail female lines where the female line of descent is unbroken, mother to daughter.

I have a 33 year old mare (last horse I have) that is mostly Kellogg - the K in CMK. I'm pretty sure this one elderly horse, with a pedigree mostly from one bloodline group that is a subset of a larger group, has more unique founding ancestors in her pedigree than the entire Basenji breed has in its stud book. I need to re-register for Arabian Horse Datasource, but I may play with her pedigree later this week.

Several years ago, in playing around with pedigree software, I did % contribution reports for Basenjis. I started with dogs I owned, then tried popular sires, then dogs whose owners had publicly identified themselves as working with older lines that do not have a lot of popular sires.

With Basenjis, what it boiled down to was - for every pedigree that I ran that did not include new imports, over 90% of descent came from a handful of ancestors. Eight, to be exact. The range of % influence by ancestor varied, but not all that much.

Without the new Afs, we don't have an out.

In Arabians, I can (and people in my family and their friends did, and some still do) inbreed to Skowronek, and further inbreed on his inbred son *Raffles, to hearts content - and know we have an outcross available when needed.

In Basenjis, without the Afs, we don't have that luxury.

I'll repost here my 2005 note to BBR.

This is a lightly edited version of my original 2005 BBR post. It's copyright Lisa Corell Auerbach, 2005 and has been used in some of my other copyrighted materials - used here with permission. Main change is I added a comment and redacted some people and kennel names as I haven't had a chance to ask if it's ok to use them here, and I don't like to surprise people. If you're on the BBR list, the unredacted post is in the archives circa 2005.

"A while back, I did a pedigree analysis of sample domestic Basenjis, with an eye to including samples from "relatively unrelated" lines. I was interested in finding out why "full" COI's are so high for this breed. For example, the COI on my Pete - who had no ancestors doubled in the first 3 generations - was over .3, which is greater than breeding a sire to his daughter. I found extremely high COI's on a signficant percentage of Basenjis I looked at, which piqued my interest in looking at Basenji pedigree structure.

The dogs I reviewed included successful sires and Honor Roll Stud Dogs (including Ch. JuJu's Pistol Pete, Ch. Kazor's Deerstalker, Ch. Akuaba's Tornado, Ch. Reveille Boutonniere, Ch. Berimo's Roustabout, etc.), Datar, and dogs from two domestic lines frequently identified as having been kept fairly distinct for a long time.

About half were dogs I'd used or that had a connection to my dogs, the rest were dogs I thought would be relatively unrelated.

The results of this sample were as follows:

1. There were basically eight significant founders - Bongo, Zig, Bereke, Kindu, Kasenyi, and to a lesser degree, Fula, Bokoto, and Wau.

Percentages of Bongo ranged from 24.11% to 16.136%.

Percentages of Zig ranged from 21.793% to 15.36%.

Percentages of Bereke ranged from 18.654% to 12.504%

Percentages of Kindu ranged from 13.88% to 5.943%

Percentages of Kasenyi ranged from 13.863% to 5.827%

Percentages of Fula ranged from 15.234% to 0.322%

Percentages of Bokoto ranged from 7.681% to 5.156%

Percentages of Wau ranged from 9.195% to 2.393%

No other foundation dog contributed as much as 2% to any dog I analyzed.

Of the foundation dogs with less than two percent contribution, three founders, Bungwa (1.328%-1.922%), Bakuma (0.43%-1.93%), and Bashele (0.681%-0.909%),
contributed between 0.43% to 1.93% of ancestry. Kiki of Cryon contributed 0% to 4 dogs reviewed, and 0.020% to 0.415% to the rest. Mbinza contributed 0% to five
dogs reviewed, and 0.096% to 0.232% to the rest.

No other foundation ancestor was identified that contributed as much as one tenth of one percent by ancestry to any of the dogs reviewed.

Conclusion - the US Basenji gene pool has approximately eight significant foundation

Virtually all of Kindu and Kasenyi's descent comes through a single individual, Kingolo - percent descent ranging from 10.825% to 25.199%. Whether to argue that there are 7 founders (and use Kingolo instead of Kindu and Kasenyi), I leave up to you.

2. Domestic Basenjis also have significant bottlenecks other than original ancestors. The first appears to have occurred in which "of the Congo" (OTC) dogs bred on the most. Some samples -

Percentages of Kinga of the Congo ranged from 29.063% to 43.635%

Percentages of Piccolo of the Congo ranged from 12.481% to 15.613%

Percentages of Orange Fizz of the Congo ranged from 13.673% to 20.303%

Percentages of Brown Trout of the Congo ranged from 15.515% to 23.002%

And so on. I did eleven OTC dogs, that ranged from about 6% to over 43% of total ancestry of modern dogs.

Conclusion - Basenjis in the US show a second significant genetic bottleneck through important OTC dogs. [Additional comment – this appears to be related to the WWII bottleneck – see VTW’s “Coincidences” article reprinted in The Basenji recently.]

3. American dogs have a third significant bottleneck in the 1960's and 1970's. For American dogs, which excludes Datar, with the exception of the two kennels picked specifically because they had avoided popular sires of that era, percentages were as follows:

Percentages of Ch. Reveille Recruit ranged from 13.28% to 27.539%

Percentages of Ch. Reveille Re-Up ranged from 12.988% to 22.656%

Percentages of Ch. Khajah's Gay Flambeau of Ed-Jo ranged from 11.67% to 26.172%

Conclusion - Basenjis in the US had a third significant genetic bottleneck in the 1960's and 1970's.

Itzyu, reading this, we really need the new genes we can get to help our breed.


Itzyu, reading this, we really need the new genes we can get to help our breed.

However, are we adding "genes" for the sake of adding "genes"? Or are we really bring in new "Basenji Stock"? Accepting dogs for the sake of adding dogs to the gene pool without regard to where they come from, what others in the area look like, not taking into account the geographic region, IMO is just the wrong way to approach it.

The point of the discusion from my perspective is demonstrating the actual benefits we are trying to achieve by introducing "new genes" and identifying what success looks like in the end to the breed as a whole. If the goal at the end is to increase diversity within the breed, how do we accomplish that on the larger scale versus just the local scale so that it is more meaningful?

Increasing diversity of the breed is a lofty goal but if there is not a shared vision (or big picture) on how to get there there then the liklihood of success is much lower. This is particularly the case since individual breeders make decisions on what they breed (some may be working together as previously mentioned). It doesn't help much if we work to introduce more diversity/variabilty into the breed and then end up breeding it back to cookie cutter dogs again. And it also doesn't help if the membership as a whole does not agree on what appropriate variability within breed type is. That is the repeated message I am hearing in these conversations around how people may be viewing Native Stock through the lens of a "show quality" test.

There may be educational components that are needed so that the same "mistakes" are not repeated and everyone is on the same page with what is trying to be accomplished. The clock is ticking and we can't go back to the Congo indefinitely.

IMO, I believe that it is a preception that many think that these dogs are being viewed as "show quality" and that is not the case. At least it is not with me. Just because I show dogs, doesn't mean that I can't see the value of many of the imports and what they have to offer the breed. Note again that I co-own a 1/2 Af with lvoss that I believe has much to offer the breed. That said however, I do want to see Basenji Type, not just dogs that have some Basenji Characteristics. And I would like to know the geographic area were they come from and what the majority of dogs from that area look like. How remote is it? How easy is it to have outside influence to the k-9 population?

No - I meant dogs which are clearly not Basenji - I'm well aware of the so called faults that the UK 'originals' possessed so I definitely don't mean that!.

Bryan Gregory is here under Jumoke. He was one of the ones who when over a year ago. He can answer for the area.

I would just like to say a HUGE thank you to everyone who has contributed to this thread, in particular JoT and Itzyu, with their incredible knowledge of the breed, the N.S. etc, etc.

For someone who is new to the breed, this is, IMHO the most informative thread Ive read, since Ive joined, by a country mile :)… 'Stuck' in Australia, we dont have the luxury of having access to these N.S. dogs, so to be part of this forum, and to be able to learn more than whats available on the Internet etc, is absolutely mind blowing. I can only hope this thread can continue forever :D...


'Stuck' in Australia, we dont have the luxury of having access to these N.S. dogs…..."

A 100% Avongara bitch was exported by Bev Bland into Australia not to long ago- the first; she recently had the first half African litter born down under as well. Long time Australian breeder Bev Reid, breeder/owner of the first Tracking Champion basenji in Australia and we believe the world, recently went to Africa with Jon and Mike, et al. If I am not mistaken one of the native pups brought back will make it's way to her (and to Australia) once it goes through the necessary steps, then quarantine. There have also been a few low (~1/4) percent blends exported to Australia as well.

I do agree to the kudos to all contributors, especially LisaCA (Itzyu); her posts in particular seemed to balance out the discussion. Thanks too, for her sharing her copyrighted material on the COI's within the original founders, gives this reader at least, food for thought, if not a more accurate picture of where we are and where we might need to go as a breed.

Thank you to Linda for putting me in contact with the lovely owners of this girl… Im really looking forward to learning more about her etc, etc :)...

Dr Jo and the others, i wanna translate and repost on the Basenji Mexico group, with the link to these original post.. i hope dont mind?
Not the whole theread of course.. just some parts when Dr Jo explains the native stock…

Maca, you need to wait for anyone you are translating to reply before you translate their posts (though I can't imagine anyone minding). OR you can give the general idea and have them come here.

@lvoss So I am rereading this thread and the light went on. So simply I don't even know why I kept missing it.
If you are breeding for traits, you do loose genes. or at least those being expressed. Sometimes I need to stop thinking and let things be actually understood.

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