Basenjis losing original red color

  • I bred and showed Basenjis back in the 60's and 70's. I was a small breeder, only one or two litters a year, but I had a couple of home-bred Champions. I still check out the breeders and show people and their dogs, and I have noticed a change over the years. The "red" dogs now mostly have some black hairs on their muzzles and tails. I believe this has come about only since the brindles have been, after I was out of breeding. Breeding tri-colors and black-and-whites didn't seem to make a change, but gradually the original clear reddish-orange has been clouded by some black hairs here and there. I am concerned that if some breeders don't keep some bloodlines free of brindles, that original beautiful color may be lost. Don't get me wrong, I think brindles are beautiful dogs, but some bloodlines need to be kept free of them. I have seen the same thing happen with Pomeranians. Their original "orange" was clear of black hairs, but since they started breeding sable into their lines, there are very few clear orange Poms. I ran into the same thing while breeding canaries; when breeding blue and whites with yellows, over time the original "green", the base color of yellows changed to brown. I love Basenjis, and I'd hate to see the clear reds disappear. This may also happen in other breeds, but these are the ones I'm most familiar with. Just a thought, in case the subject has not been discussed and considered.


  • While you might have a point, I disagree. I know many pure red lines that not only do not have that red coat you refer to but also it is a very thick coat. This did not come from Brindles. Also black masking on red Basenjis is more the cause than a bleed from Brindles. The black masking is in a number of bloodlines and was around way before the Brindles showed up. Most believe this is coming from Tri's. Black in the tail is also usually from being Tri factored. And I don't say this because I have or breed Brindles, because I don't. I just don't believe the this color is the cause. I think we have a number of lines that produce that rich red color.

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