@tanza said in dreaming of a Basenji girl... (ILM):
@elbrant - I disagree about temperament... 50 years ago Basenjis had horrible temperaments to the extent that judges in the ring were afraid to touch them (still today some of them are still around). Breeders made it top of the list to breed good temperaments... Of course early socialization and continued socialization if a very strong factor, but DNA for temperament is in fact true.
I've heard this before on this board, but it certainly hasn't been my experience. I got my first Basenji way back in the late sixties, and she had the best temperament of any I've owned. If you read about Veronica Tudor Williams and the making of the movie, "Goodbye My Lady", it's interesting to note that at its premier in England (in the 1950's) two of her dogs made a personal appearance and acquitted themselves very well with all the fuss and crowds. Pretty much all of the Basenjis I met when looking for my second one in 1975 were friendly with both people and dogs, and I visited breeders as well as going to dog shows. My second Basenji was wonderful with people and male dogs, not so much the females! I could trust her with my young nieces even when they treated her badly. My show girl that I got nine years later wasn't as reliable, and was dog aggressive, although good with people. Anecdotal evidence, to be sure, but it seems to me that logically village dogs with bad temperaments would have ended up in the soup pot!
Breeding for "friendly" can have very interesting results, e.g. the Russian friendly fox experiment.
" "in only a few generations, the friendly foxes were showing changes in coat colour," says Hare.
The process seems to be ongoing. "At the more advanced steps of selection, changes in the parameters of the skeletal system began to arise," Trut wrote. "They included shortened legs, tail, snout, upper jaw, and widened skull."undefined
Which suggests breeding for one trait, in this case temperament, can result in physical changes. So perhaps breeding for "show ring pretty" could be causing unforeseen temperament changes? My prettiest Basenjis have had the most difficult temperaments, for what it's worth. The ones that look more like the early African imports have had the best. Food for thought?