They had proper, if you like, old fashioned, Basenji heads (and apart from that, also true Basenji gait !) and I finally figured it out. . . .
Humans had had fewer generations to muck about with the natives brought back from Africa and so they retained much of what now we are losing.
Unfortunately once you start breeding to remove certain traits and accentuate others, you often end up losing something desirable or introducing unforeseen problems. Anyone who has dabbled in computer programming knows that a little seemingly innocuous tweak can cause unexpected results, and it is the same when you mess with genetics. The Russian Fox experiments are an extreme example. Breeding for better temperaments caused physical changes in the foxes.
There are valid reasons why sheepdog people did not want Border Collies to be recognized for show by the AKC and CKC. These dogs were always bred for performance, not pretty. You can lose a lot by emphasizing what the judges will put up in the show ring.