• Interesting article about research on the breed.


  • Interesting article. Thanks for sharing.👍


  • Came to post the same thing. 😁


  • Here’s another interesting article - it’s on the Genome of the Basenji. link text
    Queen Victoria and Prince Albert owned a basenji named Niger in 1843. link text


  • Now we're talking scientific data! Thanks for these links!


  • @kembe
    1843 would be a much earlier date for Basenji "out of Africa" sighting, no? 😮

    And quite pudgy that "African dog brought back from the Niger expedition" !


  • @helle-devi said in Article on Basenjis:

    And quite pudgy that "African dog brought back from the Niger expedition" !

    Pudgy? Ha ha ha! Do NOT confuse fat with muscle. The more recent imports have longer bodies and less curled tails, but are more muscular, more athletic, and are a lot tougher than the "domestic" Basenjis. Not as "pretty", they are far closer to the "real thing" and to the original imports than what we see today. Put the two groups together on a lure course and one group will be 10X more likely to qualify.

    The imports also dominate agility. I think a 3/4 African dog bred by Cindy Griswold in Texas-- Zuri -- is the only Basenji which has managed a Mach 4 rating in the history of AKC Agility (might be wrong on that but I'm reasonably confident this is accurate). And when you look at a list of the top agility Basenjis, the imports are vastly over-represented. This could, by the way, be because the people who are drawn more to function than form are more interested in sports than showing. But they are definitely faster, stronger, and more athletic. Also larger.


  • @donc - I don't think that is a true statement, Import are tougher then the domestics. There are many that have lots of titles on their Basenjis (domestics)... and there are many that are field champions same as imports. Yes Cindy's Basenji was great at agility, but she is a wonderful trainer.

    As far as "not as pretty", true... they are long backed and tail set is low which accounts for the less curly. But "pudgy" indicates that they (either domestics or imports) are not in shape... regardless, a well conditioned Basenji will have a certain underline, light framed over the rib cage (meaning that when they move you can see the outline of the ribs. Basenjis can be heavy boned or light boned... many times a Basenji with a longer back/loin is lighted boned...


  • @tanza said in Article on Basenjis:

    @donc - I don't think that is a true statement, Import are tougher then the domestics. There are many that have lots of titles on their Basenjis (domestics)... and there are many that are field champions same as imports. Yes Cindy's Basenji was great at agility, but she is a wonderful trainer.

    As far as "not as pretty", true... they are long backed and tail set is low which accounts for the less curly.

    The numbers are telling. I'm not sure what percentage of Basenjis are imports. 2%? 5%? And imports definitely don't make up only that percentage of top agility dogs. Looking at the power ratings for Basenjis for 2020, you'll see the imports: https://baddogagility.com/basenji-ranking-by-powerscore-for-2020-through-q1/ (FYI Cindy Griswold bred Zuri but didn't train or handle him).

    The two differences you've mentioned demonstrate the anatomical advantages of the imports. The longer back means the coil before the spring will be stronger, which means the stride will be longer, which means more distance for each stride, which means more distance in the same time. The lower set (and really straighter) tail means the tail can more easily curl under, which adds speed, or to the side, which lets the tail be more easily used as a counterweight when turning.

    Of course other things come into play but these are the advantages of a dog bred "for function" in Africa rather than "for ornament" in developed countries.


  • @donc - If you are saying that a Basenji is "for ornament" and not for function, then you need to do more research. My Basenjis are all dual champions, conformation and performance. As they say, form follows function... and in the end it depends on what the owners/breeders are breeding for and what they want to do with their Basenjis.... you can't just judge all Basenjis (including imports). My Maggii from the 90's was totally domestic bred, she was long in the back, she finished in the show ring because she had outstanding movement. She was also a field champion, however her interest was for real game, not the plastic bags...LOL


  • @tanza said in Article on Basenjis:

    @donc - If you are saying that a Basenji is "for ornament" and not for function, then you need to do more research. My Basenjis are all dual champions, conformation and performance. As they say, form follows function... and in the end it depends on what the owners/breeders are breeding for and what they want to do with their Basenjis.... you can't just judge all Basenjis (including imports). My Maggii from the 90's was totally domestic bred, she was long in the back, she finished in the show ring because she had outstanding movement. She was also a field champion, however her interest was for real game, not the plastic bags...LOL

    There are a couple of facts which aren't arguable. One is that Basenjis generally bred in the US don't look like the Basenjis in Africa. Two is that Basenjis throughout Africa look more like each other than they look like US bred Basenjis.

    Since Africa is a huge continent this tells us that Basenjis in Africa share physical traits which have functional value. And to the extent that Basenjis in the US don't share those physical traits this tells us that these traits are there for non-functional reasons. Additionally, given that the differences you've identified -- longer backs, lower tail sets, less curled tails -- are known to provide a functional advantage, it's clear that the Basenjis bred in the US have different physical traits for non-functional, e.g. ornamental, reasons.

    Of course there is nothing wrong with breeding for ornament. Many dog breeds are bred for exactly that purpose. However, if this is what you want to do then you should own it and not pretend otherwise.

    My objection to the comment about the dog from Africa being "pudgy" -- which if you looked at the picture is quite inaccurate -- is that it assumes the ornamental is superior to the functional. Or put another way, that the "fake" Basenji looks more like a Basenji than a "real" Basenji from Africa. Which of course is a bit silly.


  • @donc - In my opinion after the original imports and some a few years later, I would not consider them Basenjis.... but that is my opinion... Again, we breed for form follows function according to the standard. Not sure exactly what you mean by "ornamental"... as the breeding done in the US and in other countries follow the standard from the first Basenji imported in the 40's.


  • @tanza said in Article on Basenjis:

    as the breeding done in the US and in other countries follow the standard from the first Basenji imported in the 40's.

    I sometimes wish it did ! In some places, Basenjis have become 'little brown dogs' and have lost all their original traits which made them Basenjis. And explains to a large extent why I have surprised myself when judging, and placed brindles highly. BIS BOB etc. They have been in 'civilisation' for a shorter time and humans have had fewer generations to muck about with them - as a result they moved truer to a Basenji gait and their heads were 'way about more Basenji-like.

    If only people WOULD breed to the Standard and not try to improve them with longer forefaces, narrower skulls, less wrinkle and a hackney pony gait (to mention just a few areas where humans have 'improved' on them over the generations.)


  • @donc said in Article on Basenjis:

    Of course there is nothing wrong with breeding for ornament. Many dog breeds are bred for exactly that purpose.

    I would say "most" these days. So many breeds have essentially lost their original purpose, although some individuals seem to have retained the traits of their breed more than others. This is exactly why Sheepdog associations fought so hard to try to keep Border Collies out of the breed ring!

    If you think about it, from square one Basenjis were selected for "pretty". Most imports would have been chosen for what the eye sees, not for performance as a hunting dog, which would be unknown to a short term visitor. And I am sure the owners of the village dogs would be more than happy to part with a pretty but less talented dog instead of their best hunter.

    It's good that Basenjis, along with other breeds, compete in contests outside the breed ring, such as lure coursing, but very few people hunt with them anymore, and that is where you would see the abilities they were bred to use. And whether they have lost them.

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