• First time basenji owner here and I feel foolish for asking this question, but I haven't been able to find anything definitive. I was told that my puppy was mahogany but everything I have read about the breed says they are rare and almost no color pictures of them even exist, which leads to my question: what color is my basenji? Any help is appreciated.


  • Looks tricolour to me.

  • I do not believe it is a Tri, no pips.... no black as a tri is typically Black, Tan, White. I would say mahogany red.

  • @becki713 #1 Welcome. #2 Not a foolish question at all. #3 Not at all familiar with the color, but it is a fascinating pattern. I don't recall seeing it before.

  • @tanza
    I'd like a better picture, with better lighting, but it appears to have brown/chestnut in the right places. The part that should be black looks a bit washed out. There is no "mahogany" designation, or "cream" for that matter, but of course off colour is not a disqualification in the breed. I've seen reds of various shades, but usually relatively uniform, not with "eyebrows" and facial markings as this dog seems to have, which is why I opted for Tri. I did find this description " Basenjis with this colour pattern have a diluted black (called blue) blanket colour with cream accents. These tri-coloured dogs with the cream gene sprang from tri-coloured Basenjis with the cream gene, and they, too, started to fade as early breeders tried to eliminate the cream colour." on this site .

  • Thanks for the feedback. Attached is another picture, hopefully clearer.


  • @jengosmonkey - Typically this color will show up from the Af Imports... There is a breeder that produces what they call "Blue" basenjis... that is considered a diluted red, what is called a Mahgany Tri usually has black hairs mixed in, but really they are just a red/white. I am not a color expert, far from it and the genetics behind the color genes. Tri colors bred to a brindle that carried the Tri gene that is recessive can produce what is known as Black/Brindle/White or Trindle. Like a muddy Tri color. There is NO color DQ in the bred so all colors are acceptable. There is also what is known as Capped Tri where the "red" color takes over the head piece, different then the regular Tri color.

  • There have been a couple of USA breeders recently who have been trying to breed mahogany basenjis and although the colour is not mentioned in the Standard, they are AKC registering their dogs with that colour.

    If you obtained your pup from one of these breeders, it is probable that it could be registered mahogany.

    If you can message me privately, either on email or through the forum, with the name of the breeder and if possible the parents of your Basenji, I will look into it for you.

  • @becki713 - This picture is more in line with a capped tri the way that the rings around the eyes are red"ish"... Capped ones lose the "pips" and the entire head piece, eyes/forehead are one red color...

  • Well, whatever the colour, that is a cute pup! Actually nice to have something unusual.

  • @becki713 I LOVE the racoon circles around the eyes. Much visual personality. Cute puppy!

  • Armed with her registration number, I went to the AKC website just now. She and a sibling (sister) are registered as Mahogany Tan & White, as is a girl from a previous mating. All registered dogs from these two litters are now in the database and by this evening (my time) you will be able to suss out where the colour comes from. 'Tis as I thought. Certain breeders are known to have been trying for mahogany. @becki713 and I are in conversation - but I need to finish the Saturday health record input before I re-upload it all so you can see them.

  • @jengosmonkey
    Thanks so much, the look definitely matches the personality. We love her dearly and feel very blessed to have found her.

  • @eeeefarm
    Thanks so much! We love the uniqueness.

  • @becki713
    Cool looking basenj! Love the coloring and markings! Definitely a unique looking pup.

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