AKC Realignment of the Hound Group

The AKC is thinking about re-aligning the hound group and splitting sight and scent hounds. In their letter to the BCOA they state:

"We do not believe that the Basenji can be strictly classified as a sighthound or a scenthound, and question whether it belongs in a hound group at all. If the Hound Group is divided should the breed be included as either one of these or should it be included in the new Companion Group?"

If you're a voting member of the BCOA, make sure to take the survey here:

http://www.basenji.org/nationalspecialty/Announ6_24_08_HoundGroupAlign.htm

They bring up an interesting point, though. The Basenji is really both a sight and a scent hound. So if a Basenji were presented with equally significant sight and scent stimulii in opposite directions, which would they go for? Which do you think is their strongest drive?

In any case they are definitely a hound! My guess is that they would go after the sight stimulus. I wonder if we could work out an experiment that would prove the point for good!

If the choice is between a scent and sight, then IMO a Basenji is a sighthound… which is how I voted....

As noted, you have to be a Basenji Club of America member

That's…very strange. Not a hound? Have you SEEN a basenji chase "the bunny"?

@mauigirl:

That's…very strange. Not a hound? Have you SEEN a basenji chase "the bunny"?

Well, really if you have been to lure trials (granted they are chasing a plastic bag)… there are many dogs that will run the lure... out here we have someone with a french bulldog... and he runs the lure... quite funny to watch too....

But in the end... it is the inbred "chase" that hounds have, regardless of scent or sight... it is something they are born with.. and it is what makes "hounds" not so trainable.. IMO... same with Terriers.. they were bred to do something.. and that in built into their brains.. it is not something that human's teact them... like a working dog

Quite true, didn't think of that.
I would love to watch a bulldog course! The image in my head is really funny.

And I just got to experience the inbred chase first hand when a squirrel crossed our path on a walk. Zip starts crying, like "How COULD you do this to me, he's RIGHT THERE". And Riley runs circles around me. Oh my.

Geez, first Pluto's no longer considered a planet and now Basenjis aren't going to be hounds anymore.

The terrorists have won. 🙂

"Companion Dog" seems like a really weak alternative…they ARE hounds, regardless of sight or scent, for reasons already mentioned.

They are also working dogs, at least that's how they are in Africa. They are NOT genetically companion dogs, and they will never be bred to just sit idly by and be just a silly old companion.

@mauigirl:

Quite true, didn't think of that.
I would love to watch a bulldog course! The image in my head is really funny.
.

Robyn, you should post a picture of Gizmo coursing. Not a bulldog by any stretch of the imagination but it put a smile on my face. (Gizmo is a Chinese Crested who I guess thought he was a basenji.)

Pat

@torchsong:

Geez, first Pluto's no longer considered a planet and now Basenjis aren't going to be hounds anymore.

The terrorists have won. 🙂

"Companion Dog" seems like a really weak alternative…they ARE hounds, regardless of sight or scent, for reasons already mentioned.

HAHAHAHAHA.

@tanza:

If the choice is between a scent and sight, then IMO a Basenji is a sighthound… which is how I voted....

As noted, you have to be a Basenji Club of America member

I got the email and I voted sighthound as well. God I hope the change to the grouping of the basenji from a hound to a companion doesn't happen 😞 :mad:.

I was walking both Ruby and Brando last night and they clearly saw some animal in the woods that I couldn't see…they were going crazy. Then the whole way back they were tracking something. My brother said, "hey kids, you're not supposed to do that...you're just companion dogs :D". They are such hounds!

Here in Europe (FCI) there are ten groups in which dogs are divided. The Basenji is placed in Group 5: Spitz and primitive types.
There is also a group for sighthounds (group 10) and scenthounds (group 6).

Just because they know the best/softest spot in the house does not make them non-sighthounds.

@agilebasenji:

Just because they know the best/softest spot in the house does not make them non-sighthounds.

Of course.. they "sighted" the softest spot/best spot and they are there!!!

@tanza:

Of course.. they "sighted" the softest spot/best spot and they are there!!!

Perfect!:D 😃

I have always felt basenjis were equally sight and scent hounds, but in my personal experience I would say the sight hound is more dominant. EL D will spot a squirrel at 100 yards and take off but will walk over something smelly and then come back to cast for it, sometimes too widely. And for sure the hunter instinct is way dominant over the companion part.
They won't win Westminster Best of Show in the companion group anyway (when was the last time a basenji won best of group at Westminster). Yes I know I'm cynical about that.

With Dallas I notice the scent hound more dominant than the sight. Dallas is always sniffing EVERYTHING! When we go on walks in the woods he follows scents through the trails. I don't notice him spotting something in the woods as often as he is sniffing after something. Not saying he doesn't watch things or see things far off that I cannot see, but for some reason with him I just think his scent is dominant over sight.

However, as long as they stay in the hound group I will be happy! 🙂

How the heck can they put Basenjis into "Companion". Is this going to take hte place of the Non-Sporting Group? It is an insult to the breed to place it with dogs like dalmatian and others that are good for practically nothing.

The AKC headquarters is a few miles from here, maybe I should start a protest! 😉

I do kind of like the Spitz and primitive breeds category.

After looking at the existing hound page on the AKC's website, (http://www.akc.org/breeds/hound_group.cfm), it's easy to see which other breeds the Basenji belongs with. The build of a Basenji is very similar to the Ibizan Hound and the Pharoah Hound - which will probably both end up on the sight hound group. I just can't see them in the scent hound group with the Basset Hound or Beagle!

In the hound description, the AKC says: "Most hounds share the common ancestral trait of being used for hunting. Some use acute scenting powers to follow a trail. Others demonstrate a phenomenal gift of stamina as they relentlessly run down quarry." I can definitely see the Basenji fitting into the first and last of this criteria. Hopefully after getting all of the feedback that they have, they'll keep B's right where they belong - in the sighthound group!

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