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posted in Basenji Health Issues & Questions read more


Thanks for that.. interesting that no one else in the Basenji Fancy is aware of this… ... sorry, but unless this is linked to the breed, I would wonder as the U of Mo that did all the Fanconi tested to get to the direct gene is the one that have been getting DNA samples from PRA dogs and/or offspring/families

Drs Acland and Aguirre have been collecting DNA samples from PRA dogs and their families since the 1980's. Everett and Karen Pashley did test breedings for them in the 1980's and 1990's, and Everett wrote many articles on it.

In the 1990's and 2000's, I worked with breeders with a variety of bloodlines to help put together related clusters. This effort included having the Drs A speak, arranging clinics for eye exams and and blood collection, and driving dogs up to Kennett Square, where Dr Acland also works. Dr Acland spoke at the 1996 National, and had a large and well attended eye clinic there where they took blood samples. We have had organized attendance at their other eye clinics, not just at Nationals, and they've taken DNA samples there. I wrote several articles for it and for a while we had a special PRA committee dedicated to raising funds and collecting samples. If you remember the Basenji PRA pins that Damara Bolte created, that was part of that effort.

In the late 90's or early 2000's, Betty White, Toni Ackerman, I think Carolyn Rollins, and I drove a large number of dogs - not our own dogs, but dogs related to specific dogs the researchers were interested in - up to PA. That trip was sort of a Basenji PRA express, with dogs collected from pet owners and breeders across a fairly wide area, picked up, driven to Kennett Square, examined and sampled, and then dropped back off.

Several breeders have been working with them steadily for many years. The Drs A have collected samples of any dog of interest.

I would guess they have the largest collection of Basenji PRA DNA samples in the world. Things have been quiet for a long while, but they certainly have the sample set to do impressive research.

Parenthetically, the doctor speaking at Nationals is Acland, not Aguirre.

posted in Basenji Health Issues & Questions read more


Since many do not report their CERF exams to OFA, there is no real way to know the % of Basenjis that may have PRA. There are certain bloodlines that we know carry the gene and have either had it themselves or produced it in offspring.

As breeders we think that it is (and hoping) it is recessive, but nothing has been proven yet…. and IMO, not enough people have their old dogs CERF'ed so we do not have good information

Couple of quick comments - for determining percentage of dogs affected, it doesn't matter if people report their CERF exams to OFA or CERF or not. There are other good reasons to do that, but statistics are not one of them. CERF statistical reports, which are what you would use to try to show the incidence, show the entire set of all dogs that received CERF exams, whether their owners sent in the forms to CERF or to OFA or not.

A wide range of bloodlines have either had PRA or produced it in their offspring - the focus on certain bloodlines is generally misleading. Unless breeders are routinely testing at an advanced age - and very few are - you really don't know what you do or do not have.

The biggest problem, when you look at the statistical reports - which again, are complete for all dogs receiving CERF exams - is that so few older dogs are getting CERF exams. The issue isn't incomplete reports, since CERF tallies every single CERF exam from the practitioner forms, not the forms the owner sends in. The issue is an extremely small sample set that may or may not be representative.

posted in Breeder Talk read more

This is a lightly edited version of my original 2005 BBR post. It's copyright Lisa Corell Auerbach, 2005 and has been used in some of my other copyrighted materials - used here with permission. Main change is I added a comment and redacted some people and kennel names as I haven't had a chance to ask if it's ok to use them here, and I don't like to surprise people. If you're on the BBR list, the unredacted post is in the archives circa 2005.

"A while back, I did a pedigree analysis of sample domestic Basenjis, with an eye to including samples from "relatively unrelated" lines. I was interested in finding out why "full" COI's are so high for this breed. For example, the COI on my Pete - who had no ancestors doubled in the first 3 generations - was over .3, which is greater than breeding a sire to his daughter. I found extremely high COI's on a signficant percentage of Basenjis I looked at, which piqued my interest in looking at Basenji pedigree structure.

The dogs I reviewed included successful sires and Honor Roll Stud Dogs (including Ch. JuJu's Pistol Pete, Ch. Kazor's Deerstalker, Ch. Akuaba's Tornado, Ch. Reveille Boutonniere, Ch. Berimo's Roustabout, etc.), Datar, and dogs from two domestic lines frequently identified as having been kept fairly distinct for a long time.

About half were dogs I'd used or that had a connection to my dogs, the rest were dogs I thought would be relatively unrelated.

The results of this sample were as follows:

1. There were basically eight significant founders - Bongo, Zig, Bereke, Kindu, Kasenyi, and to a lesser degree, Fula, Bokoto, and Wau.

Percentages of Bongo ranged from 24.11% to 16.136%.

Percentages of Zig ranged from 21.793% to 15.36%.

Percentages of Bereke ranged from 18.654% to 12.504%

Percentages of Kindu ranged from 13.88% to 5.943%

Percentages of Kasenyi ranged from 13.863% to 5.827%

Percentages of Fula ranged from 15.234% to 0.322%

Percentages of Bokoto ranged from 7.681% to 5.156%

Percentages of Wau ranged from 9.195% to 2.393%

No other foundation dog contributed as much as 2% to any dog I analyzed.

Of the foundation dogs with less than two percent contribution, three founders, Bungwa (1.328%-1.922%), Bakuma (0.43%-1.93%), and Bashele (0.681%-0.909%),
contributed between 0.43% to 1.93% of ancestry. Kiki of Cryon contributed 0% to 4 dogs reviewed, and 0.020% to 0.415% to the rest. Mbinza contributed 0% to five
dogs reviewed, and 0.096% to 0.232% to the rest.

No other foundation ancestor was identified that contributed as much as one tenth of one percent by ancestry to any of the dogs reviewed.

Conclusion - the US Basenji gene pool has approximately eight significant foundation

Virtually all of Kindu and Kasenyi's descent comes through a single individual, Kingolo - percent descent ranging from 10.825% to 25.199%. Whether to argue that there are 7 founders (and use Kingolo instead of Kindu and Kasenyi), I leave up to you.

2. Domestic Basenjis also have significant bottlenecks other than original ancestors. The first appears to have occurred in which "of the Congo" (OTC) dogs bred on the most. Some samples -

Percentages of Kinga of the Congo ranged from 29.063% to 43.635%

Percentages of Piccolo of the Congo ranged from 12.481% to 15.613%

Percentages of Orange Fizz of the Congo ranged from 13.673% to 20.303%

Percentages of Brown Trout of the Congo ranged from 15.515% to 23.002%

And so on. I did eleven OTC dogs, that ranged from about 6% to over 43% of total ancestry of modern dogs.

Conclusion - Basenjis in the US show a second significant genetic bottleneck through important OTC dogs. [Additional comment – this appears to be related to the WWII bottleneck – see VTW’s “Coincidences” article reprinted in The Basenji recently.]

3. American dogs have a third significant bottleneck in the 1960's and 1970's. For American dogs, which excludes Datar, with the exception of the two kennels picked specifically because they had avoided popular sires of that era, percentages were as follows:

Percentages of Ch. Reveille Recruit ranged from 13.28% to 27.539%

Percentages of Ch. Reveille Re-Up ranged from 12.988% to 22.656%

Percentages of Ch. Khajah's Gay Flambeau of Ed-Jo ranged from 11.67% to 26.172%

Conclusion - Basenjis in the US had a third significant genetic bottleneck in the 1960's and 1970's.

posted in Breeder Talk read more


I totally agree with Pat (again I'm butting in - can't help myself, sorry but after all this forum brings us together whichever country we live in and I'm just as concerned about the situation wherever it occurs).

If one dog from an area where others have been accepted is considered not worthy of approval how can the others be approved (after all they could even be from the same parents).

Sharron I do hope no one is referring to the gorgeous Miss Wheat - if so I hope you're covering her ears! As you know, I'm one of her many fans.

It depends on what you mean by not worthy of approval. If you mean "clearly a part Beagle", that's one thing.

If you mean a cream or a saddle or a sable, or a Fanconi carrier, or with a loopy tail, or an off bite or with a longer back - the original founding dogs came from populations with those issues, as was discussed in great detail by the writings of various breeders over the years. Our "pre 1990 domestics" have exactly those issues today. Our domestics don't meet that standard.

A lot of this discussion, to me, appears to have a point - I just don't know what that point is. Some people here are basically saying that "we have enough founders, why add more" and genuinely not understanding. Some people appear to me to have issues about specific dogs that they don't want to post publicly. Some people are saying things that are VERY not accurate.

My viewpoint. I came from a big extended family that bred and breeds animals (dogs, horses, cattle, sheep, etc) and especially Arabian horses. I don't claim to be an expert horse breeder - I'm not - but I've been visiting stud farms since I was about 5, and reading Arabian horse pedigrees and reading the writings of people like Bazy Tankersley and later Michael Bowling since I was 11.

Arabians are also a land race breed. Purity is a huge issue with Arabian breeders. There are distinct bloodlines. A lot of people in and linebreed and some are passionate advocates of such. So there are some points in common.

Bottom line is, with Arabians, you see a fairly good number of different bloodline groups, and it's not rare to have people stay within their own bloodlines. The bloodline groups are preserved, in part, explicitly for the reason of diversity. Whether it's Davenport, Crabbet, CMK (which is a larger group that includes Davenport and Crabbet), Babson Egyptian, Straight Egyptian, Blue Star, Blue List, Pure Polish, Spanish, Russian (a blended group) - you name it. You don't just have options - even at this date, you have actual outcrosses available to you, with little recorded pedigree in common.

In Arabians, those outcrosses come from different bloodline groups that go back to different known founders. You get overlap (particularly via Crabbet, which has some infuence in most bloodline groups) and the various Ali and Abbas Pasha influences - but you have many, many different founders - and many of those are represented in one group but not in another.

And a founder, BTW, when used to refer to a domestic breed, is the animal where the known pedigree stops. Founders are not expected to be unrelated - the term means they have no recorded pedigree in common. It's not the same thing. All individuals of a breed, including a land race breed, are expected to have some degree of relatedness. That's why they are a breed.

Arabian horses have about 100 existing unique tail female dam lines where the pedigree ends. Not just 100 unique female ancestors - there are many, many times that represented in the middle of the pedigrees - but 100 distinct tail female lines where the female line of descent is unbroken, mother to daughter.

I have a 33 year old mare (last horse I have) that is mostly Kellogg - the K in CMK. I'm pretty sure this one elderly horse, with a pedigree mostly from one bloodline group that is a subset of a larger group, has more unique founding ancestors in her pedigree than the entire Basenji breed has in its stud book. I need to re-register for Arabian Horse Datasource, but I may play with her pedigree later this week.

Several years ago, in playing around with pedigree software, I did % contribution reports for Basenjis. I started with dogs I owned, then tried popular sires, then dogs whose owners had publicly identified themselves as working with older lines that do not have a lot of popular sires.

With Basenjis, what it boiled down to was - for every pedigree that I ran that did not include new imports, over 90% of descent came from a handful of ancestors. Eight, to be exact. The range of % influence by ancestor varied, but not all that much.

Without the new Afs, we don't have an out.

In Arabians, I can (and people in my family and their friends did, and some still do) inbreed to Skowronek, and further inbreed on his inbred son *Raffles, to hearts content - and know we have an outcross available when needed.

In Basenjis, without the Afs, we don't have that luxury.

I'll repost here my 2005 note to BBR.

posted in Breeder Talk read more


I agree, NOT ALL PRIMITIVE DOGS ARE BASENJIS! And I agree that you look at the population, however that population should be all the dogs from that area, not just the couple that are being submitted. So if you bring back 6 dogs, submit two, the other 4 should be looked at/reviewed as part of the dogs from that particular population

It's not really black and white, though.

If you bring back 6 dogs from three different areas, and submit two from one of the three areas, I'm not sure the other 4 from different areas are particularly relevant, either as an argument for or against, even if you picked them up on the same rather long trip.

And the population in that area does not consist solely of the dogs you bring back, even if all 6 you brought back were from the same small area - the dogs you brought back are not the source population.

I think we need to carefully think through adding layers of bureaucracy - from personal observation, that does not necessarily help when what you're dealing with is not cookie cutter.

Informal or unstructured does not necessarily equate with ineffective - in complex or varying situations, responding to the particulars can help you gather better data and make better decisions.

posted in Breeder Talk read more


And so are you saying that they should be bred? I have seen that also in domestic Basenjis, but that doesn't mean they should ever be bred… and to me that means we should not be accepting dogs into the stud books that are clearly not to the standard (and not talking about color) and particularly without clear knowledge of were they come from and how remote the area. And yes, I believe there should be test breedings before these dogs are accepted into the stud books. The offspring of these test breedings should be part of the evaluation process.

I personally do not think that land race dogs can be expected to be of show type, although you may in rare cases get individuals that are potentially finishable. Land race individuals are expected to be more variable in type than a show-bred population. That's why advice on evaluating inclusion indicates that you look at the population, not just one individual.

Show faults known to have been present in the parent populations of the original founders (pre WWII) are not a reason to exclude dogs. Producing faults known to have been produced by the original founders (pre WWII) are not reasons to exclude dogs. Faults, to me, are not the same thing as being clearly "off type."

To me, in addition to evaluating known history and location, what you should be looking for is overall type of the group - the "center of gravity", as it were. Not "is this a show quality Basenji", but "is this population consistent with the type of dogs that we consider to be Basenjis?"

A dog can be authentically primitive, verified by DNA, and not be of Basenji type. Not all primitive dogs are Basenjis.

But even our earliest Basenji founders included dogs that produced too big, too long, too much white, creams, capped, saddles, etc - so we need to be extremely careful about distinguishing between "not having had 45 generations of selection for the ring" and "not really part of our target population."

posted in Breeder Talk read more


For Clay and whomever else has Sponenberg's Managing Breeds for a Secure Future on their wish list, I checked and it is not currently available through them since it is out of print. But it looks like you can get a copy from the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy at


Katy Scott

I looked and I found it on Amazon - ALBC is printing this themselves and it's a small press - it's available via LuLu Press - at

and also at ALBC at

Cost is 22.95.


posted in Breeder Talk read more


They were not moved to the African Stock pages. The Other Import section is how it has always been.

The Other Import section was added in 2008 or 2009 following a member complaint. Prior to that, dogs in the stud book and dogs not in the stud book were in the "Import by Year of Import" listing.

Linda or James could give you a more detailed report, but they were told to do it at that time following complaints.

posted in Breeder Talk read more


Prior to ever submitting any of my dogs for evaluation in 2009, Mopaya was introduced at the Cincinnati Specialty in 2007 and I gave a presentation about her native provenance with lots of slides of the population and an open Q&A. I gave an expanded presentation with lots more slides, maps, and details when I introduced Amisi at the Nationals in 2008 where lots of people met him during my presentation and throughout the Nationals. Again, with an open Q&A. I published articles and pictures about everything related to the Lukuru dogs for the membership to review PRIOR to asking for anyone to vote on them. I had well established breeders come to my home and see my whole pack … again prior to submitting them for consideration.

I do think the importers as a group have been similarly open - the Avongara group, the one I am most familiar with, from the very beginning had videos that are available to anyone, provided extensive photographs, had a number of very very experienced people from several countries go on the trips, made presentations at Nationals, wrote many articles which are available at the BCOA website with more coming as the online archives come online, put tons of info out on the web, had the dogs at shows and performance events, and had people over to see them at all ages - and this was before new dogs were voted on.

posted in Breeder Talk read more


When this project was originally undertaken and a Native Stock page put up there were pictures and information submitted by people with native imports. There were pics of the new Avongara imports, the Lukuru, the Avuvis, and the Jengis. It didn't matter if they were being submitted for the stud book they had each group posted and welcomed information on all individuals and had maps of where each group came from. Once the formal process for acceptance was approved all this information came down off the website and now the only thing posted there are dogs up for consideration.

I think that's going on now on the African Stock page, under "Other Imports." There was a member request in 2008 or 2009 that expressed concern that dogs not yet registered as Basenjis might be confused with dogs that had been admitted. Moving things around may have been part of the response to that.

The Avuvis are on the "Other Imports" page under the African Stock Project, and any unregistered import, is eligible for listing there, if their owner submits their information. So there is a relatively open place for that sort of information.

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