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Basenji Confirmation

If you've ever visited a dog show, you may have wondered, just what is the judge looking for? The basenji, like every recognized AKC breed, has a written standard that describes the perfect basenji. Of course, no basenji is perfect (despite what their loving owners may think) so it is the judge's job to find the one that comes closest to the basenji described in the standard (on that day).

Basenji Confirmation Judging

If you've ever visited a dog show, you may have wondered, just what is the judge looking for? The basenji, like every recognized AKC breed, has a written standard that describes the perfect basenji. Of course, no basenji is perfect (despite what their loving owners may think) so it is the judge's job to find the one that comes closest to the basenji described in the standard (on that day).

                                                                                             (this is an 8 week old puppy)

1. The basenji should be square. Line 1 should be the same as Line 2.

2. Should appear high on leg. Line 10 should not be shorter than Line 9.

3. Hocks well let down. Line 4 should not be more than 1/2 the length of Line 3. (This pup's is rather long)

4. Balanced. Angle 8 should be the same as Angle 7. (this pup has more angulation in the rear)

5. Length of upper arm. The lower line of Angle 7 should be the same length (not shorter than) the upper line of Angle 7.

6. Moderate bend of stifle. Angle 11.

7. Short backed. Line 6 (last rib to point of pelvis) should be shorted than Line 5 (point of withers to last rib).

8. Length of muzzle. Line 12 should be shorter than Line 13.

9. The upper line of Angle 8 determines tail set and creates the 'shelf.'

10. Slight fore chest in front of point of shoulder. Point 14



Basenji Movement

1. Point of withers should be straight line to tip of toes.

2. Good rear extension.


Suggestions for Judging Procedures

1. Approach the Basenji from the front, never from the rear or side to examine on the table.

2. Basenjis are sensitve to human facial and body language so your facial expression when approaching the dog is important. Your expression should be friendly and confident as you evaluate and approach the dog. Staring at the dog or peering over one's glasses, for example, can make the dogs nervous.

3. You may find that the Basenji stands still for the table exam better if you check the bite at the completion of the table exam. When checking the dog's teeth and head, never cover the eyes. Many exhibitors and judges prefer the handler show the dog's bite.

4. Examine the dog with a stroke not a poke. Do not lift the skin exessively to check for skin texture. 

5. Do not uncurl the dog's tail even though it is tempting, as it can be painful for some dogs. Run your hand along the topline to feel the tail set under the tail or simply look at the tail set from the opposite side to the one the tail lies on.

6. Basenjis are one of those breeds that often lean into their stack so one needs to factor that in when avaluating actual angulation, topline, and proportions.

7. It is not important that the dog show ear set and wrinkles all the time. Expression can be evaluated best while the dog is comfortably on the ground.

8. The Basenji's expression can be obtained with a small sound, such as a churt or some rustling paper. Sometimes just putting your hand in your pocket will gain the attention of an experienced show Basenji.

9. If you want to double check something on the dog while it is on the floor, be sure the dog realizes that you are coming. Again your approach should be from the front with confidence and a friendly face.

10. The Basenji is an agile and alert hunting breed and is not meant to stand still for any length of time.