Fédération Cynologique Internationale

The Kennel Club

United Kennel Club

Basenji

Basenji

Basenji


ORIGIN

:
FCI
Central African Region.

PATRONAGE

:
FCI
Great Britain.

PUBLISHED

:
FCI
25.11.1999.
KC
September 1999

UTILISATION

:
FCI
Hunting dog, companion.

CLASSIFICATION

:
FCI
Group 5Spitz and primitive types
Section 6Primitive type
Without working trial

KC
Hound
UKC
Sighthound/Pariah

BRIEF HISTORICAL SUMMARY

:
UKC
The Basenji is a small, short-haired hunting dog that originated in the Zaire region of Africa. They are also often referred to as the "Congo Dog". The breed stems from the very earliest pariah-type dogs, being used as hunting dogs as long ago as 3600 B.C. The breed has maintained its original form for centuries, and was "rediscovered" in the Congo around 1936, when a few specimens of the breed were imported to England. The Basenji was recognized by the United Kennel Club in 1948.

GENERAL APPEARANCE

:
FCI
Lightly built, finely boned aristocratic looking animal, high on legs compared with its length, always poised, alert and intelligent. Wrinkled head, with pricked ears, proudly carried on a well arched neck. Deep brisket runs up into a definite waist, tail tightly curled presenting a picture of a well balanced dog of gazelle-like grace.
KC
Lightly built, finely boned aristocratic-looking animal, high on leg compared with its length, always poised, alert and intelligent. Wrinkled head, with pricked ears, proudly carried on a well arched neck. Deep brisket runs up into a definite waist, tail tightly curled presenting a picture of a well balanced dog of gazelle-like grace.
UKC
The Basenji is a lightly built, short-backed dog, appearing high on the leg in comparison to its length. It has a wrinkled head that is carried proudly upon a well-arched neck. The tail is set high and is curled. The dog conveys an elegant and graceful appearance; its whole demeanor is one of poise and inquiring alertness. Its balanced structure and smooth musculature enable it to move with ease and agility. Its wrinkled forehead, tightly curled tail and swift, effortless gait (which resembles a racehorse trotting at full speed), are breed typical. The breed is exceptionally clean.

IMPORTANT PROPORTIONS

:
FCI
Distance from top of head to stop slightly more than from stop to tip of nose.
KC
Barkless but not mute, its own special noise a mixture of a chortle and a yodel. Remarkable for its cleanliness in every way.

BEHAVIOUR / TEMPERAMENT

:
FCI
Barkless but not mute, its own special noise a mixture of a chortle and a yodel. Remarkable for its cleanliness in every way. An intelligent, independent, but affectionate and alert breed. Can be aloof with strangers.
KC
An intelligent, independent, but affectionate and alert breed. Can be aloof with strangers.
UKC
The Basenji is a hound, equipped with sharp eyesight and a remarkable scenting ability, which hunts by using both sight and scent. This breed should not bark, but it is not mute. It does growl and yodel. The Basenji is alert, intelligent and independent; affectionate to its "family". The breed is characteristically aloof with strangers and protective of its territory. It is not well-suited for structured obedience work.

HEAD

:
FCI
Fine and profuse wrinkles appearing on forehead when ears pricked; side wrinkles desirable but not exaggerated into dewlap; wrinkles more noticeable in puppies, but because of lack of shadowing, not as noticeable in tricolours.
KC
Flat, well-chiselled and medium width, tapering towards nose, with slight stop. Distance from top of head to stop slightly more than from stop to tip of nose. Side lines of skull taper gradually towards mouth, giving a clean-cheeked appearance. Fine and profuse wrinkles appearing on forehead when ears pricked, side wrinkles desirable but not exaggerated into dewlap. Wrinkles more noticeable in puppies, but because of lack of shadowing, not as noticeable in tricolours; black nose desirable.
UKC
The head is carried proudly.

CRANIAL REGION

:

Skull

:
FCI
Flat, well-chiselled and medium width, tapering towards the nose. Side lines of skull taper gradually towards mouth, giving a clean-cheeked appearance.
UKC
The skull is flat, well-chiseled, and of medium width; and tapers toward the eyes. There is a slight stop. Fine, profuse wrinkles, a breed characteristic, appear on the forehead when the ears are erect. Side wrinkles are desirable, but are not exaggerated into a dewlap. The wrinkles are most noticeable in puppies. Because of the lack of shadowing in blacks, tricolors and brindles, the wrinkles are less noticeable.

Stop

:
FCI
Slight.

FACIAL REGION

:

Nose

:
FCI
Black nose desirable.
UKC
A black nose is greatly desired.

Muzzle

:
KC
Jaws strong, with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaws.
UKC
The foreface tapers from the eye to the muzzle. The muzzle is shorter than the skull, with rounded cushions.

Jaws/Teeth

:
FCI
Jaws strong with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. the upper teeth closely overlapping the lower teeth and set square in the jaws.
UKC
A full complement of strong, white, even teeth meet in a scissors bite.

Eyes

:
FCI
Dark, almond-shaped; obliquely set, far-seeing and rather inscrutable in expression.
KC
Dark, almond-shaped, obliquely set, far-seeing and rather inscrutable in expression.
UKC
The eyes are dark in color. They are almond-shaped, obliquely set and far-seeing, with a rather inscrutable expression. The eye rims are dark.

Ears

:
FCI
Small, pointed, erect and slightly hooded, of fine texture, set well forward on top of head, tip of ear nearer centre of skull than outside base.
KC
Small, pointed, erect and slightly hooded, of fine texture, set well forward on top of head, tip of ear nearer centre of skull than outside base.
UKC
The ears are small, erect, of fine texture and slightly hooded. They are set well forward on top of the head.

NECK

:
FCI
Strong and of good length, without thickness, well crested and slightly full at base of throat with a graceful curve accentuating crest. Well set into shoulders giving head a « lofty » carriage.
KC
Strong and of good length, without thickness, well crested and slightly full at base of throat with a graceful curve accentuating crest. Well set into shoulders giving head a ‘lofty’ carriage.
UKC
The well-crested neck is of good length, is slightly full at the base of the throat and is well set into the shoulders, giving the head a high carriage.

BODY

:
FCI
Balanced.
KC
Balanced with short, level back. Ribs well sprung, deep and oval. Loin short-coupled, deep brisket running up into definite waist.
UKC
The body is square and short coupled. The back is short and level. The oval ribs are well sprung, and reach down to the elbows. The chest is deep and the underline runs up into a definite waist.

Back

:
FCI
Short, level.

Loin

:
FCI
Short-coupled.

Chest

:
FCI
Deep brisket. Ribs well sprung, deep and oval.

Underline and belly

:
FCI
Running up into a definite waist.

TAIL

:
FCI
High set, with posterior curve of buttock extending beyond root of tail giving a reachy appearance to hindquarters. Curls tightly over spine and lies closely to thigh with a single or double curl.
KC
High set, with posterior curve of buttock extending beyond root of tail giving a reachy appearance to hindquarters. Curls tightly over spine and lies closely to thigh with a single or double curl.
UKC
The tail is set high on the topline. It bends acutely forward and lies, well-curled (in a single or double curl), over to either side, close to the thigh.

LIMBS

:

FOREQUARTERS

:
FCI
Forelegs straight with fine bone. Legs in a straight line to ground giving a medium front.
KC
Shoulders well laid back, muscular, not loaded. Elbows tucked in against brisket. When viewed from front, elbows in line with ribs and legs should continue in a straight line to ground giving a medium front. Forelegs straight with fine bone and very long forearms. Pasterns good length, straight and flexible.
UKC
The shoulders are well laid back, the shoulder blade and upper arm being of approximately equal length. They are muscular, but not loaded. The elbows are tucked firmly against the brisket.

Shoulder

:
FCI
Well laid back, muscular, not loaded.

Elbow

:
FCI
Tucked in against brisket. When viewed from front, elbows in line with ribs.

FORELEGS

:
UKC
Legs are straight, with clean, fine bone. The forearm is long, with well-defined sinews. The strong, flexible pasterns are of good length.

Forearm

:
FCI
Very long.

Pastern

:
FCI
Good length, straight and flexible.

FEET

:
KC
Small, narrow and compact, with deep pads, well arched toes and short nails.
UKC
The small, oval, compact feet have thick pads and well-arched toes. Dewclaws are usually removed.

Forefeet

:
FCI
Small, narrow and compact, with deep pads, well arched toes and short nails.

Hind feet

:
FCI
See Forefeet.

HINDQUARTERS

:
FCI
Strong and muscular.
KC
Strong and muscular, hocks well let down, turned neither in nor out, with long second thighs and moderately bent stifles.
UKC
The strong and muscular hindquarters are of medium width.

Stifle

:
FCI
Moderately bent.

HIND LEGS

:
UKC
The hocks are well let down and turned neither in nor out. The second thighs are long and the stifles are moderately bent.

Lower thigh

:
FCI
Long.

Hock

:
FCI
Well let down, turned neither in nor out.

GAIT / MOVEMENT

:
FCI
Legs carried straight forward with a swift, long, tireless, swinging stride.
KC
Legs carried straight forward with a swift, long, tireless, swinging stride.
UKC
The breed exhibits a swift, tireless trot, during which the topline remains level. The stride is long, smooth and effortless. Coming and going, the straight column of bones from the shoulder joint to foot, and from the hip joint to the pad, remains unbroken. As speed increases, the dogs single track.

SKIN

:
FCI
Very pliant.

COAT

:

HAIR

:
FCI
Short, sleek and close, very fine.
KC
Short, sleek and close, very fine. Skin very pliant.
UKC
The coat is short and fine. The skin is very pliant.

COLOUR

:
FCI
Pure black and white; red and white; black and tan, and white with melon pips and tan markings on muzzle and cheeks; black; tan and white; brindle red background with black stripes, the more clearly defined the stripes the better. The white should be on the feet, chest and tail tip. White legs, blaze and white collar optional.
KC
Pure black and white; red and white; black, tan and white with tan melon pips and mask; black; tan and white. Brindle, red background with black stripes, the more clearly defined the stripes the better. The white should be on feet, chest and tail tips. White legs, blaze and white collar optional.
UKC
Color and markings should be rich, clear and well-defined, with a distinct line of demarcation between the black and red of tricolors and the stripes of brindles. Acceptable colors include: chestnut red; pure black; tricolor (pure black, chestnut red and white); and brindle (black stripes on a background of chestnut red); all with white feet, chest and tail tip. White legs, blaze and collar are optional.

SIZE

:
KC
Ideal height: dogs: 43 cms (17 ins) at withers; bitches: 40 cms (16 ins) at withers. Ideal weight: dogs: 11 kgs (24 lbs); bitches: 91/2 kgs (21 lbs).
UKC
Ideal height for males is 17 inches. Ideal height for females is 16 inches. The breed is lightly built, considering the height to weight ratio. Approximate weights are: males, 24 pounds; females, 21 pounds.

Height at withers

:
FCI
Ideal height dogs 43 cm (17 ins) at withers, bitches 40 cm (16 ins) at withers.

Weight

:
FCI
Ideal weight dogs 11 kg (24 lbs), bitches 9 1/2 kg (21 lbs).

FAULTS

:
FCI

Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog.
Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities shall be disqualified.
KC
Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog and on the dog’s ability to perform its traditional work.
UKC

Any departures from the above standard are to be considered faults. The seriousness of the fault is determined by the degree of deviation from the standard. The Basenji is a hunting dog, and all physical characteristics relative to that purpose are to be maintained.
Muzzle: Coarse muzzle. Snipey muzzle. Coarse skull. Domed or peaked skull. Dewlap.
Teeth: Overshot or undershot bites.
Eyes: Round eyes.
Ears: Low-set ears.
Forelegs: Heavy bone.
Hind Legs: Heavy bone. Wide behind.

SERIOUS FAULTS

:
UKC
Color: Creams, shaded or off colors.

DISQUALIFYING FAULTS

:
UKC
Unilateral or bilateral cryptorchid. Viciousness or extreme shyness. Albinism.


Anatomical Features of the dog

N.B.:

Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.