Basenji Q& A two puppies. Sandy and I co-bred for the next few years—taking JATO as a kennel name in honor of our late aunt. In 1977, I married and moved to Hayward, but continued show- ing and breeding. I put a CD on my companion dog—he was High Scoring Basenji at the 1976 BCOA Western Specialty. Later in the 1980s, I put an ASFA field championship on my black and white Australian Ch. Balshah Allakazam. I was the original editor for the BCOA Bulletin Board, and am a past President of the Basenji Club of Northern California. In 1992, my late husband and I moved to Turkey (his native country) when he retired. He died in 1996, and my son and I moved back in with my sister and her husband. She and I co-bred our last Basenji litter in 1998, from which came Ch. Jato Jenrl’y Speaking (a National Specialty BOW under Lauris Hunt from Australia, and a group-placing bitch) and Ch. Jato Jenr’l Principles (the youngest group placing Basenji at that time). In 1998 we began breeding and showing Chinese Cresteds. I became Judges’ Education Coordinator for the American Chinese Crested Club in 2007 and during the eight years of my tenure we updated the Illustrated Guide originally created by AKC in 1991, and created the PowerPoint Presentation, both still in use today. We discovered the Xoloitzcuintli in 2010, when we acquired a co-ownership of a Miniature Coated girl. She became GCH Azu- wyn’s Ain’t Miss B Havin—the first Coated Champion anywhere in the world in any internationally recognized registry, and her photo is in the new AKC book. She is also the dam of two Coated Cham- pion daughters, who look much like their mother. I am a member of the Santa Clara Valley Kennel Club, the Chi- nese Crested Club of Greater Los Angeles, the Gold Coast Xoloitz- cuintli Club of Southern California, as well as a member of the Judges’ Education Committee for the American Chinese Crested Club, the Basenji Club of America and the Xoloitzcuintli Club of America. I am currently Secretary of the Angeles Canyon Dog Club and the Xoloitzcuintli Club of America. I began judging Basenjis in 2002 and am now approved for Cav- alier King Charles Spaniels, Chihuahuas, Chinese Cresteds, Eng- lish Toy Spaniels, Italian Greyhounds, Japanese Chins, Papillons, Pekingese, Pugs, Pomeranians and Xoloitzcuintli; I am Permit for Anatolian Shepherds, Finnish Spitz, Norwegian Elkhounds, Shiba Inu and Whippets. I am continuing to study and expect to apply for more Hounds, Toys, and Non-Sporting breeds in the near future. I’m in Palmdale, north of Los Angeles. I’m an old-fashioned retired housewife (lost my husband in 1996) and mostly judge, occasion- ally show, and rarely breed. I got my first show Basenji in 1974, and co-bred my last litter in 1998. The secret to a successful breeding program is learning pedi- grees and breeding for correct type. All dogs have faults—breed for virtues while trying to not incorporate faults you don’t have. My advice to a new Basenji judge: remember this is a primi- tive breed—be respectful and please don’t uncurl the tail. The main breed characteristics are square, curly tail, small ears and wrinkled forehead. What is it about the breed that makes them irreplaceable in your life? My allergies prevent me from living with them now but they are endlessly entertaining, challenging and so beautiful. How much time do I spend per week preparing for exhibition? Cleanliness applies to all breeds—nail care, teeth care and currying to remove dead hair are essential. What is the breed’s most endearing quality? Their creativity and clown-like antics. Is the breed’s temperament ideal for indoor life or are they most- ly an outdoors breed? They are good indoor dogs but need exercise and challenging activities. How do I place my puppies? We have always concentrated on pet homes, and for show prospects—either we kept or found those pet homes that allowed us to show.
At what age do I choose a show prospect? Eight weeks, with the lines we had, gave us a good idea of what the adult would be. My favorite dog show memory? Getting the third leg on my first Basenji’s CD—boy, was I glad that was done! In the show ring, too often the typey, little square dog with level topline and balanced movement loses to the flashy, sweeping mover. Remember, these are jungle dogs—not plains dogs. They were car- ried to the hunt around the necks of pygmies—imagine the dogs you see in the ring in that position. Will they be small and compact enough for that? CAROLE KIRK I currently live in Kentucky. I am retired now, but worked for various branches of the US Federal Government for 27 years. Now that I’m retired I can devote all my time to all things dog. I got my first Basenji in 1990 to show and have something to do. So almost 30 years in the breed. I primarily show in conformation but have also participated in lure coursing and I bred/co-own a dog who has several agility titles thanks to his co-owner. I’ve judged a couple of sweepstakes for specialties/supported entries and have considered going for my judging license for Basenjis. I occasionally breed a litter and am currently showing a young dog who goes back to my foundation bitch. The secret to a successful breeding program? Having a vision of what you want to accomplish and working towards that. How to get there can and will change over the years, but you keep working towards your vision. And that requires patience as well. Genetics at times can be a crap shoot as we well know. Sometimes breedings that look good on paper just don’t turn out like we thought they would. Our breed normally only comes into season one time per year so that can and does limit the number of litters that can be produced. From my first litter to now I have also worked to incor- porate the newer African lines into my lines. Doing so does require time and patience to reach your vision as these breedings are usually out crosses. And if you are someone like myself who only breeds occasionally and for themselves, some times getting to where you envisioned can take some time. My advice to a new Basenji judge? Do not uncurl a Basenji tail! Under no circumstances should this be done and there is no reason to as there is nothing in our breed standard which addresses the curl, only the set of the tail. Some tails are extremely tightly curled and attempts to uncurl them could be quite painful and could cause the dog to act out, let alone any physical damage that could result from the attempt. Please keep a copy of our breed standard handy with you in the ring and consult it if you have questions. I greatly appreciate judges who I’ve shown under doing just that. Also ask if you have questions, breed mentors will be happy to discuss the breed with you at any time. During breed judging recently the judge said to me he wished mentors in our breed would let judges know that Basenjis carry their testicles in a line rather than side by side as most other breeds. He said that information would be very helpful for judges who do not judge the breed much. I also mentioned to him that they are very good a drawing the testicles up high when they get cold making it difficult to find them as well. If you are having difficulty locating both testicles, please be gentle and let the handler know as they may be able to assist you in locating them. What is it about the breed that makes them irreplaceable in your life? Their intelligence, dedication and loyalty to their owners. How much time do I spend per week preparing for exhibition? Honestly I don’t spend much time most of the year working on grooming. The exception is during the spring when they are shed- ding their winter coat. Then I do spend time on them so they don’t look like something a moth got ahold of !
322 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , S EPTEMBER 2019
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