But there are two things we ask of every judge. Do not even think about uncurling the tail as this may startle the dog and can even be painful for some individuals. And please, when you’re in the ring judging, don’t ever try to sneak up on a Basenji. A stealthy approach may well find them examining your credentials and you will be found lacking. There are some very useful breed-spe- cif ic examination techniques which can be employed to make your judging expe- rience more pleasant and much more fruitful overall. View the dog on the table brief ly from the side to get an idea of general appearance and proportion (think “square”) and then approach the dog from the front and extend your hand smoothly and with conf idence. Eye con- tact is good, as long as it is accompanied by a smile. Helpful hint: our dogs are extremely food-oriented and our exhibi- tors carry lots of bait. They will not mind at all if you should ask to borrow a
piece of liver to entice a restless or reluc- tant exhibit into a happier state of mind. Check bite, eye shape and placement, do a quick once over to check musculature and skin and coat quality, and check tes- ticles as appropriate. That’s all, no need to run elaborate measuring routines or poke and prod this smooth-coated dog excessively. As always, examine on the table but judge on the ground. Ear set, wrinkle and expression are much better observed on the ground and the exhibi- tor is more than ready to show them to you at the end of the down and back. Tail set and curl are usually better on the move and the topline is more natu- ral as the exhibitor is not able to poke the tummy or stretch the rear legs back to disguise failings in that area. Do not let the exhibitors race around the ring; a properly constructed Basenji looks just f ine at a moderate pace. Lastly and most unfortunately, Basenji males are notorious for retracting their
testes in cold weather. If this happens, complete your examination, have the exhibitor take the dog o ff the table, gait him normally and then put him back on the table for a re-check. Th is may help but if two normal testicles still cannot be located, you have no choice but to dis- qualify. As Basenjis are quite often sched- uled to be shown at the crack of dawn with cold, wet dew still on the grass, be aware that this is a possibility. Th e Basenji Club of America has devoted considerable time and expertise to educational e ff orts on our website. Please visit us at http://www.basenji.org for lists of helpful mentors and volumes of historical and current information about this delightful breed. Our rotating National Specialty will be held this year at Argus Ranch in Auburn, WA from July 12-17. Please join us there for a Basenji Extravaganza! You may contact me at email@example.com with any questions and for further information.
“HELPFUL HINT: OUR DOGS ARE EXTREMELY FOOD-ORIENTED and our exhibitors carry lots of bait.”
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