Showsight Presents The Basenji

KC: To new breeders: You must intimately know what you are starting with inside and out. Watch what your bitch’s sire/dam produced when bred in different directions (what did they get, and what did they lose) and how/ what the siblings look like and how they produce. In other words, follow the bloodlines; see what they are producing (assets and liabilities) and start to plan accord- ingly. Nothing but, nothing is more important than care- fully laying your foundation. To new judges: A smile from you in your approach will win you a lot of fans both from the exhibitors and the dogs. Evaluating the wrinkle of red and white Basenjis is obvious and straight forward. Depending on the lighting you are working under, wrinkle may not be as appar- ent with the other colors (but could be superior). The brindle color (with charcoal lines upon the chestnut red background) can actually deceive your eye by drawing/ creating the appearance of abundant wrinkle that may not be accurate. To fairly evaluate wrinkle, I suggest the following: When you stroll down your lineup looking at expression, as you turn around to return to the front of “EVERYONE LOVES TO WIN OR, AT LEAST, GET A QUALIFYING SCORE. BUT, IT ISN’T ABOUT THE WINNING. IT IS ABOUT THE COMPETING AND STRIVING FOR PERFECTION WITH A BASENJI YOU LOVE!”

the line, look between the ears to see the folds with clear contrast. During that period of the judging procedure, Basenji exhibitors know to be working their dogs to give expression for you to see; So, you’re not imposing or spending any additional time and it works like a charm. KH: To new breeders: Don’t be in a hurry. Experiential knowledge takes time and has the most impact on suc- cess as a breeder. Keep connected to the AKC parent club [BCOA] and follow breeder ethics and medical testing as outlined by the club. Always keep in mind that quality out-wins quantity every time. Never stop learning! SM: To new breeders: health test, health test, health test. Don’t breed every year. Take the time to know about a bitch before you breed her. To new judge: Basenjis have wrinkles. The wrinkles should not be hard to see. They are there in adults and should be. Basenji eyes are not yellow. CR: To new breeders: Try to talk to as many of the success- ful “old-timers” as you can to “pick their brains”: They have been through it all with both rewards and heart- breaks. Don’t sweat the small stuff and be open and hon- est with others, it will be greatly appreciated in the long run. Styles will come and go in our breed so, staying true to yourself with your breeding program is paramount and stay open-minded. No matter how long one has been doing this, there is always more to learn. To new judges: Please talk to the dogs on your approach. Let them know you are coming. Also, a good technique to hold their heads would be to give them a hand under their chin with your palm up. It shows them you have nothing to hide. 4. Anything else you’d like to share-something you’ve learned as a breeder, exhibitor or judge as a par- ticular point you’d like to make? BB: Most of us own, breed and exhibit our Basenjis because, we love them! Everyone loves to win or at least get a qualifying score. But, it isn’t about the winning. It is about the competing and striving for perfection with a Basenji you love! It is about having fun with your dog and fellow exhibitors. It is about meeting new people and sharing new ideas. Winning is fun, but losing builds character. Win or lose, I always get to take my dog home with me and try again next time! SB: The most important thing in dog breeding is selection of bitch and stud, of puppies to keep, of puppies to exhibit and of puppies to continue your line. PI: The original AKC standard included “square”, “short- backed”, “short bodied” and “short-coupled”. I see long loins and rib cages for the most part.

230 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , J ULY 2017

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