Showsight Presents The Basenji

THE BASENJI ACCEPTED COLOR ANDMARKINGS BY MARIANNE KLINKOWSKI T he Basenji is an aboriginal Afri- can hunting dog that has lived in close association with man in the rainforests of Central Africa SOME HISTORY

for thousands of years. Early English and European explor- ers described small tan, fawn or red and white or black and white, barkless, prick-eared, curly-tailed hunting dogs owned by native tribesmen in various parts of Central Afri- ca. Later travelers brought back red and white, black, and black, tan and white dogs that fit this description. Sadly, many of the early imports died of distemper, including the pair that was exhibited as African Bush Dogs at Crufts in 1895. (The native dogs had no natural immunity to this dreaded disease and, when an experimental distemper vaccine was finally developed, later imports continued to perish from its aftereffects.) These dogs enchanted fanci- ers and came to be known as Basenjis, which, we are told, translates as “bush thing” or “wild thing.” When breed standards were written, they included the red and white, black and white, and black, tan and white (or tricolor) color patterns.

Tricolor

Brindle

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Marianne Klinkowski received her first Basenji as a gift from her father in 1962, and joined the Basenji Club of America somewhere around 1965. She currently serves the BCOA as Judges Education Chair.

214 | SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, SPRING EDITION

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