On 9th November, 1943 the AKC directors approved the official breed standard adopted by the Basenji Club of America and also recognised the basenji for registration purposes but not for showing purposes -

The breed must be entered in the miscellaneous show class for the present. This is under the new rule adopted in '43 and applicable to all newly-recognized breeds.

The Basenji Club of America has Alexander Phemister as President (Indian Pond Road, Kingston, Mass.): Treasurer. George L. Gilkey: Vice Presidents Ethelwyn Harrison, Eloise Gerry: Secretary George E. Richards

There are, Mr Phemister states, approximately 35 basenjis in America and about 30 of these are registered with the AKC. He believes that Mrs Byron Rogers of New York City imported the first Basenji to America, this in '37.

To quote from Mr Phemister's letter: "The basenji is barkless and highly intelligent. The first basenji raised in this country, Phemister's Barrie, made his CD in three straight shows with a score of 92 or better at each show.

"Many basenjis will be trained and used for hunting purposes."

In England the breed is classified in the sporting group.

It is native to Central Africa and derives its name from the fact that it is considered a barkless dog although not silent; the bark is a variation of a whining sound.

It is not entirely a new breed for specimens were exhibited at Cruft's show in London as early as 1895


Approved by the AKC on 9th, November 1943


Approximately 17 inches males, 16 inches bitches.

Of medium width, not coarse, tapering towards the eyes, well-chiselled with lofty carriage.
The skull should be flat. The foreface should taper from eye to muzzle, and should be shorter than the skull. Teeth should be level.
Wrinkles should appear upon the forehead when the ears are pricked, giving a puzzled expression. These are a special characteristic of the Basenji, but exaggerated wrinkle is to be avoided, as the excessive loose skin tends to give a Bloodhoundy appearance and spoils the clean lines of the breed.


Black greatly desired, but a pinkish tinge should not penalise an otherwise first-class specimen.


Should be pointed and erect, set well forward and of fine texture.


Should be dark hazel, almond shaped, small, deep-set and far-seeing.


Of sufficient length, well-crested, and slightly full at the base of the throat. It should be well set into flat, laid-back shoulders.


Deep and of medium width.


The body should be short and level. The ribs well sprung with plenty of heart-room and deep brisket, short-coupled and ending in a definite waist.


Small, narrow, with arched toes.


Straight with clean bone and well defined sinews. Pasterns straight rather than otherwise, but not of the fox-terrier type.


Strong and muscular, with hocks well let down, and turned neither in nor out, with long second thighs.


Set on top and curled tightly over to one side.


Chestnut with white points and tail tip; also black and white; and black, tan and white; red and white; faun and white.


Short and silky, skin very pliant.


Both hindlegs and forelegs should be carried straight forward with springing strides, greatly resembling that of a racehorse trotting full out, this swift, tireless running gait being a special characteristic of the breed.


Basenjis do not bark. The appearance should be one of springy poise and alertness, greatly resembling an antelope.

British Standard of 1942
British Standard of 1954
British Standard of 1965
British Standard of 1986
American Standard of 1956
American Standard of 1954
American Standard of 1990
Current Canadian Standard
Exhibitors' Standard
Judges' Standard
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Sally & Marvin Wallis
Zande Basenjis
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