As approved 8th June, 1954


The Basenji should not bark, but is not mute. The wrinkled forehead and the swift, tireless running gait (resembling a racehorse trotting full out) are typical of the breed.


The Basenji is a small, lightly built, short-backed dog, giving the impression of being high on the leg compared to its length. The wrinkled head must be proudly carried, and the whole demeanour should be one of poise and alertness.


The skull is flat, well chiseled and of medium width, tapering towards the eyes. The foreface should taper from eye to muzzle and should be shorter than the skull. Muzzle, neither coarse nor snipy, but with rounded cushions. Wrinkles should appear upon the forehead, and be fine and profuse. Side wrinkles are desirable, but should never be exagerated into dewlap. Nose - Black greatly desired. A pinkish tinge should not penalise an otherwise first class specimen, but it should be discouraged in breeding. Eyes - Dark hazel, almond shaped, obliquely set and far seeing. Ears - Small, pointed and erect, of fine texture, set well forward on top of the head. Mouth - Teeth must be level with scissors bite.


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


The chest should be deep and ofof medium width. The legs straight, with clean, fine bone, long forearm and well-defined sinews. Pasterns should be of good length, straight and flexible.


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


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


Small, narrow and compact, with well-arched toes.


Should be set on top, and curled tightly over to either side.


Short and silky. Skin very pliant.


Chestnut red (the deeper the better) or pure black, or black and tan, all with white feet, chest and tail tip. White legs, white blaze and white collar optional.


Bitches 22 pounds approximately. Dogs 24 pounds approximately.

SIZE Bitches 16 inches and dogs 17 inches from the ground to the top of the shoulder. Bitches 16 inches and dogs 17 inches from the front of the chest to the farthest point of the hindquarters.


Coarse skull or muzzle. Domed or peaked skull. Dewlap. Round eyes. Low-set ears. Overshot or undershot mouths. Wide chest. Wide behind. Heavy bone. Creams, sables or off-colours, other than those defined above, should be heavily penalized.

British Standard of 1942
British Standard of 1954
British Standard of 1965
British Standard of 1986
British Standard of 1999
American Standard of 1943
American Standard of 1956 (Proposed - seemingly not adopted)
American Standard of 1990
Current Canadian Standard
Exhibitors' Standard
Judges' Standard
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Sally & Marvin Wallis
Zande Basenjis
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