How to treat a Basenji in the showring, or not
I have tried to find some good photos showing how to treat our breed in the showring, or not - this is meant for both handlers,
breeders, owners and judges - I hope these photos may help for better understanding of our breed, the Basenji
Here is something basenjibreeder & judge, Doreen Duffin, Australia has written about judging the basenji
Presenting the Basenji for the judge - and being judged on the table
(I am not trying to accuse anyone or make someone look bad - so have covered faces in the photos, as it is the Basenji
that is important here - not the judge, handler, owner nor breeder)
Photo at left: ALWAYS and I mean ALWAYS have a hold on your dog's showlead - it only takes a split of a second for him/her
to jump or fall off the table with sometimes fatal consequenses -
(if you show a dog in Denmark the show rules state "always hold the showlead in your hand"- even if it is with your little finger - just hold the lead)
Photo in middle: NEVER show your dog like this.
The photo is for demonstration only and NOT a show ring situation
Photo at right: Why do some judges press the basenji on the back ? I have seen it many times - is there something
I have missed in the standard re toplines ? You can feel if the topline is strong and see it when the Basenji is moving, but excessive
pressure can be painful and we all know how Basenjis react to pain
Photo af left - correct way of seeing the bite, however the judge should not put his hand over the eyes of the dog -
Photo at right - a judge counting teeth with her hand over the eyes of the dog - not very clever ...
Nice contact with handler and basenji on the table
This Champion basenji is being messaured and comments are as follows:
... an experienced judge should be able to see if a dog is too tall or whatever reason for meassuring a dog in the ring - I have seen
judges prepare for "sizing-up a dog" by making a small horizontal chalk mark on the trousers - The judge will walk over to the dog and
quickly see if the dog meassures up or down to the mark on the troussers (This is of course when the dog(s) are on the ground) -
being messured on the table can spook a dog
One basenji at a time on the table
Retabling basenjis ?
Most basenjis are trained for moving, stacking and showing their bite. In some cases a judge will count their
teeth (yes, has been known to happen) - however no Basenji is trained to have their tail pulled, as being tightly curled it can
be painfull for the Basenji if this happens
A tail used as a handle may work for other breeds, but not Basenjis and the Basenji may turn around and bite the judge
and be disqualified due to ignorance - so please keep this in mind also as an exhibitor, as you are allowed to tell the judge to stop pulling the tail of your Basenji (yes, has happened)
A basenji tail is to look at only and is judged by the setting, nothing else - so no pulling, please
Here are 3 examples of tail pulling - plus 3 new ones further down !
We really need to tell judges Worldwide NOT to pull a Basenji tail for whatever reason
(photos with permission)
Photo at left: A Chineese judge in Sweden holding on to the tail to feel the testicles
Photo in the middle: A Mexican judge in Chile, South-America also using the tail as a handle
Photo at right: An Irish judge in Sweden, tailpulling
Note, these are foreign judges making the same mistakes that could be fatal and miscredit our breed unduely and they are
using the tail to feel the testicles of the male basenji - this can be difficult, as we know if it is cold a basenji male will "hide"
one or both testicles - the judge will declare the male crytokide and disqualify him
If your male basenji has this tendency, it may be a good thing to let your vet give you a certificate saying your male
has 2 testicles, placed normally and show it to the judge before he/she gets carried away with exploring ...
(I write from personal experience after a judge disqualified my Internationalchampion & WW male as she could not find his testicles !
If a dog is disqualified 2 times in Denmark he or she can not be used for breeding nor shown in future and who needs this due to ignorance?)
I once asked a first time basenji judge why he pulled out the tail and he replied he wanted to see how quickly it sprang back ?
I asked him where in the standard I could read this - he had no reply, only mumbled that with his
own breed (Bernese Mountain dogs) they always did this
This judge is still judging basenjis but never touches their tails !
So the warning with hands off the tails, please, does help, when you tell this to the judge at any given moment
(photos with permission)
The owners were totally unprepared for this, however it only takes one time and your Basenji will not like to be shown in future, so
please keep your eyes on the judge's hand(s) - and when or if they reach the tail and this happens, please tell the judge
to stop - or the ringsecretary - or if this does not help then the show commetee - this tail-pulling MUST stop, but if
nothing is done, it will never change - There is no reason for tail-pulling except due to ignorance of our breed
1. July 2012 Bornholm DKK
A Finnish judge pulling tail on a basenji male, who afterwards was not happy when touched behind - however
the basenji did become International champion at a later show, no thanks to this judge !
Is this judge brushing the hair the wrong way ? The Basenji in the photo does not look very comfortable with this
and/or the tail pulling - WHY is this still happening in the showring ?
Exhibitiors must point this out to the judges when it happens - no good doing it after the judging ... be brave
and stand up for our breed
I really thought the judges were getting the hang of how to treat basenjis in the showring, but apparently NOT
This photo is from an International Dog Show in Girona, Spain held 21. March 2016 and the judge is
Jose Vidal Montero, Portugal
The handler/owner was unaware of the effect this tail pulling can have on his basenji and it is such a pity
judges do not respect our breed
... and we have another tail puller by a judge from Holland and who should know better, having judged the breed for many years, -
so this disappoints me, as he has learned like nothing about our breed
The judge is Rony Doedijns
... and the tailpulling continues, what is it the judges do not understand about our breed ?
20. September 2016
Royal Melbourne Championship Dog Show, Australia
Judge Mrs Yolanda Nagler-Magal, Israel and/or Romania
Mrs Yolanda Nagler-Magal is a basenji tail-puller, but read that she also has been banned from judging
however here is is a way to bend the rules !
Smokers, aftershave- and perfume users please read this:
This may often be the reaction one gets when a basenji smells the smoke from a cigarette, a wif of
perfume or strong aftershave
(I myself am a non-smoker and it really burns my nose when I am near someone smoking)
A Basenji owner knows what this "face" means, however a judge can mistake it for being aggressive, as the basenji
at the same time may back away from the judge and even growl, so will be disquilified due to ignorance
(has happened) - even the scent of lemon to take the cigarette smell off the hands does not fool a basenji
... my advice is to wash hands in soap and water, as this is what basenjis can relate to without discomfort
and please do not wear perfume or strong aftershave ...
No one should misunderstand our wonderfull breed, so please remember the above - thank you :-)
One last thing to mention is if you have a black/white or tri basenji and the judge mentions in the critique that the wrinkles
are either hard to see or non existant, advise the judge to walk behind the basenji and see the wrinkles - you are allowed to correct the
judge if the mistake is so grave that he/she needs spectacles !
Lots of wrinkles
Presenting your Basenji in the showring
Some exhibitors are on their knees when in the ring - however
if you are standing you have better eye contact with your basenji, as the handler in the middle
I recall a now desceased judge, saying at a show where he was judging basenjis:" Please do not lie on your knees, I am not God!"
Good point and I must admit - I myself have always stood up when showing my basenjis and pharaoh hounds
Examples how NOT to stack your basenji in the ring by pulling out the hindlegs or choking the dog at the same time with the showlead
Here you see something that no one should do with their basenji !
Well presented basenji - perhaps the collar is a bit tight ...
note the tail has been trimmed nicely - otherwise not much to do with a basenji, but give it a bath before the show, make sure
dead hair i.e. behind the ears and hindlegs are removed with a brush & trim the nails if need be
This is a situation you do not want to be in .............
Moving your Basenji around the ring
Now it is time to show your basenji in movement and you are most of the time holding the lead in your left hand
keeping in mind the judge wants to see the dog, not your legs, so this is
NOT the way to show your basenji even if it means you have to change the lead to your right hand - always good to be flexible
The handler on the above photo is showing the basenji with the lead in both right and left hand, which prevents the handler
and basenjito run more freely ... just to show, that the lead should be in one hand only
Perfect harmony - the handler is in balance with the movement of the basenji ... very nice
Perhaps it is not fair showing the World Winner 2012, however there are reasons for winning and this is one of them
- having a good basenji which also is shown and presented well
- and another good way to show a basenji, running in front of you - this is Worldwinner 2011, a title well deserved
note both handlers are wearing flat shoes, good for running
The ultimate, professional way of showing a basenji (IMHO) - I think we all know who the handler is ...
One can always admire dogowners who are dedicated to a breed that needs
grooming - below are 4 breeds that are really outstanding in their presentation
- these dogs live in America where things can get a bit out of hand at times, be that as it may - the final results are worth having a
look at and appreciating having short-haired dogs :-))
I hope this site will be of help and please remember the things written are mostly taken from personal experience - the photos used are from the Internet, and if you recognize
one of them as yours and are not comfertable with it being on this site, let me know, as I have no intention of pointing fingers - only trying to give a helping hand if need be
Your opinion is also much appreciated - you can mail me here
What kind of handler are you ?
Read this and hopefully be a bit wiser :-)
Things basenji do ...