AKC Basenji Breed Standard

Description
The Basenji is a small, shorthaired hunting dog from Africa. It is short backed and lightly built, appearing high on the leg compared to its length. The wrinkled head is proudly carried on a well-arched neck and the tail is set high and curled. Elegant and graceful, the whole demeanor is one of poise and inquiring alertness. The balanced structure and the smooth musculature enable it to move with ease and agility. The Basenji hunts by both sight and scent.

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

Faults
Any departure from the following points must be considered a fault, and the seriousness with which the fault is regarded is to be in exact proportion to its degree.

Size, Proportion, Substance
Ideal height for dogs is 17 inches and bitches 16 inches from front of chest to point of buttocks. Approximate weight for dogs 24 pounds, and bitches 22 pounds. Lightly built within this height to weight ratio.

Coat and Color
Coat short and fine. Skin very pliant.
Color: Chestnut red, pure black, tricolor (pure black and chestnut red); or brindle (black stripes on a background of chestnut red); all with white feet, chest and tail tip.