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Showing your Basenji





Champions and non champions compete together in the classes. A dog once titled still continues to compete from the same classes against other champion and/or non champion dogs.Baby Puppy (3-6 months)Minor Puppy (6-9 months)Puppy (6-12 months)Junior (9-18 months)Intermediate (18 months - 3 years)Australian Bred (over 6 months and bred in Australia)Open (described as 6 months and over, but is usually made up of those over 3 years)

Neutered ClassTo start with dogs compete against dogs of the same breed,  age, and sex. The winners of all the different age groups (still against the same sex) compete against each other for the Challenge Certificate. These Challenge Certificates are awarded to the Best Dog and the Best Bitch provided that the judge considers them to be of such outstanding quality as to be worthy of the Champion title.Reserve Challenges are then awarded to the 2nd best dog and bitch. i.e.: (Best Dog-2 or Best Bitch-2). The dog and bitch Challenge winners then compete against each other for BEST OF BREED (BOB). The Reserve CC winner of the same sex as the BOB winner then re-enters the ring to compete against the opposite sex Challenge winner for Runner Up Best Of Breed.This is followed by the respective “run-offs ” between the class winners in dogs and bitches for Best Baby Puppy of Breed, Best Puppy of Breed etc.

Once all the breeds are judged in the Group then the Group Specials commence. 

Best of Breed winners compete for Best Exhibit in Group (the equivalent of Group 1st)and the Runner Up to Best of Breed winner to that dog then enters the ring to compete for Runner Up to Best in Group (an equivalent of Group 2nd). These are the only Group placements - there is no 3rd or 4th Group placements. These awards are then followed by Best Baby Puppy in Group, Best Minor Puppy in Group etc.A certificate is awarded for Best in Group indicating the points won for that particular show (usually 25 points as long as there are at least 20 adult dogs in the group). Then all the 7 Best In Group winners compete forBest in Show (BIS); the Runner Up In Groupwinners standing by in case the BIG winner from their group wins Best In Show, in which case they would then re-enter the ring to also compete for Runner Up In Show.

There are also competitions for all the different age levels in the show;

  • Baby Puppy

  • Minor Puppy

  • Puppy

  • Junior

  • Intermediate

  • Australian Bred

  • Open



Each breed has a written breed standard. The judge assesses each dog against this standard and selects the dog or bitch which he/she feels most closely matches the breed standard.


A dog must accumulate 100 points to become an Australian Champion. In Australia a dog cannot become a Champion until it is over 12 months old & wins a further 25 points. 
Points are allocated to the Challenge Dog (Best Dog) and Challenge Bitch (Best Bitch). The Challenge Certificate (CC) indicates the number of points that have been awarded. The points are calculated on the number of exhibits shown. 
This is the formula: 5 points for the CC plus 1 point for each animal of that breed and sex shown. A dog must be over the age of 6 months to qualify for a CC. The Best of Breed winner also collects 1 extra point  for each dog of the opposite sex defeated up to a maximum of 25 points in any single show.




To earn the title of Australian Grand Champion a dog must win 1000 Challenge points. To be able to achieve this title the dog must be a very consistent winner over a period of time.At the beginning of 1998 the Australian Grand Champion title was introduced to Australia. The criteria for this title is that a dog must have accumulated 1000 points, and at least one Challenge Certificate had to be obtained on or after the 1st January 1998.



There have been several Basenjis in Australia attain this lofty title thus far. A complete list of Grand Champions can be viewed by clicking here.


In Australia the Basenji is in the Hound Group. There are 7 Groups in Australia;


  • The Toy Group (1)

  • The Terrier Group (2)

  • The Gun Dog Group (3)

  • The Hound Group (4)

  • The Working Dog Group (5)

  • The Utility Group (6)

  • The Non Sporting Group (7)

Dogs are grouped together with “similar type” dogs.


Your dog must be trained to allow a stranger (the judge) to come up and run their hands all over him/her and to allow the judge to open their mouth in order to check it has the correct bite required for the breed. Your dog needs to be trained to move around the ring (gait or trot) at its most ideal speed so that the judge can view its movement. The dogs are then stacked up. This means that we stand the dogs in a position that allows the judge to examine the dogs appearance to make a comparison against the Breed Standard & each of the other dogs competing. This usually involves slightly lifting the chest off the ground and then simply dropping the front legs into place under the front, while the rear legs are extended backwards until the hocks are in a vertical position.

Do your best to present your dog to its best advantage and then leave it up to the judge to make his / her decisions. Just remember that it is only one judges opinion on the day of the show and there is always another show just around the corner and another judges opinion.


Written by H. Veless - ©

Afrikenji Basenjis - Australia

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