The Taji Philosophy Statement:


As a practicing, dedicated breeder of the Basenji, I feel obligated to secure its integrity through preservation, not simply in number, but in quality. I measure quality in the following ways:

  1. In today's society the Basenji can be a marvelous companion. This sturdy breed can tolerate a variety of environments from city to country, apartment to acreage in the company of Man. The temperament of this breed must not only be predictable and acceptable to society, but pleasurable to be in the company of not only with their owners, but members of the general public.
  2. Breeding with intent to The Standard, as written by the Basenji Club of America and approved by the American Kennel Club. "The Standard" is, in essence, an abstract essay describing in detail a "perfect" Basenji. The Standard is the guideline that all approved judges at AKC licensed dog shows use as their criteria in judging dogs and pointing them towards their championship title. After all, form follows function. This includes the breed's "fancy points" that distinguish it phenotypically from all other breeds.
  3. Maintaining the breed's functionality as a keen hunter, utilizing both sight and scent. This concept embraces the effortless gait with true harmony of bone and muscle structure as well as the prey drive to chase game.
  4. Regular health testing of the Basenji is essential to track potential genetic or environmental disease. The Fancy is in need of generations of accurate health records for research efforts that are already in place. Every Basenji is an element of our international gene pool, whether or not s/he has been desexed. We must consider siblings, aunts, uncles, and the entire 3-axis pedigree in an effort to demystify some of the diseases that affect our breed. I have served as the Northwest representative on the Basenji Club of America's Health and Research Committee.
  5. I respect the intelligence of the Basenji, its cleverness, and survival skills. Through careful research of pedigrees, and challenging them through mental and physical activities I am confident that I am truly preserving them, not simply propagating them.
  6. Quality of care by owners is achieved through careful screening and education. One never ceases to learn. I have served on the Basenji Club of America's Judges Education Committee for over a decade. This committee trains aspiring AKC judges by offering educational seminars and symposiums nationwide on the Basenji.
  7. I believe in preserving the integrity of the title of "Champion." More specifically, I believe that a "show quality" Basenji can and should be able to earn his/her championship when handled by the owner of the dog regardless of the owner's experience in this sport. Numerous Taji Basenjis have been shown to spectacular Specialty Show wins - as well as to their championship titles - by their owners. I'm very proud to be able to consistently produce this level of quality in my litters, thus enabling more new people to enter this sport with success, year after year.
“Man humors the Basenji. The Basenji humors Man.”

My breeding program works in both the long term and the short term. I never execute a "throw away" breeding, or put a litter on the ground to fulfill pet orders. Each and every breeding I do has purpose and intent. Every puppy to me is important, whether or not I use it later in my breeding program or not. I live with as many as six adults full time. If someone can't get along freely with the others and run with the pack, they are placed in another loving home. My breeding program consists of over 30 candidates who (besides those that reside with me) live in loving homes on co-ownership terms. Each of my co-owned Basenjis are re-evaluated regularly, and continue as a candidate in the breeding program or else are spayed/neutered. There is not a Taji Basenji anywhere worldwide that is treated as "livestock" in a "kennel" environment. I believe that the connection with the family is key to developing a sincere relationship with the Basenji. Remember: The Basenji was never bred to "serve" Man; the Basenji in the wild does not "need" Man to survive at all. Man humors the Basenji. The Basenji humors Man.