The SkyHi Philosophy
At SkyHi Basenjis, our #1 priority is outstanding temperaments. We carefully assess the parents for their personalities and we home raise the puppies with lots of early socialization. We also temperament test the puppies at 7 weeks old, and then match each particular puppy’s natural disposition with the specific requirements of each new family.
We next strive for health. We want your basenji to be a part of your family for as long as possible. We health test at SkyHi for hips (using OFA), eyes, and Fanconi DNA screening (click to read about this new test).
Finally, we breed for beauty. With each generation, we attempt to come as close to our interpretation of the written standard for the basenji as we can.
We also believe in quality and not quantity, so we typically have one litter per year. Most Basenji puppies are born in the winter months (November through January). We take reservations for puppies throughout the year and encourage all new owners to come and help socialize the babies shortly after their birth. Another important note: our basenjis are pets first and foremost. We do not have kennels, and all of our basenjis are house dogs.
Our History – Two Decades Living with Basenjis
I “discovered” the basenji breed while in college at the University of Virginia. I attended a dog show looking for a small, athletic dog that could adapt to a variety of living conditions as I planned on going to graduate school. Their sense of humor, fun-loving antics and easy keeping made them the ideal breed for me. To learn more about our first two basenjis, Skyler and Shasta, click on their names.
Basenjis have been my constant companions throughout my academic training at the University of Rochester in New York, and at Harvard Medical School in Boston, and finally as a Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Colorado State University.
At CSU, I teach and do research in the area of genetics and gene expression. This knowledge certainly helps me make informed decisions in my breeding program!
I have also presented seminars on breeding and genetics at the Canine Winter Symposium sponsored by the Buckhorn Valley Kennel Club. Nationally, I am a member of the Basenji Club of America, where I serve or have served on a number of different committees (BCOA Board of Directors, Breeders Education Committee, Judges Tally Committee, and the Basenji Health Endowment Board of Directors).
Breeding and Showing – Why is This Important?
Exhibiting my basenjis at a dog show is an essential aspect of my breeding program.
Success in the show ring means that a SkyHi Basenji is constructed well, and possesses the stable temperament required for this event.
If you are looking for a pet basenji, these same characteristics should be important to you: a well-constructed basenji will be more fit for any events you like to do (walking, hiking, running), and the temperament should be such that you enjoy having your basenji companion along with you!
My most memorable win in the show ring was with Ch. SkyHi’s Daredevil at the Basenji Club of America National Specialty in 2001 judged by basenji breeder Mrs. Jeri Crandall. Daredevil was only 10 months old and I had just finished his championship 2 weeks earlier. As a brand new champion, we found ourselves competing with basenjis that had won many Best in Shows. I was amazed when we were selected to continue on during each round of the 3 hour competition. No one was more surprised than I was when Mrs. Crandall pointed to us as the winner! Daredevil was awarded Best In Show over an entry of 350 basenjis!
Truly the dream of any breeder!
Not only do we have many AKC show champions, but SkyHi Basenjis love to run as well! Several of our basenjis have lure coursing titles. Coursing events are fun for the Basenjis since the dogs chase a plastic bag around a course in a fenced field.
Remember that basenjis can never be trusted off leash unless they are in a secure area. For 3000 years, basenjis have been selected in Africa for the instinct to run, it cannot be reliably trained out of them!
Your Next Step
If you are interested in adding a SkyHi Basenji to your family, please email us and ask for an application. The information you provide will help us match the right basenji with your needs.
If you are not looking for a puppy but would prefer a young adult or older basenji, we occasionally have a retired show dog available for placement in the right pet home. Visit our Available Adult page or email us.
It would also be wonderful if you could schedule a time to come and visit all of us at SkyHi Basenjis. The dogs love meeting new people and we can all get to know each other.
If you have any questions, please call or email us! We love to talk about basenjis!
Last Tidbit: Please don’t buy a basenji from a pet store. You won’t have contact with the breeder if you have questions, nor will you have any information about the health and temperament of the puppy or its parents.
Remember this is a 12-15 year investment for your family, so take your time and find a reputable breeder that health tests and exhibits their basenjis.