By all means read the forum topics on health, funny stories, and breeders. Look at the BRAT (Basenji rescue and transport) site and read the 'horror stories' too. Find responsible breeders near you and see if you can visit them and their dogs, look for health testing and pups raised in the home. That is for starters.
Welcome, I have been owned by basenjis since 1973, almost all rescues. Puppies of any breed can be a challenge so starting with a 2 or 3 year old rescue or 're-homed' show dog is a great way to learn the breed.
Basenji's are wonderful little dogs…but they are not for everyone. Make sure you do your research on them, know what you are getting yourself into. Do breeder research and find one that you trust and will help you with your first B. Make sure they do ALL the health testing, if you have done much research you will know that they are prone to certain conditions especially fanconi. There is no reason for not testing for this disease anymore. They will be your couch potatoe as well as your active partner. Know this...a TIRED BASENJI is a GOOD BASENJI!!. The more exercise they get the less bored they are and less destructive. Have fun with your new companion!
You would be shocked at what these wonderful dogs can do! BUT they are also the smartest, most fun loving companions you will ever have in your life. I can't imagine my life without my b's. But the above advice is right on. Know what your getting, listen to quality breeders who have done the health testing, and keep us informed. We do want to help you if we can. Welcome!
We got our first basenji this year, after researching, going to dog shows, meeting breeders and being well aware of this wonderful breed and all of their characteristics. We continue to learn every day, now that we have an active puppy who is almost 10 months old. At this age, he is testing his boundaries, so we start our 2nd set of training classes the beginning of August. Consistancy in training is so important with this breed. Our goal is to have Kipawa work as a therapy dog - which means we would be taking him to a rehab hospital that works with people rehabilitating with spinal cord injuries.
We love Kipawa like there is no tomorrow. We knew 'the challenges' of owning a basenji and decided we could accept all of them. Both my husband and I are home all day, which makes it easy to set up a great schedule for walks, training, meal times, potty times, etc. You will read that a good basenji is a tired basenji. This is very true. Therefore, IMO, if you think your basenji would be crated for 8+ hours a day and also at night, this breed might not be the best for you.
As basenjis often only breed once a year, with pups ready to go to their new homes in January, now is the time to learn as much as you can. As there might not be many Canadian breeders close to you, you might want to be in touch with those in the U.S. who are listed on the Basenji Club of America website and are within a reasonable driving distance away. We are in the Vancouver, British Columbia area, and we got Kipawa from a wonderful breeder in Washington state.
Do not hesitate to ask questions. There are so many knowledgeable breeders and basenji lovers on this forum who are more than happy to help you make an informed decision. Oh, and did I say 'welcome'?
And you should try and find either a breeder to visit or other Basenji owners. Meet them and observe what they are like in a family situation.
Just a note, most Basenji litters are born Nov/Dec. Some depending when they come in season could be earlier or some later. I think that Kipawa was an "early" litter then the norm, so most puppies are ready for their new homes Feb/March. Or when they are 10 to 12wks (for most breeders)
We got our girl in January this year and loved her and the breed so much we got her a boy companion 2 months later, and love them both unconditionally. We did research on the breed from many websites and had committed to buying her but were a little nervous cuz of the stories we read about them being little loony hounds. But, they work for us.