For the breeders on the forum…
I am curious about how long you waited/invested between acquiring your first basenji (or other dog) and breeding your first litter. Did you make the decision to breed because a good mentor (or more than one) picked you out and said, "YOU -- YOU will be the one to help me continue my line." Or did you approach a breeder, open about about your intentions to breed? Understandably, everyone has a different learning curve and training paths are multiple and forked... but how long did it take for you to feel "ready" to breed? How did you know?
I ask not because I'm interested in breeding (though I would someday like to help foster a pregnant mother and pups, when I actually have the setup for it). I am curious because this has come up here, but moreso in my other breed, where I see very young people who openly declare their desire to breed after spending what I feel is barely any time (a week! a year or two?) with their very first dog, whom they are also quick to declare "perfect" despite having little comparative basis. While the initial impulse for some is to just shout them down, truth is that all good breeders have to start somewhere, right?
So I'm not asking about the nitty-gritty of how one establishes a mentorship, what things a good breeder should learn, etc. Rather, in your personal experience, how did you balance the eagerness to see your first batch of puppies with the training, testing, and time that it takes to be an ethical, knowledgeable breeder?