I do know of one breader who still has a puppy left from December. I was wondering if 6 months is too old to be getting a new puppy, are they already set in their ways or willing to change?
also, if it does get around to that, what kinds of things should I look for. Tempermant, size (mostly weight), registration, health/vaccination certificates?
Six months may be fine…but it really depends on what the breeder has been doing with the pup during that time. If the puppy has just sat in a crate, waiting to be purchased...NO...you don't want that puppy. But if the breeder has been what we call 'growing the puppy out' to see if it has show potential...and the breeder has been making sure the puppy is learning house manners, and being socialized to different people, and different situations, then that can be a really great opportunity for puppy buyers. And, don't just take someone's word that they are doing all of the above...go see the breeder, the puppy, the parents, the set up..and if it seems at all fishy, assume the worst. It might be hard to walk away from a pup in a bad situation..but you will be the one to pay for it later....just read some of the threads here....
When you are picking out a puppy, you want to look for the following:
A breeder who you feel very comfortable with...including how the dogs are kept, how the dogs are treated, you need to trust the breeder. The breeder should ask you a lot of questions, and be happy to answer yours. He or she should make it VERY clear that they will be keeping in contact with you throughout the pup's life, and will happily take the pup back if for whatever reason you can't keep it. A good breeder will have a contract for you to sign, that protects you, the puppy, and the breeder.
Temperament: The dogs and puppies should be friendly and interested in visiting with you, sniffing you, going thru your pockets and purses. Most good breeders will pick a pup out for you, because they know the pups the best. But if you are in the situation where you pick one out, it is always wise to pick one that is not the MOST out going, or the least...somewhere in the middle is usually the best pet. You should be allowed to meet the mother...but often the father doesn't live with the breeder. The breeder should explain to you that basenjis are different, and don't respond well to "traditional" training methods...but do wonderfully well with positive reinforcement training, and some breeders will suggest you take your pup to kindergarten.
Size is fairly irrelevant...there are some larger than average basenjis, and some smaller, but they are all roughly the same size. The size won't effect the quality of pet you desire.
Registration, ideally AKC; UKC is the only other US registry that I would consider reputable. When you purchase the puppy, you should receive the paperwork to register with the AKC. Sometimes the breeder will fill it out with you and send it in. But the paperworks SHOULD go with the puppy. Most people purchase a puppy as a pet, and the breeder will mark the LIMITED registration box...with the intention that this pup is not to be bred from. If someone tries to later register pups from that dog, AKC will refuse the registration.
Health and Vaccines: Your breeder should have covered all the possible concerns regarding genetically inhertited diseases that may occur in the pups. Very few genetic diseases in Basenjis have a definitive yes or no test right now, so breeders have to do their best guess as to reducing the chance of passing on genetic disease. A breeder should be able to tell you the last time they test stripped all breeding stock for Fanconi...should be within the last month. She should be able to show you the most recent eye exam paperwork done by a vet. ophthomologist, and she should be able to show you evidence that the parents were both screened for Canine Hip Dysplasia.
The puppies should look healthy (obviously!). Vaccine schedules vary some between breeders....most pups get their first DHLPP between 6-8 weeks. And they should have been wormed at least once during that time.
So I think that REALLY lengthy post covers it...I am sure other people will put in a few more cents that I forgot.