When to consider breeding?

Hello! I am interested in breeding basenjis at some point in my life. From what I've read, a title is necessary. I've heard a lot about asking yourself what the puppies would add to the breed. Is this mostly in regard to temperament? Obviously health is important. This is a far off idea at this point, I just wanted to open the door since everyone seems well educated. What do you look for in a puppy if you are looking to breed it later? Are there any books or resources you would recommend for someone interested in the topic? I'm in no rush, I just want to get educated so that I can prepare for a litter maybe 5-10 years down the road depending on my situation.

Find yourself a responsible breeder as a mentor. Go to shows, talk the people showing, that would help you find a good mentor.
The purpose of breeding, in my opinion is for improving the breed in all phases, Temperament, health, conformation/performance. Not all "have" to have a title, but it is good to prove that the dog/bitch you are considering breeding holds up to the breed standard. A well rounded Basenji could also have performance titles.
As far as what to look for in a puppy, pedigree is a place to start. A good strong pedigree of proven show/performance dogs is an indication that those pups would have the correct conformation to begin with.... Breeders will evaluate litters at 8 wks, as at that age they are most like how they will grow up. Of course temperament/health is important when look at a puppy. And the question of "what will the puppies add to the breed" is totally valid as a breeder you are hoping to better the breed.

You might find this a useful guide.

I bought my second Basenji from Bob. Very knowledgeable guy.

You also might consider the cost of having a litter...you will almost never come out even. Expenses involved in doing it properly eat up most every dime. The cost of your bitch, cost of showing her to championship, stud fees, all tests, xrays and after care,for bitch and pups. And many more considerations.$$$$$$$$$$$. Be ready🙂

First Basenji's

There also is the basenji university for breeders.

What TANZA said... find a good breeder for a mentor.... they will share their wide range of experiences and lend their expertise in the area of breeding, exhibiting... if you take the time and learn from someone that have had a vested interest in the breed and it's future, you can gain enough knowledge in order to have the background knowledge to have enough knowledge to possibly breed a litter after a number of years learning about the breed and the ins/outs of showing, performance events, breeding, etc.

Talk to as many breeders as you can - and LISTEN careful to what the experienced ones tell you. And figure out what you will do with the puppies ! OK one (or two) you will probably keep but it is essential to make sure you have loving, understanding homes for the rest of the litter. We always figured out costs thus. First puppy out paid for the stud fee. Second paid all the veterinary bills, post parturition, removal of dew claws, shots etc. Third one out paid for the food. Fourth one we kept. Fifth one paid for all the health checks. You might see a little financial reward by the 7th or so - but we never had more than 6 in a litter. Mind you, although we were among the cheapest, we were also among the most difficult to buy from. Third Degree Interrogation had nothing on us !

You can read books - Complete basenji and great book about breed standard Basenji stacked and moving.
Go show your dog, get to know the breeding world.. than you will see If you want to be a part of it.
Health and temperament are a must...

You got superb responses from breeders I'd have begged to get a puppy from. Although I put a championship on my first basenji, her over the top, crazed dog aggression concerned me and I had her spayed. Lucked out as she developed severe autoimmune problems, as did her niece we bought the next year.

My point is that I wasn't a newbie to genetics or breeding. But my experiences were with Rottweilers. I failed to research the bloodlines and trusted someone I thought was a friend. Do it the right way so you don't make the errors that I made. Get a mentor, start studying canine genetics, learn bloodlines. Save up a lot of money.

While it's very unlikely you have a dog with a quality bloodline (not meant to be harsh...but a responsible breeder will not place a puppy with a newbie that isn't on a spay/neuter contract unless mentoring to show), you may want to go to handling classes and even enter a few shows just to get a feel for things before you commit more time.

You also might post your puppy reg or, better yet the sire and dam, and let the experienced breeders here help explain the pedigree, testing, etc.

Btw, I moved into rescue. That's another great venue for the breed lovers. ☺

last edited by DebraDownSouth

If you are looking at breeding you must be honest with yourself on why and what are your goals . When you are looking for a partner what do you look for? Does the partner you seek need a Phd or run 100metres in 11 seconds , so why does the dog need a title . Firstly I would not breed any dog under 3 years as they are still teenagers . I would not line bred as many show people do . When seeking a pup 3 years ago I approached 5 show breeders who were going to breed brindled dogs , 3 were struck off my list when I asked about the pups lineage and the forth was struck off when I found out the dog was being put to its grand mother . Would this be acceptable in humans? These were all top breeders I went with the fifth who was also a show person but had different lines constantly mixed with hers. You must decide . I have seen dogs at club days that I love the look of but in my view should never be bred as they had aggression issues but they have titles and are being bred. Abit off topic my pups I got 3 years ago will never see a show ring they are working dogs. My basenji pups sister won in the ring from puppy stage and got her AUS. Title , yet my boy was presented to a show judge for grooming and she claimed he was the best dog in the state she had seen. My Weimaraner pups brother is the best performed Wei in Australia yet mine will never be put in the ring . Yet I get lots of enquiries about pups because of my dogs temperament and working ability. I feel I do as much for the breeds as a show breeder by presenting true to type well balanced even temper dogs that the general public appreciate . You must decide on you want from breeding . To me you should be as proud of the pups you produce as you are of your children .

@bigv said in When to consider breeding?:

If you are looking at breeding you must be honest with yourself on why and what are your goals . When you are looking for a partner what do you look for? Does the partner you seek need a Phd or run 100metres in 11 seconds , so why does the dog need a title . Firstly I would not breed any dog under 3 years as they are still teenagers . I would not line bred as many show people do . When seeking a pup 3 years ago I approached 5 show breeders who were going to breed brindled dogs , 3 were struck off my list when I asked about the pups lineage and the forth was struck off when I found out the dog was being put to its grand mother . ..
Would this be acceptable in humans? ""

Dogs aren't people... So heck yes I want a dog or bitch I bred to be titled. So you only want to hunt...okay...but breeding dogs when you seem uninformed on line breeding, genetics...and snub your nose at titles doesn't do the breed much good.

I remember your posts..

  1. Shock collars on puppies

I also put an E-collar on the dog when they start out in the bush and I must admit they are brilliant . I have only ever had to push the button about 6 times in 25 years. Each pup has only needed about 2 corrections when they got the urge to chase something . <

Over 2 years, no improvement in respect for those who show, probably stl shocking pups instead of teaching them right. Yeah I'm anti shock...glad it's been banned in a lot of countries. But its a disgrace to use on puppies, or any dog before they 100% know what to do.

This seems a common problem in the breed but it has nothing to do with intact dogs . It is your job to socialise a pup from early on to stop it happening . To those that don’t agree look at a basenjis origins as a pack dog and all dogs were intact but they all get along.<<

Now it seems you imagine that you can socialize a Basenji...or any dog...out of dog aggression. You might train to ignore, but don't kid yourself that dog aggression is gone.

You raised some valid points in regard to breeders mating dogs for there conformation and no regard for demeanour . This is common with show breeders . <

Common? I wonder what type of irresponsible breeders you hang out with? Your comment is impressively misinformed and an insult to all responsible breeders!

last edited by DebraDownSouth

I have consistently linebred - In the wild, the alpha male probably mates with his mother, his aunts, his daughters and his grandmother. The villagers probably owned a pack and didn't pay attention. Basenjis are one of the oldest breeds, allegedly 6000 years old. Could this be an argument in favour of line-breeding ?
Socialising puppies should be done very early - between 3 and six weeks of life. There are various articles on my website. Vets always seem to recommend spaying. We sold a puppy to a family with a young son. They moved to USA and throughout school and University that young lad stuck his toes in cos his 'breeder had told him not to spay and he wasn't going to. The dog saw him through uni - she lived to be well over 17 - and on his way to vetschool.

@zande said in When to consider breeding?:

I have consistently linebred - In the wild, the alpha male probably mates with his mother, his aunts, his daughters and his grandmother. The villagers probably owned a pack and didn't pay attention. Basenjis are one of the oldest breeds, allegedly 6000 years old. Could this be an argument in favour of line-breeding ?

Actually, probably not. Wolves tend to avoid incest, as do wild dogs (and horses, come to that). I had heard this before, and had anecdotal evidence of it in my own horses, but when I looked for evidence on the matter, I found this: "Like many wild canids, African wild dogs exhibit inbreeding avoidance behavior. Dogs from the same pack very rarely will mate with close kin from the same natal pack.

A recent study that was published PLoS ONE found that African wild dogs also won’t mate with aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, or grandparents from the same natal pack, even if they encounter each other several years later. In the South African study stample, 0nly a single breeding pair was confirmed to have been between two third order or closer relatives."

article

And this: "Inbreeding apologists in the dog world love invoking the notion that wolves inbreed all the time and are just fine and not harmed. As is clear from the scientific evidence, this once common refrain is nothing more than an unsupported meme that is not backed up by empirical or observational evidence."

article

....and this....."We find no evidence in two natural wolf populations that mated pairs are related as parents and offspring or as siblings....In fact, wolf 75 from SNF had three different mates during the period of the study; each time he paired with an unrelated individual rather than related packmates"

article

Whether an ancient breed such as the Basenji follows the same avoidance as wild dogs and wolves is the question, and I don't know the answer. But food for thought.

I do wonder about modern breeding practices, and whether they will prove harmful in the long run.

last edited by eeeefarm

One article is 20 yrs old by someone named Christopher..with unprofessional venting against inbreeding apologist.

The other quite good.

Inbreeding avoidance behavior can be a boon to the long-term survival of a species.

But it can also be a great hindrance.

With this amount of inbreeding avoidance, the authors looked at computer models to see how long it would take such a population to become extinct solely upon the basis of its inbreeding avoidance behavior. Populations that avoided incestuous breedings between a parent and siblings and between siblings were estimated to become extinct in 63 years. Those that avoided mating with second order relatives were estimated to become extinct within 37 years, and those that avoided third order relatives were estimated to go extinct within 19 years.

With African wild dog existing in such fragmented populations, their extreme inbreeding avoidance behavior may very well spell doom for them.

Inbreeding avoidance has been a very useful for wild dogs as they have evolved. With the exception of the island foxes and domestic dogs, inbreeding is not a frequent occurrence among members of Canidae, and it has contributed to greater genetic diversity in many wild dog populations than might otherwise be assumed.

But there is also a paradox to this inbreeding avoidance.

If animals have such a resistance to doing so, they are unlikely to do so should their numbers drop significantly and the only available mates be close relatives.

And this can kill them off far more rapidly than the effects of an inbreeding depression.

Further, we know that lots of wild Carnivons have survived extreme genetic bottlenecks.

Cheetahs are the textbook example. Their population experienced a massive crash about 10,000 years ago, losing over 90 percent of their genetic variability. Cheetahs were able to survive this bottleneck and were thriving until about a 150 years ago.

Northern elephant seals are another example of a Carnivoran surviving an extreme genetic bottleneck. Whalers would stop by the seals’ breeding beaches to augment their cargo, and by the end of the nineteenth century, there may have been as few as 20 northern elephant seals left. There are now 100,000 of them, and there is no evidence of any deleterious effects of inbreeding on the population, though they may be more susceptible to disease, pollution, and climate change issues. Of course, northern elephant seals harem breed, and only a few males of the species wind up siring the pups at any given time– a kind of natural popular sire effect. It’s very likely that elephant seals within the same populations were always in some way related, and because the animals had evolved this type of breeding system, they may have evolved a certain amount of inbreeding tolerance that hasn’t been observed in any species of dog, which almost universally reproduce within a bonded pair.

Inbreeding avoidance behaviors do keep populations genetically diverse.

But it can be an Achilles’ heel.

If a population is so adverse to inbreeding, it won’t be able to continue on if the only possible mated pairs are relatives.

Inbreeding avoidance behavior can be a boon to the long-term survival of a species.

But it can also be a great hindrance.::

The issue is that manmade breeds have limited gene pools. A close linebreed is one way to find out what is there.

Anecdotal at best, I've never seen resistence in dogs to mating with females who were closely related..

http://sciencenordic.com/inbreeding-scandinavian-wolves-worse-we-thought
So looking at several articles on severe inbreeding, most take about very small populations. Most breeders I know who linebreed go out of line often.

But yes, severe inbreeding does not appear to be the norm for most canids.

Can't resist pointing out we have better genetic info than they do. (Ducks and hided.)

@eeeefarm said in When to consider breeding?:

Actually, probably not. Wolves tend to avoid incest, as do wild dogs (and horses, come to that).

Trouble here is that Basenjis don't read books, articles or take much notice of what they are supposed to do (or not). Those of us who do line-breed don't have much problem in encouraging incestuous liaisons - but it is interesting to read other points of view. In my experience a boy doesn't ask questions before mounting his grand-daughter or even his half sister. (In the latter case, the other half of the pedigree should be a total outcross.)

Oh, I totally agree that dogs tend to be promiscuous, but I'm not talking about Basenjis kept in the way we do in our society. Whether things are or were different in a village setting with dogs somewhat free to follow their own inclinations is another question. Being an ancient breed, Basenjis may perhaps have had habits closer to wild canids.

That some dogs are selective is not in doubt. I have seen bitches that would accept no dog but their one of choice, and my breeder friend has had stud dogs that refused to cover a bitch for reasons known only to themselves. Ditto stallions and mares. With the advent of AI, of course, they no longer have a choice in the matter.....

In the days when I ran five nubile lovelies with three entire males (the boys were banished to a kennel in the orchard during the season season) the girls definitely showed a preference for a particular male - even if they were being taken outside the home pack for a husband. The boys would have shown no such discrimination, had I let them ! Living with a reasonably large (8) free roaming pack was extremely interesting in many ways. Adjoining our garden lived a succession of Black Labradors. The boys would come and tell me when they were in season, but they really weren't interested in another breed. And in all the years I've had Basenjis, I've never had any visiting firemen. The myriad dogs in the village and on surrounding farms never showed the slightest interest in the Basenjis. OK we cut the hedges in half and put independently supported pig-netting before letting the hedges to grow back and short of a gate being left open, any would-be visitors wouldn't have had access. But we have frontage on to two roads and nary a sniff at the gate from passing pooches.
Going back to the original villages, it was my understanding that the village kept a pack of dogs in kind of communal ownership. I am wondering where potential mates would come from if not within the village pack. Cos I kind of doubt there would have been any kind of reciprocal exchange arrangement with other centres of habitation.
Over time I have translated loads of articles on this topic. I need to dig them out and re-read them.

So Taylor.rene you have a lot to think about . As I stated before you have to make your own mind up . As can be seen , some people have differing views . A little bit about my findings over the last 30 years is that every person who breeds dogs calls them self a responsible breeder? Some breeders have no problem with incest for the sake of a ribbon as (dogs aren't people )so what does it matter. It is all about titles not the betterment of the breed. Being involved with race horses I see it on occasions the result is known in the industry as (rattle heads) you can work out why. I must admit not all line bred animals have issues most are perfectly fine. Yes I am not a fan of line breeding but it seems that every zoo in the world has a similar view as they are always swapping animals to improve the genes . And I beleave they have the best people working and advising them. Having studied dingos for the past 15 years I can say without dought a bitch won't mate with relative instead they will stand for a farm dog on a chain to produce a litter . They are similar to basenjis in many ways. I am all for shows and bettering the breed it is just the way some people not all go about it. And to the ney Sayers my basenji hunts as they have done for the past 6000 odd years to survive . And my boy does have a title that no other basenji has . He is the first and only basenji to be approved by the Victorian State Goverment to be authorised to hunt deer on private and public land within its borders. But to some this would make him unsuitable to breed with you figure?

@bigv said in When to consider breeding?:

So Taylor.rene . A little bit about my findings over the last 30 years is that every person who breeds dogs calls them self a responsible breeder? ""

Yes, and fortunately for about 20 year now, anyone who really wants to verify if the breeder is actually believable can do so.

Some breeders have no problem with incest for the sake of a ribbon as (dogs aren't people )..It is all about titles not the betterment of the breed. Being involved with race horses..<<

Gosh, where to begin. " Incest" is a morality terminology, applied as everything from just not parent/child and aunt or uncles/nieces and nephews....all the way to 2nd or even 3rd cousins. It has little to do with genetics, hence adopted children count, and everything to do with moral views. That said, the human race is far from universally avoiding what would be called close line breeding or even incest. Isolated communities ...either physically by geographic terrain or socially by groups such Ashkenazi Jews and Romani, have limited gene pools. Ashkenazi Jews, btw, joke we are all no further than 5th cousins, but it is nearly true.
Dogs and animals have no such manmade morals. A common propensity for many mammals to not to mate with closely related animals has nothing to do with incest. In limited populations they will mate, and the problems that arise if it occurs too often are due to decreased gene, increased expression of harmful genes etc.

In controlled breeding, line breeding, even close, can be used to find if there are harmful recessives, or bring out desired recessives. If you think it isn't done with livestock, including horses, you're mistaken. With knowledgeable breeders who keep up on genetics, it absolutely is for the betterment of the breed, not a ribbon...

Yes I am not a fan of line breeding but it seems that every zoo in the world has a similar view as they are always swapping animals to improve the genes . ...<<<<<

Again, absolutely nothing to do with incest. Zoo animals, even those of nonendangered species, have a serious issue with limited gene pools. The level of that limitation cannot be compared to most pet breeds. We aren't talking many thousands of individuals, or millions, but sometimes 100 or less. Stud books are kept, for example, on all the polar bears in zoos and the effort to keep the diversification as high as possible is serious. (I'll leave out my views on them being in zoos.) So sure, if dog breeders were faced with THAT level of limited gene pool, line breeding would probably be avoided as much as possible.

However, that all ignores the fact that dogs in any breed are mostly related.. If you go back 10 or more generations, you find the same dogs heavily in most lines. Sometimes 2 dogs that aren't related 3 generations back may share more actual genes than a closely related dog who has a lot of breeding out of the line on one side. That's where knowledgeable breeders come in.

Having studied dingos for the past 15 years I can say without dought a bitch won't mate with relative... They are similar to basenjis in many ways. ...<<
That's nice that you've studied them. But researchers are making new discoveries based on actual observations and finding a lot of what they thought isn't true. With massive interbreeding with domestic dogs, the pure dingos are disappearing. I envy those of you able to see them. However researchers suspect they have ...>>During this a hitherto unknown form of the “pure” dingo was discovered (based on DNA and skull features): a white dog with orange spots on the fur. This variant was considered as a single mutation or the result of interbreeding with an isolated dingo population.<< So they don't rule it out. (I downloaded to read, over 100 pages but you might love it. I'll save for later!
https://web.archive.org/details/http://www.invasiveanimals.com/downloads/Final-proceedings-with-cover.pdf )

And my boy does have a title that no other basenji has . He is the first and only basenji to be approved by the Victorian State Goverment to be authorised to hunt deer on private and public land within its borders. But to some this would make him unsuitable to breed with you figure?<<<

First, while you have done an impressive job with you dogs, I am pretty sure that is a privilege given, not a "title," and I am 100% certain his being able to would have nothing to do with whether anyone deemed him not worthy of breeding to. With the right health checks, good conformation, etc, I would think a good plus...especially if the bitch owner wanted to possibly enhance hunting ability. It simply isn't enough.

last edited by DebraDownSouth

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