Completely agree that parentage is important. That’s what makes Sally’s pedigree database so valuable. No one else is doing it. No one. Not BCOA. We can access it for free and get info in seconds. Meeting the breeder is just as important as is meeting a parent. And as Pat points out... OFA is key too for checking Fanconi and PRA. Pat has a friend, Kathy, who sent me a very thorough checklist to use when selecting a breeder and pup. Use all the tools you can.
Still, Jengo was a rescue. Karen brought out several dogs one by one. I knew it was going to be him within the first 3 minutes of meeting him. We knew nothing about his parentage, health, or upbringing. I just observed him, his temperament and went with my gut. It’s all I had.
I have had one puppy out of the seven Basenjis. The other six have been adopted from BRAT (Basenji Rescue and Transport) or from breeders I found through clubs. My current two I adopted from breeders I found through a Portland club. You can google Basenji clubs California and start contacting breeders.
I had one puppy and would not want to repeat the experience. At 4 to 6 years Basenjis start to mellow. For a Basenji that means they found one piece of furniture to chew on instead of all your furniture or cabinets or walls...
only need pet quality
IMHO, while some dogs are better qualified to be in the show ring, serious breeders are seldom aiming for "pet quality" pups. Serious (ethical) breeders strive for their pups to be healthy, well adjusted, and to meet all of the breeds standards. You may only be looking for a purebred pet from a reputable breeder, but you really are not looking for a dog that is "less than" other dogs of the same breed. Oftentimes, a breeder will allow one of their adult dogs to go to a new home. Inquire about all possible options.
@elbrant Yes, that's a valid point and I don't mean to offend any breeders by suggesting some dogs are of a lower standard. I've heard that for some dog breeds, white from the tummy that extends too far up the sides/legs/chest is seen as less desirable for show dogs. So that is all that I meant by that comment