Pros and cons of getting an older puppy


  • Hello!

    I wish to seek advice from this forum as experienced basenji owners. I will not be able to pick up my puppy until it is at least 5-6 months due to covid. I was wondering what are the pros and cons in getting an older puppy, in regards to:

    1. Training it (potty train, learning commands such as sit, no etc or remembering their names)
    2. Removing it from its litter? Will it have separation anxiety?
    3. Will they be comfortable settling in a new home?

    Essentially I would love to hear about your experience with bringing home older pups. I have no doubt the breeder will socialise it in the meantime but I feel like I will miss out on important time with my basenji.

    Thank you


  • I haven't done this myself, but I have adopted older dogs, and got one pup at 3 months. It has some advantages. The breeder hopefully will have covered potty training for you, although you may have to initially reinforce this in a new home. Are the other pups also not being picked up before 6 months? Every pup has to go through the changes that going to a new home brings. Whether this is more difficult when they are a bit older probably depends on the pup and its background, whether is has been house raised or kennel raised, and other factors. Settling into a new home can be easy or difficult and it is hard to predict. If you are able to be home with your new pup much of the time when it first arrives that should make things easier.


  • As noted by eeeefarm, shouldn't be a problem but you do need to clarify if the pup (pups) will all be there till 6 months and will they be in the home or a kennel situation. They adapt well and typically I don't place pups until 12wks unless with a prior/present Basenji owner. So they are 3 months, another 3 they will still bond with their new family.


  • No issue IMO. Personally I think 16 weeks would be good on the early end. Six months won't be an issue at all. You'll have plenty of time to "enjoy" Basenji puppyhood and there shouldn't be any issues with training. Separation anxiety will be an issue, but that would be the case at any age when a dog changes home -- six months is easier than six years.

    I suspect you will be their bestie from day one.


  • I brought my girl, doodle, home at 18 months. Her puppyhood hardships (chewing, house training, etc.) were all addressed by the breeder. It was love at first sight when she saw my son and I was initially (and promptly) jealous. Still, at a year and a half... she fit into our home quite well. Bonding hasn't been a problem.

    Best advice I can think of is to let the breeder know what you will be calling your puppy. The breeder can start calling the little one by that name and it will make the transition a bit easier. But I wouldn't worry, I'm sure the pup will feel at home when it arrives.


  • @eeeefarm and @tanza Thank you 🙂 That's good to hear, and yes there will be at least a few other pups staying longer as well.


  • Anecdotally, I’m going with BiG don’t worry about. It won’t be an issue. My first B spent weeks at an Irvine animal shelter in California. Before that, who knows. He settled in wonderfully. Bonded with the whole family fast. Made himself at home fast. Wonderful dog. Spectacular relationship. Aside from the normal Basenjisms, no issues. We think he was between 4 and 6yp when we got him.

    The second two, that I have now, where about 2yo when we got them. We know their entire history, which had always been with our breeder. Our male, who we got first, seemed a bit melancholy after a few months. Then we got our female. He adjusted quickly, but I also believe he would have been fine on his own given a bit more time. Both have very distinct personalities and behaviors. Our female is very much Basenji, maybe the most in terms of mannerisms, but oh does she love people. Super affectionate. She’s my sweetie. Our male has a big personality, can be a bit demanding, but he’s my buddy.

    If you’re ready to invest the time, effort and energy that a Basenji requires… I don’t believe you’ll encounter an issue you can’t work through. IMO, Basenjis require a somewhat advanced level of dog experience. Two defiantly does. Rowdy little bugger, but dang they’re fun!


  • @elbrant Thank you for sharing your experience and jealous you already have your B! I will take on your advice and let my breeder know


  • I had a situation similar to @elbrant. I contacted a breeder wanting to get on a list for a puppy. She said she had a 16 month female that was available -she was going to SHOW but changed her mind. I said I had my heart set on a puppy and she said “the puppy stage is short- lived and there were a lot of advantages of getting a young dog that was past the puppy stage - you should at least come and meet the dog.” Needless to say it was love at first sight - she immediately bonded w/ my husband curling up next to him. Years later the breeder stated to me that she knew we were the right family for the dog - that she had only seen 2 times when one of her dogs immediately bonded with a family. I always said “ Kembe chose us.” In hind sight it was a blessing - I got a dog that was potty trained, could walk on leash, and already knew basic commands. My only regret is that I did not get her a sibling so that she had a companion. You shouldn’t have any issues. Congratulations- look forward for great adventure and happiness with your new basenji.

  • Banned

    Thank you very much for this interesting analysis of pros and cons. ¡I find it really useful! 🙂

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