Worries about my boy and questions

I have just come to realize that I probably bought Beegin from a backyard breeder. I got him from nextdaypets.com after emailing this breeder back and forth. I thought she was probably a decent breeder because she answered lots of my questions about the breed, sent lots of emails. I knew about puppymills and I figured that a puppymill owner wouldn't want to be bothered with someone who emailed and emailed and emailed. She called me to make Beegin made it to the airport okay and has responded to subsequent emails about behavioral issues and training. I paid $550 for him. Some of the posts have indicated that that is too low for a responsible breeder to ask for. She told me that they are small scale and do breeding as a hobby, not as their main job. She said they only have one male and one female for breeding. She said neither of them had Fanconi but not in the terms I read on the phenome site (not affected, probably carrier etc). I will be checking Beegin for that asap.

I feel really guilty that I may have been an uninformed buyer and helped perpeptuate a problem industry. Does it sound like I screwed up here??? Or can a breeder do it as a hobby and be responsible???

I mean regardless I love Beegin and he is a great dog. And he certainly doesn't look like the poor poor breeding dogs from Mt. Olive IL. Poor things. He even doesn't do some of the undesirable things people have said about Basenjis as a breed. Doesn't snap when woken, loves new people and new dogs, really sweet around little kids. I've had kids at the park reach down and pet him before I could say anything and he doesn't mind at all. He is usually more interested in the birds and squirrels than the kids but he doesn't snap or anything.

I guess I just thought that I would apologize to everyone if I had screwed up when I bought Beegin.

You didn't screw up or perpetuate the problem. If the breeder really is a BYB, you just may have saved a dog from a probably bad home where he wouldn't have been cared for well. $550 is a little on the low side for a basenji, but there are responsible breeders of other breeds that $550 would be just right for a good breeder's pricing.

It is probably still a great idea to send in blood for the linkage test, but that's just so you know what to expect.

You are in a good place to learn more, and get any help you may need, and I hope everyone else is as understanding.

Well, it does sound like what you are describing is what is called a backyard breeder. Most of these breeders are not really bad people but they do not health test their dogs, they do not inform their puppy buyers about health issues, and if their puppies don't work out in the homes they placed them in, they don't take them back. When you buy from this kind of breeder, you are contributing to the shelter/rescue cycle because though your dog may never need rescue the fact the breeder made money by selling that puppy to you will encourage them to continue to breed and there will be pups that don't work out and will end up in shelters and rescue.

I would say that responsible breeders are hobby breeders. None of us that are doing all the health testing, making sure our puppies are well socialized, that the mom and pups are getting optimal care and regular vet checks are doing it to make money. Many times we are lucky to break even with a litter and if there are any complications a breeder can easily end up with quite a bit more expense than they will ever recoup. We are also committed to those puppies for their entire lives, they will not be a burden on rescue or the shelter system because they always have us to come home to.

That being said, don't beat yourself up over where Beegin came from. Many people don't know how to tell a responsible breeder from a BYB. When the breeder says they are a "small operation", "there puppies are home raised", and "both parent on premise", these all sound like good things to people new to finding a purebred dog. Even the ever popular "champion bloodlines" are phrases used to make a breeder sound good to a buyer trying to sort the wheat from the chaff. Most responsible breeders don't advertise "champion lines" their dogs either are champions or are not but they will gladly tell you what they have to offer the breed by being bred. Most responsible breeders do not own both parents, they choose who to breed their bitch to based on which dog will best compliment her in health, temperament, and conformation and often that dog is not the one in their house. Many people unfamiliar with purebred dogs are surprised that I didn't just breed Nicky to Rally and have a hard time understanding why I went to Los Angeles and Phoenix for the sires of her litters. We won't even go into how utterly confused they are at the thought of breeding a frozen semen litter. Home raised doesn't tell you how well socialized the puppies are, a responsible breeder will happily tell you how they raise their pups and how they ensure that they are getting the proper socialization to become well adjusted dogs.

Puppy people benefit greatly from the dedication of the responsible breeder. I live with my dogs and we have many hobbies in common, they like to chase a plastic bag around a field and I like to watch them do it. They like to run around an agility ring doing obstacles and I lilke to direct them. Because I love having dogs to do this with, and I want them to live long healthy lives so I can enjoy their friendship for a very long time, I select each breeding with that in mind. The pups that don't stay with me go to carefully screened homes where they can be a special part of someone elses family. Each one was bred to be wonderful companions, with health, temperament, and conformation as the focus so they can all have the best chance of being long lived, healthy, and with their owners for as long as possible.

Dont feel to bad…. KIRO came from the same place..... I didnt know any better! I talked to the woman on the phone everyday for a week. (Somewhere in olkahoma) I just didnt know! I paid 750 for her.

I recently went to a basenji MEET up here in MD and some professional breeders were kinda of nasty to me when i told them where she came from. Like i was a bad person. Thats rediculous though, if you love basenjis and they are already born why is yours any better than mine?

I understand NOW why its bad, but thats doesnt give anyone the right to make you feel shamful for adopting a beautiful baby pup. Just because they are (nose in the air) breeders. (not all, but some that i meet)

granted the health concern is valid and i too need to get her tested, but im willing to care for her through anything no matter what, so it doesnt really matter what happens. The deal is done.

You could be mad at breeders for not adopting and adopters for not adopting pupmill dogs.... the cycle is endless what matters is that you both are happy and found each other. If she had cost more, then i wouldn't have had her, and that would be a true injustice, because she has truley become the love of my life. WE are too of a kind. 🙂 she makes me smile on the worst day.

In the words of Maya Angelou…
"...But once you do and you see the mistake, then you forgive yourself and say, 'well, if I'd known better I'd have done better,' that's all..."

It does kind of sound like Beegin came from a BYB, but seriously you don't owe any of us an apology and don't beat yourself up...just give Beegin a good home and move forward. Hey, what you've learned you can tell your friends or anyone interested in the breed so they don't make the same mistake somewhere down the line.

Exactly what has already been said by lvoss…. I would also say that is a Back Yard Breeder who doesn't test. Usually to me is when a person says "It is just a hobby" it is a big red flag. As Lisa said, responsible breeders are really hobby breeders as we do not make money, not after responsible testing before breeding, care of the litter, test after the litter is born, .... we are lucky to break even.... And if you really want to get down to it, responsible breeders are breeding to hopefully keep something for themselves to carry on their breeding program, not to just sell puppies.

I can tell you for a fact that if anyone out of the area contacts me for a puppy, they are told that they MUST personally come and pick up that puppy, I will not nor will I ever ship a puppy to someone as baggage. Period...

So your job now is to get your boy tested... love him... and help to educate others on how to find a responsible breeder. There are many links on this board on how to find a responsible breeder... but it is good to repeat.

http://www.tanzabasenjis.net/selectbreeder.html

Another thing that everyone who has gotten a basenji from BYBs, petstores, etc can do to help is help us to develop educational resources to help future puppy buyers in doing their research.

Pat included a link to one resource, and here is another, http://kineticbasenjis.tripod.com/Information/Buying_a_Basenji.html

What information should the Basenji Club of America and their local affliate clubs work on providing to the public to help educate?

@lvoss:

What information should the Basenji Club of America and their local affliate clubs work on providing to the public to help educate?

Boy…that is a good question. Because really for me the BCOA website info and the ease of finding a breeder thru that was what prevented me from the making the same mistake of going thru a BYB (I already knew about avoiding pet stores).

One thing I can think of (if it isn't already on there) is about cost. Many people think that responsible breeders cost more than pet stores & bybs and that is definitely not the situation. Yes, the person who posted originally paid less than what many charge, but KiroGurl paid about the same or more. We all know the people on here who ended buying from a pet store and ended up paying much higher than a responsible breeder charges.

Cost might really be a good angle to gear something toward because so many people go at it from an initial cost output and looking for the best deal. I heard an ad on the radio last week for a pet store that was offering financing that would allow payments of $10 per week.

@renaultf1:

Boy…that is a good question. Because really for me the BCOA website info and the ease of finding a breeder thru that was what prevented me from the making the same mistake of going thru a BYB (I already knew about avoiding pet stores).

One thing I can think of (if it isn't already on there) is about cost. Many people think that responsible breeders cost more than pet stores & bybs and that is definitely not the situation. Yes, the person who posted originally paid less than what many charge, but KiroGurl paid about the same or more. We all know the people on here who ended buying from a pet store and ended up paying much higher than a responsible breeder charges.

Cost might really be a good angle to gear something toward because so many people go at it from an initial cost output and looking for the best deal. I heard an ad on the radio last week for a pet store that was offering financing that would allow payments of $10 per week.

As the chair of the BCOA Outreach committee, I have always been after the club to change the website. I find it very difficult to navigate and also I believe that information regarding the breed, finding breeders should be front and center on the site… like the link to "Is a Basenji right for me" section along with the Breeder directory.

As far as price, the way I look at it... as they say, you get what you pay for... and the initial output is far from the end cost... and people really do not look at that factor, IMO. While I have no problem working with someone with maybe splitting the cost into a payment or two, still people need to understand that having a pet costs... and sometimes costs a lot... just normal vet care is not cheap any more, add to that puppy school, maybe an Obedience class ... and the cost goes up... there is so much more that goes into having a family pet then the first cost....

@tanza:

As far as price, the way I look at it… as they say, you get what you pay for... and the initial output is far from the end cost... and people really do not look at that factor, IMO. While I have no problem working with someone with maybe splitting the cost into a payment or two, still people need to understand that having a pet costs... and sometimes costs a lot... just normal vet care is not cheap any more, add to that puppy school, maybe an Obedience class ... and the cost goes up... there is so much more that goes into having a family pet then the first cost....

Pat, I hear you about cost. That's why I'm so amazed when people are buying a pet based on the best deal (I think of the internet pet purchases in that sense). Makes no sense to me because I'd rather pay more for a healthy pet and one that might likely stay that way because all testing has been done prior to breeding. And I also completely agree about cost of a pet is so much more than the initial purchase.

My thing about saying there should be maybe be something about cost on the BCOA website was to educate buyers. Something like…"by purchasing from a pet store or byb did you know you aren't getting the best deal and here's why. Oh, and did you know that many times you are more likely to pay more thru those avenues than thru a responsible breeder..."

@lvoss:

Another thing that everyone who has gotten a basenji from BYBs, petstores, etc can do to help is help us to develop educational resources to help future puppy buyers in doing their research.

Pat included a link to one resource, and here is another, http://kineticbasenjis.tripod.com/Information/Buying_a_Basenji.html

What information should the Basenji Club of America and their local affliate clubs work on providing to the public to help educate?

I don't know if I came across the BCOA site when I was originally looking to purchase or not so I can't really help as far as what kind of improvements they should do to the site.

If it helps, for me cost wasn't why I went through the breeder I found online. I wasn't thinking, I want the best deal on a dog or anything like that. I think it may just be that neither I (nor my family) has ever had any experience getting purebred dogs. We have always adopted from shelters or adopted strays that wandered into our acreage.

Harley, my last dog who passed 09/2007 was a bluetation (blue tick/dalmation mix) we got from a shelter and I was devastated when he died. He had cancer so I knew it was coming but it was hard. Then when I was researching a dog to get that would be good in an apartment, be an exercise motivator etc, one of the considerations was that I wanted that dog to have a Harley-like personality. Intelligent, curious and a little bit willful because he was fun to work with and I liked the challenges he gave me every once in a while. But I didn't want to replace him so that's how I wound up looking for a basenji. I think maybe once I settled on a breed I went with the first breeder that seemed decent and didn't do as much research as I should have because of my emotional state at that point.

Don't know if that helps for BCOA or anything, but that's the story.

It would be great to have a link right under "Is a Basenji right for me?" that was something like "Asking the right questions before puchase".

Had I known back then there were "right questions", I might not have purchased my dogs from the breeders I chose.

As a first time Basenji owner I wish someone had said to me…...
Ask for the registered names of the parents on the first phone call to use this
information to do your own research online.
Ask if they have had testing and are listed on the OFFA web site or just
tested periodically with a urine strip (include embedded link to OFFA)
Ask if they are a member of BCOA.
Ask if they just breed, or do they also show, course, or do agility.
Ask to see the entire facility (is this a fair question?) and the breeding pair
prior to committing to the purchase of a pup. (Even if this is not
feasible, their answer might throw up red flags)

I'm sure there are a lot more "right questions" (any suggestions?) and they may sound silly to the long time owners and breeders, but if you are a first time prospective Basenji owner, a link to information like this would be a God send (IMHO)

And that is also why I wanted the "how to select a responsible breeder" link front and center on the site also, not embedded in the "is a basenji right for me"… as all those questions are there for people to use... Take some time to read it (my link is the same as what in on the BCOA site) and see if that would have made a difference to you when you were searching.

http://www.tanzabasenjis.net/selectbreeder.html

As far as visiting and seeing the home and how the pups would be raised for sure, I always recommend a person visit….. as far as seeing the "breeding pair", in 90% of the case you would be able to see the bitch, but many times the stud doesn't live there or is not owned by the breeder and now days, many breedings may be done with frozen sperm from a dog that might be long gone...

And one other thing... to me, if someone is willing to put a pup on a plane at 8wks of age with never meeting the people that are getting that pup, I would run very fast from getting a pup from that person(s).

Or it my case, I have the very weird reverse situation where people can come and visit the sire but the dam won't be coming to live with me until she is in season or when September 20th rolls around, whichever is first. But yes, I always ask that any perspective buyer come and visit with my dogs and also encourage them to visit with other families of basenjis because they aren't all the same and I want them to be confident that my family of basenjis is what they really want.

Tanza/Pat, you are correct. The links are so deeply embedded in the site they are hard to find, nearly impossible if you don't know what you're looking for. I mean to say, if you don't know there are good questions to ask, why would you even be looking for a link?

The information on your link is wonderful, but I think many newbies out there think they already know how to select a good breeder (ie.distance and cost). I would like to see a simpler, faster to read, brief overview of what you would consider essential to a first time reader. Then a link to a site such as yours (http://www.tanzabasenjis.net/selectbreeder.html) for additional information.

Yes, the responsible pet owner to be will do the research required, explore every possibility, and follow through with questions, but that's not IMO who BCOA should target. It's the ignorant, impulse B. buyer that needs to be educated. Sincerely, dumb down the main topic(that sounds awful, sorry), then supply the support link for more information. Engage the reader first, then educate the reader.

I am also on the Outreach committee and have worked with this material over and over again, trying to get it in a simple and easy to use form. I wrote the article Buying a Basenji to be a summary of all the qualities a buyer should look for when researching a breeder. There is a pdf format that prints on 1 page front and back with the urls so it can be handed out at Pet Fairs, Shows, etc.

I can see where an article like "Know What You Are Paying For" could be another good supplemental piece to the Questions to Ask and Buying A Basenji. What I am having a hard time with is how much simpler can we make these sort of materials? Is anyone willing to give an example since it may just be that people like myself and Pat have just had are hands on this material too long to see it any differently.

Exactly… and I would love some input from people that did purchase from a BYB on line or otherwise.

What exactly if you saw it, would "pull" you in.... and get you to read the material? What would have "engaged" you when looking?

The sad thing is that there are sites like puppyfind.com and nextdaypet.com that is so easy for people to go and find BYB puppies for sale. Even though there are some responsible breeders (and I do put ads on there for BCOA), what would be something that would catch someones interest?

We all start somewhere with b's…no need to feel bad...now you know and can help others educated themselves.
These former posts are wonderful re info..
We live, learn and share.
Hugs

My personal belief is that we all do the best we can, most of the time. You did the best you knew and you have a great dog now. If you had known more, you wouldn't have the sweet dog you now have, so no beating yourself up, please!! If you ever get another dog, you will know where to find a responsible breeder. All basenjis are wonderful, mine are rescues, I know the breeding of 2 but one was for sure from a BYB, and they are all perfect to me!

Many years ago I said that when my old one died, I would drive to California if I had to to find 2 healthy basenji siblings, and then the phone rang with a question about a rescued basenji.."can you take him?"..so much for my plans to have dogs of food breeding for once!

Hug your pup and be glad you found him!

Anne in Tampa

Lexi came from Windjammer Kennels and her cost was $350. Maybe she was "cheap" for a non-backyard breeder…

And well, Miles is a pound puppy. 😉

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