Soon to be Basenji Owner

Hello All! So my wife and I recently "reserved" a Basenji! We had been doing a lot of research before we decided on getting a B and are continuing to do so now that we are going to have one.

This will be our first dog (although I used to breed Bulldogs when I lived with my parents) and we are definitely excited to get a dog after close to a year of marriage. Although we are definitely a little nervous that our B will have "fun" with our stuff 🙂 .

We decided on the name Moto (Swahili for Fire) and we will be purchasing the puppy from a local breeder in Phoenix, AZ. He is very cute and we will be uploading some photos once we get him.

I have been browsing this site (and its awesome) and haven't had luck finding a thread that had a guide for new owners. There is a TON of information on this site, however for new owners you have to know what you're looking for. Is there a thread that is a good beginner guide (what to be aware of, how to start with B puppy, etc) to owning a Basenji?

Thanks in advance for everyone's input, we are really looking forward to owning a B and joining this site!

Your new mantra is "A tired puppy is a GOOD puppy". Lots of play time, many short walks (longer as he grows and gets strong) a puppy knidergarden classes when he is 3 or 4 months old for the basics. Good nutrition, keep anything you don't want chewed up and out of reach, crate train (making him love his crate) for his safety and your sanity. That just off the top of my head and I haven't had a puppy for many years! (not brave enough)
Congrats and good luck!

My tri boy comes from a Pheonix breeder also, Sulou Basenjis. We picked him up right before we moved out here.

Were your pup's sire and dam fanconi tested?

Regarding how to find info for new owners, the search function will be your friend.

Putting stuff out of reach is so important too, as MacPack said. You and the pup will train each other (!!) and that will be part of it. If you (try to) never give him the opportunity to fail (read: eat your undies) you both will be much happier.

I'm so glad you found us here, it's a great resource. Check back often once you get him and let us know how it's going. I mean there WILL be stuff to talk about, let's be honest 😃
And the amount of cumulative basenji experience here is just amazing, so you should be able to find what you're looking for….

My brother and his wife got a basenji shortly after they got married. Soon after that, they started to have children, and the basenji got very jealous because no one was paying attention to him anymore. The basenji was getting "snarky" with the children quite frequently. They feared that he might bite one of them and considered putting him down. Fortunately for Senji, he had an "aunt" that decided to take him…that's ME!!! I've had him for 8 years. He'll be 13 this month.
P.S. He gets along with his "sisters" now when they come to visit. :p

Welcome to the forum! Puppies are great! You just have to remember it will alllll get better in time (:D:D)

Good luck with your B, please post some pics! And stories of course 🙂

Thanks everyone for the advice and welcomes! The parents are both around 2, so they have not been tested yet, which sucks, but both sets of grandparents have been tested and are free of Fanconi.

For the crate, will a medium size crate be good enough? Have you guys found any particular toys that B's just love? Also will the puppy be able to sleep in the crate the entire night without us having to take him out?

@Chew12:

Thanks everyone for the advice and welcomes! The parents are both around 2, so they have not been tested yet, which sucks, but both sets of grandparents have been tested and are free of Fanconi.

For the crate, will a medium size crate be good enough? Have you guys found any particular toys that B's just love? Also will the puppy be able to sleep in the crate the entire night without us having to take him out?

That is pretty young…. most bitches are not bred till 3?.... but good that the grandparends are clear. Are the Fanconi tests showing clear on the OFA site? (www.offa.org))… and did the breeder at least do Prelims for hips and elbows? What about eye exams? Thyroid? Those are all pretty important.....

And no, typically depending on the age of the pup they will not be able to sleep all night without going out, one reason my B's crates are in the bedroom... that way I hear them and can get up and carry them out... Watch the size of the crate as a baby... you find sometimes that pups in a fairly large crate will go potty in one part and then go to the dry part to sleep... They do make dividers for most wire crates.

@Chew12:

Thanks everyone for the advice and welcomes! The parents are both around 2, so they have not been tested yet, which sucks, but both sets of grandparents have been tested and are free of Fanconi.

I am confused by this statement. The DNA Marker Test for Fanconi can be done on puppies over 2 weeks old so the parents are plenty old enough to have been tested. Also what is meant by "free of Fanconi". The test results would be Probably Clear, Probably Carrier, Probably Affected, Indeterminate between Carrier and Clear or more recently Equivocal. A dog can be Probably Carrier and will never become ill with the disease but can produce Affecyed offspring.

If the grandparents are not in the OFA database then they have not been tested, http://www.offa.org.

The parent club for the breed also recommends all breeding stock have hips, eye, and thyroids checked prior to breeding, http://www.caninehealthinfo.org/brdreqs.html?breed=BJ

Thanks for the info. I will look into this more. Keep in mind I'm new (but have done research) to B's and what may seem normal to you, may not to be me.

So I looked up the B's relating this puppy and none have them have been officially tested (well they aren't on the www.offa.org site). I'm not sure what I should do…. How early can a B be tested on the "linked marker DNA test"?

I understand, the DNA Marker test was released only about 17 months ago, July 2007. BCOA has really tried to make sure the information about the test is out there and easy to find so people know to make sure to check that at least 1 parent in any breeding they are considering a puppy from has tested Probably Clear. Prior to the test being released all we could do was strip test for urine glucose which only told us the status of the dog at that moment. It is such a heartbreaking disease.

Here is a link to a recent post Why Responsible Breeders Test for Fanconi, http://www.basenjiforums.com/showthread.php?t=4937&highlight=fanconi

@Chew12:

So I looked up the B's relating this puppy and none have them have been officially tested (well they aren't on the www.offa.org site). I'm not sure what I should do…. How early can a B be tested on the "linked marker DNA test"?

A puppy can be tested anytime after 2 weeks of age. The cost is $65, https://secure.offa.org/cart.html

Ok, thanks for the latest info. I was definitely confused with the pee strips and the swap, some were saying 2-3 years before testing, I hadn't seen the 2 weeks. It all makes sense now.

So if you guys were in my situation (still can back out, but will lose the deposit), what would you do? Since the puppies family haven't been tested (although they say there aren't any symptoms in the family) should I not go through with getting this puppy?

I really don't know how common this disease is.

Glad to see you're doing your homework! 🙂 Testing at 2-3 years means the breeder was probably doing the old urine test, which is all we had until a couple years ago. The urine test is usually done monthly starting at 3 yrs old because that is about the earliest that Fanconi starts to show up. But the urine test doesn't tell you if the dog has it or not, all it does is tell you that if the dog is affected, it will show when the actual disease is starting to manifest. But the urine glucose test won't tell you if the dog is a carrier etc. And carriers bred to more carriers can produce affected offspring. So there is still a high risk of that breeder's lines to produce fanconi somewhere. Fanconi is pretty common in Basenjis. And depending on the age of the grandparents, they could still appear free of fanconi when it just hasn't surfaced yet. The usual age of onset is 4-7, although can occur for the first time even in the teens. Now that we have a DNA marker test, even the most repsonsible breeders have found fanconi in their lines where they thought they were "clean". So it's very important to find out the DNA status of your future puppy or it's parents.

If I was in your shoes, I wouldn't get the puppy unless they did DNA testing. Losing a deposit is the least of your worries. That minimal amount is nothing compared to the thousands of dollars you'd have to spend going to vets at least twice a year and getting tests done if the dog had fanconi as well as the heartache of popping 30-40+ pills a day into their mouth, and that's if they even respond well to the treatment. (A lot of Basenjis do, but there are some that do not.) There is no cure for fanconi and it can be a very difficult disease to live with. So losing a deposit doesn't compare to getting a dog from a responsible breeder where you know to the best of the test's ability at this time that your puppy won't get sick from Fanconi later in life. At least one parent needs to test "clear/normal" for the litter to be considered "safe". Or if you test the puppy himself, he would need to test clear, carrier, or indeterminate/equivocal. All those results mean that he will not have fanconi to the best accuracy of the marker test. They are still developing a direct test which will be even more accurate, but at 90%+, the marker test is a godsend.

I would ask the breeder if they would do the DNA marker test on the parents. Let them know that you do not want a puppy unless you can better determine the status of the puppy, and you can even send them to the links where they can get the info and order the kits. If they are responsible breeders, they should have no problem doing the testing. If they won't do the testing then that might be a sign that this is not a great place to get a puppy from anyway. But if they seem nice and have done other clearances like hips and eyes, then you can still do the DNA test yourself on your individual puppy before you agree to take him home. You can do the blood sample at around 6-8 weeks old or the new cheek swab option can be done a lot earlier even it sounds like and would probably be cheaper. When they have decided which puppy will be "yours" you can order the test kit and go over and swab the puppy and send it in. It should only take a few weeks for results to come back, so you can wait to purchase your baby until you get the results.

There are lots of folks on here that can help you find a responsible breeder to get a puppy from. I know there are others in your area that would have a litter. Even if their puppies are all spoken for, I know there are other good breeders across the country that still have puppies available. It might take a bit more traveling or a plane ride to get your baby, but will be well worth it in the long run. Here is a link to the Basenji Club of America's breeder referral. This is a good place to start to help you find a responsible breeder:

http://www.basenji.org/PUBLIC/BreederDirectory.htm

Good luck and let us know how things go!

I would recommend telling them about the test and see if they are willing to test prior to the puppy going home so that you know the status before he come home. Also, they should pay for the testing, they already have a deposit from you.

I would also recommend contacting some of the BCOA in your area and talking to them and see how they compare to the breeder you have a deposit with. It may be less expensive in the long run to lose the deposit and get a puppy from a breeder that is doing the health testing.

You can check if a breeder is doing health testing by using the advanced search option on the OFA and searching for their kennel name in any part of the name. Most are at the front of the name but the Avongara dogs have the kennel names at the end and Avongara at front.

I definitely think losing the deposit is worth it. There is also that other angle: knowing that this breeder would not spend $130 to have the parents tested, when this amount will undoubtedly be recooped with the sale of ONE puppy, are those breeding practices you want to support?

Here's the questions I have. Who are the parents/grandparents. I'm suspecting that since they said they can't be tested yet they are only doing the strip testing. Is there a kennel name? I would be very careful if both sets of parents are only two. There may be a reason why you would want to breed a two year old bitch, but not both sets. Sometimes it's hard to make a decision based on what you do or in this case don't know. If you feel my questions are too nosy, don't answer.

Also, they are really being less than honest about health if they have not done the DNA Fanconi test (before breeding)… and telling you they were too young?... So, while you gave a deposit in good faith, certainly they have not done the same. And I would tell them I want my deposit back.

@Chew12:

Ok, thanks for the latest info. I was definitely confused with the pee strips and the swap, some were saying 2-3 years before testing, I hadn't seen the 2 weeks. It all makes sense now.

So if you guys were in my situation (still can back out, but will lose the deposit), what would you do? Since the puppies family haven't been tested (although they say there aren't any symptoms in the family) should I not go through with getting this puppy?

I really don't know how common this disease is.

Fanconi is a horrible disease.. and one is too many. There are a few on this forum that have affected Basenjis that they are now caring for… few on here that have lost their B to Fanconi.. I am sure they will tell you that even one Fanconi effected when there is a way to be sure this disease is NOT passed on is available. Fanconi can strike as early as 2, but typically it shows up 85% of the time around 8 to 10yrs, so no surprise that they are not showing any symptoms yet.
And this also means (I am guessing here) that there have not been anyother health tests done? Hips? Elbows? Thyroid? Eye exams?

The suggestion that you contact other breeders in the area is a great one.. then you can compare their practices against the breeder that you have been dealing with....

I too will chime in here; there are several responsible breeders in the Phoenix and Tucson areas. There really is no reason not to test your breeding stock - the cost is not really prohibitive and is even less now that a cheek swab can be done so that shipping blood is not necessary. I also know that the Basenji Fanciers of Greater Phoenix has held at 2 or 3 blood draw clinics so that their members could have their dogs tested, so the opportunity has certainly been there for the breeder to test. You might try going to their website to find referrals to local breeders.

That said, I do want to add a little note about Fanconi. We currently have 3 affected dogs, and the cost of treatment and the protocol is NOT extremely expensive. The highest number of pills we give per day to an individual dog is 11 - 5 sodium bicarbonates twice per day and 1 vitamin. And yes, while some dogs do not respond to the protocol, the vast majority of them do, and live a normal lifestyle and life span. Nevertheless, if we can prevent this from ever happening, we absolutely owe it to our beloved breed to do so.

Terry

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