Let me ask you a couple of questions - how old are your children? When you think of adding a dog to your life - what do you envision yourselves doing with it. If you hope to play fetch at the park - this is not for you. If you want it to run around after your girls playing in the neighborhood - this is not for you. THey are hounds and if they see it or smell it they are gone. They are not always the best meeting other breeds and can be dog aggressive. They like to meet people on their own terms and that may be unacceptable (although the vision of my first B stopping my father in law at the door is a fond memory of mine) Do your children pick up their clothes - if not they will be eaten. My daughers B just ate her cell phone charger - if you can't laugh at that - not the breed for you. One of my guys, Jacque - chewed off all the wires from the speaker sound system as a puppy. If you can't laugh at that - the breed is not for you. If you cannot keep your trash cans behind a closed door - this breed is not for you. Anything within a foot of the edge of the counter is fair game for a basenji - including birthday cake - BTW it was mine and close by was my sons Graduation Cake ready for the party - that would have been a big issue.
As you consider adding a basenji puppy to your home, ask if the sire and dam were tested in the "LINKAGE TEST". It is new, it is NOT done at a Vet's office although a vet draws the blood sample. There is no other testing that is accurate.
All results are published and anyone you are considering purchasing a puppy from, should give you the link so you can see the results yourself.
Are they listed with any of the Basenji Organizations. BCOA, BCOSW. Go to the websites provided and look them up or email the club to ask. Do they trash any of the above organizations - that is telling as well. The organizations above have donated thousands and thousands of dollars for research to develop a variety of health tests for this breed and I guarantee you that is not trash.
If they say they show their dogs. Is is the US AKC, or Canada, or UKC or ARBA - there is a huge difference. Ask to see show pictures or get a couple of AKC numbers and go to the AKC page and check the numbers out. You can get a show record of any dog. Showing may not be everything but in order to be successful you have to do the other stuff well. Health, temperament and breeding that is more than putting parts together.
There is one 'breeder' in Minnesota that had regularly provided a list of champions that she has bred or owned - and that list is from an entirely different kennel in another state and she does not nor did she ever own or show those dogs.
The vet they use is far away. They should be willing to give you the phone number and name of their vet.
Ask if they are USDA inspected or Licensed. Only commercial breeders/puppy mills and people who sell to pet stores are licensed by the USDA. For the USDA you fill out a form and send in a payment - no inspections etc as some might assume.
If they charge more for a certain color or gender they are most likely not a reputable breeder.
Puppies advertised as 'champion lines' but you see only 1 or 2 champions in the pedigree.
REMEMBER - BACK YARD BREEDERS, COMMERCIAL KENNELS AND PUPPY MILLS DO NOT CALL THEMSELVES THAT…..THEY WILL ALL SAY THEY ARE BREEDERS. DON'T COUNT ON SEEING A BAD SITUATION - IF THE SITUATION WAS BAD THEY WOULD NOT LET YOU COME AROUND. FREQUENTLY FOLKS MAY HAVE YOU MEET AT A HOUSE THAT IS NOT THEIRS, OR IN A MALL PARKING LOT. IT IS UP TO YOU TO SEE PAST THE CUTE PUPPY AND ASK THE RIGHT QUESTIONS!
YOU DESERVE THE BEST COMPANION! The resources that you have been provided can help you do that.
Here is an exerpt from Natures Masterpiece and some basic info that I have on my website:
The Basenji is a well-defined natural breed. Nothing about him has changed in thousands of years. Not his size, his shape, the color and texture of his coat, his temperament.
Owners can testify to his phenomenal intelligence, inventiveness, curiosity and his sense of humor. He is immaculate and practically odorless. Although known as 'The Barkless Dog' they do posses vocal chords and do have a voice. They have a wonderful endearing yodel, a menacing snarl and a scream of terror. On occasion they will voice a singular bark, usually to make a liar of the owner who has just announced that their dog is barkless.
While the relative lack of odor, silence and immaculate nature may seem to make him the ideal pet for apartment dwellers, nothing could be farther from the truth. They are HOUNDS! They need plenty of exercise in a controlled and safe environment. They must always be behind a fence or on a leash. If left to their own devices, they will hunt. Squirrel, rabbit, birds, your neighbors cat whatever is available.
Inform your self, follow the links provided above to learn more about this breed, it's history and antics. Do your homework about your breeder, make sure that you are prepared to deal with the unique characteristics of this breed.
Remember a Dog is a 12-15 year commitment. If you don't know where you will be in 5 years, getting a dog of any kind may not be for you.
Check out Basenji FAQ at this site: http://www.voyuz.net/voyuz.net/basenji_FAQ/basenji_FAQ.html
Go online to Basenji Companions.org. Go online to the Basenji Club of Southeastern Wisconsin and buy their booklet. At Home With Basenjis. Amost every affiliated club with the BCOA has a brochure, pamplet, booklet available and the time to look at that research is before you bring a puppy home.
These dogs are not for everyone - we can tell you cute stories and we can tell you heartbreaking stories.
Here is another link that was part of the MN/WI basenji puppy site a few years ago - you might find some useful information there.
Remember: they can never be off leash, early socialization and training is important, to a basenji NO means try again later, they will unroll toilet paper and eat your underwear - they will run through the house with feminine hygene products in their mouth when you have company, they can climb and they can jump. They will 'bury' Mac in cheese in the corner of the dining room and be made a week later when they look for it and it's gone. They will tolerate well mannered children but young children can ruin a dog very quickly. Uncurling their tail is funny but it can break the tail.
The fact that so many of us are giving you a very large amount of information should be an indicator that you should procede with caution and something that you consider carefully.