Nemo…. it would be interesting for others on the list to learn how you got Zoni... and the fact that your breeder "picked" her for you and how your interactions with your breeder came to be... ... I think it would be wonderful for others to hear about getting a pup from a responsible breeder... if you don't mind sharing...
Okay, hope this helps…When I was looking for a puppy I was interested in getting into lure coursing and possibly showing and didn't know anything about how to practically go about doing either of those, so I wanted to find a breeder that was somewhat local that I would be able to interact with, and who was also interested in helping me get started in one or both activities. I looked through the BCOA and WI basenji club breeder lists to find people in the area and chatted with a few by email in the August-September timeframe since I knew breeding season was really close. By coincidence I actually ran into Sue (Zoni's breeder) at a lure coursing trial and ended up chatting with her for a few hours, plus got to interact with several of her dogs including Zoni's mother. I guess you would call that conversation the interview...I told her what I was potentially interested in doing and asked her questions around what they all involved, what her dogs were like, etc. plus she asked a number of questions about where the puppy would live, did I have a fence, how long I've had a basenji, what was Nemo was like, what I was looking for in the puppy, etc. She also recommended that I get a female at the time since I already had a male. Plus, like I was hoping, she said she'd be happy to help me get started in coursing and showing if that was what I wanted to do. She hadn't made her final breeding plans at the time of the trial and I interacted with her after that by email once Penny came into season, which is where we got into the health testing discussions, etc. (I'd note too, that she initiated the discussion of health testing info herself, which I think is a sign of a responsible breeder.) Plus when I asked some follow-up questions about the stud dog, she was more than happy to help me get the info from the stud owner. I met with some other breeders in person (traveling several hours to do so) and had very similar conversations with them but I really liked Zoni's breeder and ended up putting a reservation in with her since she seemed like a good fit for what I was looking for. Luckily I was already on the forum, so I was also able to get some input from some of the breeders, since many of them know information about the dogs being bred and their pedigrees that you definitely can't find on the internet.
After the puppies were born, I went to visit them at 4 weeks (4 hours away) and talked in more detail with her about what I wanted to do with the puppy, about the conditions of the contract, and more about Nemo as well. Luckily there were 3 females to choose from (could have been zero), but Sue was keeping one of them as well, so that was also a factor. We talked about which ones I liked at the time and in subsequent email conversations when she was giving me updates over the next 6 weeks but she didn't make the final decision which puppy I was getting until about the week before I was coming down to get Zoni at about 10 weeks. Even then, I'm not sure that the decision was necessarily final because she wanted to meet Nemo in person before I took the puppy home. I got Zoni because her personality/temperment was appropriate to get along with Nemo (which was the most important factor for me) and she was also a good show prospect. I'd say Sue was right on track too, because Zoni and Nemo get along very well. If I had gotten one of the other puppies, I'm not sure that would have necessarily been the case. I'd also note that one of her other puppy people (first time basenji owner) really wanted a particular female, but he didn't get that one since it was the dominant one of the litter (probably would have been too much for him to handle).
Plus, after I've taken Zoni home, Sue has always been available by phone or email to answer any questions I have...I'm part of the "puppy family" now.
In contrast, when I got my beagle puppy about 13 years ago, it was a very different situation as I got one from a BYB and didn't really know the difference between a BYB and a responsible breeder. Even though they were nice people, that breeder did not even ask if I had another dog at the time and probably wouldn't have had any input on which puppy would have been appropriate. They were selling the puppies, and probably did not think much about them after they were gone.
Sorry that was a bit long....:eek: