Ditto for where I am. I move a lot of dogs out of Texas, I don't think I've moved any dog TO Texas. (no, that's not true, I just moved one OK to TX... same difference).
Hi Joanne. We lived in Texas briefly and were surprised by the lack of shelters/adoption facilities. You almost expect that in rural areas, but we lived in the Woodlands, which was a planned development north of Houston.
Here there is a "service" which picks up dogs, mostly from the Central Valley (CA), and takes them to NorCal, the Pacific NW, and BC. Seems as though spay/neuter has been so successful there that there are more homes than dogs. Here, in addition to no kill shelters, including a program for pets of abused women), the City "Pound" is super nice, with rooms complete with couches for the dogs and cats (makes them more adoptable), courtesy of a bequest by Joan Kroc (McDonalds).
He's so cute. I can see why you like your cuddling time! He looks mature for only eight weeks. And so handsome!
Using flash works best indoors. Try bouncing it off a wall or a reflector (you can get those cheap if you don't have one).
In a few months you might want to take him and your camera to the dog part. Might be fun for both of you.
Congratulations on your new family member!
Haven't had cats, but the Richell gates/fencing are the best I've found. They're on the expensive side but the performance justifies the price. They don't look horrible; the gates work seamlessly; and the construction deters climbing. They can get pushed around but you can fasten them to the wall if necessary or set them up so they get pushed against the wall.
Short of something you wouldn't want in your house a gate isn't going to stop a determined Basenji. But he/she should get the hint delivered by the gate and stay out. You'll just want to be careful at first while they all get on the same page.
Should you be worried about anxiety? Of course. At eight weeks a puppy is only beginning to understand the world, and you're yanking him out of that world into a totally new one. I agree with Tanza that 10 weeks would be better and 12 weeks better still. Eight weeks is the bare minimum age. The breeder no doubt wants to unload him but I'd try a little pushback if that's possible. As Tanza says, there is a high probability of having issues with biting since learning how to bite is something that generally happens between 8 and 12 weeks. (No guarantee there aren't some mistakes after even 12 weeks! LOL).
Also agree with Tanza about having him around other dogs much less taking him to puppy school. Will he have all of this shots? It takes a couple of weeks even after a shot to rev up the immunological system, and shots given at an early age aren't as effective as they would be later because the mother's milk is still providing protection, which inhibits the immunological response. A prudent course would be to wait a bit on the school and introducing him to other doggie friends. (Even if the dogs don't have a serious disease, I'd be worried about canine herpes since that poses something of a risk for an 8 week old puppy and it's endemic.)
I'd also think trying to teach an 8 week old puppy to "behave" is like trying to teach a first grader algebra. Too much of a reach. It wouldn't surprise me if he's never even been on a leash. That's not BTW a knock on the breeder. It takes a while to put each puppy on a leash and take them for a walk and it's not something they're likely to enjoy, so it's a time commitment without a huge payoff.
Sorry for coming off so negative. Just trying to help you avoid problems with your new pup, whom I'm sure you'll love!
I'd be more concerned about the 8 weeks than a 12 hour drive. I understand why a breeder might want to have you pick up a pup at 8 weeks, but as an owner you'll pay for that because you'll have a lot more socialization to handle.
As Zande says, 12 hours is too long for a puppy so you'd have to stop. I don't see that as a big deal because 12 hours is too long to drive without stopping. In fact I don't know any vehicle that would let you drive for that long without at least one -- more likely two -- stops for gas.
No matter the method you may get a lot of howling/crying/wimpering.
The safety record of many airlines is atrocious. IIRC United is at the bottom of the pile but some others are also not very good. Likely not an issue for you since without a direct flight air is not a reasonable alternative.
Completely OT, I've noticed that people in cities with a lot of congestion -- think LA -- give travel duration in time rather than miles. LOL
My first choice would be to drive if your situation allows for that. Twelve hours seems like a long time but it's doable. In the worst case, as you mention, you can spend the night. The puppy will be so discombobulated he/she likely won't be all that much trouble. It will likely be a bonding experience.
You could also fly if by that you mean fly out and then back with your bundle. You should be able to take them in the cabin with you. That is also doable but it means having a stranger (you) take the puppy out at security. That might prove problematic or it might be fine. Flying one way and driving back would also work. You could fly in, meet your darling, and then the next day pick him/her up and drive home.
I haven't used specialized ground transport but if the reviews are good and you can trust them I can see that working.
How old is the puppy?
I think it just takes a while. The puppy needs to be sufficiently self-aware and you need to be sufficiently aware of the patterns. You figure out that at X time they need to go and you get them out or watch for signs they want to go out, and then you get them out. It's a two sided learned dance as it were. It's also not likely to suddenly be working 100% as if you've turned on a switch. Basically like many other things it's an iterative process.
Generally in my experience Basenjis don't want to do their business in the house, and you don't want them to either, so things work out.
Meal times were absolutely fine. I have a big kitchen and as long as the food pans were put down from the same hand to the same dog in the same order and on the same spot on the floor at each and every meal - they knew when it was their turn and never fought over food.
Priceless advice. Love the way you put this!