Unless you’ve seen otherwise, or have talked with us directly, the answer is probably “not at the moment.” A girl basenji only comes into season once a year, typically in the fall. If she’s bred, the puppies will be born close to the turn of the year and will get to meet their new families after about 3 months (end of March/beginning of April). If you’re interested, please fill out the puppy interest questionnaire and we can start a discussion about what you’re looking for.
Please note: We have no specific breeding plans for 2023/2024. We are always happy to start discussions with you about what you are looking for, but please be aware that you’ll likely need to wait a couple of years.
Our best answer for this is “we will help match you to a puppy that meets what you’re looking for”. The process of matching a puppy with a family usually (and should!) involve a fair bit of discussion about your home-life, what kinds of things you want to do with a new dog—conformation (“showing”), sports, hiking, and so on. Given a typical litter of five puppies, one or two may be kept or given to another breeder, leaving only three to be placed with new families. Our preference is to match on personality first, then sex, and then (and only then) color.
They are incredibly cute, but there are some important developmental milestones that happen between 8-12 weeks of age, including a “fear period”. We spend that time making sure the puppies are as “socialized” as possible while watching out to ensure that they aren’t pushed too hard during a fear period. A common misconception is that you’ll miss out on “bonding” time, but as the primary person in their life—once you’re in their life, of course—you will absolutely develop a strong bond. We didn’t have Disa until she was 8 months old, and yet she’s as strongly bonded to us—and us to her!—as Spyros, who arrived around 12 weeks, and as Gable, who we’ve had since birth!
We would encourage you to come and visit the puppies if at all possible, though, so that you can see them as they develop, and so that you get to know them even if they can’t go home with you yet.
To be absolutely honest, if this is one of the first questions you have, the odds are that you’re not the kind of home we’re looking for. At the same time, it’s a fair question since some “designer” breeds are sold in the neighborhood of $5,000 or more! When it comes down to it, a good, reputable, and respectable breeder isn’t breeding dogs in order to make money, because they aren’t in the business of selling dogs, they’re in the “business” of trying to breed their ideal dog. To that extent, we place puppies “at cost”, based on the cost of whelping, rearing, and health-testing; this isn’t a money-making venture. (And if you want a ballpark, it’s roughly less than one-third of the “designer” amount mentioned previously.)
For the most part, yes! We were particular about naming Disa and Spyros, so we fully understand wanting to choose a name that “fits”. Since all of our puppies are registered with the AKC, we will work with you to find a registered name that reflects the day-in/day-out “call name” you end up choosing. For example, Banjo, Delilah and Cowboy were all named by their new families, and we came up with AKC registered names that reflect those names. (We kept Dresden and Gable long enough that we chose their names, but the same process applied.)
Although it was common once upon a time to “fix” dogs anywhere from the time that they were placed in new families to 6-9 months, of age, current research in dogs’ physical development suggests that it’s much better to wait until they are roughly 2 years old. There are some significant and crucial growth stages that occur as dogs mature, and we believe that the benefits to the dog’s well-being outweigh the inconvenience of owning an “intact” dog for a couple of years. There is never a “one-size-fits-all” answer, though, so make sure to talk with us if you have any particular concerns or circumstances.
The Basenji Club of America (BCOA) has an incredible amount of information about the breed, including history, health information, and their “Basenji University” for new and future Basenji families.