We tend to get a lot of people calling with the same questions so I thought I would answer some of them on our site.
I know buying a puppy is very exciting and there is a lot of information out there to sift through. If you take the time to do your proper research you will find the right breed & Breeder for you.
In this FAQ section you will find “tools” on how to recognize a Backyard Breeder, how to research a breed and how to figure out which type of Breeder you want to buy from.
Hopefully I can debunk some common myths folks have about Purebred Dogs, and Breeder’s to help get you pointed in the right direction so you don’t end up getting the wrong dog from the wrong person.
Regardless of what breed you decide to get the information I am about to tell you will apply to all breeds of dog. This is a long read but trust me it will be worth it in the long run if it helped you in deciding which Breed / Breeder is right for you.
In the past 12 years of being a Breeder I find there is one common mistake every Potential Puppy Person makes and that is that they think they are “looking for a puppy”. They get the list of Breeder’s and call them up one by one asking if they have pups. If the Breeder says “nope” they call the next person on the list or they email a bunch of Breeders and wait for someone to say “yes” or even worse they put up an ad on Kijiji or Facebook asking if anyone has pups for sale. These methods are a sure fire way to get scammed.
Scammer’s search Kijiji and Facebook looking for people just like that so they can take their money. Reputable Breeder’s don’t have time to search Kijiji ads or even Facebook for those looking for puppies (think about applying for a job. Did you respond to an ad with your resume or did you take out an ad in the paper saying you were looking for work?) The reality is you are searching for a Breeder. Once you find the right Breeder the right puppy will follow.
You might disagree with some of the things I say, you might think that I am harsh, blunt or opinionated or you might think that finding a Reputable Breeder is a lot of work and you will just buy the next pup that you find. That is your choice. Being a Reputable Breeder / Rescue Co-Ordinator is something I take seriously. My job as a Reputable Breeder is to educate. You choose to do what you wish with the information.
Think of buying a pup the same way you would buy a car, house, or major appliance. The more knowledge you have the better off you will be in the long run.
Let’s say you are buying a car. Would you call up a guy who advertised his car on Kijij and send him a deposit before you met him or test drove the car? You might be laughing but think of all the stories you hear of people falling for the “puppy scam”. Why would you send someone you never met money? I would think that you would first assess your needs and research vehicles that fit your needs. Then you find available vehicles, meet the sellers, go out for a test drive, compare vehicles and make your decision BEFORE you hand over your hard earned money. See what I am getting at, knowledge is power. Do your research.
Another analogy we use is when buying a Puppy is “pay now or pay later”. The $200 car you bought off of Kijiji will for sure need work. The $2000 car from Kijiji might need some work. The $20,000 car from the dealer won’t need any work and you can take your car back to the dealer anytime you need an oil change or repair because the dealer will still be there. I’m not saying don’t buy dogs off Kijiji, I’m saying do your research. The cheap comes out expensive!
How do you research a breed?
The best starting place for finding a reputable breeder is the National Breed Club website (even if you decide the Basenji isn’t for you EVERY purebred breed (not made up breeds like doodle mutts) of dog has a National Breed Club), the Basenji Club of America (BCOA) has a fantastic site as well as Basenji Club of Canada (BCOC) would have some breed information and a Breeders list.
Teach yourself everything you can about the breed. Read the breed standard (CKC or AKC). The breed standard will tell you accepted colors, size, weight, temperament and breed history. Have you ever heard of a Silver Lab? Do you know anyone who bought one? If so did you know they got duped? Why you say? Had they read the breed standard (Labrador Retriever Club of Canada) it would have told them that Labs ONLY come in 3 colors: black, yellow and chocolate. Therefore the “Silver Lab” is a Lab crossed with a Weimaraner which means that dog is not purebred, yet the folks that sell them will tell you that they are a “rare color”. Do your research and don’t get duped!
Be honest with yourself. Why are you looking for a dog? What activities do you see yourself doing with your dog? How do you see yourself fitting into your dog’s lifestyle? If you live in an apartment and work away from home 14 hours a day perhaps a Goldfish would be a better choice over a Border Collie. If you want to go for long hikes and you run marathons don’t get a Yorkie. The more honest you are with yourself in regards to time commitments, grooming needs, health concerns and activity level will benefit you and your dog in the long run.
Research the health concerns of the breed and find out what health testing the Breeder should be performing. Just because a Vet says the pups are healthy doesn’t mean the Breeder performed the required health tests for their breed. Vets can’t look at a dog and tell you what genetic defects could occur down the road only proper DNA health testing can tell you that. The other type of health testing that is performed is through x-ray. A qualified Vet performs the x-ray then it is sent to OFA to be graded. Those results are also posted on the OFA site.
Did you know that a dog must be over the age of two before it can have any testing done through x-ray? Therefore if ANY dog under the age of two is used in a breeding program RUN! That Breeder is not reputable. Reputable Breeders perform health tests (DNA & x-ray) on all their breeding stock.
The OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals) website has a public database that you can use to research test results on any dog that has had its health testing performed. All you need is the Dog’s Registered Name or Registration Number.
Any Breeder who will not give you information to research on the pedigree database or OFA’s website is a red flag. Reputable Breeders pride themselves on transparency in their breeding practices and will readily share pertinent information with potential buyers.
Other ways to research the various Breeds is to visit Dog Shows, Performance Events (Obedience, Rally, Agility, Lure Coursing) and of course visit the dogs at the Breeder’s home. Joining the National Breed Club or even Local Dog Club are also great ways to get to know the breed (or other Dog folks in your area).
You might want to consider joining the Basenji Club of Canada. You will receive our quarterly newsletter full of informative articles and information about local gatherings. Becoming a Member is another great way to show Reputable Breeders how serious you are about the Breed. You can obtain a membership form from the BCOC website. You will need two Sponsors to join. Once you make contact with the Reputable Breeders I am sure they will be more than happy to recommend you to our Club.
National Dog Clubs tend to host yearly dog shows called “Nationals”. These are fun filled weekends (or weeks for some more popular breeds in the States) where Breeders from all over the Country (even from other parts of the world) gather to compete at the show and other performance events that might be offered, they catch up with one another, meet new friends, shop for different arts & crafts with their Breed on it (trust me when I say most of my Basenji knick-knacks came from Dog Shows) and of course share the love they have for their breed.
Our next National is the first weekend in June 2022 in Caledonia, ON. I have attached a flyer and merchandise order form if you are interested in joining us. I am the Show Chair for the Event so feel free to call me if you have any questions about the Show.
Attending a Dog Show by yourself might sound scary however I can assure you that we love newcomers. Just come on up and say “Hi”. We will let you know if it is a good time to chat or not and if it isn’t we will suggest when to come back or give you a Business Card so you can call us in a few days once we get back home.
To find upcoming shows in your area you can go to canuckdogs, mjn showservices, ckc, united kennel club or infodog (for US Shows). If you need help with any of these sites feel free to give me a call.
So you are doing all this research but how do you think it will help you find a Reputable Breeder?
Now you can start comprising a list of questions to ask the Breeder but not only that, you will understand the answers you are looking for. There is no point asking the Breeder what health testing they perform if you don’t even know what health tests are required for the Breed you are researching. Some questions I love asking Breeders are “How long have you been in Dogs” vs “How long have you been in your Breed” and “How long have you been in your Breed” vs “How long have you been Breeding your Breed”. You should start to see where those questions are headed. Someone who has been in a Breed for 35 years and bred for 12 years is very different from those that have been in the Breed for 5 years and bred for 3 years. See what I mean?
What is the difference between a Back Yard Breeder (BYB) / Puppy Mill (PM)?
A Puppy Mill or Backyard Breeder are terms given to those “Breeders” who are in it for the money. Here are some signs the Breeder is a BYB/PM. Please note that this is a guideline. At the end of the day it is your money. If you want to deal with someone who is PM/BYB that is your choice, I’m just trying to educate you on the warning signs.
Again this is just a list to help you. I am always here to answer your questions and guide you in the right direction. I can’t tell you who to buy or not buy from but if there is a Breeder you are thinking of buying from and they fit even a few of these points (especially breeding one or more litters a year), RUN! You will thank me in the long run. If you are visiting with a Breeder and you get strange vibes or you don’t like the conditions the pups are raised in…DON’T BUY A PUPPY! RUN!
What makes a Breeder Reputable?
I’ve heard you shouldn’t buy a dog of Kijiji, Craigslist or Facebook
I advertise on Kijiji and I will tell you why. Most folks don’t know about CKC or even Breed Clubs so if they see my ad on Kijiji I am hoping they can learn from it and maybe just maybe it will help them make a more informed decision. Where someone advertises doesn’t matter, the Reputable Breeder still has to do the same rigorous screening whether the potential Puppy Person found them on Kijiji, CKC or through a referral.
What is the CKC?
The Canadian Kennel Club is a Government run organization that follows the rules set out by Agriculture Canada. It is also comprised of Members that help run different aspects of the Club as well as vote in the various elections set out by CKC.
The CKC is also responsible for registering Purebred Dogs in Canada and they are responsible for overseeing the various Clubs (National, Regional, Group and Local) that fall under their “umbrella”.
Are the Breeders that advertise on CKC, AKC or National Breed Club sites reputable?
Just because a Breeder is advertising through the BCOA, BCOC, AKC Market Place or CKC Puppy List doesn’t make them automatically reputable. There are NO set requirements for Breeders. To be on those lists we just have to pay a fee. As long as the fee is paid your name stays on the list. Each breeder is different in their standards and practices. It really is “buyer beware”. Do your research.
Are Breeders that are Members of CKC or National Breed Clubs reputable?
Just because someone is a Member of the CKC or National Breed Club doesn’t automatically make them reputable, it means they paid their Membership dues. Anyone can join the CKC or any National Breed Club. Those Clubs aren’t just for Breeders, they are for those who have an interest in Dogs or a specific Breed.
Are Breeders licensed / registered?
No one is out there issuing “licenses to breed”. A lot of folks get this confused with Dog Registrations. Try to remember this:
My Kennel Name is registered with the CKC. I am not registered.
My Dogs are registered with the CKC. I am not registered.
My Dogs registration name includes my kennel name and that information is registered with the CKC. I am not registered.
I am a Member of the CKC since I pay my yearly dues. I am not registered.
Does the CKC conduct home / kennel inspections?
The CKC is a Government Agency responsible for maintaining the database of registered Dogs in Canada. They are a business set up to make money. As long as you are registering your dogs with them the CKC is “happy”. You don’t even need to be a CKC Member to register your dogs you just need to pay the required fee.
Why should I be concerned about getting “papers” with my puppy? I don’t want to Show?
Regardless of whether or not you want to Show you should be concerned about receiving papers with your Purebred dog. Why? The Dogs registration papers are the ONLY way to prove your dog is purebred.
Did you know that advertising a Dog as Purebred and not providing Registration Papers is a Federal offence? Failure to do so is a Federal offence and could result in the Breeder from being fined and banned from CKC.
Did you know that Breeders have six months from date of sale to supply you with your Dogs registration papers to you? Failure to do so is a Federal offence and could result in the Breeder from being fined and banned from CKC.
Why should I keep notes on Breeders?
Trust me when I say “keep notes”. Very quickly you will get spun around and you won’t know who said what if you don’t keep notes. Depending on the Breed you are researching you won’t have many Breeders to choose from so taking notes will help you find the Breeder you are looking for and help you from contacting the same Breeder multiple times. The dog world is small and we talk. Keeping good notes will help prevent future issues/embarrassment.
How do you “cross reference” Breeders?
One of my biggest pet peeves with potential puppy people is the lack of “cross referencing” they perform when researching Breeders. Most Breeders advertise on various websites. What ends up happening is Breeders get the same copy & paste email from the same person three or four times because they are contacting the same Breeders through various sites and not keeping good notes.
I am in the process of purchasing my next performance Dog from a different Breed. Here is what I do:
How do you “cross reference” what Breeders are saying?
Don’t take what Breeders tell you for face value. Remember no one is going to tell you that they are a bad parent just like no Breeder is going to tell you that they are a Puppy Mill.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions about what something means. Even after you get the Breeders answer why not do some more research to see for yourself what they are saying. For example: Do you think it is special that someone is a Member of the Canadian Kennel Club? Why not go to ckc.ca and read the Membership form. Think that an AKC Breeder of Merit is fantastic? Why not go to the AKC site and see what the requirements are needed to become a Breeder of Merit.
There is so much information out there, use it. If more folks did their research and cross referenced what “Breeders” are telling them than maybe folks would not be getting scammed.
Breeders also tend to use a lot of short forms (PRA, PPM, MDR1, Ch, RN, CD). Not sure what they are? Why not look them up. Any item related to health can be found on OFA, Basenji Pedigree Database and the National Breed Club site. Any short form related to Conformation / Performance Titles can be found on CKC, AKC, UKC sites.
The world of Purebred Dogs can be just as exciting as it can be intimidating. Just remember that at some point all Breeders were new to the Sport so trust me we get it, we are here to help. The more research you do the more comfortable you will be in speaking with Breeders and you will start to see the differences in between the Breeders. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
Where else can you find Breeders?
Most people that contact me think that you only look on the “Breeder Lists” and you will find the right Breeder. Not necessarily. Sometimes the right Breeder for you might not be on those lists or the National Breed Club website might be out of date. Some Breeders might not even be Members of any Club. Here are some things I do to widen my search for Breeders (remember I am currently shopping for a Breeder for my next performance Dog).
What is a Registered Name vs a Call Name / How do you read a Registered Name?
A Registered Name is the “long” name that Breeders give their puppies vs the Call Name which is what you call the dog in “real life”. The Registered Name will contain a Breeder’s Kennel Name as a prefix and could have other Kennel Names in it depending on the relationship with the Breeders. For example:
Registered Names can only obtain 35 characters including spaces and Kennel Names so sometimes Breeders need to get creative with the names. When I was naming Daytona she was part of the “Racing Litter” and I wanted her name to be Mandalay’s Clear Clear All Around. However Scott (Bluestone) was getting her and as a way to show respect I needed to add Bluestone to her name. I tried: Mandalays ClrClrAllAround Bluestone which did not work. At that time the CKC only allowed 30 spaces so at the end I did Mandalay’s Dreams to win with Bluestone which ended up looking like this: Mandalay’s DRMZ2WN With Bluestone. Not one of my better names but it worked.
How to use the Basenji Pedigree Database / How to read a Pedigree
I thought I would include this information to help you if you are interested in seeing “Basenji Family Trees” or even learning more about Basenjis and their Breeders.
The Pedigree site will help you see how many litters Breeders produce, it also show health testing and so much more. By no means do I expect you to be an expert in reading Pedigree’s. Even if you don’t visit the site you can still find the right dog from the right Breeder. This is just a “tool” to help you in doing your research. I hope it helps.
To a new person, just looking at Dogs Pedigree for the first time can be very confusing so let me explain a few things to help you out. Remember a Pedigree is another name for Family Tree.
We are very fortunate in Basenjis as we have a Pedigree Database (Google “Basenji Pedigree Database” or go to http://www.pedigrees.zandebasenjis.com). The database is a fantastic tool however the Breeders are responsible to submit their information into Sally so it might not be up to date but it will give you some insight into different Breeders.
Once you get on the Zande site:
It will take some time to get use to but hope that helps.
Even though you won’t know the dogs in the Pedigree you can watch for “red flags” such as:
There are other ways you can “cross reference” a Breeder on the Pedigree Database:
At any point in the Pedigree Database you can click on a Dog’s name and its 5 Gen Ped will open up. To see a bigger picture of that Dog, click on the Dog’s name to open the 5 Gen Ped then click on”Photo”. Arrow back to get out of the photo.
The Pedigree Database also has a list of Breeders and their Kennel Names (very handy to help sort out Pedigrees & Who’s who). On the front screen Scroll Down to “Notes & Changes”. In the second paragraph there is “Affixes & Breeders”. Click on that for the list. Again this is just a “tool” that you might find helpful or you might not. If you need help navigating the site don’t hesitate to call.
The truth about “Waitlists”
Potential Puppy People seem to get very excited about being on a “waitlist”. Some Breeder’s suggest folks get on a “waitlist” while other Breeders don’t recommend it at all. Here is the truth about “waitlists”:
What is the price?
The number one question that turns Breeders off quicker than sour milk is “how much?” If you have done your research you will start to understand the cost of a Purebred Dog from a quality Breeder. COVID of course has raised the prices however if you are asking about the price that is a huge red flag for Breeders.
Each Breeder is in charge of setting their own price for Puppies and there are quite a few variables that factor into the price such as if the Bitch needed a C-Section, travel costs, Stud fee, other related Vet bills. You should be thinking that a quality dog will run a few thousand dollars.
Why do you only breed every 3-4 years when other Breeders breed 3-4 times a year?
Here at Mandalay we feel that over breeding (over breeding is having one or more litters/year) is not a healthy decision for any Breed of Dog that is why we only breed one litter every 3-4 years.
This helps prevent over populating (creating too many Dogs that would be hard to properly place). It also helps us maintain the small number of Dogs we keep at home. It also gives us time to properly watch our Puppies develop into Adults to see if we want to use them for Show or Breeding.
Why do you not “Repeat Breeding’s”?
Repeat Breeding’s are where you use the same Sire and Dam. We have been taught from various Reputable Breeders that if you like what you got the first time you might not get it again by repeating the Breeding. Every time you breed a litter you are supposed to be improving on the Parents. Using the same Dogs over and over again will not improve anything in fact it could make it worse.
Why do you not take deposits?
Simple answer is “We are not worried”. If you really want a Puppy from us you will make sure that we know that you want a Puppy from us.
We DO NOT believe in the “First Come First Serve” method that other Breeders use because we take the time to match the Puppy with the right home.
Before the Pups are born we cannot predict number, gender, color or personalities so why would we take money from People only to find out later we do not have a Pup for them. It is easier to not take money until we will match up the Pups with the right homes from those who show me that they are serious about our Pups.
We have heard too many horror stories about Breeders (from various Breeds) who take Deposits and never contact the People again or people who were given a Puppy that did not suit their home only because the Breeder did “first come first serve”.
Why do your Pups go home after 12 weeks?
We take the time to raise our Pups correctly. Breeder’s that are in it for the money typically sell the Pups by 8-10 weeks (or even earlier).
All Puppies go through a phase called “Puppy Fear” between 8-10 weeks. We help them get through the “Puppy Fear” stage. If you get a Puppy at 8 weeks you might not know how to deal with “Puppy Fear” and therefore could be setting your Pup up for failure without even realizing it.
Starting at 5-7 weeks we start Socializing our Pups in public. We take them on trips both local and long distance and get them use to all sorts of situations such as riding in a crate in the car, driving on rumble strips, riding in a shopping cart, standing on a wobbly surface, having a stranger hold you, hearing a kid scream, dropping something on the floor, different types of music, standing on a conveyor belt, hearing the Cashier scan an item, hearing the photocopier (at Staples) and even going through an automatic door teaches the Puppies about how to handle life.
Keeping them until 12 weeks also lets the Adult Dogs and their Siblings teach each other right from wrong. Nothing is better than watching the Pups learn life lessons from the Adults because the lessons seem to stick better than if we Humans tried to teach them. We also make sure the Pups have their shots so all you have to do is Rabies at 6 months of age.
How do you differ from other Breeders?
Every Breeder is different and it is up to you to do your research and decide who you want to deal with for the next 15 years of your Dog’s life.
There are Breeders out there who are just in it for the money and those who truly care about the Breed. We here at Mandalay are about the Breed. You can tell because we Show our Dogs in Conformation and Performance Events, we only Breed every 3-4 years, we keep our numbers at home low in case we get a return or take longer placing a Puppy, our Pups go home after 12 weeks, we keep in touch with our Puppy people, we have references from our Puppy People and much more. The choice is clear to me but at the end of the day it is your decision. Do your research and pick the Breeder that is right for you.
When are you expecting your next litter?
Currently we don’t have any Breeding plans lined up.
Doppler (BluestoneMandalay’s Under De Radar) will be available at Stud to approved Bitch’s once his Health Testing is complete.
Keep checking back for updates.
Thank you for taking the time to visit our site. This is a great starting point in your “journey”. After you have done your research and you are still interested in the Basenji, give us a call at 519-697-DOGS(3647). We look forward to speaking with you soon.
Please note that the views expressed in this website are the views of Mandalay Basenjis and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Basenji Club of Canada.