Since we've all been home more during COVID, the desire to add a new pup to the family is strong. What great timing! So much time to train and socialize! It IS perfect.
But the reality is, the new normal in the dog world is a surge in inquires for puppies and adult dogs to breeders and shelters approximately 50-100x what they were in 2019. There isn't currently a pet overpopulation problem in the US - there is a shortage of available pups. And this surge of new dog buyers to the market is expected to last several years or more.
So, what does this mean for you if you want to add a Basenji to your family?
Get Knowledgeable. Check out the Facebook page Basenji Puppies/Puppys/Puppy's: Get Educated Before You Buy. Read articles about Basenjis and their temperament beyond the first page of a Google search. There is a lot available research before you reach out to breeders. And get organized. Know what questions you want to ask before you make first contact. Don't rush...first come, first serve does not necessarily win out when breeders are selecting where to place their puppies.
Follow Up. Perhaps you submitted an application two weeks ago and you haven't heard back. Email, call, or text (not all three) letting the breeder know you filled out an application and you are very interested in hearing back. Make sure to give them a little more information about yourself and why you are interested in Basenjis, and why you are a good fit for the breed (your prior research will help here). This lets breeders know you aren't submitting applications for 10 different breeds and moving forward with the first response you get.
Timing is Important. Basenjis generally only have puppies in December or January. Puppies go home in late winter, typically February or March, at 10 weeks. A small group of Basenjis are born in late summer, around August, ready for new homes in October. If you want a new puppy at a specific time of the year, you should get past that.
Also, breeders commonly do ultrasounds to get an estimate of how many puppies they'll have in their litter. If they see more than expected, they will open their reservation lists back up. This is a great time to follow up with them to reiterate your interest - around November or July.
Be Patient & Flexible. Ultimately, preservation breeders usually have full time jobs not related to their breeding program. We are all fielding a massive increase in inquiries for a small group of puppies. We want to fill the demand for well bred, well socialized, health tested, pure bred dogs so you don't get a puppy mill dog, a puppy from a breeder not health testing, or puppy scammed (which, by the way, are all over the place since COVID). Patience pays, I'm talking 6 months to a year or perhaps a little longer. It's very competitive out there right now. To give some perspective, my reservations are currently full for my litter going to new homes approximately October 2021.
Be flexible on color and gender - it will work in your favor. Unless you are in a multi dog household or are purchasing a show dog, gender should be pretty irrelevant. And last but not least, don't expect to pick your puppy. Preservation breeders generally select which temperament works best in each home, taking your preferences into consideration.
-xoxo and stay safe out there, dLucks Basenjis (quarantined at home with Presley, Bonnie & Margot)