Questions to ask a breeder
It is important that when you are looking to purchase a puppy or an older dog that you have confidence and trust in the breeder or person you are purchasing from. In Victoria it is a legal requirement that advertisements for puppies once they are born include the microchip number for each puppy or a letter from a vet explaining why the microchip number is not available - this might be because the puppy is too young/small to microchip. As of the first of July 2020 all breeders will be required to obtain a Pet Exchange Registry source number which will be required to be provided to the vet who implants microchips in puppies born after the 1 July 2020. It is highly recommended that you only purchase your puppy from a breeder registered with DOGS Victoria. DOGS Victoria breeders are governed by codes or practice approved by the Government of Victoria. DOGS Victoria is the only 'approved organisation' for dogs in Victoria. A DOGS Victoria breeder will have a 'prefix' or kennel name which identifies the breeder and all puppies bred by that breeder. You can check the membership and breeding status of a member of DOGS Victoria by call the the office.
- How long have you been breeding? This question will be an opening and generally get the conversation flowing. You will get some idea of how much knowledge the person has of the Breed, health concerns and their management of them and general animal husbandry.
- What health testing do you perform on the parents and puppies? The Basenji is a robust breed with few genetic diseases. The main diseases Basenji are predisposed to are: Fanconi Syndrome, Late onset PRA, PKD and Hip dysplasia (HD). There are small number of very rare disease that often the breed is linked to; most are exceptionally rare. HD is relatively rare in Basenjis, however it is a condition that can affect all dog breeds and is one that reputable breeders should test their breeding stock for. Further details about Basenji health conditions can be found on this website. I recommend that you have a good understanding of these issues before you contact the breeder so you can ask questions.
- Will I be able to meet the parents? Although, it may not always be possible to meet the sire of the litter as he may reside with another breeder you should always be able to meet the dam. From meeting the parents you will be able to assess the size and temperament. The dam is key to the temperament of the puppies as she nurtures them during the first few weeks of the critical socialisation period. Bear in mind that sometimes mothers can be very stressed and protective of their puppies when stangers are aroun them, especially if they are very young (a few weeks old).
- Do you provide a contract of sale, cooling off periods and/or health guarantee? My advbise is never purchase a puppy if there is no contract of sale provided. Ask for a draft copy to review. The contract will protect you in the unlikely event that the puppy has a serious health condition. Ask the breeder if he/she will take the puppy back at anytime if you are unable to look after the puppy for whatever reason?
- Will the puppy come with its vaccinations and worming up-to-date? You should be provided with a vaccination and worming report when you collect the puppy. And the breeder should advise you as to the remaining vaccination and continued worming once you take the puppy home. Ask the breeder if they recommend titre testing the puppy, when and how this testing should commence.
- When will the puppy be ready to go to it's new home? A puppy must not be re-homed before it is at least 8 weeks old.
- What is your after sale care/service? Ask the breeder what after sale service they offer.
- What socialisation program do you have for your puppies? The critical socialisation period for a dog is 0-16 weeks. Therefore, about half of this time is in the hands of the breeder.
Once you have spoken to the breeder evaluate their knowledge, was the call informative did you learn anything? Do you feel confident and that you can trust and work with breeder? Did the breeder ask you lots of questions?