About Ankhu Basenjis
Mike grew up with basenjis so shortly after getting married, it only made sense (to him) to get our first basenji. Zandi came to live with us in January of 1992 and, since then, our lives have never been the same.
Carrie is or has been active in local all-breed kennel club activities with the Rochester Minnesota Kennel Club, regional basenji club activities with the Basenji Club of Southeastern Wisconsin, and has served in various committee positions, board of director position, and club president at the national level for the Basenji Club of America. Carrie was honored with the Unsung Hero Award by the Basenji Club of America in 2003.
Our Philosophy as Basenji Breeders
The Basenjis at Ankhu are loved family members. They are house dogs, not kennel dogs, and our puppies are also raised and socialized inside our home. We take breeding very seriously and we firmly believe that we are responsible for the puppies that we breed which means we are available to our "puppy people" for the lifetime of the dog. Because of our lifetime commitment to all dogs produced at Ankhu, we only breed a litter occasionally as we cannot effectively be available to our own dogs or our "puppy people" if we breed more frequently.
When deciding to breed, much thought and research is involved in choosing a stud for one of our females. Not every dog should be bred and we will not breed a Basenji who does not meet our requirements regarding temperament, health, and physical construction. First and foremost, we and those who adopt our dogs must live with the Basenjis we bring into this world so breeding for stable temperaments is our highest priority. Once the puppies are born, we socialize them and observe their dispositions. Even at two months of age, an experienced breeder can get a good feel for a puppy's temperament which is key to placing the right puppy with a family's individual needs.
By health testing our Basenjis throughout various stages of their lives, we hope to breed a happy, healthy Basenji who will live a long life. Our dogs undergo eye exams by a CAER Ophthalmologist, thyroid analysis, Fanconi DNA testing, PRA DNA testing, patella examination, and x-rays of hips and elbows evaluated by OFA, and we openly share these test results with adoptive families. We also DNA profile our dogs with the AKC to ensure accurate pedigrees.
Last but certainly not least, we make every attempt to breed Basenjis who conform to the written Basenji Standard. Our
Basenjis are exhibited and evaluated by judges licensed by the American Kennel Club (AKC) which helps to validate our dogs' physical construction as well as their emotional abilities to withstand the sometimes chaotic atmospheres at dog shows. Each breed of dog exists for a job or particular purpose and judges should consider this function when evaluating the dogs in their ring. Beauty does play a part in dog shows, but there is more to it than just "pretty." For example, Basenjis were bred to hunt in Africa so it is safe to say that a well-constructed Basenji is going to be more efficient at getting from point A to point B in the African heat so a judge will want to find a Basenji who can move correctly and not just look pretty. A poorly constructed Basenji will tire easily, making it more likely to fall prey to predators. While life in the U.S.A is certainly less grueling, having a well-constructed Basenji will result in a dog who will have more stamina to play, enjoy walks with his family, and will be less likely to sustain injuries from normal activities.
While we actively compete with our dogs at dog shows, we do not require that all of our puppies be sold with such terms. Finding a forever, loving home for our puppies is very important to us and we place many of our puppies on spay/neuter terms.
Ankhu Basenjis recognizes registration by the American Kennel Club and registers all of our dogs with this organization.
By the time our puppies go to their new homes, they will have started their vaccination protocol, will be wormed, eyes will be examined by an Ophthalmologist, and they will be permanently identified by microchip. Each puppy will have his own booklet of health information as well as tips from us. As mentioned above, we are always available to our puppy buyers to answer any questions you may have.
If you are interested in adopting a puppy from us, please contact us for a questionnaire. The information obtained with the questionnaire is invaluable in helping us match the correct puppy with your unique wants and needs. Also, if we are unable to provide you with a puppy, we can often refer you to other breeders who subscribe to similar breeding philosophies as ours so knowing a bit about you can help us with your quest to find that puppy that best fits your personality and individual needs.
Basenjis can live to be 13-16 years old so we strongly recommend that you study the Basenji Standard and meet breeders and their dogs. Never buy a Basenji without visiting the breeder's home environment. Seeing how and where the puppy was raised will help you find a breeder who you feel comfortable dealing with and you will see how the breeder cares for his/her own Basenjis. And, remember, if you buy from a pet store, you receive no support, resources, or health information on the puppy or his parents. While breeding any animal always comes with some risk, buying from a breeder who dedicates much of their lives to their breed will strive to produce a top-quality Basenji and you, as the puppy buyer, will benefit from their dedication and hard work as you are much more likely to adopt a Basenji who will share a long, healthy life with you.