@lisafebre said in Help with Rescue Basenji Mixes:
@eeeefarm i have tried the clicker but it scares him! So I make "kissy" noises as he comes in for a treat.
That should work fine. Just be consistent with whatever you use, but you may need to adjust the timing. You should use your "marker" the same way you would a clicker, i.e. to mark the behaviour you are rewarding. So perhaps another sound or word (I tend to use "yes!") to use at the moment he does the behaviour (or an incremental move toward the behaviour) that you are trying to encourage. Remember that the click or marker word ends the behaviour and signals the reward.
It does sound like you are making good progress. At some point as petting him becomes normalized you will want to phase out the treats and reserve them for whatever your next behaviour goal is, perhaps climbing into your lap so you can cuddle or pick him up. Again, go slow, don't restrain when he has come to you. When you reach the point where you can make the approach instead of him making it, and he doesn't shrink away, it will be time to go on to handling, picking him up, etc. at which point if you have initiated contact you change to releasing him when he is quiet, not if he attempts to leave. Key is don't ask for too much too fast, and if there is a difficult point go back to where he is comfortable and proceed again. You'll get there!