My Tess loves to rid our yard and bird feeders of those pesky birds! She does have a very strong prey drive. Walks in our open space were really something with all the jackrabbits and other critters
My phrase has always been “eyes.” Tess was so good at that in training and in the house. Basenji’s can give attention like crazy.
But on walks? The tastiest treats were nothing to her. She was too focused on the critters.
Over the years Tess has become much more likely to pay attention to me. She does come when called. I believe that is down to wanting to be safe.
I say she comes when called, but she is getting quite deaf, and only hears me when I pitch my voice up in the high range and really yell.
You can certainly train a basenji, and I do recommend it. It strengthens the bond between the two of you. Basenjis love having their minds challenged.
I will also tell you that when I was actively training Tess, she had an amazing leave it. She loved the leave it game (doggy zen, they get the treat in your closed hand when they look away; to get the treat, you must not look at the treat).
One morning she ran out in the yard and grabbed a dove. She put it under her paws and began plucking it. I calmly told her to leave it, and believe it or not she put the dove down and backed away from it. She got a ton of treats for that.
The dove survived and eventually flew away, minus a number of feather.
I imagine that Tess leaving the dove was down to an age old instinct of giving up prey to a human hunting partner.
FIONA, I wonder what size your dog is? if she is not a very small dog, a front loading harness may be a possible choice, if the martingale doesn’t work for her. The leash snaps to the front of the harness. When the dog charges away and hits the end of the leash, the dog ends up facing the handler. I like how it works for some dogs. If she is at all interested in treats when you are out walking try giving her treats when she looks at you, whether you asked her to or not.
The martingale or the front loading harness may at least keep your arms from being pulled out of the sockets!
I wish you luck with your dog. Each dog is a puzzle when it comes to training, and it will take time to find out what will work for the pair of you.