I realize I am coming to this chat very late but I want to give you some hope. I have 6 chickens and though my 3 year old Piper will chase down and kill a bunny or squirrel and eat it ....she has demonstrated time after time that she understands the chickens are off limits. Infact I will go further to say that she acts as their protector. If one flies over the daytime fence she lets me know, if one is making any unusual noise she comes to get me. It has become quite comical how motherly she acts to them. 4 of them she was introduced to just a few months ago as I brought home baby chicks.....so they were small enough for her to attack for many months. I just kept telling her they are special and I would even let her sniff them while holding her collar. She knows the difference between prey and protect. I would love to get a few goats but I am not certain if that would work. I am still thinking about that.
I have a black and white basenji and I do see some resemblance to my dog. I do agree you will likely not be able to know for sure without testing. I have only had 4 other dogs prior to this one so this might not be only specific to the basenji.....I have a growler...so as a puppy if she was sleeping on the sofa next to me and I accidently bumped her she would growl. If I offer her a treat for a behavior change she will look at me as if to say she is thinking about whether the treat is worth her complying. Too smart for her own good somedays. Enjoy ! I like the look. I am a big believer in mixed breeds for moderation in temperament and quirks.
The only thing I might add is that my 3 year old Basenji no longer is willingly crated and when my daughter brings her dog over we use gates to protect everyone. Her beagle rescue dog does not get along with other dogs. So we just don't take the chance. That might not work with young cats who also climb, of course .
My Piper will be 3 yrs old in a few months. Though she has chased plenty of birds without real intent of harm....and has chased lots of bunnies only to be left on the wrong side of the fence as the bunnies wiggles out of our yard. Today however she successfully killed 3 baby birds and a baby bunnies. As far as I know these are her first conquests and she ate the bunny. She is super fast and I honestly thought she loved the hunt more than actually catching and eating anything. I am ambivilant about this new skill. I assume this is normal behavior. Wondering if I can safely take her to a campsite with other animals walking by. Of course she would be on a leash, but she is fast and strong. As well as headstrong. She listens much better than her puppy days. Still concerned. Any ideas?
I suspect there are multiple reasons but I can only speak to my 2 yr old female who seemed to do this when wanting attention from us or the grandkids, she loves all of us, so I knew it was not aggression, and almost always done on a dash as if to say "come on I am ready to play". It became a priority to break this, so I made it a huge deal during training to let her know this made me unhappy. It has taken about 6 months of "no bite" sternly spoken and then ignoring her until she settled down. Then she would crawl over to me and lick my hand... Which would get her lots of praise and treats. This is much trickier when out on a walk or when past experiences with some people have been positive. Maybe there is a reaction of smells from other animals being on detected. I do understand that my dog craves a routine. I try to stick to a pattern she understands. Unpredictable activity causes her anxiety.
I agree with Pippi on the birds being in the biggest jeopardy. I have 3 chickens which my girl is fascinated with. She goes out to feed and check for eggs 2 times a day with me, all I have to say is "chickens" and she is at my heels, but they are safely in a large secure area which she is not allowed to enter. I am sure she would pick them off if I gave her any chance. I am not sure there are enough treats in the world to break that drive.
Piper loves my cat, but my old cat just tolerates the antics of the energetic 2 yr old. She has gotten a few smacks on the nose but they can be trusted together all day.