Have you considered lure coursing? When my pack was young (we have one left-age 15), Hubby would put a white plastic grocery bag (with a light weight so nobody got hurt) on a small fishing pole and pitch it around the yard. They went nuts. Literally played until Hubby couldn't play any longer. All slept very well afterward.
We also took them to a lure coursing center. They loved that too.
My Bunmi has an anatomical problem that prevents her glands from expressing properly and she's suffered two abscesses. I give her organic pumpkin mixed with vanilla yogurt and coconut oil a couple times a week. Sweet potato is a seasonal treat that serves the same purpose. I have no idea if organic has any importance, but it seems to taste better to Bunmi than the regular. Vanilla yogurt serves to keep good bacteria in the gut and make the pumpkin more yummy. If they don't like the coconut oil, you can rub it on their belly (like a moisturizer) and they will lick it off.
Her regular vet advised against anal gland removal unless there were no other options. He explained that if you remove the glands, the dog will likely have issues with bowel incontinence. An occasional leakage of fluid is better than bowel incontinence.
Have you considered litter box or potty patch? There are lots of training how-to articles on the internet for each solution. I have trained fosters as old as 3-4 to use a litter box, but didn't have much luck with the potty patch. There is always the option of getting Nimbus a rain coat. We made a covered section on the patio using sail cloth for the senior dogs with limited sight. Potty pads are a last resort for me. They aren't nearly as absorbent as they should be and can be a tripping hazard for us 2 leggers.
@kembe Thank you. We kinda like her . Your guess is as good as mine. There are hundreds of dogs all over Texas who look just like her. The shelter where she was born claimed her mother was a Jack Russell. Hubby believes she's part Cookie Monster. Doesn't really matter at this point...she's 100% family.
@Eledhan He is waaaaaaay more Basenji than Roxy. Her tail doesn't curl naturally, though she has trained it to do so (sometimes). She barks and bays and weights nearly 50 lbs. She also plays fetch. My other Basenjis would roll their eyes as if to say "you threw it, get it yourself".
No matter how much B is in the mix, your boy is gorgeous and will keep you entertained. I look forward to watching him grow up via photos.
A Basenji mix is a wonderful way to ease into the breed. Your pup has enough "look" to be a Fauxsenji aka Beautiful Blend. We have one, Roxy, same color as yours. We took her in at about 7 months because she had no bite inhibition. We got the biting under control and Roxy is a beloved member of the family. She is also great company to our remaining Basenji who is 15 and nearly blind.
Your pup is darling...enjoy!
Denise Vertrees is a reputable breeder near Austin. She doesn't have any pups and no litters planned this year. She is always willing to help a family find the right B. I asked permission before sharing her contact information: [private email]. If the email is removed, she is on Facebook.
My vet started using hemopet on anything he couldn't do in house after working with my pack. (https://www.hemopet.org/). They diagnosed my boy as hypothyroid after another lab found nothing. They are very thorough.
I would also have to think hard before putting a senior B under anesthesia. Wish you were in TX and could bring him to my vet.
Sending love to you and your boy!!
Have you considered a more mature Basenji? For example: our Bunmi is 15 and going strong (a little arthritis, but we manage). I would happily take her anywhere. More frequent potty breaks might be necessary because as we age (humans too), there may be a little less time between gotta and go.
I also have what we call our Fauxsenji. She is just a little street dog who got lucky with color and shape. She is more energetic and completely potty reliable. She went outside during Hurricane Harvey because she refused to use the potty pads. If you are willing to spring for transport, there are dozens of dogs just like her in almost every shelter in Texas. Both my girls are here to stay.
Good shelters will temperament test dogs. I'd be willing to do a personal opinion check if you found an interesting dog(s) in the Corpus Christi area. Then again, if you aren't in a hurry and would consider Texas for a vacation spot, you can test drive any number of dogs. There really are an unimaginable number of dogs available down here.