Shannon, Beegin and Brady (…Snow sucks.)
I absolutely agree that crate training must be a positive and you have to get them to also feel safe in there. I like putting really high value items like a brand new bully stick or a PB or yogurt stuffed Kong in there with the door shut. Then let the b try to get it. Make him want to go in. Give him lots of repetitions of the command (I say "Go in Little House" but use whatever you decide) and differing lengths of time in the crate. I also always give some kind of a treat even if it's just one mini size one when he goes in even if I am letting him right back out again.
My guy does far less well in a crate in a car for traveling long distances so I also use a calming spray on the crate bedding and in the car. Comfort Zone (used to be called Adaptil I believe) works well for me.
I too had good luck with the yip strategy when raising my boy. To this day, even though he can be really grumpy when woken up (he's now going on 13) if his teeth touch any part of me accidentally or when playing with his stuffed toys, he freezes and stops. He never went so far as to give me face licks, but he would act as though he understood that he had hurt me. He would bow his head to approach me and/or lay down near me.
As a caveat though, my b has never really cared much for squeaky toys. He much prefers tug toys or the ones with crinkly plastic instead. He may have more readily given up on the "game" since he's not a fan a squeaky toys.
Yippie another potential basenji owner!
That being said kudos to you for doing the research on whether a b would fit your family! From my own experience owning a b, some of what a "basenji needs" can really vary with age. If you are looking at an older b, that has pros and cons. My own guy definitely slowed down around 8 to 9. Before that, 2 to 3 walks, toy time, training time or thinking toys were essential or he got into trouble. Luckily for me, he mostly just overturned laundry baskets and hid the items all over the house. Once older, he has been fine with 1 or 2 walks and a little play time/brain time. If I can do more, we do but he's a lot more patient. He has also never figured out chain link fence, but I have seen others who have. My guy figured out how to use the rotating rack inside an entertainment center cabinet to get out the squishy VCR boxes he liked to try to chew. They each learn nasty tricks in their own way.
That said, older dogs are a bit more set in their ways. I could never get him to not sleep with me at night now and he has never met a cat he couldn't chase. Took on a 35 lb Maine coon cat without batting an eye.
You'll definitely want to have some trial time in your home to see how he/she fits with the other animals. I would check on here and with AKC chapter near you for local breeders. They may have know of dogs retiring or BRAT fosters in the area plus breeders usually want the dog back if it doesn't work out. There's lots of really knowledge breeders and BRAT folks on this forum - just ask!
@debradownsouth Thanks I did just that in order to get to the one we've got now which has made the huge difference for my beagle! The other two brands I had gotten did basically nothing so you are right to suggest people look deeply into it.
I mean Brady went from not being able to jump up on the sofa and having to use his doggie steps to get on/off the bed to now, he often dashes past me on the house stairs and up into the bed beating me even into the room. I will have to post the brand later cuz it's with their food and I can't remember the brand name at the moment.
I will do some additional work on the essential oil stuff though. I'm just a little stymied though if this essential oil product is bad too. Trifexis is has caused many owners problems and my previous vet in Michigan switched us to that from Frontline because she said fleas were getting immune to it reducing it's efficacy. What's left? We're in humid N. Carolina and they just can't go without. It's parasite heaven here.
@dmcarty Thanks. I forgot to mention that as one of the "something extras" that I give with his food. I just haven't been doing it every day. I can increase how often I add that. Any idea about how much he should have in his diet? I usually just put a glob about the size of a quarter when I have added it to the food.