Something I learned very early in my basenji pack:
I must be considered ALPHA, as are all my family.
When they were little, they learned that I could touch them where ever, whenever. I did this by touching them, gently, while giving a treat now and then, while talking to them gently, soothingly. Doesn't matter what I said, the tone of voice is what mattered. I eventually touched their legs, back, lifting the 'lips'??? and touching each toenail. This all came in handy for various examinations, even at the vets. If I had my hand on them, they knew they were being taken care of.
When they were little, every 3 days or so, at eating time, I'd take one with me to another room, just us two. Then I would feed one kibble to the pup, me being in control of what they were getting, and when, until their bowl was almost empty - then they'd get to lick the sauce I usually put in.. All while talking soothingly, using a happy voice. Again, words didn't matter, just the tone of my voice.
When they got older, once a week, and then once a month, forever.
It must have worked, I had control of those dogs, with no harshness being used.
I was told using a treat with an older dog to get it to do something, means the owner failed. In basenjis, expect to use treats their whole life, it's not a failure. The last 10 years I used regular dry dog food, but one of those tasty, new brands.
But, when I needed to do something quickly, I got into my 'good dog treats' I kept in the freezer. All the others the dogs knew as 'treats' but the ones I kept in the freezer, usually some kind of meat, they knew as extra tasty because they were called 'biscuits.'
I always like to share the story of when someone, who shall remain nameless, opened the garage dog without checking the dogs in the backyard - because the second garage door, in the back of the garage was already opened. So Spicer led 3 or 4 of them on a walk down the sidewalk. I earned my 'Crazy Dog Lady' label because I walked toward them, yelling "Biscuit" They were about 6 houses down, Spicer heard me, turned around, they all followed him, and they all got a 'biscuit' and "Good" To be honest, it was the cutest thing - Spicer pranced down the sidewalk, each one followed him in single file, and when he turned around, that's how they came back, in single file. He had such a proud look about him, like he was the Boss!
And NO ONE got in trouble, well, none of the dogs. They came when called, that deserved a reward.
You have to teach them YOU are alpha, and good things come from you.
Any snarking, growling, snarling, was not tolerated. I think usually I just grabbed their neck, again, not roughly, but firm, with a stern louder NO, and they were removed from the situation.
Except - Captain growled to have his nails trimmed all the time. He didn't try to bite me, but the growls sounded bad. Ok, I'm going to tell the rest, be warned it's kind of, I don't even know what word to use. He was on the grooming table with the noose around his neck, so we figured it would be best if my husband held him too. Firmly. He figured out the best way was to, I can't believe I'm telling this, and these are the words he used he'd 'rub his bxxxs.' When Captain was neutered he still rubbed him. No growling after that. I guess sometimes you just have to think creatively.