We attended another Rally event this weekend - entered in Rally Masters: Gossip (almost 11 y) achieved a 97 and 98 (personal best); Teddy (almost 8 y) achieved a 99 (personal best) and 86 (wouldn't do the right spin). That gives them their 5th and 6th legs respectively - just love the color green
I see both good and bad to raw diets exclusively. As long as you provide a well-balanced diet (vitamins, minerals, veggies, meat and organs) I see no problem. If your dog is healthy why change.
There are also good and bad kibble diets. A great source of kibble evaluation is the February issue of Whole Dog Journal, where they evaluated a large number of kibble diets based on ingredients, protein quality, etc.
My dogs live on kibble with canned food, raw patties (usually pheasant, fish, or venison), or veggies (beans, peas broccolis, carrots, sweet potatoe) added as topping. They also get apples, melon, blueberries as treats along with commercial treats.
If your dog is healthy and teeth are good, then whatever diet you are using is the right one.
Absolutely agree with what's been said.
Training at home in his safe area with little distraction will help cement the desired behaviors before you need to take him out to a distractive environment.
I have a boy who was very reactive (though not at the level of yours) at the various dog events we attended. To fix this, I would sometimes go to class or a local event with him not to participate but to "acclimate"; we would just site there and watch. At first I would bring his crate along and he would get treats dropped in the crate every time another dog came near, eventually we worked to the point where he could sit on my lap but still get treats when anxiety levels rose. Now he only gets aroused when particular dogs appear and even then he's pretty laid back compared to previously.
The muzzle idea should work but you will have to train him to accept it first at home before you take him out.
It takes time and patience and you can't rush this.
I think I missed something - Bakerfamalee is in Iowa - while there are no BCOA breeders in Iowa, there are several in Wisconsin, Illinois, Missouri, and two or three in Minnesota. Check this out for a listing:
Looks like a lot of basenji to me. BRAT (Basenji Rescue and Transport) is an excellent place to find one that needs rehoming. You could also contact the Basenji Club of America to find a breeder near you. Be aware that the new one won't be the same personality as the one you lost (how many times I've heard "well our old one was so ... why isn't this one the same"). Also read up on both breeds (rat terrier and basenji) to see if their characteristics really match what kind of companion you want.
I note the dog park and dog-walker could be potential issues.
First off, I don't like dog parks (absolutely must be fenced if you do go) as people tend to "drop off" their dogs and go visit with other humans, leaving the dogs to sort out aggression or fear or other dog emotions on their own. The last time I took my male, as soon as we entered the area, 4 or 5 big dogs came over and immediately started showing bully behavior. My little boy tried to get away but they continued to "gang up" on him. Another friend told me about her experience with someone who "dropped off" their lab mix and he immediately charged and seriously bit another dog (several hundred dollars of vet bills which the other didn't pay).
Second make sure the dog-walker understands basenjis. The walker can not simply let them off-leash (unless you have a fenced yard); they're very smart at escaping - they can back out of inappropriate harnesses; if they lock on a creature to hunt and yank that leash right out of the walker's hands they won't pay any attention to cars; the walker must always be aware of the environment and not on their mobile device.
The BCOA website has lots of good information for new owners.
Yes martingale's are fine as is the harness you found on Amazon - never use step-in harnesses (because too easy to step out).
And I never never use the gentle leader - I tried it on my female but she would walk with her head turned sideways until one time she saw a squirrel and then lunged after - not good on the neck. My vet said no no. The gentle leader was designed to keep golden retrievers and such to keep attention on the handler (and thus to walk slowly) but it can cause neck problems in breeds that are not people oriented.
The chain between collar/leash is a great idea (make sure links are much smaller than tooth so cant get caught) - alternatively I put pvc pipe on the leash instead of using the chain. I had a previous male who bit through a nylon leash in the time it took the vet to turn around to get something off his counter. And my current male chewed through his leather leash in the time it took me to put on my coat - hence why I use pvc pipe pieces (I use 3 pieces cut to about 3 inches so it can be somewhat flexible).
I'm not in the Westchester area either and if your breeder doesn't know anyone either, search for "dog training in Weschester NY" and you'll find several dog schools. To choose one, ask what their training philosophy is - if use prong collars I'd say no; if pattern after Ceasar Milan's dominance training I'd absolutely say no; if they say clicker training or positive reinforcement say okay. Then ask to see the facility and maybe see a class in action. If the facility is clean, well-lit, bigger than a closet, smells nice, etc. then watch a class and see how the instructor interacts with the students. If they offer classes other than obedience (such as agility, nosework, other games) that's often a plus because then they'll have all kinds of breeds attending and the instructors most likely can deal with a basenji. I add that last item because one of my early instructors had no clue how to train anything other than an aussie (I'm always amazed that I managed to persevere but very glad I did).