My two have been quite successful catching those plant eating rabbits in my yard, as well as a few chipmunks, a squirrel now and then, and several small birds. I try to keep on eye on them, however, as I especially don't want them eating the rabbits (which they would do).
I bathe only when my male's allergies get out of control and then a natural oatmeal based shampoo. I feed both of mine salmon oil every day with their food. This summer (we have had excessive amounts of rain) his allergies caused semi-bare spots to develop on his sides. The vet gave us Gentived spray to use as needed and twice daily vitamin E oil rubbed on his skin. Working wonders. I have also used Dermactin (shea butter based cream) when the allergies cause a rash on his belly. Also wonderful.
My "aging" dogs are fed TasteOfTheWild kibble topped with a bit of wet food (variety of good brands) or a raw medallion (duck or pheasant) and with a fair amount of water so its kind of soupy (vet suggestion). Their weight hasn't changed and my vet is very happy with their condition. He also does a CBC every year on them for monitoring purposes, which I'm happy about.
I'm real skittish now with essential oil usage. A couple of friends who are into that got me started using them on my dogs but mine started having bad reactions (Teddy's allergies went berserk and he scratched off a lot of fur before I got it under control again). I do use a botanical flea/tick spray but even there one has to be very careful - I tried one that had cedar and cinnamon oil in it and it caused weird shedding and scratching.
While some veterinarians will allow the use of lavender oil for certain issues; NOT ALL oils are safe for dogs; whether they are diluted or not.
If a dog has sensitive skin, clove oil and cinnamon bark oil have been demonstrated to cause dermal irritation; similarly cedarwood and lemongrass (common ingredients in herbal flea sprays) can cause irritation.
Be careful, particularly if you dog already has allergies, when using essential oils - some have benefit but others don't.
If you want to use essential oils, consult a holistic vet first.
Cymbopogon narduus is citronella - I use a product containing this and I find it very effective against insect bites (and my male has allegies so I'm always looking for things that will help him). I'm told lavender can also be effective in controlling the itchiness associated with bites but I've not tried it directly.
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
Formal training is definitely needed - but you need to find a trainer that is familiar with a number of different breeds (one of my first trainers was an aussie-shepherd person and never worked with hounds before - what a mistake that was).
If there are dog schools that offer the AKC Canine Good Citizen classes in your area, I'd consider these after you've taken basic obedience. Or ask about a "manners" class.
Forget the walks in crowded areas and forget the off-leash parks.
I also would not suggest the head-halters ("gentle leader") on basenjis - these dogs will suddenly "take off" towards a squirrel or other prey animal and the gentle-leader/head-halter can damage the neck (it works fine for dogs that are more people oriented).