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Basenjis are small, graceful hounds standing 16 or 17 inches at the shoulder. They are recognizable by their glistening short coat, tightly curled tail, and wrinkled forehead and expressive almond-shaped eyes that convey a variety of subtle, humanlike emotions. Basenjis are a lovely sight at a standstill but more impressive yet at a fast trot, when they exhibit the long, smooth strides of a mini-racehorse. And yes, it’s true, they don’t bark, but they make their feelings known with an odd sound described as something between a chortle and a yodel. Basenjis are fastidious and will groom themselves like cats. This has been called a “cult breed”—small in numbers, but those lucky enough to own one do so with singular devotion (akc.org).

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