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American Kennel Club Recognizes Three More Breeds

The American Kennel Club has recognized three more breeds, increasing to 187 its total of fully recognized breeds: the Miniature American Shepherd, Berger Picard and Lagotto Romagnolo.

The Miniature American Shepherd used to be called Miniature Australian Shepherds because they can be traced back to smaller Australian Shepherds from the 1960s. The breed gained popularity with horse lovers, since they keep the full-size Australian’s obedience and intelligence yet with a smaller body. The breed retains its herding instinct. It still can be utilized for smaller animals such as goats, ducks and sheep. It has a fairly thick medium-length coat that can shed quite a bit.

The Berger Picard (bare-ZHAY-pee-CARR) breed was made famous in the United States by the dog in the 2005 movie “Because of Winn-Dixie.” However, the breed has been a familiar one in France for a long period of time. It’s one of the country’s oldest breeds of herding dogs. As with many herding dogs, the breed learns quickly and makes great companions. However, they are rather large dogs and require a lot of space to exercise. The breed’s tousled, harsh coat is surprisingly easy to maintain.

The Italian Lagotto Romagnolo breed was the one bred specifically to locate truffles. Along with its sensitive nose, this breed has a lot of energy and loves swimming and playing. This breed’s tight, curly coat covers the whole dog and requires regular grooming to keep it from matting.

The American Kennel Club has certified new breeds at a faster rate recently, including an almost 30 new ones in the past ten years. Its criteria includes several factors, such as a viable breed parent club that is comprised of dedicated breeders, a pure breeding history that extends over a long time and a minimum number of dogs in the United States.