NEW YORK – An Italian truffle-sniffer, a French sheep herder and a small shepherd developed in California are joining the American Kennel Club's roster of recognized dog breeds.
The organization announced Monday that the lagotto Romagnolo (lah-GAHT'-toh roh-mahn-YOH'-loh), the berger Picard (behr-ZHAY' PEEK'-ahr) and the miniature American shepherd will be eligible to compete in its shows and canine sports competitions starting next month.
The shaggy, energetic berger Picard dates back centuries in France. It was nearly made extinct during the world wars and remains rare.
The lagotto Romagnolo is a medium-size dog with a curly coat, an affectionate demeanor and a nose for truffles.
The miniature American shepherd is small and athletic. It resembles the Australian shepherd.
There are now 187 AKC-recognized breeds. Criteria include having several hundred dogs of the breed nationwide.