The Berger Picard and Miniature American Shepherd join the Herding Group, and the Lagotto Romagnolo joins the Sporting Group. All three are athletic and energetic (read: need lots of exercise), full of affection for their families, and are flat-out beautiful.
Check out the Berger Picard in action:
The Berger Picard’s elegant name means “shepherd” and the region in France they hail from. The correct pronunciation may fool you: It’s bare-ZHAY pee-CARR. (And not that patty you order at Berger King.) This is a friendly farm dog hailing from northern France. If you saw the 2004 movie Because of Winn-Dixie you’ve seen the breed. They’d be a fine addition to your family, and they do well with children as long as they’re given an outlet for all that energy and drive, such as agility or obedience competition, (/events/). They also know how to be very laid back when the day is done.
Another family-friendly dog is the Lagotto Romagnolo. This Italian sporting dog is intelligent, affectionate, and friendly, and has the distinction of being the only purebred dog specifically bred to hunt the highly-valued truffle. He also has energy to spare, so while you may not have truffles to sniff out in your own back yard, you’ll want to keep him busy. Check out that gorgeous curly coat. Bonus: it doesn’t shed, making grooming maintenance fairly simple.
And last but certainly not least, we bring you the Miniature American Shepherd
Also a member of the herding group, this breed was developed in the 1960s in California and was popular with equestrians traveling to horse shows. These little dogs do well in both big homes and apartments, but like all shepherds, they need daily exercise. They enjoy outdoorsy activities, like hiking and biking—but after a long day out and about, they're just as happy to turn on their “loyal lapdog” mode.
See the Miniature American Shepherd in action here:
As with all AKC-recognized breeds, each of these has a National Parent Club that provides everything you’ll want to know: