Miniature Americ...By Shayna Meliker Just when we thought we'd heard of all 180 recognized breeds, the American Kennel Club brings a new crop of great dogs into the pack. An Italian working dog and a cuddly cotton-ball canine are among the five newest members of the AKC's Miscellaneous Class, which is the level a breed and its parent club reaches just before it becomes fully recognized. You may not have heard of these dogs yet, but their adoring admirers hope you'll soon fall in love with these rising canine stars. Miniature American Shepherd The enthusiastic and persistent Miniature American Shepherd comes from the blending of the Australian Shepherd with the Miniature Australian Shepherd (which is also known as the North American Shepherd). Got all that? As if that's not enough to make your head spin, here's a fun fact: The Australian Shepherd isn't actually from Australia. He was developed by shepherds in the American West! Like his ascendants, the Miniature American Shepherd is a versatile working dog who's easily trained. He stands at 14 to 18 inches and comes in black, blue merle, red and red merle colors (Credit: Joan Koskiniemi at Silvermist Kennel) More from VetStreet.com: 15 Quietest Dog Breeds 10 Things Dogs Can Teach Us About Relationships Top 10 Most High-Maintenance Dog Breeds
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