Schipperke is a small, black shepherd dog of medium length, with hard bristles creating a characteristic ruff, pointed ears and a pointed mouth. Very intelligent, with exceptional guarding abilities. Lively, busy, rather cheerful.
Schipperke is a small but solidly built spitz-type dog. It’s a fidget that sticks nose everywhere. He tolerates isolation and leaving himself alone. Strongly attached to the owner. He loves hanging out on his lap. Suitable for companion older children who will not treat him like toys.
Compared to other dogs, schipperke is usually friendly but provoked – it can be relentless. Due to his past as a rodent exterminator, it is best to get acquainted with other domestic animals when he is still tiny. There is a good chance that he will treat them as household members and not potential victims.
Distrust of strangers and vigilance makes him a good watchman. Of course, he is not able to effectively act as a defender due to his size, but he is perfect as an “alarm bell”.
Schipperke. Training and education
This intelligent dog likes to retrieve. If the training is based on positive stimuli, it learns very quickly. In the US, Schippers are sensational in agility, flyball and obedience. However, to achieve good results, it is recommended to start working with a puppy.
Who is this race for?
Schipperke likes long walks. He is durable, he can run, jump and swim for hours. However, thanks to adaptation skills, it also works well as a companion for less active and elderly people.
Advantages and disadvantages
can be very barking
needs a lot of traffic
can hunt small animals
distrustful of strangers, requires careful socialization
very attached to the family
susceptible to training
you can play sports with him
adapts to different conditions
easy to care for
Long-lived schipperke rarely gets sick. Some individuals live up to 17-18 years! You just have to be careful not to clog it, because it can affect your health.
Schipperke is crude and likes to eat. The puppy needs high energy feed, adult dogs tend to gain weight.
His coat is resistant to weather conditions, and easy care – just brush once every two weeks, more often during molting.
Schipperke is a close cousin of Belgian Shepherds. The first mention of similar dogs is in the 15th century chronicle of the monk Wenceslas, who saw in a small, black Flemish dog … the embodiment of the devil!
Later history is better documented. In the 17th century, in the vicinity of the city of Leuven located in Brabant (Belgium), shepherd dogs called “Leuvenaar” were widespread. The selection of this old breed was conducted in two directions. Larger dogs gave birth to Belgian Shepherds, while the smallest was used to kill rodents and guard poultry.
It is these last dogs that are the ancestors of modern schipperke. Brussels shoemakers kept them happy. The shoemakers’ guild even organized beauty competitions, which compared not so much the beauty of the dogs as their beautiful decorative collars.
By the end of the 19th century, the breed was already widespread throughout Belgium. Then British breeders became interested in these dogs and started buying them out en masse. This worried Belgian cynologists, who in 1888 founded the club and created the first model. Already in 1890, the British schipperke club was founded.
At the beginning of the 20th century, the breed was still mismatched. Crosswords with other dogs caused the appearance of different colors, e.g. the Belgian Queen Maria-Henrietta had a brown schipperke. In Great Britain, New Zealand and South Africa, in addition to black, brown, blond and cream are also allowed. FCI and AKC recognize only black. The breed flourished in the interwar period. Currently, it is the most popular in the USA and Sweden.
Schipperke – group I FCI, section 1, reference number 83
Country of origin: Belgium
Character: excellent guardian, distrustful of strangers, active and inquisitive; some individuals are barking
Size: not specified in the standard, approx. 30 cm
Weight: 3-9 kg, usually 4-7 kg
Coat: straight, dense, hard coat hair and soft and dense undercoat provide excellent weather protection; the hair is short on the head, ears and front of the limbs; on the neck, especially in males, it forms a ruff; on the abdomen, so many limbs and tail form a light feather
Lifespan: Schipperke are long-lived, often living for 15-16 years
Vulnerability to training: high
Activity: active, although it feels good even in a small apartment
Resistance/susceptibility to diseases: resistant
“Schipperke” in Flemish is a “little shepherd,” “shepherd.” “Scheper” is a shepherd. In many sources, you can find the view that the word “schipperke” comes from “schipper” – “captain”, and these dogs once swam on Dutch and Belgian shoulders. However, this is a legend created by British breeders.