Your Online Guide to Small Dogs
- Excellent guard dog
- Good with children
- Handy size
The Schipperke is a delightful breed that originated in Belgium, where its job was to guard canal barges when they had been tied up for the night. The name Schipperke is Flemish for 'little captain.'
- Not suitable for kennel life
- Needs affection and individual attention to thrive
Apart from being an excellent guard dog, the Schipperke is a most affectionate animal, and particularly good with children. It is also hardy and long-lived. The Schipperke needs individual attention and likes to be treated as a member of the family; it also takes a while to accept strangers.
Weight: should be 12 – 16 lbs. (5.4 – 7.3 kg)
Coat and Colour
The coat must be black, abundant, and slightly harsh to the touch, short on the ears, front of the legs and on the hocks, fairly short on the body, but longer around the neck, beginning back of the ears and forming a ruff and cape which give the appearance of the withers being higher than the hindquarters, and a jabot extending down between the front legs. The coat is longer on the rear where it forms a culotte, the points turning inward. The undercoat is dense and short on the body, very dense around the neck making the ruff stand out. The culotte should be as long as the ruff.
A Schipperke can walk up to 6 miles or more without any sign of fatigue; but it can manage with a great deal less exercise if its owner lives in a city.
Very little regualr grooming is required for the Schipperke.
Recommended would be 1/2 – 1 can (13.3 oz 376 g size) name-brand dog food, with a biscuit, or 1 1/2 cups dry dog food. Always provide an ample supply of fresh water for your Schipperke.
Origin and History
The Schipperke originated in Belgium, but it is often thought to be a Dutch dog, probably because Belgium and the Netherlands have been one country in the past. The breed is well over 100 years old; some claim it to be nearer 200 years old, but there are no records to support this theory.
How the breed evolved is subject to conjecture. Some classify it as a member of the Spitz family, others as the result of a terrier/Pomeranian cross. However, it seems likely that the Schipperke and the Groenendael have a common ancestor, the Schipperke closely resembling a smaller example of that other fine Belgian breed.
Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz owned Schipperkes.
Read more about the Schipperke.