Schipperke Dog (Temperament, Grooming, History & More)


The Schipperke Dog ranks 82nd on the AKC popularity list for 2006, which is a slight drop from its 2005 position of 80th.

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Schipperke Dog Temperament

Spirited, confident, loyal, and protective, the Schipperke is a dog that makes a wonderful family pet, getting along very well with children and offering love and devotion to his owners and family.

This breed is defensive and alert and maybe way with strangers. This is a very smart and curious breed and can be willful and mischievous at times. However, he will get on well with pet cats and with most other dogs too. This is a very intelligent and eager dog but can be a little noisy. They can be difficult to housebreak but training should otherwise prove okay.

Schipperke Dog Physical features

The tail-less Schipperke has a thick-set body and is sturdy and handsome, with a distinctive ruff framing his neck. This dog has a double coat, which is thick and of medium length. The coloring of the Schipperke is black, but some may also come in tan and fawn (although these colors are not accepted by the AKC).

The short, compact body slopes from the withers and the head are shaped similarly to a fox with a long muzzle. Dark brown, oval eyes give the Schipperke an inquisitive and alert look, and the head is topped with small, triangular ears that stand erect. The height of the Schipperke is 10-13 inches and the weight 12-18 pounds.

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Is he right for you?

The Schipperke makes a great family pet and is ideal for those with children, cats, and other pets, including other dogs. This is a fairly active and energetic dog and likes to be part of the family, so you must have the time and dedication to commit to this dog. You will far well with a Schipperke if you live in an apartment, but you should make sure that there is a safe area where he can enjoy exercise.

Schipperke Dog Health

There are several health problems associated with this breed, and one of these is a new disease known as MPS 111B. Eye and hip problems can also affect the Schipperke, as can diabetes and thyroid problems.

Their life span is an average of around 15 to 16 years of age but has gone as high as 20 years.

One disease, MPSIIIB, has been identified in the USA as affecting the breed. Fortunately, the vast majority of conscientious breeders in all countries do test their breeding stock for the disease. If an animal is tested as a ‘carrier’, there is absolutely no reason to worry, as it will never show physical signs or symptoms of the disease and can live to a ripe old age. Other than that, the breed has only had occasional cases of Legges-Perthes disease. Compared to the majority of other purebred dogs, the Schipperke is considered a hardy and healthy breed.

Schipperke Dog Grooming requirements

The coat of the Schipperke needs to be brushed regularly with a firm bristle brush, and this will help to keep it in good condition. Dry shampooing can be carried out as and when necessary, but this is a clean breed and excessive grooming is not required.

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Schipperke Dog History

Bred in Flanders, the Schipperke dog is said to have originated from sheep herding dogs, but as a smaller version, eventually becoming a different breed. The breed became popular as guard dogs for Belgian canal barges and were effective rat hunters. In the late 1800s, the breed became popular in Belgium as pets and soon started being exported to other countries.

The Schipperke dog is an old European breed thought to have been developed in the Flanders/Brussels area of Belgium. A multi-purpose dog, this small black docked dog was a watchdog on barges, houses, farms, and shops, a companion, ratter and drover of horses on the towpaths along the barge canals.

His keen sense of smell and prey drove instincts made him a natural for the working-class people who needed a watcher/guardian of goods as well as a natural rat killer for their humble environs. The Shoemakers’ guild of Brussels held shows as early as the 1690s to highlight the leather collars they made for their official mascot, the Schipperke, making it easy to surmise that the breed was equally at home in town and countryside.

Dog group

The Schipperke comes under the AKC Non-sporting Group.


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