The Schipperke dog is exceptionally quick and intelligent with a devilish personality.
“Little Captain of the Boat” – Schip means “boat” and Schipper means “Captain of the boat.”
Body: Small, compact, thickset and sturdy with a short, level back, deep chest, well-sprung ribs and well laid back shoulders.
Coat: Straight, abundant, and somewhat harsh, varying in length throughout the body, with a soft, undercoat.
Color: Primarily black with a reddish hue when shedding.
Ears: Triangular-shaped, high set, and carried erect.
Eyes: Small, oval, and dark brown.
Feet: Small, round, compact, and cat-like with short, straight nails.
Head: Fox-like head, slightly rounded, tapering towards the muzzle.
Legs: Forelegs are straight and set well under the body. Hindquarters are well-developed and powerful.
Neck: Moderately long, thick and strong with a slight arch.
Weight: 7 – 18 pounds
Height: 10 – 13 inches
Tail: Usually docked; some dogs are born without one.
Recommended for experienced dog handlers
Can be temperamental and territorial
Not good around other small animals
Good with children
The Schipperke may be small in appearance but he isn’t lacking in might, courage, or spirit. He was once used by barge captains as guard dogs and to rid the barge of rats and other vermin; affectionately referred to as the “little captain of the boat.”
Michele Welton, author of Your Purebred Puppy says, “He has a marked stubborn streak, strong likes and dislikes, a mischievous sense of humor, and will take clever advantage if indulged.”
He is keenly aware of every move around him and, though usually reserved with strangers, can be aggressive with intruders. He is generally good with other family pets but will likely chase, and catch, other animals who wonder onto his domain. If you let him loose to run in the yard, be sure you have a high, secure fence as he is an escape artist and capable of climbing over or digging out from under most anything you put in his way. Check regularly for any area he may be able to work his way out.
AKC Standard says, “The Schipperke is curious, interested in everything around him, and is an excellent and faithful little watchdog.
Skippers are exceptionally quick, intelligent, very clever, and devilish. He can be difficult to handle if not trained at an early age. Obedience training should begin at eight to ten weeks and should be strict but kind, firm but positive, and include reward-type treats and constant encouraging praise.
AKC Group: Non-Sporting Group
Bred to hunt rats, moles, rabbits, and other small game. Once used on barges to guard the boats and kill vermin. The Schipperke was also once used in fashion shows by Belgian craftsman.
Care and Grooming
Exercise: The Schip is highly active, almost tireless, and needs a good healthy run or vigorous daily walk. Be sure to keep him safely within the confines of a secure fence or on a leash.
Grooming: Brush one to two times weekly; daily during shedding season.
Life Expectancy: 12 – 15 Years
Legg-Perthes – deterioration of the femur (thigh bone).
CERT – for the eyes
According to the Schipperke Club of America recent studies have shown concern for Mucopolysaccharidosis (can result in flattening of the face, corneal clouding, and multiple bone dysplasias) being present in the Schipperke lines.
Country of Origin
Belgium – 1500s