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Schipperke Information

Description of Schipperke

The Schipperke is a very alert looking small dog that is endearing and energetic. In the United States show dogs of the breed are only allowed to be pure black, but there are a variety of colors available including chocolate, cream and sable that are allowed in other Kennel Clubs. The dog is very fox-like in appearance with very triangular and alert ears, bright and mischievous eyes and a pure black nose. The coat is medium length with longer hair on the chest, tail and legs. Most Schipperke are born without tails but if not the tail is removed at birth. 

Schipperke Temperament

The Schipperke is a natural watchdog even though they are small in size. They are great with children and other pets and tend to be especially fond of cats. They are very easy to train and naturally playful, although then can be somewhat destructive if left alone for long periods of time or bored. Some owners report that they are difficult to housetrain, likely because of their small size as puppies. They love to be challenged to learn new tricks and respond to positive rewards and praise. Often the dogs will bond very closely to family members and remain a bit reserved with visitors and strangers. They often bark and howl and may be somewhat problematic in apartments because of this behavior. The Schipperke is an excellent boat dog and has no fear of the water.

Grooming & Shedding of a Schipperke

The breed is naturally very clean and will often lick itself similar to a cat to stay clean. They do require regular weekly brushing with a stiff bristle brush and are average shedders throughout most of the year. The breed will "blow" its coat or completely shed two or three times a year. During these periods the coat will need more frequent grooming, ideally daily, to prevent mats and excessive hair loss all over furniture and in the house. In addition the dog will have very little hair for two to three months until the new coat grows in.

History or the Schipperke breed

There are several different theories as to the origin of the breed. Some believe that it is a miniature version of the Belgian Shepherd, while others believe it is a spitz breed that may have been used on boats to hunt rats on long voyages. The first Schipperke were shown in 1690 when a group of shoemakers from Belgium began showing these alert looking dogs in competitions. In the 19th century the breed became the national dog in Belgium and was owned by working class and royalty alike.

Health Issues

  • Major Concerns: hyperthyroidism, epilepsy
  • Minor Concerns: Legg-Perthes
  • Occasionally seen: progressive retinal atrophy, entropion, distichiasis
  • Suggested tests: eye


Characteristics of Schipperke


10-13 inches (21-33cm)


12-18 pounds (5.5-8 kg)


15 years







Young Children


Need exercise space

Yes –will self-exercise in a house but a yard is preferred

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