Schipperke

Country of origin:
Belgium
Height (cm):
22-33
Weight (kg):
3-9
Life span (years):
12-13
Colour:
black, grey, brownish or reddish tones in the top coat
Size:
small
Hair length:
average
Recognized by:
FCI, AKC, UKC, KCGB, CKC, ANKC, NKC, NZKC, SCiPS, APRI, ACR, DRA, NAPR, CKC
FCI code:
83
Intelligence:
Good with kids:
Trainability:
Shedding:
Watchdog:
Adaptability:
Allergy:
No
Download standard:
Overview
The Schipperke is known also as «a little all-black devil», as its tiny size, which is usually peculiar to nice doggies, conceals feisty nature. Besides, this breed is very independent-minded, that is why it’s not suggested for amateur dog owners. However, being well-informed about the Schipperke breed you will be able to tame this lovely pet and make it a goody-goody.

History
The Schipperke, often incorrectly called a Dutch dog, was developed not in Holland, but in Belgium in the early XIV century. The first recorded history of this breed dates back to the XVIIth century.

That time the Schipperke was also called the Spits or the Spitske and only in 1888 it got its current name, which may be interpreted in two ways: «little ship dog» or «little shepherd».

The breed’s ancestor is considered to be a dark coloured sheepdog Leauvenaar. It can be also related to the German Spitz, the Pomeranian and other continental European spitz-type dogs. The Schipperke was used as a small watchdog, which also killed rats and guarded boats, plying the Brussels and Antwerp’s canals.

The American Kennel Club (AKC) recognized the breed in 1904 and since then Schipperkes have been winning dog lovers’ hearts. Today this breed plays a role of a regular pet, serving its master faithfully, boosting his morale.

Temperament
The Schipperke’s temperament and character can be described so: «big dog in a little dog’s body». In other words, such dogs are active and confident, cute and funny, smart and curious.

In spite of its small size, this breed can traditionally become an excellent guardian and watchdog, patrolling its home, barking when necessary and being ready to destroy an intruder.

Schipperke gets on well with children and, as a result, is perfect for any family. It will be happy to take part in any activity with its family. Schipperke is a very devoted and playful dog with a great sense of humour.

This breed is aloof with strangers, but feeling no danger, becomes kinder. It may and sometimes may not get on well with other dogs, and will chase vermin and other small domestic and non-domestic creatures.

Health Problems
The most common problems for the breed include:

• autoimmune thyroiditis;
• epilepsy;
• legg-calve-perthes disease;
• Mucopolysaccharidosis (type IIIB);
• patellar luxation.

Grooming
Grooming the Schipperke is easy. Brush your pet’s double coat weekly, and during shedding periods do it more often, including warm bathing to remove dead hair.

In other cases, bathe your dog after it was perfumed with something stinky, that is to say, when necessary. Brush your pet’s teeth three times a week and cut his nails every two month.

Training
The Schipperke is an intelligent breed, as well as a very stubborn one, therefore a training process can be challenging. Every training must be consistent, agile and include positive reinforcement methods.

You, as a trainer, have to be patient, know how to motivate your dog: praise, food reward etc. Your pet, to become a polite dog, will need an early socialization.

Exercise
The Schipperke wants to get plenty of daily exercise or, at least, half an hour daily. Let your dog walk and run every day. It will also be glad to ride in a basket of your bicycle, with his tongue hanging out. To live alongside with such an energetic dog one must have rich imagination and much leisure time. Dare to try!
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