Country of Origin : The Netherlands
Dog Group : Non Sporting
The Schipperke was bred in Flanders by a canal boat captain named Renssens. They were descended from a 40 pound (18 kg.) black sheepdog, known as the Leauvenaar, which is the same sheep-herding stock that the black Belgian Sheepdog descended from. The Schipperke was bred smaller and smaller and eventually became a different breed entirely. The dogs became a favorite choice to guard canal barges in Belgium. The breed was used for herding livestock, hunting game, or simply guarding his domain. In Flemish the word "schip" means boat, hence where they got their name "Schipperke". They earned the nickname "Little Captain" and "Little Skipper", because the dogs were the "ratters", a very important function on a canal barge, and also usually the captain's dog. The breed became very popular in Belgian households by the late 1800's. It first appeared at a dog show in 1880. From that point on it was exported throughout the world. The Schipperke do very well on boats and people often get this breed to come along with them on boating and fishing trips. It makes a great guard dog when the boat anchors for the night, alerting of anything out of the ordinary and the dog thoroughly enjoys its trip.
The Schipperke is small and described as fox-like. The body is square in profile. When the skull is seen from the side it looks slightly rounded, narrowing towards the muzzle. The muzzle is slightly shorter than the length of the skull. The small nose is black. The teeth meet in a scissors or level bite. The small, oval eyes face forward on the head. The erect ears are high-set and triangular in shape. The chest is wide, reaching to the elbows. The topline is level or sloping slightly towards the back of the dog. They are sometimes born tailless, the thick double coat is shorter on the face, ears, front of the forelegs and the hocks. The coat is medium in length on the body and even longer around the neck, shoulders and rump.
Feeding & Ownership
On the whole these dogs are not big eaters when you consider the amount of exercise they require.
The Schipperke are quick, energetic little dogs. High-spirited, alert, and self-confident. They are very smart, curious and mischievous. These dogs do exceptionally well on boats. Among the Schipperke's best qualities are the ability to defend its home against intruders - backing down from nobody, and being an excellent friend to children. They are very active indoors. These dogs are incredibly quick and it is a good idea to have a fenced yard.
The Schipperke is very clean and pretty much takes care of its own grooming, but to keep the medium-length double coat in top condition, comb and brush regularly with a firm bristle brush.