The Schipperke is a breed of old Belgian dogs that are small in size. Its slightly rounded face narrowed towards its comparatively short muzzle reminds of a fox. They have small, oval eyes, erect and triangular ears. They have somewhat a square-shaped body with a wide chest.
At times, the puppies are born with no tail, or else, in many cases, the tails are docked if it is not illegal in the country the specimens hail from. There has been debate for long whether the Schipperke is a spitz or miniature sheepdog. However, in its native land, it is considered as a small shepherd dog. This obstinate breed of dogs mostly come in solid black.
|Nicknames||Spitske, Spitzke, Spits (all names used before 1888)|
|Coat||Double, dense, silky, thick, long|
|Colors||Black, black and tan, apricot, blue, brown, white/cream|
|Type||Non-sporting dog, watchdog|
|Lifespan||13 to 15 years|
|Height (size)||Small to Medium; 11-13 inches|
|Litter size||3-7 puppies|
|Temperament||Aggressive, alert, energetic, friendly, independent|
|Good with Children||Yes|
|Good with other Pets||Yes|
|Country of Origin||Belgium|
|Competitive Registration||AKC, CKC, FCI, UKC, KCGB, CKC, ANKC, NKC, NZKC, SCiPS, APRI, ACR, DRA, NAPR, ACA|
The Schipperke was developed to be a small watchdog mostly for guarding the boats that used to travel between the canals of Brussels and Antwerp. This breed is believed to have been descended from a black sheepdog named Leauvenaar.
In 1885, after Queen Marie Henriette saw a Schipperke at a Brussels dog show, these dogs became a fashionable pet. The breed gained prominence and was soon imported to the USA in 1888.
These dogs were originally known as the Spitske or Spits, and got their current name ‘Schipperke’ after a club dedicatedly for this breed was formed in 1888. Although, the first US specialty club for the dog was formed in 1905. Finally, in 1929, the official breed club for this dog named the ‘Schipperke Club of America’ was founded.
The Schipperke is characterized by mischief, agility, and curiosity. They would express their curiosity at everything going around them in the family. This dog is constantly busy and is on the move. They are tireless, and would seldom walk if they have the scope to run. Schipperkes are good dogs for apartment life provided they have ample space to run around and exercise.
It has a headstrong disposition and has a high prey drive. It would chase at anything moving, especially targeting the rodents and small animals. These formidable barkers can at any time become aggressive by its whims and might turn up against other dogs. They would be friends with family pets, especially cats, especially if they are brought up together.
This dog is extremely smart and intelligent but stubborn. So much so that it would often try to disobey or challenge its owner’s commands or instructions. Hence, they are not really meant for the first time dog owners. However, they can make a strong bond with their family members whom they select to offer their love, since these are dogs that are selective in making friendship with human companions.
Take special care to train your dog when it is still a puppy. Socialization and obedience training are the most important for this dog. Take it to pet parks where it can meet other dogs and animals/pets. Ask your friends to visit you so that your puppy gets comfortable with strangers and new faces.
You can also seek the help from professional obedience trainers or doggie kindergartens. But be sure to take the lead when you go out for a walk/jog, which should ensure the dog-master relation and resolve probable pack-leader issues. Take a strong hand in training your dog, but be sure to follow the gentle way.
Offer your Schipperke a well-balanced, highly-nutritious diet with high-calorie level and protein. But make sure, you do not overfeed this breed. If your plan for a dry kibble diet, be sure you opt for that brand which is meant for dogs of such levels of energy and the same size.
1 1/8th to 1 7/8th cups of a high-quality dog food per day, which should be divided into two equal meals. If you want to feed your dog with foods of your choice, insist on a raw meat diet.
The levels of activities, nature, characteristics of this dog vary. You can always also consult your vet or a dietician to plan a good diet chart, depending up the nature of your own schipperke.