Breed Information: Schipperke

Breed Description: The Schipperke is a small, compact dog with a short back, strong legs, docked tail and fox-like head. This breed has a distinctive black coat that forms a ruff at the neck. His alert and loyal nature makes him a fine watchdog. Originally used as a guard dog on barges, this small breed is at home on boats and has an inquisitive nature regarding everything around him.

Group: Non-Sporting Group

Purpose of Breed: Guard dog on barges

Country of Origin: Belgium

Average Size: 9-13 inches (22-33 cm.) 7-18 pounds (3-8 kg.)

Color(s): Schipperkes come in solid black, chocolate, sable or cream

Coat Type: An abundance of harsh hair with a mane around the neck. This breed should be brushed regularly. Schipperkes will 'blow' their coats sometimes three times a year. This is where they shed their entire undercoat in 10 days, the result is an ugly dog for 2-3 months until the hair grows back. Schipperkes can be professionally groomed to ease the mess of the blow.

Grooming: This breed should be brushed regularly and may fully shed their coats up to three times per year. This tends to result in a rather "ugly" or unsightly dog for 2-3 months after. This breed requires standard care for eyes, ears, pads and nails.


Exercise Needs: This little dog is lively and active and has lots of stamina. Schipperkes need plenty of daily exercise and need lots of wide open space to run and play.

Temperament: This breed is curious and by nature and tends to be fascinated by everything around him. He is naturally suspicious of strangers and an alert and loyal watchdog. This breed is confident, strong-willed and thinks independently. He is also lively and playful and makes a devoted companion.

Common Ailments: Susceptible to epilepsy and some in some lines, MPS III (a lethal genetic disease that appears between the ages of 2-4).

Life Expectancy: Averages 15 or more years.

Trivia: Schipperke is Flemish for "little captain: and is actually pronounced "Sheep-Er-Ker."

More Information: Shipperke Club of America, Inc.,


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Schipperke Breed Information and Photos
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