Get to know the Schipperke
All you need to know about the breed
Why walk when you can run? Words to live by for the incredibly jubilant Schipperke, a chaser of vermin from way back and of balls or frisbees today. This inquisitive and entertaining dog embodies all there is to love in a canine: intelligence, energy, bravery (they may be small but they’re mighty!), and affection. The Schipperke also has a long lifespan so be prepared for many great years with this fun little dog.
Pint-sized at an average of 13 inches (33 cm), but what they might lack in size they make up for in their on-the-go demeanour. As long as there’s a job to do, the Schipperke will be fine. Extremely protective of their family and the children in it, the Schipperke can be aloof with those they don’t know but warms up soon enough.
At times the Schipperke breed can be obstinate, and will need to be trained with a very firm hand and a good amount of repetition. This is a highly curious dog who seeks adventure at every turn. Keep them on leash when out as their prey drive will cause the Schipperke to chase new furry friends in a heartbeat. Ditto for an enclosed space: The Schipperke needs exercise and will dig his way out or hop a fence if left to his own devices to get it.
Their history started in Belgium where they were fierce ratters on barges traversing the low country. They are often called “little shepherd” but the Schipperke‘s name (pronounced “SHEEP-er-ker”) translates from the Flemish as “Little Captain” or “Little Skipper.” Whatever you call them, this is a dog who will be adored by all who cross their path.
2 facts about Schipperkes
Things to look out for
From specific breed traits to a general health overview, here are some interesting facts about your Schipperke
Caring for your Schipperke
Grooming, training and exercise tips
Grooming the Schipperke may look like a chore but in reality their lustrous coat is quite easy to care for. This dog is not a shedder, but will moult twice a year - in the spring and the fall - as they shed their old coat for the new. Weekly brushing will keep their splendid locks in tip-top condition. Make sure to clean those perky ears to maintain their health as well. Daily teeth brushing is also recommended. The Schipperke dog needs lots of exercise. This is a highly energetic dog - some say a little dog in a big dog’s body. The breed is super playful and always up for a romp in the yard or jaunt around the block - or two, or five! - or lots of running in a wide-open space or in the neighborhood. The Schipperke is known for their extraordinary senses and stubborn streak - and for their vocal agility (read: at-times excessive barking) - so training may be difficult without a firm person at the helm. Obedience classes are a good idea for a breed that likes to explore, and needs to learn to come when called. They’ve been known to jump the fence if interested in what’s on the other side! Competing in agility and obedience competitions is enjoyable for the Schipperke, and will help this breed work off their natural energy.