Other names/Nicknames:
  • Little Captain
Country/Date of origin:
  • Belgium
  • 1500′s
  • 10 to 13 inches
  • 12 to 16 pounds
  • Lively and alert.
  • Excellent watchdog.
  • Nothing gets by a Schipperke on guard.
  • Does not like rough handling.
  • Not at all mean, rather mischievous.

Bred as watchdogs and ratters in their native Belgium, the Schipperkes found plenty of work on the barges.  When people saw these little tailless tykes strutting on the decks with a vast show of self-importance, they said they looked like Schipperkes, or little captains.  The Schipperke really was important on the barges. These four-footed, first mates stood watch, guarded both boat and cargo, killed rats, and hustled the tow horses.  The breed has an unusual affinity for horses to this day.  The breed first landed in the United States in the 1880′s, but it was not until 1929 that they were popular enough to gain admittance to the American Kennel Club (AKC).

Body Type:
  • Small, Spitz-like in appearance.
  • The tail is docked to one-inch if the dog is not born tailless.
  • The small, prick ears are not altered.
  • The abundant, double coat consists of a short, dense undercoat and a slightly harsh outer coat.  It stands well off the body.
  • Solid black is the only permissible color in the United States.
  • Red is allowed in Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) competition.
  • Minimal grooming required.
Health and Wellness:
  • Exceptionally long-lived with very few ailments
  • Pemphigus foliaceus.
What you should know:
  • Pronounce it skeep-er-kee as the Belgians do.
  • Will exercise itself around the house.
  • Makes an ideal city or apartment dweller.
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