1) Little Captain
The Schipperke is a Belgian dog breed with its origin dating back several centuries. These little dogs became quite popular on the barges and they were used to guard canal barges in Belgium in 17 and 18th century. Actually, their name can be translated as a little captain.
But guarding barges was not the original purpose of this breed. Their name can be also translated, and this is the official translation of the FCI, as a little shepherd and it is believed that they were developed from the Black Sheepdog, also known as Leauvenaar, which is also the ancestor of the famous Belgian Shepherds. So they were originally bred as herders.
3) Show dog
The Schipperkes history is very interesting and believe it or not, they were one of the first showdogs. In the 1690s, a group of shoemakers in Brussel regularly arranged competition for Schipperkes, where they decorated them with beautiful brass collars.
Most often, you will see Schipperke without a tail, and you can read online that this is a tailless breed, but they can be born with the tail. But even than, the tail is typical docked when the puppy is born. If you would like to see the long and curly tail of the Schipperke, your best bet will be to visit one of the countries where the tail docking is illegal.
The Schipperke is very energetic dog who needs daily walks, exercise, training sessions or playtime. They are very curious, so different games where they can search for treats are great. It is important to burn off their energy otherwise they might be descructive and excessive barkers.
6) Big dog temperament
Schipperke is a small dog that thinks it is a big dog. They are great family protectors, home guardians and they are very fearless. You can see an alert and little bit mischevious expression in their dark oval eyes. They are very loving towards their family and they are good companion for older kids, but they can be little bit wary of strangers, which is why they need early and proper socialization.
This is not the best choice for a household with other small pets, like mice or hamsters. They are known for their big chasing instinct and they will probably try to hunt them. Afterall, another of their purposes in the past, was hunting vermin. But are doing okay around other dogs and they can be socialized to live with cats.
The Schipperke has a fox like appearance, prick ears, oval eyes and deep chest. The average height is between 10-13 inches, which is 25-33 cm and weight between 12-16 pounds, which is 5-7 kgs. The females are naturally little bit smaller than males.
The Schipperkes are very intelligent, but definitely not pushovers to train. It is because of their independent nature and stubborn streaks. They are not the best choice for novice and unexperienced dog owners since they need firm and patient leader.
Great fact about the Schipperke is, that it is a low maintenance dog with very low doggy odor. They do shed, so regular weekly brushing is recommended to remove the dead hair and minimize the shedding. Just like with all dogs, you should regularly check their eyes, ears and nails and clip them or clean them when needed.