The Schipperke belongs to the AKC Non-Sporting Group and is a very alert and playful, small dog very adaptable to city or country living. Their high alertness makes them great watchdogs.They will not require much coat care, however they do shed. Schipperkes are curious as well as stubborn, and may not come when called. Keeping this breed on leash or in a fenced yard will keep them out of trouble or harm's way. They do train very easily. With early socialization and supervision, Schipperkes make an affectionate family pet.
Grooming: The shedding coat of a Schipperke needs minimal care.
Social Skills: This little dog gets along fine with other dogs and household pets when socialized early.
Personality: Very devoted, playful, curious, and affectionate. Make good watchdogs. Will alert to strangers.
Children: Very good with older, respectful children. May be too high spirited for toddlers.
Housing: Very adaptable to apartment/condo or country living. Ideal for families with fenced yards.
Exercise: Medium to High. Neighborhood walks and romps in the yard are fine.
Training: Intelligent. Trains easily with positive reinforcement. Begin training early.
Health: Hip dysplasia and hip sockets tend to slip, Legg-Perthes disease, hypothyroidism, and epilepsy. More information on Schipperke inherited health disorders.
History: The Schipperke originated from Belgium. Some say the breed may have derived from the Belgian Sheepdog during the mid 1500's. Others state it is a relatively young breed of dog developed only 200 years ago. Schipperke was a favorite dog owned by Queen Marie Henrriette, wife of King Leopold II and bcame popular in 1885. They were first called Spits or Spitske, then named Schipperke in 1888. The AKC registered this breed in 1904. Today's Schipperke is considered a popular companion dog, however, they were once bred to be used as guard dogs, and hunters of vermin. The name "Schipperke" is a term the Flemish of Belgium gave these little dogs, meaning "Little Captain" or "Little Skipper" because they used to guard the canal boats.