|Sensitivity to strangers
|Affection for family
|Suitable for first-time owners
|Ease of grooming
The Schipperke is classified in the group of sheepdogs and cattle dogs. Let’s say that it is really easy to mistake it with a little black fox.
The Schipperke is a gorgeous and elegant animal; there are numerous theories and legends about its name, the most peculiar says that the word “Schipperke” comes from the Dutch word schipper, which means Ship’s Captain. But the first question that comes to mind is: Why is there a little black fox steering a ship? Well, let’s try to answer this question by talking about its origins.
After being disputed by France and Belgium, the Schipperke was declared a Flanders dog, despite its ancestors coming from the countries we mentioned before. We can say that its history starts in the 17th century, around this time people talk about a Brussels dog, precisely from the district of Saint-Géry.
A peculiarity of this dog breed is that it was carefully selected to have a short tail, a decision made during the time people preferred short-tailed dogs. The Schipperke has always been used as a guardian dog, but also it was very common to use it as a hunting dog to catch the mice that infected the cities and ships.
The FCI finally recognized this dog breed in the year 1882, after a successful international dog show in Spa, a city of Belgium. Taking about its name, besides the theory we mention before that links the Schipperke to the word skipper; we can also connect it to the word sheep-perke, which means little shepherd. In its motherland, this beautiful fox is known as “little black demon”.
This dog breed’s popularity is not contemporary; actually it was quite famous in countries such as France, Belgium, Netherlands and some Eastern Europe countries. It is said that its popularity comes from being one of the favorite animals of Marie Henriette of Austria. In 1887, the Schipperke arrived to the UK and the US.
Schipperke: Physical Characteristics
The Schipperke is black-colored and, as we mentioned earlier, one of its most peculiar features is its short tail. Also you can recognize it by its lupine head. This dog breed has a strong and harmonious body structure; its short tail does not affect the balance of its body shape. It has a wide chest, which gives it a robust look.
The Schipperke is classified into three categories in dog shows:
- Light: 6-8 lb (3-4 kg)
- Medium: 9-11 lb (4-5 kg)
- Heavy: 12-19 lb (5-9 kg)
As we mentioned before it is a black-colored small-sized shepherd dog with a strong and solid build. Its head is wedge-shaped, with a well-developed skull and a slightly short muzzle.
Its coat is very particular, it has abundant hair and the Schipperke wears it like it has a necklace, a mane, a harness and pants. It is an excellent shepherd dog, all of its skills are attached to its very small body, and this is the main reason of its wide popularity that spread beyond the Belgic lands.
This dog breed’s temperament is typical of a guardian dog, despite its small size it is an incredible guardian dog. It is a faithful, agile and restless dog. These characteristics lead us to think the Schipperke can be incapable of hiding its emotions, raising its mane and barking whenever something bothers it.
Also, it is quite jealous of its belongings and pays attention to everything around it. It does not allow that anyone or anything touches something under its supervision, or that someone invades its territory; of course all of these attitudes keep it from establishing friendships with strangers or unknown animals, in fact it does not show any interest in them. The Schipperke is satisfied and happy by living in perfect harmony with its owner.
Inside the house it is a polite and respectful dog; the ideal playmate to children. It also loves open spaces (like the park or the countryside); therefore it is necessary to take it for walks regularly. The Schipperke would not renounce hunting rodents and small animals for anything in the world. The best thing you can do is let your furry friend unwind in a fenced park, where it can run around; so when it comes back home it is less anxious and only shows curiosity and attention.
A Schipperke puppy is a real bomb of energy; it is always ready for action, it is cheerful and joyful. Little children love this puppy, and they can grow together in harmony without any problems.
However, since puppyhood it is necessary to train it properly, especially in regards to its barking. This dog tends to bark a lot, therefore experts advise to tame this instinct at a very young age, calling your puppy’s attention whenever exaggerates with the barking.
We must say that it is a very smart dog and easy to train. Training a Schipperke is not a difficult task; on the contrary, you can get excellent results. With a well-educated and modestly cheerful dog, you can enjoy pleasant walks and long expeditions. We must clarify, that the Schipperke does not like to live with other animals, for this reason a perfect owner must not have any other pets; also an ideal owner must be athletic and love sports. This little dog is an excellent training partner.
Schipperke: Heath and Feeding
It is important to feed your dog properly since puppyhood (Learn more in the article: Feeding Your Dog) in order to assure it a long and healthy life. A characteristic of the Schipperke is its lifespan; it can live over 15 years without any major health issues.
To take good care of its coat, a daily brush would be enough, as it is black-colored it does not get very dirty. For more tips you can read our article: Dog hygiene.
Schipperke: Price, Breeders, and Puppies for Sale
This little black cotton ball has determination and liveliness: that is the true description of a Schipperke puppy, probably one of the most energetic dogs on the world. Its great intelligence makes it easy to train, but it is important to start the training at an early age, to control its excitement and even its constant barking behavior.
However, the Schipperke is a versatile dog, it is faithful and well-educated in the house, and an excellent playmate for children. For all these reasons some people prefer it as a companion dog, and others have rediscovered its ancient job as a shepherd dog, a task in which this dog stood out during the invasion of mice in Brussels; nowadays it can be used to hunt moles and rabbits.
The price of a puppy depends on different aspects, such as pedigree, however we can establish a general value around 700-1200 dollars, 600-900 English pounds.
Now that we have mentioned the most important aspects, you can go to your new four-legged friend, who is certainly waiting for you.
You may be interested in reading another article related to other dog breeds such as:
- Chinese Crested Dog
- Italian Greyhound
- Volpino Italiano
- Fox Terrier
- Pomeranian Dog
- Yorkshire Terrier