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Physical Characteristics


Breed Group:

The Schipperke is a member of the Northern and Non-Sporting Groups.


Male: 12-16 lb; female: 10-14 lb.


Male: 11-13 inches; female 10-12 inches


The coat is black. A range of tan and fawn is accepted in other countries.


The Schipperke sports a double coat of several distinct lengths. The dense undercoat is short. The abundant outer coat has straight hair that is long on the stand-out ruff, cape, jabot and culottes. The hair is medium length on the rest of the body.



The confident Schipperke has an independent and protective nature. It wears an alert, mischievous and questioning expression.

Country of Origin:



The Schipperke may be descended from the black Belgian Sheepdog. In the 1600s, these dogs may have accompanied boatmen and guarded their canal barges between Brussels and Antwerp. These dogs worked as watchdogs and ratters. They were also popular with tradesmen guilds, Brussels shoemakers, and middle class households. In the 19th-century the Schipperke was the National Dog of Belgium.


The name may have derived from the Flemish words “Schip” (boat) or “Scheper” (shepherd). The Dutch "Schipperke" means little skipper.


This high-spirited dog is devoted to children, but reserved with strangers. With a headstrong nature, this breed is protective.



Eager to learn, this dog is easy to train. Some dogs are difficult to housebreak.


This quick and active dog needs his daily exercise, both mental and physical. A moderate walk on a leash and a vigorous game in an enclosed yard are great activities. Allow your dog to run free. Indoors he will run around the house. This breed has watchdog abilities.


Owners need to provide a fenced yard. This breed is well-suited for apartment life where it will be very active running around. The Schipperke is loyal to children. As both a watchdog and guard dog, this pet makes great company on boats. When the boat is anchored, the dog’s protective instincts come into play.


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