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Other names: LBD


The Schipperke is a bold, lively and protective dog who was originally used to guard boats and hunt rats. With its small size, adorable yet easy-to-care-for coat and friendly attitude, the Schipperke has become a popular family companion dog. With high intelligence and bags of curiosity can come trouble - yes, this breed has ‘small dog, big personality’ down to perfection. Truthfully, you’ll never have a dull day with the Schipperke around, but then, you may never have a quiet one, either!

Key facts about the Schipperke

Life expectancy :





Temperament :

Playful Intelligent

Size :

Origins and history

The origins of the Schipperke go way back to the late seventeenth century, when documents speak of a dog who lived with the cobblers of the Saint-Géey district of Brussels. These shoemakers organized strange canine "exhibitions" where the subject was not so much the dog as the necklace made by craftsmen! According to legend, a shoddy cobbler who did badly at one of these necklace shows, expressed his disappointment by cutting off the tail of the winning dog. That dog was so prized that a trend started, and other owners began to cut the tail of their dogs. Fortunately, this practice is now prohibited.

FCI breed nomenclature

FCI Group

Group 1 - Sheepdogs and Cattledogs (except Swiss Cattledogs)


Section 1 : Sheepdogs

Physical characteristics of the Schipperke

Adult size

Female : Between 8 and 12 in

Male : Between 8 and 12 in


Female : Between 7 and 20 lb

Male : Between 7 and 20 lb

Coat colour

Type of coat

Eye colour



The Schipperke is a truly distinctive looking breed, with a lovely, fluffy black coat and fox-like face. The ears are small and pointy, standing completely erect at the top of the head. The head is wedge-shaped with eyes which are small and dark with an alert, mischievous gleam. The body is small and thick for its size, with short legs and a well-muscled, stocky appearance.

Good to know

The Schipperke is commonly nicknamed the ‘Little Black Devil’ due to its mischievous and lively nature - you have been warned!


  • 66%


    While the Schipperke is often affectionate and loving, this is only displayed towards its closest family, with whom it forms a super strong bond.

  • 100%


    With its seemingly endless energy, the Schipperke loves getting involved in family games and is always up for playing.

  • 33%


    If you’re looking for a calm dog, the Schipperke isn’t the one. It is super curious and highly energetic, always needing something to do.

  • 100%


    The Schipperke is intelligent and smart, but this means it hates being bored and loves having a task to complete.

  • 66%


    If it’s reasonably small and moves, the Schipperke will chase it. Be careful when out and about around small animals and wildlife.

  • 100%

    Fearful / wary of strangers

    Preferring the company of its family, the Schipperke can be shy and suspicious of strangers, and will not hesitate to give voice to his discomfort.

  • 66%


    This is an independent breed who likes to have its own way. The Schipperke can be stubborn, willful and mischievous.

    Behaviour of the Schipperke

    • 66%

      Tolerates solitude

      The Schipperke will tolerate a small amount of alone time if well-trained and accustomed to it from a young age. However, left alone for too long, this breed is more than capable of causing some serious mischief.

    • 100%

      Easy to train / obedience

      The Schipperke is very receptive to education. It is eager to learn and please its masters. If well-trained and socialized, this dog can excel at obedience competitions.

    • 100%


      Known as a very vocal breed - be prepared for barks!

    • 100%