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
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
Group 1 - Sheepdogs and Cattledogs (except Swiss Cattledogs)
Section 1 : Sheepdogs
Physical characteristics of the Schipperke
Female : Between 8 and 12 in
Male : Between 8 and 12 in
Female : Between 7 and 20 lb
Male : Between 7 and 20 lb
Type of coat
Medium length, double, thick, straight and soft.
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!
While the Schipperke is often affectionate and loving, this is only displayed towards its closest family, with whom it forms a super strong bond.
With its seemingly endless energy, the Schipperke loves getting involved in family games and is always up for playing.
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.
The Schipperke is intelligent and smart, but this means it hates being bored and loves having a task to complete.
If it’s reasonably small and moves, the Schipperke will chase it. Be careful when out and about around small animals and wildlife.
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.
This is an independent breed who likes to have its own way. The Schipperke can be stubborn, willful and mischievous.
Behaviour of the Schipperke
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.
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.
Known as a very vocal breed - be prepared for barks!