The Schipperke

Exercise Requirements  
Grooming Requirements  
Weight6 Kg (approx)
Life Span17 Years (approx)


The Schipperke is thickset and cobby with a square outline. A small usually black dog, with a thick harsh coat, an obvious ruff on the neck and culottes on the back of the thighs. He has pricked ears and alert “foxy” expression. His front appears to be heavier than his rear. The Australian Breed Standard allows cream, gold and other solid colours although these are unique and not often seen.


Documented history begins in the writings of the 15th Century monk Wenceslas, who mentions a small black tailless house dog favoured by the Tradesmen Guilds of Brussels. In 1690 The Brussels Guild held a competition at the “Grand Place”. Each Schipperke wore a special collar designed to avoid damaging the ruff. These exhibitions are generally accepted as being the first “specialty show” organised for any breed.

Despite the breeds origins being lost in history we are left with today’s hardy, active little dog still fulfilling their current day role as pet and first rate companion.


The Schipperke has been described as a large dog in a small body, with the instincts of a guard dog, devoted and courageous, an all-purpose watchdog and vermin exterminator. The early Schipperke was guardian of the household, as such they possess an inordinate sense of responsibility and loyalty towards the home and everything in it. They are extremely trainable, performing well in the obedience and agility ring.

The Schipperke retains the shepherd traits of being watchful and faithful and is an incurable busybody. Children find them a natural companion as they are gentle with youngsters, but they will vigorously alert you to the approach of strangers. The Schipperke is a good choice for those living in limited space. They will exercise themself even inside an apartment, but nothing delights them more than to be with their owner for everything. Be it for long rambling walks in the countryside, a leisurely stroll along a city street, a ride in the car or an idle day spent at home. As a whole
they are clean in habit, economical to maintain and very healthy with many living well into their “teens”.

Care / Grooming

The Schipperke is very clean and pretty much takes care of its own grooming, but to keep the medium-length double coat in top condition, comb and brush regularly with a firm bristle brush. Dry shampoo when necessary. They shed very little until the coat "blows" which can be as often as 3 times a year on bitches. Less so on males and spayed bitches, especially as they age. This coat change is a sudden drop of ALL undercoat within about a 10 day period. One owner states "I've pulled out up to two shopping bags full of soft down hair out of one 12 pound Schip! I find it easier and quicker to give them a hot bath then force air the coat two or three times during this week (always outside!) to get rid of all the loose, itchy hair before the dog leaves it all over the house. A groomer could do this for the person without a force dryer. They are literally naked and butt ugly for about 2-3 months, depending on the time of year and how much time they spend outside, for the hair to come back to a new lustrous coat."


Hypothyroid, epilepsy, hip dysplasia and hip sockets which tend to slip. Legg Calves Perthes, Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA), Cataracts, and a newly discovered disease called MPS 111B. There is a genetic test available for the MPS 111B through the Univ. of Pennsylvania. Be careful not to overfeed this breed.

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