Dog Breed Profile

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• High energy level
• Medium exercise needs
• Moderately playful
• Somewhat affectionate
• Friendly towards other dogs
• Friendly around other pets
• Shy around strangers
• Easy to train
• Great watchdogs
• Very protective
• Low grooming requirements
• Low tolerance to heat


The Schipperke is a small dog breed with a black double coat, and mischievous foxlike appearance. He can be very stubborn, and is an independent dog, but makes a good house pet with his friendly, pleasant nature. He’s always happy when he can keep himself busy exploring every crevice with his nose.

He has a graceful walk, and his agility and high energy was what he was appreciated for as a vermin hunter and guard dog throughout history. The Schipperke requires daily exercise to help maintain his pleasant indoor personality. If not properly trained he can become a nuisance barker.

  • Not suited to living outdoors but is happy to spend his daytime hours outside
  • No health conditions that need to be tested for
  • Grooming needs include twice weekly brushing and more when shedding
  • The Schipperke is an energetic, friendly animal that can be hard to train
  • Has a great relationship with family members, is very protective and does make great watchdogs
  • The average size of a male is 12 to 16lbs and 11 to 13 inches tall
  • The average size of a female is 10 to 12lbs and 10 to 14 inches tall

Care & Health:

This energetic breed requires daily exercise, either a good walk on a leash or sufficient playtime in a fenced-in yard. The Schipperke would be thrilled to spend his day in the yard playing but he should not be left outdoors overnight or expected to live outdoors.

His thick coat requires at least twice-weekly brushing and more when he’s shedding.

Major Health Concerns:


Minor Health Concerns:

–Legg – Perthes and occasionally entropian, distichiasis, PRA

Test for:


Life Span:

– 13 to 15 years

Breed History:

It’s debatable whether this breed originated as a boat dog, tradesman’s companion or as a watchdog and ratter. It is known that the Schipperke performed all these duties but it unclear which came first.

Evidence of this breed is available from 1690 on, when Brussels shoemakers held competitions of the breed. By the 19th century it was basically the only house dog in Belgium. After Queen Marie Henriette took an interest in this breed and kept one in 1885, the its popularity grew and England began to import them in large numbers.

Belgians themselves decided the breed was too common and imported new breeds for themselves. The population of the Schipperke declined until some breeders took interest and revived their numbers in the late 1880s. Although the numbers increased and he came to America, he has only enjoyed a modest following throughout the years.

  • Family history is sheepdog, spitz, Northern (companion)
  • Originally from Belgium
  • First bred in the 1600’s
  • Original purpose was barge dog, watchdog, ratter
  • Today they are used for companion