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(18 Reviews)

Is the Schipperke right for you?

Species group:

Other name(s): Schips

The basics:
Schipperke is Flemish for "little captain," an apt name for this small but scrappy dog developed to guard canal barges as well as homes, shops, and barns in old Belgium. They're the right size for a boating companion, but they secretly think they're a much bigger dog. They're ratters as well as watchdogs, which means they can have a powerful instinct to chase unfamiliar animals and pets. The dog that can face down a rat isn't a timid animal, and they can be a little stubborn if you lack confidence in your own ability to be the alpha in the relationship.

A history note: In 1690, tradesmen organized a Schipperke show, which may have been the first specialty show for any dog breed. Properly trained, these beautiful and busy animals still attract their share of admirers.

Appearance / health:
Schipperkes are short compact and square dogs. The head is fox like with a pointed muzzle. The eyes are oval and brown and have mischievous expression. Ears are small, erect, and triangular. The tail is docked.

Schipperkes are moderate shedders and do not need much grooming. Regular combing or brushing with a hard bristle brush removes dead hair and keep them tidy. They shed heavily during the seasonal shedding and need more grooming during those days. They may be dry shampooed occasionally. Standard care is needed for eyes, ears, pads, and nails.

Schipperkes make good jogging companions. They require regular walks or visits to the dog park. Enrolling them in agility and obedience courses may provide some mental and physical stimulation.

Schipperkes are prone to hip dysplasia (a hereditary disease which may eventually cause crippling lameness and arthritis of joints), hypothyroidism (a pathological condition resulting from severe thyroid insufficiency), epilepsy (seizures), and hip sockets that tend to slip.

A disease recently observed in Schipperkes is MPS 111B, a progressive genetic disease which affects brain leading to difficulty in balancing, walking and which is eventually lethal.

Behavior / temperament:
Schipperkes are big dogs in small bodies. They have a very high activity level and require lot of physical and mental activity. They are curious and are quick to escape in search of adventure. They get bored fast and resort to destructive activities. They are suspicious of people and require extensive socialization. Schipperkes make excellent guard dogs. They are slow to housebreak.

They are very intelligent and learn quickly. However, they are self willed and may be stubborn at times. They may respond to consistent, firm, and patient training.

They may become excessive barkers if not provided with enough physical exercise and mental stimulation to vent their energy.


good travelers, smart little companion, real hams, personality, great apartment watchdogs


defiant, yappy dog, high energy, SECURELY fenced yard, small children


maintenancenot much grooming, big dog mentality, docking

Helpful Schipperke Review


From Roobarb Feb 22 2017 5:30AM


From shelters/rescues

Little Bear



Wynne, AR





Allendale, NJ





Modesto, CA


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