Species group: Non-Sporting Group dogs
Other name(s): Schips
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
Tinka burst into our lives as a surprise gift from the sister-in-law, and she was a delight from the start. Terribly cute as a puppy and even full-grown she was very sweet. She responded well to clicker training and was mostly obedient from the beginning of the training. One of her quirks was her massive personality and stubborness and when she wanted to chase something, it was difficult to dissuade her. She'd respond eventually but we had a merry chase down the road once when she decided to chase a paper bag. You could see her debating on whether to obey or not at times, but was generally a willing dog. She absolutely hated wearing any and all dog clothes. I only tried putting a dog-coat on once and her expression said it all, "This is undignified, take it off." With her thick fur she didn't need a coat in the winter, so the clothes were returned to the store. Tinka was fiercely protective but she was mostly all bark and no growl. Quick to bark, she was very alert at night, and she would growl until she recognised the person and if I was calm, she became calm. I could envision her on a canal boat, watching the waves and protecting her territory and master quite easily – as her breed were bred to do. Her coat was heavy, built for a colder climate so she suffered a bit in our summer heat and shed a lot as a result. However she didn't need much grooming, but as she liked to root around in the garden, she needed a bath quite often. She loved people and being near us all the time and had absolutely no issue with children. When the kids got too loud, she'd walk off and find a quiet, cool corner somewhere to nap. However, she had boundless energy and needed to be walked regularly. Chasing a ball was lots of fun, and the kids enjoyed playing with her. When left alone for too long, she was quite destructive and mischievous. It was better to leave her outside in the garden than locked up in the house when we went out. As a result, a secure garden is best, as otherwise, she'd run after us. Alas, she liked to hunt and when paired with our daschund, Bingley, the two of them liked to stalk rats and mice in the park and garden, as well as the occasional rabbit. Tinka even killed a rabbit, after she managed to corner it by chance and it was hard getting her away from the corpse. Fortunately the children didn't see that particular incident. We loved her curly tail and perky little ears and I miss her a great deal..
From Roobarb Feb 22 2017 5:30AM
Important for every dog, extremly important for dogs with osteoarthritis
Best way to prevent, or at least prolong the time before your old dog becomes arthritic is to keep them lean and strong. This is also important for longevity and overall health, so it should be your main goal if you want to keep your dog alive and well for as long as possible. I can't stress the importance of keeping your dog fit and strong if it has osteoarthritis. If your dog is overweight joints have to bear more weight, and if it's muscles aren't strong joints bear even more weight then they should, which leads to increased friction and damage of the joints. If your dog is in perfect physical condition (body condition score 4-5 on 9 point scale) joints bear minimum amount of weight they have to, and if it's muscles, tendons and ligaments are strong they reduce weight bearing of the joints even more. This is important for overall health, as well as in cases of osteoarthritis and other orthopedic conditions. So keep your dog fit and strong. .
From Vuk Ignjic DVM 133 days ago
Choke collars are not the best tools to use for dogs who pull. How many times have you seen people walking their dogs on a choke collar and the dog pulling?! This is because to properly use a punishment device, which is what a choke collar is, you should only have to give 3 or 4 firm, appropriate corrections and then your dog should never repeat the behavior again. People do not have the stomach to give their dogs a stiff enough correction to work in 3 or 4 trials. Further, weaker handlers do not have the strength to give their (large) dogs a strong enough correction for them to understand. Hence, while the correction will work in the short term, all too soon, the dog is back to pulling again and that level of correction has become simply a nag. Then the correction will need to be stronger to get them to attend to it.
For a dog who outweighs or out-muscles its handler, the use of a head halter is a better choice, as it gives one greater control of the weakest part of the dog's body, their head. Just as we can use a halter to guide a horse, so can we use the same technique to guide a dog.
Laura Garber, CPDT-KA, CC, FFCP
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