Meet the Loving Schipperke Dog: A Belgian Beauty!Reading Time: 4 minutes
One of the most impulsive yet inquisitive breeds known, the Schipperke. Its mischievous, bold personality has caused the Schipperke to wrangle in some interesting nicknames!
Going by the names LBD (Little Black Devil) and ‘cabin boat dog’, these often stubborn little pooches have made a name for themselves. The Schipperke, pronounced ‘ship-er-key’ has a personality to match his wacky name too! Do you want this pooch? Read on to learn more about the Schipperke!
What is the Schipperke Dog?
So what makes a Schipperke dog a Schipperke dog?
A medium-sized, pure black dog with a sparky look pretty much sums it up. The Schip dog is the keep-on-the-leash type dog as they are known to be independent and chase anything that moves! What were they bred for? But where did they originate from? We will go through this and also the more important stuff too!
A Belgian Beauty: Where did the Schipperke Come From?
A rather interesting history comes with these speedy little characters. Originally from the canal boats of Belgium, the Schipperke dog was bred to guard. Although it is widely thought the Schipperke was bred from the Spitz or Pomeranian, they are more like the cousins to these breeds.
Instead, the Schipperke was bred down from the black Belgian Sheepdog, a larger breed commonly found following Belgium bandwagons. The breed went by the name ‘spits’ or ‘spitske’ until it was renamed, Schipperke, in 1888 by the Schipperke Club of America. Schipperke is actually Flemish for ‘little captain’, so it makes total sense!
Appearance and Personality of the Bold schipperkes
Always on high alert, these canines are light sleepers! With a mind of their own and a high prey drive, any kind of intruder is likely to be welcomed with a penetrating bark.
Although bold, these trusty characters are known for their keen guard dog like abilities. These watchdog abilities shine through in intense loyalty and faithfulness to their families. This is why they are such beloved little characters!
Though they are highly intelligent, their strong stubborn streak will never go amiss. Like most who are stubborn, the Schipperke will make it obvious if he dislikes something, so a strong sense of consistency in training is important.
Having a confident owner who can implement tough love when needed is definitely needed with this cheeky breed. The Schipperke may come across as a mucho-proud breed, but they can be very sensitive, especially with their owners!
So although they may need some telling off every now and then, be sure to give them twice as much love later on! Sensitive yes, but they also like to poke their nose into everything.
With his mischievous curiosity, the Schipperkes can quickly find himself in troublesome situations. From chasing furry creatures to digging holes in your back yard, these little rascals will keep you on your toes. however, as bold as they may be, Schipperke have one of the biggest personalities in the dog world and for the right family would make the perfect family pet!
As for appearance, they are not your typical looking little dog. The Schipperke has an extremely proud stance with an alert, almost fox-like posture. His thick-set, square-like body appears to slope from his shoulders along with his short back to his (usually) tail-less hindquarters.
His wedge-shaped head is held high, with a pointed, tapering nose, typical of a vermin hunter breed. The small ears sit pricked and alert to match their personality.
The eyes are small, brown, and often carry a mischievous look! Arguably, the most distinctive feature of the Schips is their rough black coat.
The double coat actually consists of two layers. The soft, thick undercoat and the dense, but rough to the touch, outer coat. The Schipperke only comes in one color and that is pure black.
But don’t worry, their lack in color they make up for in their spirit!
How Big do they Get?
It is always important to factor in the adult size of your pet as it can often dictate which breed you get! According to the American Kennel Club, the Schipperke is considered a small dog breed.
Not as big as its descendants, the black sheepdog, but not as small as its so-called cousins, the Pomeranian. Averaging a height of around 11-13 inches, it’s not uncommon to hear them before you see them!
3 Fun Facts You Need to Know About this Breed!
- They are extremely intelligent! Sometimes too smart for our own liking. This intelligence comes with intense curiosity, which can often get them into trouble.
- They are a very active dog which requires a lot of exercise and attention. Daily exercise is essential to keep them from indulging in destructive behaviors.
- They have strong chasing instincts and can be suspicious towards strangers. Sometimes this can show as aggression towards other animals or people. They are best kept in a fully fenced area!
Top 3 Schipperke mix You’ll Love!
We love this breed so much we wanted to make need breeds with it! By crossing Schipperke with other breeds, we get the best of both worlds from each breed.
The most known Schipperke mixes involve crosses with the Maltese, Poodle and the Pomeranian. We will go through each of these mixes briefly, highlighting their unique characteristics!
- The Schipperke, Maltese mix, the Schipese! This hybrid has all the great things about the Schips dog breed, taking away the slight aggression it has towards strangers. Affectionate, energetic and playful, these little pooches are excellent with children and families!
- The Schipperke, Poodle mix, the Schipper-Poo! Yes, you read that right. The Schipper-Poo holds the high intelligence of both dog breeds, making them extremely susceptible to mischief! Although mischief, they do show immense loyalty towards their owners. The Schipper-Poo is not a problem in public either, as they are friendly with children, other dogs, and even strangers too!
- Can you guess the name of this one? The Schipp-A-Pom! Obviously, these dogs are going to be smaller than a typical Schips. Fun-loving and curious, these little rascals need some attention during thunderstorms and fireworks! Loud noises can often make them very nervous and timid. Though most of the time they are easy going and love to be vocal!
If you’re looking for a Schipperke mixed breed, be sure to buy from reputable breeders. A reputable breeder can make a big difference when it comes to the health and lifespan of your dog.
Common Health Concerns Associated with the Schipperke
Like humans, all animals are susceptible to different types of diseases, the Schipperke breed is no exception. Here we will briefly run through the ins and outs of the Schipperkes major health concerns and diseases.
Progressive retinal atrophy is a late-onset inherited eye disease. If affected, most dogs will not show signs of blindness until around 5 years old or later. The disease is not painful but is also not curable, and inevitably will result in complete blindness over time. However, with little help from their owners, these dogs can continue to enjoy a respectable quality of life.
Hip dysplasia occurs when there is a malformation of the ball and socket joint of the hip. With both inherited and environmental factors contributing, this degenerative joint disease can lead to loss of function and often pain. Signs often include lameness, difficulty raising and atrophy of the thigh muscles.
If you notice any signs, go to the local vet because luckily this disease is generally quite treatable! Another disease seen more often in smaller breed dogs is the legg-calve-Perthes-disease.
Affecting dogs between four to nine months, this disease involves spontaneous degeneration of the head of the femur in the hind-limbs. Causing hip joint inflammation, this can lead to lameness, pain, and signs similar to that of hip dysplasia.
Also known as Sanfilippo Syndrome Type IIIB, MPS IIB is an inherited disease characterized by the effects it has on lysosomal storage. Schipperke is one of the few dog breeds this disease affects. Signs include tremor, difficulty balancing and typically appear between 2 to 4 years old. This disease affects the brain and unfortunately has no effective treatment.
Patella luxation is another disease affecting the hind-limb. It involves the patella ligament moving from its natural groove, often causing pain and discomfort. However, this disease is very treatable! If you see sudden signs of discomfort or lameness in the hindlimb, don’t be shy to pay a visit to the vet. Though treatable it may be, it does have a tendency to occur more than once.
Keep in mind these health issues are not particularly common, your Schipperke dog is most likely to live a long and happy life!
Lifespan! You’ve got a Long Time to Spend with these Pups!
If you get your Schipperke puppy from a reputable breeder it is unlikely you will encounter many major health issues. If fed a nutritious diet and given ad lib love, these puppers can live as long as 15 years! So be sure to get their annual vet check in, they are worth the investment.
Is this Pupper Easy to Train?
As mentioned earlier, these dogs are extremely smart. Sometimes too smart for their own good! However, this makes them fun to train because of their huge training potential. It is important to be firm and consistent from the beginning with the Schipperke puppy, otherwise, they will quickly learn cheeky habits!
3 Tips for First Time Schipperke Puppy owners!
- They have a thick coat! Grooming is an essential part of care for these puppies. Buy a firm bristle brush the same day you get the puppy, you’re going to need it!
- Your puppy may come with or without a tail! Schipperkes are born with tails, however, they can be docked in the US for show.
- This breed can sometimes be predisposed to separation anxiety. To prevent this from happening to your puppy, try to get him comfortable with his own company early on.
A Pocket Sizes Pal! These Pups will Make You Fall in Love with Small Dogs!
Full of fun and affection these dogs make the perfect companion for the right family. If you’re looking for a dog keen on adventures and energy ad lib then don’t look past the Schipperke, there will never be a dull moment!
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