Breed Group:
Companion Dogs

Middle Age: 6 years

Geriatric Age: 12 years

Life Span: 12 to 15 years

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Schipperke Background Information & History

Originating from Belgium, the Schipperke breed was coined as the “little shepherd” due to their protective and watchful tendencies. Back in the day, this breed was used by locals to watch over boats along the canals between Brussels and Antwerp.

Throughout the breed’s early history, they were a popular companion among both regulars and queens alike. By 1888, the Schipperke breed was brought to the United States and was eventually recognized as an official breed by the AKC in 1904.

Schipperke Temperament & Personality

Do not underestimate these cute little dogs when it comes to their personality. These feisty pooches are bursting with personality and always try to get what they want. They are also quite confident for their size and some even say they fall victim to “little dog syndrome”. This usually means a Schipperke will think he is a lot larger and tougher than he really is.

Aside from their bold personalities, these dogs are very active and loving when it comes to their family. Schipperkes still have that protective instinct and will feel the need to guard their loved ones whenever they feel threatened.

Schipperke Training Tips

Even though Schipperkes are very intelligent, they also have a very strong stubborn side which can make training difficult. Most professionals recommend starting the dog training process as early on as possible and also socialize your dog with different people, places, sounds, and experiences while he is still a puppy.

If you are an owner of a Schipperke and are trying to train him, remember to stay patient and consistent throughout your training efforts. It is also critical to keep the lessons interesting and fun or else the Schipperke will become bored and uninterested.

Schipperke Exercise Needs

Contrary to their size, The Schipperke is an active breed that needs plenty of physical activity on a daily basis. 30 minutes of walking a day is the minimum a Schipperke needs in order to stay both happy and healthy. If they are stuck in an apartment all day, expect this breed to require a longer and more strenuous workout.

Schipperke Lifespan

The Schipperke has an average lifespan of 13 to 15 years.

Schipperke Breed Popularity

Due to their loving and playful personalities, the Schipperke is a fairly well-known breed within the United States. As of right now, these dogs are ranked as the 112th most popular breed in the U.S. by the American Kennel Club.

Schipperke Feeding Requirements

Because of their petite built, the Schipperke only requires about 1 to 2 cups of high-quality food a day, split into two equal meals. Keep in mind that this feeding suggestion depends on the dog’s size, age, activity level, and metabolism. Along with his daily food, make sure to provide your Schipperke with a bowl of fresh water at all times to avoid dehydration.

Schipperke Grooming

The signature black double coat of the Schipperke is both fluffy and majestic. Luckily for owners, their coat is fairly easy to maintain and only requires a weekly brushing. Along with their canine coat grooming, a Schipperke needs their nails trimmed and teeth brushed on a regular basis. It is also important to check your dog’s ears, eyes, and nose frequently for any signs of infection.

Are Schipperke’s Good With Kids?

As long as a Schipperke has been raised with children, there should be no issues with having the two of them living under the same roof. This breed is sturdy enough to handle a child’s roughhousing but is also playful enough to keep up with their energy levels. Just like with any pet, make sure a parent is always supervising any interactions between the dog and child to ensure a safe relationship between the two parties.

Schipperke Health Problems

The Schipperke is a fairly healthy dog breed, however, they are still prone to a number of different health problems. Possible canine health complications that can inflict a Schipperke may include:

Epilepsy: Canine epilepsy is the number one cause of Seizures in dogs. Although there is no known cure for this condition, symptoms can be managed.

Patellar Luxation: This condition occurs when the calf, thigh bone, and kneecap do not line together how they should. Patellar Luxation in dogs usually causes pain and lameness, but in severe cases, arthritis can develop.

Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease: This condition causes the hip joint to be deformed. Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease limits the blood supply to the femur, which causes the area to deteriorate and collapse over time.

Other Resources

National Breed Website: Schipperke Club of America

Rescue: Schipperke Rescue

Health Issues Associated with this Breed: