The word Schipperke is Flemish for ‘little skipper’, and derives from the fact that these small active dogs were used as watchdogs, companions and ratters on barges and riverboats in Belgium.


The Schipperke is a small size dog with a foxy face and pointed erect ears. Their firm double coat is almost always black.


A plucky, lively little dog with an air of self-importance, the Schipperke seems unaware of the limits of their size, defending their territory and family with a fearlessness that would do the biggest of dogs proud. Continually preoccupied with what is happening around them, particularly what is going on behind closed doors or about any object that has been moved, the Schipperke is a real little busybody.

Always reserved and wary of strangers the Schipperke is very careful with anything that has been given to them to look after, being indefatigable in their duties as custodian of the household. They are a good mouser and ratter and enjoy hunting small game if the opportunity presents itself. Loyal and devoted, the Schipperke embodies a lot of dog in a diminutive frame.

Training and Exercise

The Schipperke can be a one person dog, therefore introduction to other family members including other pets (in particular the pocket pets) at an early age may be required in order for all the family members to get along well.

Being an active, lively dog, the Schipperke will enjoy daily walks and is happy to keep up on long walks.


They are a low maintenance breed that require only the occasional brush. They do shed heavily once or twice a year so daily grooming at these times will help remove the loose hair.


For the latest research in breed-related problems in Schipperkes visit the University of Sydney’s LIDA (Listing of Inherited Disorders in Animals) website.

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