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Schipperke


General Information - Schipperke


Group:
Non sporting

Size:
small

Lifespan:
13-15 years

Exercise:
medium

Grooming:
low

Trainability:
high

Watchdog ability:
very high

Protection ability:
high

Area of Origin:
Belgium

Date of Origin:
1600's

Other Names:
none

Original Function:
Barge dog, watchdog, ratter



History

The Schipperke, which has been around in Flanders, Belgium for about 200 years, has an uncertain background. Some claim the breed descends from an ancient breed of black Belgian Sheepdogs; others suggest it is a member of the Spitz family; and some argue that it was a cross between a terrier-type breed and the German Pomeranian. Regardless of its ancestry, the breed has been used through the centuries as a barge dog, carriage dog, guard dog, and ratter. The man responsible for the development and standardisation of the breed in Belgium throughout the late 1800's was a Mr. Ruessens. Soon afterwards, it was imported to North America, Australia and England where it continued to grow in favour. Its most popular role today is that of family companion.

Temperament

Schipperkes love their families and will always be protective of them. This alert, curious and intelligent breed loves children and tends to bond very closely with their master. The Schipperke is a big dog trapped in a small dog's body. They are self-confident and will play with any dog of any size. Schipperkes love to howl and bark and make excellent watchdogs, standing their ground no matter what. Schipperkes make excellent boat dogs.

Upkeep

The active nature of this breed makes exercise - mental and physical - imperative. Its small stature makes getting that exercise fairly easy, however. Either a vigorous game in the yard or a moderate walk on leash will usually suffice to meets its needs. The Schipperke should not live outdoors, even though it enjoys spending the day in the yard. Its double coat needs weekly brushing, more when shedding.