Schipperke Breeders, Breed Clubs and Rescue
The Schipperke originated in Flanders and was commonly seen on barges in Holland and Belgium where he was an efficient ratter, watchdog and guard; the name translates as ‘little boatman’. He is one of the smallest of the Spitz breeds and although the coat lies smoothly on the body it forms a mane on the neck and good breechings on the thighs. Most usually he is black in colour but other whole colours are allowed. The tail is usually docked but dogs with tails are becoming more popular.
The Schipperke has been known in Flanders for several centuries and was a favourite with shoemakers who arranged the first single breed dog show in 1690. He would have been useful to the tradesmen as a ratter and watchdog.
Queen Maria Henrietta of Belgium acquired a Schipperke in 1885 which elevated it into the fashionable world. The Kennel Club Standard describes his size by weight, as being 5.4 – 7.3kg and in practice his height is between 9 – 13″. Queen Alexandra, wife of Edward VII, who were both keen dog exhibitors owned two Schipperke.
Small, loyal and intelligent he makes a good family dog who enjoys his exercise and will be an alert watch dog. In 1882, a Belgian writer described the Schipperke temperament as thus: ‘A little, all black devil, but minus the cloven hoof and the tail, such is the Boatman’s dog. A very demon for rats, mice, moles and anything that moves. An indefatigable watchdog, he rests neither day nor night, always on foot, never weary of inspecting the house from cellar to garret and as soon as he observes anything amiss he warns his master by his piercing barks. He knows the ways of the family, mixes himself into everything and ends by thinking that he is the one who directs the household. His fidelity to his master is unalterable; his gentleness with children is equal to any test, but let a stranger beware if he lays a hand on any object or person; the Schipperke has teeth and can use them. A good stable dog, he is a great friend with horses and an excellent horseman’.
Small, loyal and intelligent the Schipperke makes a good family dog who enjoys his exercise and will be an alert watch dog. Go to the Breed Club website for much more helpful information.
Rescue and Rehoming
If you need to rehome your own dog, first contact the breeder to see what support she can offer. If that doesn’t resolve your problem then contact a designated Rescue organisation (if one exists) or a Breed Club.