Schipperke: Dog Breed Information

Country of origin: Belgium
Shoulder height: 22 – 33 cm
Weight: 3 – 9 kg
Age: 12 – 13 years
Color: solid black
Use: companion dog, guard dog

The Schipperke is a small, alert, and very lively dog. It needs a lot of work, is very sporty, and is an excellent “reporter”.

Origin and history

The Schipperke is a small-sized spitz-type shepherd dog whose name is derived from the Flemish “Schaperke” (= small shepherd dog). Up until the 17th century, the small shepherd dog was a popular house and guard dog, hunting rats, mice, and moles. It was also considered an indispensable companion on the barges of inland waterway skippers in Flanders. The first breed standard was established in 1888. In the early 19th century, the Schipperke was the most common domestic dog in Belgium.


With a shoulder height of up to 33 cm, the Schipperke is a small but powerfully built, robust dog. Its body is slightly squat and a bit broad, roughly square overall. The head is wedge-shaped like a wolf, and the erect ears are small and pointed.

The solid black fur is very dense and strong. The hair is straight, shorter on the head, and of medium length on the rest of the body. The hair forms a pronounced collar around the neck, especially in male dogs around the neck, especially in male dogs. The tail is set high, hanging down, or curled over the back. Many Schipperke is born without a tail or with a rudimentary bobtail.


The Schipperke is very alert and ready to defend itself, and likes to bark a lot, is always curious and very lively. Towards strangers, it is reserved and unfriendly. It develops a strong bond with its people, is friendly with children, and is very affectionate.

The Schipperke feels just as comfortable in a large family as on a farm in the country and can also be kept well in the city because of its compact size. In an apartment, however, its willingness to bark can become a problem. It is very intelligent and docile and should be able to live out its temperament at play or in dog sports activities such as agility or obedience. With enough activity, the agile Schipperke is an adaptable, uncomplicated, and friendly companion.

Ava Williams

Written by Ava Williams

Hello, I'm Ava! I have been writing professionally for just over 15 years. I specialize in writing informative blog posts, breed profiles, pet care product reviews, and pet health and care articles. Prior to and during my work as a writer, I spent about 12 years in the pet care industry. I have experience as a kennel supervisor and professional groomer. I also compete in dog sports with my own dogs. I also have cats, guinea pigs, and rabbits.

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