Schipperke dogs are highly devoted and self confident small sized dogs that originated in Belgium. These mischievous, inquisitive and high spirited dogs make for exciting and entertaining companion dogs for caring and dedicated families.
In earlier times, these low maintenance dogs with black hair coats were used by middle class families as vermin hunters and watchdogs. These dogs are believed to have been bred from black sheepdogs known as Leauvenaars and were used as ratters on river barges by tradesmen in the Flemish regions of Belgium.
The athletic and muscular little Schipperke dogs are fox-like in appearance with a curious and mischievous expression on the face.
The nose is small in size and black in color. The eyes are small, oval and dark brown in color. The high set ears are also small in size and triangular in shape. They tend to stand erect when the dog is alert. Most of the Schipperke dogs are born tailless.
Color: The typical hair coat of a Schipperke dog is solid black in color..
Height: The average height of Schipperke dog breed is generally around 10 to 13 inches.
Weight: The ideal weight of both male as well as female Schipperkes usually ranges between 12 to 18 pounds.
Schipperke dog breed is prone to a certain health issues like Epilepsy, Hypothyroidism, Legg Perthes disease, Hip Dysplasia, heart problems and other common dog diseases.
These dogs are also susceptible to eye problems such as Entropion, Progressive Retinal Atrophy, Cataract and other such health problems. MPS 111B or Mucopolysaccharidosis is a recently discovered diseases occurring in these dogs.
Life Expectancy: The average Schipperke life span is generally around 13 to 15 years. Healthy Schipperke dogs can also live for more than 15 years.
Litter Size: On an average, Schipperke litter size is usually about 3 to 7 puppies
Schipperke grooming calls for regular brushing and combing of the thick and medium sized hair coat, at least on a weekly basis. The double coat consists of a dense and soft under coat followed by a harsh outer coat.
Though there are a variety of grooming products available, still the best tool for grooming the Schipperke hair coat is a firm bristle brush. These dogs shed the hair coat heavily up to three times in a year. Therefore, the coat requires special care and attention during the shedding seasons.
Plus, carry out other grooming activities such as trimming the toenails, cleaning the eyes and ears, brushing the teeth etc from time to time. Besides, bathe or dry shampoo your beloved doggy only when necessary.
Schipperke breed dogs are intelligent, energetic, curious, loyal, affectionate, sensitive, protective and high spirited in temperament. They are excellent with children and enjoy playing with them. However, they can be somewhat aloof and reserved with strangers.
As for other pets, Schipperke dogs are friendly and usually get along well with other pets in the house. Though, they can be aggressive towards unfamiliar animals. These alert and courageous dogs make for keen and excellent watchdogs.
The smart and eager to learn Schipperke dogs are quite easy to train. It is essential to socialize these dogs right from puppyhood so as to avoid destructive dog behavior like excessive barking, biting etc. In addition, when left alone for longer durations, they tend to develop symptoms of separation anxiety.
These active and agile dogs require long daily walks and regular play sessions to remain physically fit. They are fairly active indoors and do well in apartment situation, especially when provided with ample space in a yard for play. When bored, they like to engage in activities like digging, climbing and barking.
When pampering your beloved Schipperke, make sure you do not shower your love through dog treats or by feeding the dog unnecessarily as it may increase the risk of obesity which in turn may give rise to various other troublesome health issues. Being small in size, Schipperke dogs can be difficult to housebreak.