Schipperke

Non-Sporting Group

Schipperke dog sittiing with tongue out in front of white background

Height at Shoulders

Females 10-12 in, Males 11-13 in

Weight

10-16 lbs

Life Expectancy

12-14 yrs

History

The Schipperke (pronounced "sheep-er-ker") originated in Belgium during the late medieval period. Schipperkes were popular exterminators and guard dogs on barges and in shipyards as well as exterminators in trademen's shops. Their name translates to "little captain" in Flemish. While the breed looks like it descended from a spitz-type breed, its foundation breed was actually a black shepherd dog called the Leuvenaar. These 40-lb dogs were also the foundation breed for the Belgian Sheepdog, or Groenendael. Today, they are popular watchdogs as well as companions.

Breed Characteristics

While not all Schipperkes will display the exact characteristics typical of the breed, most share a personality and temperament can be generalized by the characteristic rankings below. 

Intelligence

Affection Towards Family

Friendliness Towards Strangers

Friendliness Towards Other Dogs

Exercise Needs

★★★★☆

★★★★☆

★★☆☆☆

★★☆☆☆

★★★★★

Energy Level

Sensitivity

Noise Level

Prey Drive

Shedding

★☆

★☆

★★☆☆☆

★★★☆☆

Intelligence

★★★★


Affection Towards Family

★★★★


Friendliness Towards Strangers

★★


Friendliness Towards Other Dogs

★★☆☆


Exercise Needs

★★★★★


Energy Level


Sensitivity

★★★★☆


Noise Level

★☆


Prey Drive

★☆☆


Shedding

★☆

Common Traits

Fearless, curious, and mischievous

Devoted and family-oriented, preferring to spend most of time with their people

Protective of their family and property and will alarm bark at anything they deem suspicious

Can become destructive if bored or underexercised- they're generally happiest when they have a job to perform

Feisty and are considered to have a "big dog personality" despite their size, earning them the nickname "little black devil"