The Schipperke is a very lively and energetic dog, which originated in Belgium in the early 16th century. He is characterized by an extraordinary devotion and loyalty to his master. This breed is always ready to defend its territory and will not hesitate to bark whenever it feels threatened. Schipperkes also love to howl.

Height: 10-13 inches  Weight: 12-18 pounds  Lifespan: 15-18 years


This is a small, compactly built dog with a foxy face. In addition, the Schipperke is sometimes referred to as the “little black fox”. Eyes are small and dark brown. Ears are erect. Comparable Breeds: The Keeshond and Samoyed.


This breed is very emotionally attached to its family. Schipperke is often used as guard dogs, but this breed was initially bred to hunt rats. Since the Schipperkes has a strong hunting instinct, he has the urge to hunt small animals, especially rodents. This breed rather independent and therefore not suitable for dog breeders with no previous experience.

Health Problems:

The Schipperke is prone to progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), cataracts, hip dysplasia, epilepsy, hypothyroidism and diabetes. This breed’s average lifespan is between 15 and 16 years.

Coat / Care:

The Schipperke has a double, shiny coat. The outer layer is long, while the undercoat is rather fluffy, thick and soft. A long ruff around the neck is this breed’s most distinctive trait. Schipperkes come in black. Combing should be regular, using a comb or a brush with hard bristles. This will keep the coat well-groomed. However, more thorough care is required during the shedding season. This breed sheds intensely three times per year.


The Schipperke needs firm, and yet gentle, consistent approach. This dog is quite smart but difficult to train, because it quickly loses interest in training. However, with proper training, Schipperkes can grow into polite dogs. Moreover, these dogs excel at obedience and agility competitions.


The Schipperke can live in a country house with a fenced yard, as well as in the apartment. This breed needs regular, intense exercise, because it has boundless energy and loves to run.

Photo credit: Marcia O’Connor/Flickr

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