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Schipperke Dog Breed: The Confident and Clever Belgian Barge Dog - Dog Care Tip
Home Dog Breed Schipperke Dog Breed: The Confident and Clever Belgian Barge Dog

Schipperke Dog Breed: The Confident and Clever Belgian Barge Dog

by CareTips Dog
Schipperke Dog Breed: The Confident and Clever Belgian Barge Dog

The Schipperke is a small Belgian dog breed known for its fox-like features and bold, confident personality. Originally working dogs on barges, Schipperkes are highly active, intelligent companions that form close bonds with their families. Read on to learn more about this clever watchdog.

Introduction Schipperke Dog Breed

The Schipperke originated in the early 1600s as a barge dog in Belgium. Their name comes from the Flemish word “schipperke” meaning “little captain.” Worked on barges guarding them from rats and thieves. Their distinctive appearance earned them the nickname “little black devil.”

Today the Schipperke remains an excellent watchdog and hunter of vermin. They’re independent and willful but also energetic, loyal and affectionate. Thrive on being with their family and do not do well when left alone for long periods. With proper training they can be good with kids and other pets.


Adapts Well to Apartment Living: ★★★
Good for Novice Owners: ★★
Sensitivity Level: ★★
Tolerates Being Alone:
Tolerates Cold Weather: ★★★★
Tolerates Hot Weather: ★★

All-Around Friendliness

Affectionate with Family: ★★★★
Kid Friendly: ★★★
Dog Friendly: ★★
Friendly Toward Strangers: ★★

Health and Grooming

Amount of Shedding:
Drooling Potential:
Easy to Groom: ★★
General Health: ★★★
Potential for Weight Gain: ★★


Easy to Train: ★★
Intelligence: ★★★
Potential for Mouthiness:
Prey Drive: ★★★
Tendency to Bark or Howl: ★★★★
Wanderlust Potential: ★★

Exercise Needs:

Energy Level: ★★★★
Intensity: ★★★
Exercise Needs: ★★★
Potential for Playfulness: ★★★

Appearance, Temperament and History

  • Appearance – Small, compact dogs weighing 10-16 pounds. Foxy face, pointed ears, curled tail. Coat is short, straight and black.
  • Temperament – Confident, active, loyal companions. Intelligent and playful but willful. Make excellent watchdogs. Suspicious of strangers. Need close family bonds.
  • Used for centuries on barges in Belgium guarding from rats and thieves. Known as “little captains.” Continue to be excellent watchdogs and vermin hunters.
  • Love being with their family. Do not do well when left alone for long periods. Require a lot of training and socialization.
  • Lifespan is 12-15 years. Come in black with some white markings occasionally. The undercoat can develop a reddish tinge.

Schipperkes are purebred dogs, not mixed breeds.

Caring for a Schipperke

Diet – 1/2 to 1 cup of quality dry food daily, divided into two meals. High protein food like:

  • Blue Buffalo Life Protection Small Breed Chicken Recipe – real meat is the first ingredient. Provides energy.
  • Wellness CORE Small Breed Turkey & Potato Recipe – grain-free, packed with protein.
  • Nutro ULTRA Small Breed Adult Dry Dog Food – formulation for small dogs.
  • Exercise – Very active dogs needing 45+ minutes of vigorous exercise daily. Agility, flyball and brisk walks are good activities. A fenced yard is recommended.
  • Grooming – Brush weekly using a slicker brush. Trim nails monthly. Check and clean ears regularly. Occasional baths.
  • Training – Intelligence makes training fairly easy but can be willful. Use positive reinforcement and consistent leadership. Early socialization is critical.

Health Issues and Supplies

  • Patellar luxation – dislocated kneecaps. Can cause lameness and arthritis. Avoid obesity. Joint supplements can help.
  • Legg-Calvé-Perthes disease – disintegration of thigh bone head. Causes lameness. Most dogs recover after surgery.
  • Epilepsy – hereditary seizures. Medication can help control seizures. Get health clearances on parents.
  • Essentials – crate, leash and collar, interactive toys, grooming tools, toothbrush and toothpaste.
  • Vaccines – Core vaccines include rabies, parvo, distemper. Bordetella for some. Annual vet exams.

Schipperke Names and Adoption

  • Names – consider feisty, nautical names like Captain, Skipper, Piper, Marina, Scout, Cleo, Pixel, Jet.
  • Adopt don’t shop! Check local shelters and breed-specific rescues for adoption opportunities. Meet the dog first to ensure a good match.

Finding a Puppy

  • Popular in Belgium, U.S. and Canada. Cost from reputable breeder ranges $1000-$2000.
  • Research breeders thoroughly. Meet puppy’s parents for temperament and health.
  • Visit breeder’s home or kennel. Should be clean with socialized puppies.
  • Only choose responsible breeders who provide health certifications.

Key health checks to verify in parents:

  • Eye exam by veterinary ophthalmologist
  • Patellar luxation screening
  • Hip and elbow evaluation

The confident Schipperke forges strong bonds with its family while remaining an excellent watchdog. They need extensive interaction, training and exercise daily. With proper care, the clever Schipperke makes a faithful, entertaining companion.

How to stop Schipperke bitting?

Provide chew toys. Use reward training. Increase exercise.

How to do Socialisation and Raising Friendly for Schipperke?

Introduce to variety of people, animals early on. Attend training classes.

How to train your Schipperke?

Positive reinforcement combined with firm, consistent leadership.

How long should we check for Schipperke’s health with vet?

Annual exams and as needed for concerns. Hide pain so be vigilant.

Are Schipperke good family pets?

Yes, very loyal and devoted. Better with older, respectful kids.

Are Schipperke dogs good with children?

Can be good with children if properly socialized, though their high energy may be too much for very young kids. With training, supervision, and exposure to children from an early age, usually gentle and devoted, making a fun and lively family companion.

Are Schipperke dogs good with other animals?

Can be with socialization. Have strong prey drive.

Is a Schipperke a Smart?

Highly intelligent and independent thinkers. Require mental stimulation.

By following our website, you can find the perfect dog breeds for you and provide them with the best possible dog care. Remember that owning a dog is a lifelong commitment that requires time, money, and patience. But it is also a rewarding experience that will bring you joy and companionship. All information in Dog care tips.

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