Schipperke Information & Dog Breed Facts

Collection of all the general dog breed info about Schipperke so you can get to know the breed more.

Group Companion Dogs
Popularity Rank110
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Schipperke dog profile picture
OriginBelgium flagBelgium
Other Names
What other names does the Schipperke have?
SpitsSpitskeSpitzke
Breed Type
What type of dog breed is it?
Purebred

Schipperke Price and Availability

Price
How much does the Schipperke puppy cost? What is the price range of this puppy? What is the average price of this dog in the United States? Is this puppy expensive? How much should I pay for it?
$600-$1000
If you choose to purchase the Schipperke, you should know that the mentioned amount of money is an average of the collected data from breeders’ sites and puppy finder places. If you have a Schipperke for sale, please advertise it on a reliable website to make sure the Schipperke gets to a happy place.
Availability
How easy is it to get a Schipperke?
Frequent: The Schipperke is easier than average to get. Maybe there is some risk of overbreeding, as it is a popular breed.

Due to its popularity, inbreeding may occur. A new study shows that inbreeding contributes to the incidence of disease and health problems.

So be careful and seek the help of an experienced person or a professional, in making your decision.

Schipperke Size

Size
What size is this breed? How big is this dog?
Small
Weight
How much does the Schipperke weigh? Schipperke weight:
12-18 pounds (5.5-8 kg)
Average Weight
What is the average weight of the Schipperke? Schipperke average weight:
15 pounds (5.6.5 kg)
Height
How tall is the Schipperke? Schipperke height:
10-13 inches (21-33 cm)
Average Height
What is the average height of this fido? Schipperke average height:
11.5 inches (27 cm)

Schipperke Grooming, Hair and Care

Coat / Hair Types
What type of coat does the Schipperke have? What does this canine coat/fur look like?
FluffySoftThick
Colors
What color is the breed's coat? What color is a proper Schipperke's coat?
ApricotTanBrownBlue CreamBlack
Grooming
How to groom the Schipperke and how often?
Easy to groom: The Schipperke doesn't require a lot of grooming. Seasonal flea treatment is needed, but cutting the dog's hair by a professional groomer isn't necessary.

Ears and eyes should be cleaned regularly to avoid infections. Schipperke is a good choice if you don't have the time, skill, or money to take care of a high-maintenance dog.

Recommended for beginners.
Shedding Level
How much do Schipperke dogs shed? How to control, reduce and prevent the shedding of the Spits?
Schipperkes shed moderately. It's a natural process of the hair growth cycle. Regular brushing reduces the amount of hair that sheds. It mostly depends on their health status and breed type.
Bath Time / Bathing Frequency
How often does the Schipperke need a bath? How often should bathe this dog? Can I bathe my Schipperke every day?
3-4 weeks
More often than average. These dog coats tend to be longer, softer, and oilier than short-haired breeds. While a good bath every now and then is a great way to keep your buddy from becoming overly smelly, be mindful about overbathing. Bathing will wash away your dog’s natural oils, while a simple brushing every few days should keep them clean.

Schipperke Personality / Temperament

Temperament
What kind of personality does the Schipperke have? What characteristics or traits does the breed have?
AgileCuriousFearlessIntelligentConfidentFaithfulIndependent
Intelligent Rank
How smart is the Schipperke? Are they intelligent?
Very smart: Schipperke is an excellent dog breed. You can teach them many tricks and commands. The limit is your creativity. They understand and memorize new commands in 5-15 repetitions. This breed obeys the first command 85% of the time or better.
Trainability
Are Schipperke dogs easy to train? Do they go well on dog training?
Schipperkes are quite easy to train. Sometimes they can be challenging, but if you're consistent in teaching new commands they will obey for sure.
Playfulness
How playful is this breed?
The Schipperke is a highly playful breed. Excited barking and sometimes nipping will alert you to play.
Sensitivity Level
How sensitive are they? Schipperke sensitivity:
They are a little bit more sensitive than other dog breeds. Soft punishment affects them emotionally. Schipperkes don't tolerate irregular daily routine, noisy household, and frequent guest visits really well. They are receptive to their owner's emotions and make wonderful family companions.
Affection Level
How affectionate are they? Are they affectionate?
Average to High: Schipperkes are highly affectionate dogs. They like being involved in the family's life. This breed isn't considered an aloof dog.
Social Needs
How much social interaction does the Spits need? Schipperke social needs:
Schipperkes need for social interaction is average. This breed likes being around people or other animals, but they don't mind being left alone for a few hours either.
Barking
Do Schipperke dogs bark a lot? Are they barkers/noisy? Why does my Spits bark?
Low: The Schipperke barks none to minimal. Perfect choice if you prefer a quiet breed. Top reasons for barking: protection, alarm, fear, boredom, attention-seeking, greeting, separation anxiety, compulsive barking.
Watchdog Ability
Is Schipperke good as a watchdog? Are they alert at night?
Schipperkes are average watchdogs. If they sense something different, they will alert you, but the observation isn't considered their main job.
Guarding Behavior / Territorial
Do Schipperke dogs have an aggressive behavior to protect their home/house/territory? Do they have guarding instincts?
Schipperkes are average defenders. Some dogs are very protective of their territory, while others easily let a stranger to trespass. This breed is not sure to defend its territory in every situation.
Biting Potential
Do Schipperke bite humans? How likely are you to get bitten from the Spits? What are the odds of getting bitten by a Schipperke? Why do dog bites happen?

Low 🔽

The Schipperke has a low chance of biting somebody. Top reasons for dog bite: protection, pain, excitement, herding instinct, being provoked. (Data based on the available online bite statistics.)
Bite Force
Does the Schipperke has a hard bite?

Between 100 and 200 PSI 🔽

Schipperke bite force: Weak. Dogs that have the weakest bite force below 200 PSI. However, it is important to note that despite the fact that their bite force is considered the “weakest” it can still be very dangerous as all dog bites are. They are usually not aggressive and very friendly towards children and other animals.
Mouthiness
How much mouthing/nipping/play biting does the Schipperke do?
Schipperkes have an average tendency to nip, chew, play-bite, or herd people. It's a common habit during puppyhood, not aggressive behavior. These "bites" don't hurt, but Schipperkes need to be taught for a good attitude.
Impulse to Wander or Roam
How likely is the Schipperke to run away? Does this breed explore or wander a lot? Does Schipperke roam?
Schipperkes have high wanderlust potential, which means that this breed has a strong desire for exploring the world. Safer to walk them on a leash unless you teach them how to get back to you on command. This breed is also able to cause damage to your fence.
Prey Drive
Do this canine have a strong prey drive? Does Schipperke have high prey drive?
Schipperkes have low to an average impulse to chase and catch something like a cat or any other small aminals.
Apartment Friendly
Is Schipperke good as an apartment dog? Can they live in a flat?
It is not recommended to keep the Schipperke breed in the home. It does best in the garden, but if you do want to keep it indoors, it should be exercised thoroughly with long daily walks, so you can keep the Schipperke indoors by introducing daily routines.
Adaptability
Are they adaptable and easy-going?
Schipperkes adapt very well to lifestyle changes and basically all living environments. They don't mind moving from one place to another with their owner.
Tolerates Being Left Alone
Can you leave this breed home alone?
Just like every puppy, they are prone to panic, cry, bark, whine when they left alone by their owner. With proper socialization and quality time with the dog can solve this problem.

Schipperke Good With

Stranger Friendly
Are they aggressive or friendly towards/with strangers? Schipperke temperament with other people:
Schipperkes are not the most stranger-friendly dogs.
Pet Friendly
Are they pet-friendly dogs? How well do Schipperke dogs get along with other pets? Are Schipperke dogs good with pets? What is this canine temperament with other pets?
Schipperkes are usually friendly towards other pets.
Child Friendly
Are Schipperke dogs kid-friendly? Are they good with young children? Schipperke temperament with children:
Schipperkes are kid-friendly dogs. This breed is a good choice if you have children.
Cat Friendly
How well do Schipperke dogs get along with cats? Are they good with kittens? What is this fido's temperament with cats? Can they be good with cats?
Schipperkes are cat-friendly dogs.
Dog Friendly
Is Schipperke good with other dogs? Are they dog-friendly dogs? How well do Schipperke dogs get along with other dogs? What is this canine temperament with other dogs?
Schipperkes are average friendly towards other dogs.
Good For First Time Owners
Is Schipperke breed good for first-time owners? Do they make a good dog for novice owners?
Yes
Schipperkes are good for novice owners, due to their easy-going personality.
Office Friendly
Are Schipperkes good office dogs? Do Schipperkes make good office friendly dogs? Can Schipperkes be office dogs?
No
Schipperke is not the best dog breed for office environment.
Senior Citizens Friendly
Are they senior citizens friendly dogs? How well do Schipperke dogs get along with the elderly people? What is the Spits temperament with senior people? Are Schipperke dogs good for elderly owners?
Schipperkes are usually recommended for elderly people.

Schipperke Health

Health Issues
Is it a healthy or unhealthy breed? Do Schipperke dogs have health problems or genetic diseases?
The Schipperke is a healthy breed, but there are certain health issues that you should check with your vet regularly.
Veterinarian Visits
How often does the Schipperke breed need to go to the vet? How often should you take your dog to the vet? How often should the Schipperke see the vet?
Average
The Schipperke should have a complete physical check-up at least once per year. If your dog shows any symptoms, call your veterinarian.
Life Expectancy
How long do Schipperke dogs live? What is the average lifespan of this breed? How old can a Schipperke be? What is the age limit of the Schipperke? How many years can the oldest Schipperke live?
13-15 years
The average lifespan of Schipperke: 14 years
Hypoallergenic
Is the Schipperke breed hypoallergenic?
No
Schipperkes don't do well with allergy sufferers by causing allergic reaction. Some of the dog breeds are even considered to higher the possibility of an allergic response. Coat type isn't necessarily relevant, because most people are allergic to dander (flakes on the dog's skin) or saliva, not actually to dog hair.
Energy Level
How much energy does the Schipperke have? What is the activity level of the Schipperke?
Schipperkes are high-energy dogs. An active lifestyle makes them happy.
Activity Requirement / Exercise Need
How much activity does this dog need? How much exercise do Schipperke dogs require per day?
Schipperkes need a lot of exercises. Long walks should be on a daily schedule. If you live an active life, this breed can be a good choice for you.
Sleeping Need
How much sleep does this fido need?
Schipperkes don't need too much sleep. They are energetic and desire to live an active life. If you think naps are overrated, this breed can be the best choice for you.
Average daily food consumption
How much food does the Schipperke need? How often should I feed my canine? What dog products should I buy?
1/2 to 1 cup dry food a day.
Weight Gain Potential / Prone to Obesity
How easy to gain weight for this dog? Schipperke risk for obesity:
High: The Schipperke breed has a strong tendency to be overweight. Try to find the happy medium between exercise and feeding. If you want to keep balance, increase the amount and frequency of your daily dog walk and play with the Schipperke more often. If you notice any weight gain, consult your veterinarian and make a diet plan. Reduce unhealthy food and snacks, and measure the Schipperke's weight regularly.
Weather and Climate
Which weather condition is preferred by this dog? Can they tolerate hot or cold weather and climate?
Tolerates warm and cold weather
Dogs that tolerate hot and cold weather are typically those that have a double coat of fur. Dogs with a double coat of fur have a layer of fur that insulates their skin and helps protect them from the cold and the heat.
Stinkiness
How stinky is this dog? Why does it smell bad and how to get rid of the smell?

Medium

The Schipperke has an average chance of bad smell. Top reasons for dog stinkiness: infection of bad tooth/ear/skin folds, gas attacks.
Drooling Tendency
Does the Schipperke drool?
The Schipperke is a perfect example of a very low drooling tendency. If you're disgusted by slobber spots on your clothes, the Schipperke could be a perfect choice for you. Drooling is the unintentional saliva flowing outside of the mouth. It can be completely normal or a sign of a health problem. Certain dog breeds drool minimum compared to others, just like the Schipperke. If you notice any change in your dog's drooling habit, you should contact a vet as soon as possible.

Schipperke As a Working Dog

Service Dog
Are they good as service dogs? Can Schipperke be a guide dog? Are they used as seeing-eye dogs?

Not really

This breed generally not used as a service dog. A service dog is a term used in the USA to refer to any type of assistance dog specifically trained to help people who have disabilities, such as visual impairment, hearing impairments, mental disorders, seizures, mobility impairment, and diabetes. Service dogs are protected under the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act). Schipperke is not the best breed for service purposes.
Therapy Dog
Are they good as therapy dogs? Can Schipperke be a therapy dog? Are they good anxiety dogs? Can a Schipperke be an emotional support animal?

Not really

This breed generally not used as a therapy dog. A therapy dog is a dog that might be trained to provide affection, comfort, and love to people in hospitals, retirement homes, nursing homes, schools, hospices, disaster areas, and to people with anxiety disorders or autism. Schipperke is not the best breed for therapeutic purposes.
Detection Dog or Sniffer Dog
Are they good as detection dogs? Can Schipperke be a sniffer dog?

Not really

They are not typically employed for this type of work, but there may be exceptional cases. A detection dog or sniffer dog is a dog that is trained to use its senses (mostly its smell) to detect substances such as explosives, illegal drugs, wildlife scat, currency, blood, and contraband electronics such as illicit mobile phones. Schipperke is not the best breed for detection purposes.
Search and Rescue Dog (SAR)
Are they good as SAR dogs? Can Schipperke be a search and rescue dog?

Not really

This dog breed is not typically used as a search and rescue dog. The use of dogs in search and rescue (SAR) is a valuable component in wilderness tracking, natural disasters, mass casualty events, and locating missing people. The Schipperke is not the best breed for SAR purposes.
Boat and Sailor Dog
Are they good as boat dogs? Can Schipperke be a boat dog?

Yes

Schipperke breed usually likes being on a boat.

Boat dogs were typically bred for their strength, stamina, and water resistance, as they were often required to perform tasks such as pulling in fishing nets, and jumping into the water to retrieve ropes or lines, or helping to move cargo.

Sailor dog is a type of dog that was bred to accompany sailors on their voyages. They were typically used for three purposes: as a working dog, as a watchdog, and as a companion. A boat dog is a term used to describe a type of dog that was traditionally bred and used as a working dog on boats.

Cart Pulling or Drafting Dog
Are they good as cart pulling dogs? Can Schipperke be a drafting dog?

Not really

A drafting dog or draft dog is a dog bred and used for cart pulling. Dogs bred for this work have strong builds and qualities that are needed, strength and determination. Schipperke is not the best breed for drafting purposes.
Fighting Dog / Military Dog
Where Schipperke dogs used as fighting / military dogs in history?

Not really

In history, this breed was not really used for combat dog.

Schipperke Reproducibility

Gestation Length
How long does this dog's pregnancy last? How long does this dog pregnant? How long does it take to have puppies?

60-64 days

Reproductive cycle of the female Schipperke: The first period called Proestrus lasts for about 9 days. During this time the females start to attract males. You can notice by swelling vulva and bloody discharge. The second part is the Estrus when the female is receptive for the male. It lasts for about 3 to 11 days. The sign of the proestrus part is the soft and enlarged vulva. The discharge decreases and lightens in color. The third part is the Diestrus. Normally, it occurs around day 14. In this period the female’s discharge changes for vivid red and coming to its end. The vulva returns to average, and she will no longer permit mating. The fourth part called the Anestrus. The time frame between heat periods normally lasts about six months.
Litter Frequency

Once a year.

More frequent breeding is not healthy. It is very important not to buy a dog from a puppy mill, where the needs of the pups and their mothers are ignored. It's an inhumane high-volume dog breeding facility, where puppies born several times a year.
Litter Size
How many puppies can the Schipperke have? What is the average litter size of this fido?
3-7 puppies

Schipperke Recognition

AKC Group
Is Schipperke recognized by the American Kennel Club?
Recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1904 as a Non-Sporting breed.
FCI Group
Is Schipperke recognized by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI)?
Recognized by FCI in the Sheepdogs and Cattledogs (except Swiss Cattledogs) group, in the Sheepdogs section.

Schipperke Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Intelligent Rank: Very smart: Schipperke is an excellent dog breed.
  • Grooming: Easy to groom: The Schipperke doesn't require a lot of grooming.
  • Drooling Tendency: The Schipperke is a perfect example of a very low drooling tendency.
  • Adaptability: Schipperkes adapt very well to lifestyle changes and basically all living environments.
  • Child Friendly: Schipperkes are kid-friendly dogs.
  • Cat Friendly: Schipperkes are cat-friendly dogs.
  • Senior Citizens Friendly: Schipperkes are usually recommended for elderly people.
  • Good For First Time Owners: Schipperkes are good for novice owners, due to their easy-going personality.
  • Boat and Sailor Dog: Schipperke breed usually likes being on a boat.

    Boat dogs were typically bred for their strength, stamina, and water resistance, as they were often required to perform tasks such as pulling in fishing nets, and jumping into the water to retrieve ropes or lines, or helping to move cargo.

    Sailor dog is a type of dog that was bred to accompany sailors on their voyages.

Cons
  • Hypoallergenic: Schipperkes don't do well with allergy sufferers by causing allergic reaction.
  • Apartment Friendly: It is not recommended to keep the Schipperke breed in the home.
  • Weight Gain Potential / Prone to Obesity: High: The Schipperke breed has a strong tendency to be overweight.
  • Impulse to Wander or Roam: Schipperkes have high wanderlust potential, which means that this breed has a strong desire for exploring the world.
  • Office Friendly: Schipperke is not the best dog breed for office environment.

Schipperke History

The Schipperke’s origins go back to the late medieval days of Belgium. The Schipperke’s exact origins are mostly foggy and unknown, because of the lack of records. The Schipperke was bred in Flanders, the Dutch-speaking part of Belgium. Despite the dog’s foxy-faced looks, they are not derived from any kinds of Spitz or Pomeranian. It is widely presumed that the breed is descended from a black sheepdog called a Leauvenaar, the same dog, which is credited to be a predecessor of the Belgian Sheepdog, the Groenendael. The Belgian Sheepdog was bred to be a large working animal, while the Schipperke was bred down in size in order to be a very different, distinct dog breed. While the Groenendael was created to be a herding breed, the Schipperke was developed to be a small watchdog.

The Schipperke was often seen guarding the boats that plied the canals between Antwerp and Brussels, making the breed earned its fame as shipboard exterminators on the canals that crisscrossed the Low Countries. The breed makes a great guarding and protecting dog when the boat anchors for the night, alerting you of anything suspicious out of the ordinary. Despite the breed’s smaller size, the dog possesses a healthy barking ability, which can be a bit striking and surprising to a stranger’s ears. The little black avenger of the Belgian dockyards was also a fearless watchdog on barges and in city shops. It was among the sailors and shopkeepers of Brussels and Antwerp that these quick, agile dogs earned the nickname “schipperke,” Flemish for “little captain.”

Even though the breeding process started in the 1600s, the breed’s popularity started to increase just in the 1800s in the households of Belgium. Early on the breed was mostly known among peasants who were restricted in the size of dogs they could keep. The breed made its first international appearance in a dog show in 1880, and from that moment on, the Schipperke was exported to all parts of the world. Interestingly, initially, the breed was called Spitske or Spits, but as soon as the official club for the breed was founded in 1880, the breed became known as the Schipperke after its historical origins and heritage in Belgium’s ports.

After Queen Marie Henriette saw one Schipperke at a dog show in Brussels in 1885, the breed quickly became a favorite pet for the nobles and royalty all around Europe. Thanks to the increasing popularity, the breed eventually got exported to the United States of America, in 1888. In 1929, a dedicated club (Schipperke Club of America) was formed for the Schipperke. The AKC (American Kennel Club) also recognized the breed, in 1904. Today, despite the fact that the breed’s popularity is not significant, the Schipperke is loved for its versatility, cleverness, and devotion to its owners.

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Schipperke Comments, Reviews and Questions

  • Betty

    Mar 31, 2022, 5:33:55 PM:

    Gary is my third Schipperke. I love the breed. It was love at first sight. Then , it was the personality and habits that kept me hooked. Tough little guys but they light up my life!!!

  • eydie Loves shorty

    Jul 22, 2020, 5:10:06 AM:

    I have a Schipperke. She is the best dog ever! I would love to breed them. Most Americans don't know this breed. They don't know what they're missing... the BEST.