The is a dog breed originally from Flanders – Belgium, which was used as ship guardian, also standing out for being a good hunter of moles and mices, as well as a company pet.
According to historical records, it is a descendant of the Leauvenaar dog, which also gave rise to the Belgian Shepherd. It is documented that is a very old dog breed, as there is information of the presence of a very similar dog in the late seventeenth century, who lived with the shoemakers in the neighborhood Saint Géey Brussels. They prepared dog shows, where the only thing evaluated was the canines necklaces created by the showmakers who owned the dog, ratter than the dog itself.
It is also said that during one of these competitions, one of the defeated shoemakers, by the product of his own anger, cut off the tail of the winner dog; however, far from producing a mockery of those present, the dog in question obtained a greater success and people began to cut off the tail of all the dogs of this breed.
Another version describes that it was an angry shoemaker who cut off the tail on his neighbor’s dog, as punishment for permanently invade his property, but seeing that this was aesthetically pleasing, this practice of cutting off the tail of all the dogs got very popular, and today, although many are born without a tail, it is normal to cut the tails from all the puppies.
Its name in Flemish means “little boatman”, and who accompanied the boatmen who transited through the canal in Flanders, aboard ships, in order to cleanse them from rodents and as a guardian, through its bark if watching a stranger near the boat.
The first standard of this breed was published in 1883, describing it as a sheepdog, but it was on the march, 10, 1888 when the Belgian Schipperkes Club was founded in Brussels.
In terms of physical characteristics, it is a small dog with dense fur, usually jet black, like the fox. A pointed snout, small nose, small and oval eyes, dark brown head; straight, triangular and high set ears; strong neck, broad, deep and high chest, small, round feets. It has a size ranging from 31 to 33 centimeters, an average weight up to 8 kg, and a life expectancy of 13 to 15 years.
The Schipperke is a brave, cheerful, hardy dog, attentive, energetic and a very good protector of the family, which get along very well with children of all ages, but are naturally very suspicious of strangers. It needs to be trained with patience and positive reinforcement, as well as being socialized from an early age.
Although it can adapt and is happy living in any home, it is ideal for them to live in a house with a small fenced yard, as it is a breed that has the distinction of barking and making loud noise. It also need time to play, walk on a daily basis, in order to stay physically and mentally stable, in addition to burn their energy. However, during walks it is recommended to be on a leash, as they are experts escapers to go exploring.
They are generally very healthy dogs, but like other breeds, it may suffer from some diseases, such as Legg-Calve-Perthes, a disease that affects the hip joint and results in a deformity of the hip joint ball, elbow dysplasia, entropion, ectropion, autoimmune thyroiditis, epilepsy, patellar luxation, cataracts and skin problems.
Finally, this breed needs regular grooming, including dental hygiene two or three times a week to remove tartar and bacteria, trimming nails once or twice a month, brushing of their fur, and the occasional bath and care of the ears and eyes.