ORIGIN AND DEVELOPMENT
The attractive small black dog that competes in the Non-Sporting Group in the United States is not a member of the spitz or northern sled dog breeds, although it resembles them in some regards--such as its small triangular erect ears, the proportions of its head, its thick double coat and may have a tight spitz tail. The Schipperke comes from the provinces of Belgium and is descended from the Belgian Sheepdog or Leauvenaar. In the mid-ninteenth century the old Belgian Sheepdogs used to herd sheep in the Louvain area and from those sheepdogs both the Schipperke and the Belgian Sheepdog have descended. The Sheepdog was gradually bred larger and the Schipperke was bred down in size to become the inquisitive and beguiling watchdog of today.
The Schipperke has been known for several hundred years; in fact in 1690 a show for Schipperkes was held in the grand palace of Brussels. After the Specialty Club was formed in 1888 the breed was named Schipperke. The name is Flemish and means "Little Captain." (The correct pronunciation is "Sheep-er-ker," the last vowel being almost silent.) Many Schipperkes were used as guard dogs on canal boats in Brussels and Antwerp. The custom of docking the tails very short began in 1690. Today more dogs are born without tails than in the early days of the breed.
The Queen of Belguim purchased a Schipperke in 1885 and this ensured its overnight succes as a fashionable pet. Three years later Walter J. Comstock imported what is believed to be the first Schipperke into the United States. The breed caused little stir and it was not until after World War I that a few fanciers got together and founded the Schipperke Club of America in 1929. Today the Schipperke is more popular than ever and entries at dog shows in both breed and Obedience, where it is often a brilliant performer, have increased steadily.
Special Care and Training
Essentials of the Breed
Schipperke information taken from THE INTERNATIONAL ENCYCLOPEDIA OF DOGS, edited by Ann Rogers Clark and Andrew H. Brace, 1995, Mirabel Book LTD.
Official Standards for the Schipperke
What's in a name?
Jim and Debby's Household--Photos
The Beachboard Homepage
Kurakuma's Gallery of Schipperkes
Sign my Dreambook!
Skipperke graphics courtesy