Did you know?
Also known as “little nurse” the Schipperke can often be found sitting quietly beside the bed of a sick member of his
Children and dogs are as necessary to the welfare of the country as Wall Street and the railroads. – Harry S. Truman
The Schipperke comes from the Flemish provinces of Belgium. A descendant of now extinct native black sheepdogs called the Leauvenaar, he was used as a ratter, a carriage dog, a watchdog, and on the canal boats in Brussels and Antwerp.
Schipperkes had three jobs on board: security (loud barking at strangers approaching the barge), keeping the barges free of rats and other vermin, and nipping at the towing horses’ heels to get them moving to tow the barge.
In 1690 Schipperkes were exhibited at a dog show held in the Grand Place of Brussels, possibly making them one of the oldest purebreds in Europe. This is thought to be the first specialty dog show in history. He has also been a hunter of moles and rabbit and gets along well with horses.
Photos displayed courtesy of June Demers, Ebonorth Reg’d, Ontario
His usefulness on board earned him the name ‘Schipperke’, which is Flemish for “Little Boatman”.
Looking much like a miniature Belgian Shepherd Dog, the Schipperke weighs 12 to 18 pounds (5.5 to 8 kg) and has a black, shiny, dense, double coat. He has no tail. As naturally clean dogs, Schipperkes will take care of their own grooming, and need minimal attention from their owners.
Intelligent and curious, Schipperkes have an alert, lively, and questioning expression. They are an excellent family pet, loyal and devoted. As affectionate and playful dogs, they make great companions for children. Schipperkes enjoy being a part of a family.
This breed requires only moderate exercise and fits well into many different living arrangements. His guarding instinct makes him an excellent watchdog. Training should begin early before his intelligence and curiosity get him into trouble!