Origin and Purpose
The Schipperke is thought to have originated in the Flemish province
of Belgium from the native black sheepdogs now believed to be extinct,
the Leauvenaar, from which the Groenendael Belgian Sheepdog
has also probably evolved. The Schipperke may lay claim to being
one of the oldest pure-breds in Europe, for in 1690 a show for the
Schipperkes of the Guild workmen was held in the Grand Place of
Brussels. The Schipperke is an excellent and faithful little watchdog,
a hunter of moles and other vermin. He seeks the company of horses,
can be used to hunt, and is a good rabbit dog.
The Schipperke should have a short, thickset cobby body with
hindquarters slightly lighter than the foreparts. The head is fox-like and
the expression is questioning, sharp and lively, not mean or wild. The
distinctive black coat, ruff, and tail less rump give a unique silhouette
to the small dog. A natural tail should not interfere with prized
The Schipperke is active, agile, indefatigable and continually occupied
with what is going on around him, careful of things that are given him
to guard, very kind with children, and suspicious of strangers. He
knows the ways of the household, is always curious to what is going
on behind closed doors, or about any object that has been moved,
betraying his impressions by his sharp bark and upstanding ruff.
12-18 lb. (5.5-8 kg).
Coat and Colour
The coat must be black, abundant, and slightly harsh to the touch,
short on the ears, front of the legs and on the hocks, fairly short on
the body, but longer around the neck, beginning back of the ears and
forming a ruff and cape which give the appearance of the withers being
higher than the hindquarters, and a jabot extending down between the
front legs. The coat is longer on the rear where it forms a culotte, the
points turning inward. The undercoat is dense and short on the body,
very dense around the neck making the ruff stand out. The culotte
should be as long as the ruff.
GROUP VI NON-SPORTING DOGS VI-15
Skull fairly wide, narrowing at the eyes, when the ears are up in the
alert position, the correct skull in profile will appear flat. Muzzle
tapering, not too much stop. The length of the muzzle from tip to stop
is equal to the length of the skull from the stop to the occiput. Nose
small and black. Mouth: Teeth strong and even, a level or scissors bite
is acceptable. Eyes very dark brown, small, oval rather than round,
neither sunken nor prominent. Ears very erect, small, triangular,
placed high, strong enough not to be capable of being lowered except
in line with the body.
Strong and full, slightly arched.
Shoulder muscular and sloping. Legs straight, well under the body, with
bone in proportion to the body. Pasterns straight. Dewclaws may be
Back strong, short, straight, and level. Chest broad and deep in the
brisket, ribs well sprung, broad behind the shoulders. Loin muscular
and well drawn up from the brisket but not to such an extent as to
cause a weak and leggy appearance of the hindquarters. Croup slightly
sloping, rump well rounded.
Lighter than the foreparts but muscular and powerful. Thighs muscular
and powerful. Hocks well defined. Metatarsus short. Feet small, round,
and tight (not splayed), nails straight, strong, and short. Dewclaws may
Docked to no more than 2.5 cm (1 inch) in length or any type of
Unrestricted, free, and vigorous. The Schipperke is tireless and quick
to move in any direction. In a correctly proportioned and angulated
Schipperke at a trot, the feet and legs converge as seen from the front or
the rear, and each hind foot falls on or ahead of the print of the forefoot.
Any deviation from the standard is considered a fault.
Any colour other than solid black, drop or semi-erect ears, overshot or