My Schipperke history

I adopted a pet Schipperke, many years ago. A scraggly, nearly bald little thing, with an impish furred face, she suffered from hyperthyroidism, heart, and liver disease. My husband and I adored her.

I had the good fortune of a veterinarian in the family, and together we supported her health as well as we could. She succumbed to liver disease when she was six.

Almost ten years passed before we brought another Schipperke home, our first CKC registered Schipperke, Mazeru’s Kenya. (Kaylah) Together, we ventured into the world of CKC obedience, achieving our CD and Excellent levels in Rally. We dabbled in agility a bit as well.

At 3 and a half, she suffered her first seizure. Over the next two years, I learned everything I could about epilepsy, a disease that is not unusual in Schipperkes. We worked with an excellent veterinarian, who correctly diagnosed her focal seizures and helped us manage her condition with potassium bromide, for the rest of her life. She lived until 15 and a half and ruled the household with an iron paw.
I met Pat Boggs online, in a Schipperke in Performance yahoo group. Her generosity about sharing her knowledge about breeding and training was remarkable. In 2015, I acquired my ‘retirement puppy’ from Pat’s lines.

I had by now discovered Crate Games and joined Recallers in 2012. A whole new world of behavioural science based animal training opened up. I continue to support and recommend Susan Garrett’s programs.
I raised Ruby with Recaller games and used shaping and positive reinforcement to train every skill and behaviour. She was my first conformation dog and I have jumped into learning everything I can about that world. Handling, grooming, conditioning, and training; it’s all been a fascinating journey for me.
Breeding Ruby was never my intention when I bought her, but that’s the amazing thing about life; you never know what’s around the corner. I’m grateful for the opportunity to learn everything possible about canine genetics, artificial insemination, breeding, maternal health and puppy raising with Puppy Culture.

Do Schipperkes shed?


Is that a horrible thing?

Not to me.

I love brushing my dogs, almost every day. Learning to show my dogs taught me about the importance of daily brushing and regular washing to their health and beauty. Training my dogs with positive reinforcement, to enjoy being on the grooming table, being brushed and having their nails trimmed, has brought so many other benefits. Here are a few.

• My dogs’ coats look fantastic. (Excellent diet helps here too) I spray water mixed with a bit of conditioner on their coats first. I associated ‘being sprayed’ with lots of treats, gradually over time. I am always mindful of their eyes and their heads. If you have ever been advised to use a spray bottle as a punishment for a behaviour, you will have a bit more work to do, rebuilding trust.

• It’s pleasant and it builds trust and love between the two of you.

• The fur gets removed from the dog before it gets spread around your house.

• Grooming prepares the dog for similar ‘table’ like experiences, like vet exams. Vet tables are often slippery metal surfaces so I bring my own bit of non slip matting.

• Brushing takes very little time, once you’ve got the area and equipment set up and you’ve trained your dog to love it.

• I still vacuum. No big deal. I have to (reluctantly) vacuum anyway.

Back to Schipperkes…
Mine shed their whole coats, over two or three weeks, and then take another three weeks to grow it all in again. Ruby starts at the rear and works forward. Her undercoat comes out first, followed by her longer outer coat. Different Schips may do it differently. Intact dogs shed differently from neutered ones. Ruby sheds about twice a year.

If you don’t love grooming as much as you might, you can know that it won’t last forever.

My experience with my Schipperkes, is that even ‘au natural’, (meaning without bathing them) they always smell beautiful. But if they’ve rolled in something noxious smelling, that calls for an emergency bath.

Some people use dog fur to spin wool. Collect your fur and send it to a spinner weaver. 🙂

The boy

Ruby will be mated with an excellent male, Schipdale’s Rebus, owned and bred by Mrs. Lesley Thorne of Schipdale Schipperkes in England. Rebus is a beautiful Schipperke who charmed me when we met at Crufts, 2019. Rebus has just recently been awarded his third and crowning Challenge Certificate. Rebus has also been Embark tested.

Their litter will have a genetic (not pedigree) Coefficient of Inbreeding (COI) of 10%. By comparison, I used Embark’s Matchmaker tool to search for a good quality North American male in their database. Of over 150 possible matches, most would have produced a litter of about 26%. That COI is about the same as if two siblings from unrelated parents, have offspring.

The puppies from the Ruby-Rebus litter will be more heterozygous and will have a comparatively lower risk of genetic diseases.

A picture of health

Ruby’s health is excellent. She has been CERF tested (eye exam) and passed. Her hips and elbows are good and thyroid is normal, tested in November 2019. You can find the OFA results here.

She is 12 inches at the withers. She’s well balanced and strong with good reach and drive.

She has been genetically tested clear for 162 genetic diseases that Embark tests for. She is a carrier for Canine Retinopathy,  She is also a carrier of the dilute gene, a recessive gene that dilutes the dominant black colour to a grey. While you will find ‘blue’ Schipperkes advertised on the internet as exotic and desirable, this is not true. The dilute gene is often associated with other diseases, including alopecia. Since she is a carrier of these variants, (not affected)  I ensured that prospective males did not carry these variants.

A Recallers Pup

Ruby was raised with Susan Garrett’s Recallers program. That program uses games, to build joyful relationships between dogs and their handlers. All of her skills, have been taught with positive reinforcement. She’s achieved titles in Rally (RN both CKC and AKC) Obedience (PCD) and Agility (ADC)

She’s done well in the conformation show ring. She achieved her Canadian Championship in Fall, 2017 and gathered points towards her Grand Championship in Spring 2018, all in limited showing. She was Best of Opposite, 4 days in a row at the Northern Alberta Canine Association shows, and Select Bitch at the Canadian National Specialty, June 2, 2018.

May 25, 2019, she was awarded her first group placement at a CKC show.


I have decided to breed Ruby. Her next season will occur June 2020. If the breeding is successful, she will have puppies in August, 2020.

Ruby was born on January 25, 2015. She was bred by Kathy Lytle and Pat Boggs. They bred their Schipperkes to be successful both in the conformation ring and as performance dogs. Kathy enjoyed carting with her dogs and both she and Pat’s dogs have excelled in obedience, rally and agility. Pat trained many of her Schips to be service dogs but she is perhaps best known for training Search and Rescue Schipperkes.

Ruby’s grandsire, Magic, (see photo) was an Arkansas Search and Rescue dog specializing in water finds.


Pat Boggs and Kathy Lytle’s dogs are known for their excellent temperaments and Ruby is a credit to them. She is playful and mischievous and she loves everyone. She’s a wonderful companion. True to her breed, she’s very alert, watchful and aware of her environment.

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