A Guide to the Schipperke Dog, The Little Skipper What Makes This Breed So Unusual

Schipperke photo
Small Breed X-Small Breed Epilepsy Thyroid - Hypothyroidism Legg-Perthes disease Schipperke

Is the Schipperke Right For You?

  • 1 The Schipperke dog breed is fun and enthusiastic.
  • 2 They do well in apartments or large backyards.
  • 3 Since the Schipperke is a natural watchdog they can be prone to barking and need to be trained otherwise.


Translating to "Little Skipper," the Schipperke was originally bred in Belgium to assist on barges, helping to rid them of vermin while asea. Also used for herding, hunting, and guarding, this little dog quickly became a very popular house dog in Belgium in the early 19th century. They were recognized by the AKC in 1904.

Quick Facts

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    About 15 years

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    Hair Length


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    Male Height

    11-13 inches high at the withers

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    Male Weight

    12-18 lbs

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    Female Height

    10-12 inches high at the withers

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    Female Weight

    12-18 lbs

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    Litter Size

    2-3 puppies


The Schipperke is a very intelligent, lively, self-assured breed. They grow a very strong bond with their pet parent and are very devoted to their family. They are great with kids, and are easy to train, aside from sometimes being tough to housebreak. Despite their size, these tiny dogs make great guard dogs, being exceptionally brave and never backing down. They should be socialized well to prevent them from becoming shy around strangers. They also require a well defined leader in order to keep from thinking they are in charge. .


Schipperkes can be black, brown, cream, white, and gray.

Health Concerns

Schipperkes are likely to live for 16-18 years. These dogs have a higher risk of:


The Schipperke is a tiny, tailless dog, with a thick, double coat. For their size, these dogs are wide and squarely built. They look slightly like a fox, with a rounded head and a medium length muzzle. They are not always born without a tail, and generally have them docked when they are. Their fur is long on their body, but shorter on their face, ears, and forelegs.

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