The White Schipperke

White SchipperkeThis tiny buy energetic dog originated in Belgium and gets its name from the Flemish word for boat, which is “schip.” That’s because it was first bred by the captain of a canal boat, and Schipperke means “Little Captain.” Dog fanciers are still not quite sure if it’s a type of terrier or a sheepdog. It certainly has the terrier’s energy and tenacity and the sheepdog’s intelligence.


About the White Coat

The white schipperke is a rather rare dog, for the standard American Kennel Club coat color is black. Indeed, the dog’s nickname is “Little Black Devil.” A white schipperke cannot be shown at a dog show they sponsor. Other kennel clubs may tolerate a fawn or cream colored dog being shown, but the number who accept white is vanishingly small.

A white coat comes about because of the way the dog’s genetic code works. Some schipperke fanciers claim that a dog with a white coat actually does have a black coat, but it’s masked due to the action of a gene or something like that.



A male Ship stands between 11 and 13 inches at the shoulder and weighs from 12 to 18 pounds, and the female is just a bit smaller. This dog resembles a little fox with its erect, triangular ears, curious eyes and long muzzle. It has a double coat, with the top coat being slightly harsh. The undercoat is dense and a bit softer but not too soft. The fur is short on the face, long around the neck, withers, rump and the backs of the thighs. The long hairs on the neck, withers and thighs are called the jabot, the ruff, the cape and the culottes. The fur is medium length on the rest of the body. The one thing that distinguishes it from a fox is that Ship puppies are often born without a tail.

A white schipperke needs to be groomed pretty regularly to keep the double coat in shape. The fur should be tended to with a bristle brush and a comb and once in a while can do with a dry shampoo. The one thing about the coat, be it white or black, is that it “blows.” This means that all of the undercoat is dropped in a little more than a week. The blow can happen as often as three times a year and leaves the dog a bit naked for a couple of months and the owner with bags of shed hair to clean up. Some owners find that giving the dog a hot bath helps with the condition.

Other grooming tasks to tend to are clipping the nails, cleaning the ears and brushing the teeth.



The white schipperke is a bundle of confidence and energy. It is loyal, intelligent and devoted and is excellent with children and other pets, including cats. As its name suggest, it is a great dog to take on a boating excursion, and it makes a fantastic watchdog. It needs to live in a place where it can run around and needs to be taken on a daily walk to satisfy its need, common to most dogs, to roam around and check out the neighborhood. They tend to howl to get their owners to pay attention, but respond well to gentle but firm obedience training.



The Ship is generally a healthy little dog, and like other little dogs can live a long time. Schipperkes can live 15 years or longer. However, it is subject to a disease called MPS IIIB. This genetic disease eventually attacks the central nervous system and is quickly fatal. If it strikes the dog, it will usually do so when it is between two and four years old. Less lethal problems include problems with the knee caps, the thyroid gland, the eyes and the hips.



These dogs were used to rid canal barges of rats back in the 19th century. If a person saw a Ship on a canal barge, they could assume that it belonged to the captain.


Black Schipperke

Black SchipperkeThe Black Schipperke is a small dog breed standing no higher than thirteen inches. These small dogs are extremely active and energetic and like to stay busy. They require daily walks of twenty to forty minutes a day and enjoy playing and exploring. Their prey drive and need to explore results in the necessity or training them early to come when called. The inherent prey drive also means that this breed should be kept away from rodents, lizards, and birds.

In the 1960s these small dogs became popular dogs to have on Flemish barges. They were given the name Schipperke which means “little captain” in Flemish. The Black Schipperke was brought to America in 1888 by Walter J. Comstock. The breed was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1904.

Originally bred to be companions as well as watchdogs and rat hunters, the Black Schipperke has a small but thickset body type. The breed developed a cat-like stealthy hunting style over time. Their black coat is thick around the neck, shoulders, and legs which gives the breed a sturdy look. They are normally moderate shedders, but they do lose their entire undercoat twice a year.
This breed has no tail and has a very distinctive fox-like face. Males usually stand between eleven and thirteen inches tall while females only measure ten to twelve inches in height. The breed usually weighs between ten and sixteen pounds. Their life expectancy is twelve to fourteen years.

Their personalities tend to be curious and confident and they are always alert due to their breeding as watchdogs. This breed can be mischievous and behave better when supervised while around children. Their barking needs to be controlled with training because it can become a problem if they are not properly trained. Since the breed was originally meant to be a companion dog, they do not do well when left alone for long periods of time. These little dogs need to spend a large amount of their time interacting with humans and they prefer being with their owners.

For a novice owner, this breed may be a challenge to train because they are smart and quite stubborn. Their brains and speed can be utilized in training for agility as well as flyball, obedience, and rally dog sports. This will provide them with physical and mental challenges and deter them from digging and other destructive behavior they may display when bored and lonely. This is an alert and active breed in need of physical and mental challenges to keep them busy.

Black Schipperkes also need a securely fenced yard and to be on a leash when outside the fence. An underground electronic fence may not stop this breed when they are tracking a small furry creature like a rabbit or a squirrel. Training sessions for these little dogs need to be short and reward based. The breed is known for its intelligence and they may interpret your commands in their own way without constant positive reinforcement with food or praise.

Socializing puppies at an early age is extremely important. This is a breed who is intensely attached to its human family but can be wary of strangers. Inviting people into your home while your puppy is young is important to help them learn to accept strangers. Puppy training classes can also be extremely helpful when working with this stubborn breed. Most classes require that vaccines be up to date before you enroll your puppy but you can work with them at home as early as eight weeks old. Owners who wait until their puppy is six months old or older to begin training have a much more headstrong dog to work with.

Overall, the Black Schipperke is an active, alert, loving breed who want to be companions. They are good watchdogs but can be a challenge for a novice owner to train. They require secure fencing or leashes to keep their desire to explore from getting them into trouble. They can make excellent dogs for the right owner.


Mini Schipperke: The Perfect Watch Dog and Loyal Companion

mini schipperkeKnown for their curiosity and intelligence, the purebred mini schipperke has a distinct look and personality. When properly trained, they can offer superb security for your home, but beware that if left untamed, they can be a handful of barks and a ball of energy.


History of the mini schipperke

Native to Belgium, this breed served as a guard for boatman at the docks of Dutch canals. Due to their ability to detect danger, their genealogy is thought to have originated from the black sheep dog. As a smaller version of the sheep dog, they are equipped with quick agile movements. This characteristic, along with their discrete all black coat, made them a perfect snitch.

They wouldn’t transition from employee to playmate until 1885 when Queen Marie Henriette spotted one at a dog pageant and found them adorable. Since then, the mini schipperke grew as a fashionable, tiny and loyal lapdog.



Naturally confident, this breed needs a dominant yet playful owner. They thrive on obedience and structure to curve their raging energy levels, so expect to get much attention from your mini schipperke. The strong devotion to their owner can lead to enormous suspicions of strangers and other animals. If left to explore their environments on their own, they will assume anything foreign is a threat, and that means constant barking. This breed needs your talent as a dog owner just as much as you need their guard-dog abilities.


Physical Traits

Although mini schipperkes may act big and mighty, their petite size begs to differ. A male can grow to anywhere between 11 to 13 inches tall and weigh 15 to 18 pounds, and a female can grow slightly smaller to 10 to 12 inches tall and weigh 11 to 15 pounds.

Regardless of size, this breed’s statue is quite intimidating and grand. Their foxlike face, pointed ears, broad coat, and slanted back resembles the personality of a noble. The all-black shiny coat depicts a wonderous silhouette formed by a puffed neck and short body hair.


Proper care


This active breed works up a big appetite, so they can easily over eat and gain weight if not properly fed. Keeping your pup on a schedule with two meals a day of high-quality dog food will help manage their weight. Between one to two cups of food per meal will satisfy your dog’s hungry and energy levels.



To combat potential weight issues, and to limit mischievous behavior due to built up energy, allow your dog at least 30 minutes of high activity a day. This can include 2 short walks daily, which can also be used as social time to meet other dogs and neighbors.

This breed adjusts to any living situation, if they are given much attention and room to run around. If you live in an apartment, then daily walks are essential; however, if you have a yard, some playtime outside can be just as beneficial.

Use exercising time to train your dog; it is a chance to have fun and learn basic obedience. Since they are a stubborn breed, combining leisure activities with rewards will lead to a happy pup and a stress-free owner.



You may expect this breed’s thick, black coat to be a big shedding nuisance, but simple maintenance can help keep your house relatively clean and your pet looking and feeling great. A weekly brushing will tackle loose hairs throughout most of the year. In the warmer seasons, about one or twice a year, you may need to increase your brushing, or give your pet a soak to remove their excess hairs. Otherwise, this breed stays clean and odorless, so they require baths only when they get into a messy situation.

Other grooming requires teeth cleaning a few times a week and nail trimming 1-2 times a month. Make sure you start regular grooming early (as a puppy if possible) since this helps your dog become accustom to being touched on the feet and mouth. Keep your grooming on schedule and positive to ensure your dog knows that he is not in trouble, and he does not get frightened of a new routine.