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Breed Organization
Schipperke Club of America
Native Country
Other Names
Spits, Schip, Schipperkeke, Spitzke
Life Expectancy
Approximately 13-15+ Years
Litter Size
Average 3-6 Puppies
Breed Group
AKC Non-Sporting
Breed Appearance
Their small, pointed ears are erect atop the head. Schipperkes are double coated with a soft, fluffy undercoat that is covered by a harsher-feeling and longer outer coat. One of the breed characteristics is a long ruff that surrounds the neck and then a strip trails down towards the rear of the dog. They also have longer fur on their hind legs called culottes. The breed is black, or blonde (some blondes have a silkier coat), and the coat is shiny.

Breed Description
Head: Resembles that of a fox. Moderately broad forehead, slightly rounded skull. Distinct, but not pronounced stop. Tapered muzzle. Small nose.
Ears: Placed high on the head. Small, triangular. Held erect, very mobile.
Eyes: Ideally oval. Dark brown color.
Body: Short and thickset. Deep, broad chest. Belly moderately tucked up. Broad loin. Straight, horizontal back.
Tail: Tailless or docked.
Hair: Abundant and dense. Short on the head, body and front of legs. Longer on the neck (ruff), shoulders, chest (apron) and back of legs (culottes).
Coat: Solid black.
Size: 32 to 36 cm (12,5-14 in).
Weight: 3 to 8 kg (6,5-18 lb), depending on size.

The Schipperke, which looks rather like spitz dogs and Belgian sheepdogs, is thought by some to be descended from the Leauvenaar, a small sheepdog from Louvain in the Flemish provinces of Belgium. Others think that he is descended from northern spitz dogs. This tailless dog, the most popular guard dog in Belgium, guarded the canals. He was also a much loved companion. Shown for the first time in 1880, the breed was officially recognized by the Royal Schipperkes Club of Brussels in 1888. An official standard was written in 1904. Today, the Schipperke is a popular breed in England and South Africa.

This perky, cheerful, seemingly tireless dog is constantly alert, always in motion. He raises the alarm with his piercing bark at the slightest provocation. Loyal and gentle with his owners and with children, he is reserved with strangers. He is highly trainable.

The one caveat to the Schipperke's good health is MPS IIIB, a genetic mutation that occurs in at most 15% of the total breed population. It only occurs in Schipperke's and it is the only known auto immune disease occurring in companion animals The University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine has developed a test for the disease and began accepting samples in April 2003. Clinical signs appear between two and four years of age, and there are no known cures or treatments. The disease affects balance, negotiation of obstacles (such as stairs), and is similar to such lysosumal storage diseases in humans as Tay Sachs disease and Gaucher disease.

This is an ideal house dog, though he does require regular exercise. He should be brushed and combed two or three times per week.

Ratter and Vermin Hunter, Guard Dog, Pet.

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