Spotlight on...The Schipperke
Size: Small 10-16 lbs
Grooming needs: Medium, Heavy Seasonal Shedder
Environment: Indoor, Fenced Yard
Temperament: Intelligent, Mischievous, Active
Life Expectancy: 15 years
Interesting Fact: The Schipperke is a Belgian breed that dates back several hundred years. Originally sheep herders, they were later used as a ratter on barges. Schipperke means “little captain” in Flemish.
Appearance: This distinctive dog is small with a thick sloping body, typically with a docked tail in the US. They have small eyes, erect ears, and a foxlike face. Their dense coat features a large ruff of fur around the neck and a strip of hair trailing toward the rear. Their double coat is either black or blonde.
Personality: The Schipperke is very curious, active and alert. This pup wants to be involved in all family activities, but is also very independent, following his own interests. Highly intelligent, this dog needs activity to stay occupied to prevent excessive barking or destructive chewing or digging. Schipperkes are excellent watch dogs, who happily alert bark and are suspicious of strangers.
Common Health Problems: Usually a hardy and long-lived breed, occasional health issues include eye problems (cataracts and progressive retinal atrophy), hip dysplasia, Legg-Calve-Perthes disease or hypothyroidism.
Best Match: The Schipperke will do well with an active household that will include him whether they are hiking or watching a movie. Good with children, this always busy dog thrives on athletic activities and interactive games. Agility courses and food dispensing toys are right up their alley.
For outdoor time it’s best to keep this dog on a leash or in a fenced yard. Due to their creativity and propensity to chase small animals, they may get over a fence so are best supervised.
The Schipperke pet parent doesn’t mind a heavy seasonal shedder who needs brushing two or three times a week. Twice yearly the entire soft undercoat will shed and they must be brushed daily during this period.
Not the best match for a first-time dog owner, Schipperkes have a strong temperament and can be challenging to train.
Featured Adoptable: Evelyn is a 10 lb, 8-year-old Schipperke/Terrier mix active on the go dog. Adjusting to city life, she is a fast learner and loves daily walks, small forest hikes or trips, and the beach. She also loves other dogs and gets along with the young cat in her foster home. She is confident, sweet, full of life, and ready for her forever family! To meet her, contact the Pixie Project at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Megan Noes lives in New York City, with her husband, Jacob, Frenchie Bulldog, Nono, and a revolving door of foster kittens. She works for a major animal welfare organization and loves her former home in the Pacific Northwest.