Ruthi Nalley

Written by Ruthi Nalley

Modified & Updated: 06 Mar 2024

Sherman Smith

Reviewed by Sherman Smith


The Schipperke is a fascinating and enigmatic breed of dog that has gained popularity for its unique appearance and playful personality. Originally from Belgium, these small yet sturdy dogs have captured the hearts of many dog enthusiasts around the world.

In this article, we will uncover 12 surprising facts about the Schipperke that will not only amaze you but also deepen your appreciation and understanding of this incredible breed. From their mysterious origins to their mischievous nature, there is much to discover about these pint-sized canines.

So, if you are ready to embark on a journey of exploration and learn more about the Schipperke, let’s dive into these surprising facts that will leave you in awe of these remarkable dogs.

Key Takeaways:

  • Schipperkes are versatile and mischievous dogs with a unique coat and long lifespan. They make excellent watchdogs and family companions, but require patient training and mental stimulation.
  • With a history as canal barge watchdogs, Schipperkes have a strong prey drive and agile nature. They are adaptable to various living environments and form strong bonds with their families.
Table of Contents

Schipperkes have a unique coat.

One of the distinguishing features of Schipperkes is their dense double coat, which requires regular grooming to keep it looking its best. Their fur is both water- and dirt-repellent, making them adaptable to various weather conditions.

They were originally bred as working dogs.

Schipperkes were initially bred in Belgium as canal barge watchdogs, guarding the boats and their cargo. They were also skilled ratters, keeping the ships free from vermin.

They are known for their mischievous nature.

Schipperkes have a reputation for being playful and mischievous. They are highly intelligent and love to explore and get into all sorts of antics, keeping their owners on their toes.

Schipperkes are excellent watchdogs.

Despite their small size, Schipperkes are fiercely protective of their families. They have a keen sense of hearing and are quick to alert their owners of any potential danger.

They are not recommended for first-time dog owners.

Schipperkes have a strong-willed and independent nature, which can make training a bit challenging, especially for novice dog owners. Patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement are key to successfully training a Schipperke.

They have a distinct ruff around their neck.

Schipperkes have a thick, stand-up ruff of fur around their necks, giving them a unique and regal appearance. This feature adds to their charm and makes them easily recognizable.

Schipperkes are highly adaptable.

Whether living in a bustling city apartment or a suburban house with a yard, Schipperkes can adapt to various living environments. They have moderate exercise needs and are content with daily walks and playful activities.

They are agile and energetic.

Don’t be fooled by their small size; Schipperkes are agile and energetic dogs. They excel in activities such as obedience, agility, and even competitive sports like flyball.

Schipperkes have a long lifespan.

On average, Schipperkes live between 13 to 15 years, which is relatively long for a small-sized breed. With proper care, nutrition, and regular veterinary check-ups, they can enjoy a happy and healthy life.

They have a strong prey drive.

Due to their history as ratters, Schipperkes have a natural instinct to chase small animals. It is important to keep them on a leash or in a secure, fenced area to prevent them from pursuing their hunting instincts.

They are excellent family companions.

Schipperkes form strong bonds with their families and thrive on social interaction. They are good with children, but early socialization and supervision are essential to ensure harmonious relationships.

Schipperkes are curious and intelligent.

Known for their inquisitive nature, Schipperkes have an innate curiosity that drives them to explore their surroundings. They are highly intelligent and require mental stimulation to prevent boredom.

These 12 surprising facts about Schipperkes showcase their unique qualities and make them a delightful and captivating breed. Whether you’re considering adding one to your family or simply fascinated by dogs, the Schipperke is truly a breed worth knowing!


The Schipperke is a fascinating breed with a rich history and unique characteristics. From their distinctive appearance to their energetic personality, these dogs have captivated the hearts of many. Whether you’re considering adding a Schipperke to your family or simply interested in learning more about them, these surprising facts offer a glimpse into their world.

With their intelligent nature and quick-wittedness, Schipperkes excel in various activities and can make excellent companions for individuals and families alike. Their loyalty, agility, and adaptability are qualities that make them truly special. As you explore the world of Schipperkes, you’ll discover just how much these pint-sized dogs have to offer.

So, why not embrace the Schipperke charm and consider welcoming one of these delightful dogs into your life? With their unique quirks and lovable personalities, Schipperkes are sure to bring joy and excitement to your home.


1. How big do Schipperkes get?
Schipperkes are small to medium-sized dogs, typically weighing between 12 and 18 pounds. They stand about 10 to 13 inches tall at the shoulder.

2. Are Schipperkes good with children?
Schipperkes can be great companions for children, but they are best suited for homes with older kids who know how to interact with dogs properly. Their energetic nature and independent streak may not make them the ideal choice for very young children.

3. Are Schipperkes good watchdogs?
Absolutely! Schipperkes are renowned for their watchdog abilities. They are highly alert, vocal, and will not hesitate to alert their owners of any potential danger or strangers approaching the home.

4. Do Schipperkes require a lot of exercise?
While Schipperkes are energetic dogs, they don’t typically require excessive amounts of exercise. Daily walks, playtime, and mental stimulation are usually enough to keep them happy and healthy. However, they do enjoy participating in various activities such as agility, obedience, and tracking.

5. Are Schipperkes suitable for apartment living?
Yes, Schipperkes can adapt well to apartment living as long as they receive regular exercise and mental stimulation. Due to their small size and moderate exercise needs, they can thrive in smaller living spaces.

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