Origin and Purpose
The Schipperke is thought to have originated in the Flemish province of Belgium from the native black sheepdogs now believed to be extinct, the Leauvenaar, from which the Groenendael Belgian Sheepdog has also probably evolved. The Schipperke may lay claim to being one of the oldest pure-breds in Europe, for in 1690 a show for the Schipperkes of the Guild workmen was held in the Grand Place of Brussels. The Schipperke is an excellent and faithful little watchdog, a hunter of moles and other vermin. He seeks the company of horses, can be used to hunt, and is a good rabbit dog.
The Schipperke should have a short, thickset cobby body with hindquarters slightly lighter than the foreparts. The head is fox-like and the expression is questioning, sharp and lively, not mean or wild. The distinctive black coat, ruff, and tail less rump give a unique silhouette to the small dog.
The Schipperke is active, agile, indefatigable and continually occupied with what is going on around him, careful of things that are given him to guard, very kind with children, and suspicious of strangers. He knows the ways of the household, is always curious to what is going on behind closed doors, or about any object that has been moved, betraying his impressions by his sharp bark and upstanding ruff.
12-18 lb. (5.5-8 kg).
Coat and Colour
The coat must be black, abundant, and slightly harsh to the touch, short on the ears, front of the legs and on the hocks, fairly short on the body, but longer around the neck, beginning back of the ears and forming a ruff and cape which give the appearance of the withers being higher than the hindquarters, and a jabot extending down between the front legs. The coat is longer on the rear where it forms a culotte, the points turning inward. The undercoat is dense and short on the body, very dense around the neck making the ruff stand out. The culotte should be as long as the ruff.
Skull fairly wide, narrowing at the eyes, when the ears are up in the alert position, the correct skull in profile will appear flat. Muzzle tapering, not too much stop. The length of the muzzle from tip to stop is equal to the length of the skull from the stop to the occiput. Nose small and black. Mouth: Teeth strong and even, a level or scissors bite is acceptable. Eyes very dark brown, small, oval rather than round, neither sunken nor prominent. Ears very erect, small, triangular, placed high, strong enough not to be capable of being lowered except in line with the body.
Strong and full, slightly arched.
Shoulder muscular and sloping. Legs straight, well under the body, with bone in proportion to the body. Pasterns straight.
Back strong, short, straight, and level. Chest broad and deep in the brisket, ribs well sprung, broad behind the shoulders. Loin muscular and well drawn up from the brisket but not to such an extent as to cause a weak and leggy appearance of the hindquarters. Croup slightly sloping, rump well rounded.
Lighter than the foreparts but muscular and powerful. Thighs muscular and powerful. Hocks well defined. Metatarsus short. Feet small, round, and tight (not splayed), nails straight, strong, and short.
Docked to no more than 1 inch (3 cm) in length.
Unrestricted, free, and vigorous. The Schipperke is tireless and quick to move in any direction. In a correctly proportioned and angulated Schipperke at a trot, the feet and legs converge as seen from the front or the rear, and each hind foot falls on or ahead of the print of the forefoot.
Any deviation from the standard is considered a fault.
Any colour other than solid black, drop or semi-erect ears, overshot or undershot mouth.
Scale of Points
Head, nose, eyes, and teeth 20
Neck, shoulders, and chest 10
Back and loins 5
Hind legs 5
Coat and colour 20
General appearance 10