History of the breed



Legend says that one day two shoemakers quarreled because of  the unwanted visits from the dog of one to the house of the other and one of them avenged himself by cutting off entirely the tail of his neighbor's dog.

The Schipperke (pronounced Skip-er-key) is a faithful little watchdog, active, indefatigable, with a completely inexhaustible curiosity.  The breed originated in Belgium and from the beginning was a companion and guard dog for shopkeepers and barge captains, hence the name that is usually translated as "Little Boatman" or "Little Captain".

The Schipperke is a fairly old breed dating back to the 16th century.  There is one story of William of Orange (1533-1584) being saved from would-be assassins by two small black tailless dogs that are believed to be Schipperkes.  The Registry of Schipperkes began in the 1880's.  They were first shown in 1882 with the first pair being brought to the US in 1889.

The known history of the breed begins about the year 1690 when the shoemakers in the St. Gery quarter organized a competitive exhibition of Schipperkes on designated Sundays on the Grand Place in Brussels.  At this time, workmen often exercised their ingenuity by making collars of hammered or carved brass for their Schipperkes.  Always kept gleaming, these collars were worn only on Sundays and were fastened in a manner designed to pull out as few hairs as possible from the ruff.


He is an excellent ratter.  As a guard dog, the Schipperke is completely devoted to the family, home or possessions, quickly learning whom is friend or foe.

They are lively, busy little dogs, continually occupied with what is going on around them, careful of things given them to guard, very kind to children, know the ways of the household and always curious to know what is going on behind closed doors or about any object that has been moved.

The Schipperke may well have a will of his own, but learns quickly, as he is highly intelligent and very trainable.

Schipperkes respond to kindness and positive training methods.  But, always remember the Schip thinks he is a big dog.  In their mind, they weigh 100 pounds.  No mirror can convince them otherwise.