Like many breeds, the Schipperke is a breed who’s beginnings are not fully known. The theory is that it came from the Flemish city of Leuven,where it is mentioned in some writings from a monk named Wenchslas in the 15th century. He described the dog fully, but thought it was an impersonation of but thought it was an impersonation of the devil. In the 17th and 18th centuries, its history becomes a little clearer. It is believed its ancestors were wolf-like dogs who were widespread around Leuven. These dogs were similar to the schipperke including the small height and black coat.Shepherds used these dogs for jobs such as ratting and protecting poultry.
Toward the end of the 17th century, a dog show just for Schipperkes was held. There some men stepped forward to claim themselves as breeders. It was here that the specific breeding of the Schipperke began.
This breed, like many others suffered much during both world wars. All across Europe, many dogs were killed,or breeders had to give them up, and some just ran off in search of food their owners could no longer afford to give them. That the breed survived at all is due to the fact that some of the breed had been in the U.S., where they could be bred in safety during the wars.
Throughout its history, the Schipperke has changed very little. About 12-16 lbs., he is a spitz-type dog around 14 inches in height. His ears are pointed and erect. His shorter neck and stocky body give him a compact look. The tail is usually docked, but if left alone, the tail tends to curl up and over his back in true spitz fashion. The schipperke coat is a black ( although rarely it can be cream or fawn gold ) densely harsh coat.A very easy going dog, he makes a very intelligent and loving breed.
By: Linda Eastabrooks
Former AKC Breeder