Schipperke - Small Dog Breeds

Quick Facts


Height: F: 10”-12”, M: 11″-13″

Weight: 10-16 lbs

Color: Black

Lifespan12-14 years

Temperament: Loyal, spirited, curious, bold



Oh Captain my captain! Schipperke is a Flemish word for “Little Captain”. Though they were bred to sniff out rats on ships they still put their noses to work sniffing out bombs and drugs. They love to be put to work, so in their training they will be happy and eager (with potentially lots of patience on your end) to master new tricks.

Schips are lovingly nicknamed “Little Black Devils” for their curious and tenacious attitudes. They are known escape artists, so be sure there are no unknown exits in your home or yard. This breed has a high tendency to bark, so they are not the best apartment dwellers, unless you are happy being unliked in your building.


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Fun Facts

  1. The resistance in Nazi occupied Belgium used Schips to covertly send messages from camp to camp.


Schips are generally healthy dogs. Make sure your breeder is scanning the parent pups for MPS IIIB (Mucopolysaccaridosis type IIIB) which is a hereditary disease that stops the body from breaking down sugar molecules. This condition can be fatal. If undetected it will present as balance issues between 2-4 years of age.

Other health concerns include:

  • Patellar luxation: Luxating simply means out of place or dislocated. Patella is a kneecap. A Luxating patella is a kneecap that chronically moves out of its normal position.
  • Legg-Calve-Perthes disease: This disease occurs at the head of the femur (the ball and socket joint in your dog’s hips. Here, the femur degenerates which can cause the hip to collapse and can cause arthritis.
  • Progressive retinal atrophy: Atrophy is a wearing or wasting away of a body part. In this case, it is the retina in the eye, which eventually leads to blindness.
  • Cataracts: A dog develops a cataract when the lens in its eye clouds. The clouding is caused by changes in the water balance or proteins in the lens.
  • Epilepsy: The most common neurological disease in dogs, seizures affect about 1% of dogs.
  • Hypothyroidism: The thyroid gland, sitting at the top of the windpipe in the back of the neck, is controlled by the pituitary gland at the base of the brand. Hypothyroidism would cause the metabolism to slow down.

While you always hope your pet will live a long and healthy life, it is always a good idea to invest in pet health insurance.

Keeping your dog’s mouth clean and problem free goes a long way to your pup’s overall health. Dental hygiene can be the cause or can be the byproduct of other serious health issues.

Visual inspections can be performed to keep track of the signs of potentially waning oral health. These signs can be anything from bad breath to abnormal chewing to loss of appetite.

Keeping ahead of these warning signs can pay dividends. A preventative approach can delay and stop many of the common dental problems from arising.

Oral health can be tackled in five basic steps:

  1. Brushing your dog’s teeth to prevent an undesirable buildup of plaque
  2. Feed your dog a diet where the high quality dog food has dental benefits
  3. Regularly give your dog dental toys and treats
  4. Use mouthwash, to help where brushing misses
  5. At the sign of any abnormalities, consult a vet. You can even do it virtually, from the convenience of your home.

Dogs are just like humans in that they can experience anxiety. The degree to which they are susceptible to anxiety and how they deal with anxiety is breed specific. Left unchecked, initial signs of anxiety could give way to an anxiety disorder. The symptoms of anxiety disorders can lead to a myriad of behavior issues.

Knowing the signs and symptoms will best equip you to keep ahead of it and to nip it in the bud at the earliest signs. There are options available to help with anxiety.

Are You Covered When Your Pup Gets Sick?


This breed’s smooth coat requires weekly brushing to pull away dead hair and redistribute naturally occurring oils. They shed moderately throughout the year.

Your pup will experience two seasonal shedding periods where you will benefit from brushing your pup daily to help contain the shedding.

Give your pup a bath once a month or as needed. Keep their eyes and ears clean and clear of debris. Clip your pup’s nails regularly and brush their teeth several times per week.


$1,000 – $2,500


Schips have lots of energy to burn. Brisk leashed walks, swimming in calm waters or playing fetch will all go a long way to sate your wild little captain. They typically need at least a half hour of exertion per day.

They also love to play games in and outside of the house. You will never be bored with a schipperke around.


Your Schip will eat around ¾ cup of food per day. The exact requirements for your dog will vary with age and activity level. Be mindful that little dogs that receive lots of treats and or table scraps end up overweight. A little dog that is overweight is significantly more likely to develop other health issues.

We’ve taken a look at some premium dog foods, high in nutrition here.

Are You Feeding Your Dog The Best Food?


As with all dogs, early socialization with humans and other dogs is key. Training your Schip is a must! The prey drive in this breed is so strong that you absolutely must combat it with a minimum of basic training.

Continued training is recommended. For best results, keep your sessions lively and fresh with lot and lots of treats and positive reinforcement.

Proper training is essential to ensuring the safety of your dog and those around you. Having your dog come when they should, and in general having them listen is something you want to address early in your pup’s life, as it will pay dividends down the line. There are many tried and true training programs to accomplish this training – faster and better than you might think!

Unless you’re living on a farm, or have the space, a yipping dog, or one that barks all day when you are gone could be an issue with the neighbors and/or landlord. Historically, dogs would bark to communicate with the rest of the pack when hunting and bark as a warning shot to predators eyeing up their flock. Barking is deep rooted in dogs and manifests itself in many ways and for a variety of reasons.

Just like any habit or instinct, there are effective ways you can train this issue away.

The Best Dog Vitamins and Supplements To Keep Your Pup Healthy. Period.


A solid Glucosamine Supplement for hips and joints will go a long way to helping your furry friend.

Other helpful supplements include full-spectrum hemp oil or CBD oil. Fish oil skin and coat supplement.

Ensuring a comprehensive preventative vitamin and mineral plan is essential to keeping your dog healthy. Truth is, there are vitamins and minerals that your dog needs, but doesn’t produce naturally. While many of these vitamins and minerals can be found in your dog’s current diet and dog food, the question becomes, are there enough vitamins to ensure they aren’t deficient.

Poor nutrition can lead to some of the most common health issues, such as weak joints, compromised immunity, increased allergies, and low energy.

Vitamins play a vital role in your pet’s health and overall life expectancy. Here are some multivitamin and joint relief options.

As regulations around marijuana have eased, the emergence of CBD oils for humans and dogs have sprung up.

Just to begin to dispel the negative stigma, CBD extract comes from Hemp, marijuana’s cousin. Unlike its cousin, there are no psychoactive qualities in CBD oil. An emerging number of clinical and institutional studies have shown the wide variety of healing qualities in CBD, including pain management, and the containment of seizures and epileptic episodes.

Explore this remedy further to see all the health benefits that have transformed the lives of so many dogs to date.

Have You Tried CBD For You Dog's Health?

The Good

  • Excellent guard dogs
  • Playful loving pup

The "Ruff"

  • Strong prey catching drive
  • Prone to barking

Annual Vet Bills: $1,500+

Be Prepared for the unexpected.