A small, cobby, spitz-looking dog (with an abundant, harsh coat, curled tail over the back – unless born tail-less, a foxy face and prick ears), the Schipperke is usually black, but the coat can come in any solid colour. Adult dogs usually stand at 21-33cm and weigh approximately 5.5-7.5kg.

No, this will be my first dog and I am ready to learn!
I'd feel more comfortable keeping training to the basics
I'd like to go on active walks with my dog
For one to two hours a day
A smaller dog would suit me best
Dog drool? I can tolerate some.
I can groom my dog once a week
Very vocal
Yes - Barks and alerts


Some say the Schipperke dog breed is a miniature sheepdog, a smaller version of the Leauvenaar, a black sheepdog from Belgium. Others are convinced the Schipperke is a Spitz breed, and he certainly looks more like the latter. Regardless, it is known that he dates back to at least the 17th century, as a Schipperke show was put on in 1690 at the Grand Palace of Brussels. He was used on the canals of Belgium, guarding the barges, was a popular companion of shoemakers, and a renowned killer of rodents.


A lively, alert little dog, the Schipperke is loyal, amenable and good-natured. He can be stubborn and mischievous, especially around other dogs if insufficiently socialised when a puppy.


The Schipperke dog is generally quite a hardy breed, but they can suffer some inherited neurological conditions, and hip disorders


About half an hour's daily exercise is needed as a minimum, though this active little dog would happily accept more if you can offer it.


Small dogs have a fast metabolism, meaning they burn energy at a high rate, although their small stomachs mean that they must eat little and often. Small-breed foods are specifically designed with appropriate levels of key nutrients and smaller kibble sizes to suit smaller mouths. This also encourages chewing and improves digestion.


The profuse coat is thick and dense. It is generally smooth and lies close, but there is a mane around the neck, where it stands off, and 'culottes' on the back of the thighs. A thorough groom once a week will keep it in good order.

Best Dog Breeds for Children

While many dogs are traditionally thought of as being good with children , all dogs and children need to be taught to get on with and respect each other, and be safe together. Even so, dogs and young children should never be left alone together and adults should supervise all interactions between them.

NPPE BS Machine name
NPPE Base Search Text

Lively and alert, the Schipperke dog breed can be mischievous but they are always faithful to their owners. Learn more about this dog breed at Purina today.

dog-breed image missing

Is this the right dog breed for you?

All dogs have their own, unique personality, but some instincts and behaviours they’re born with. Try our breed selector and find out which dog breeds better match your preferences and lifestyle. If you and your dog enjoy similar things, you will be more likely to live a happy, fulfilling life together.


What to Consider next


It is incredibly fulfilling to adopt a dog from an animal shelter or rescue organization. It often means offering them a second chance in life. There are many dogs waiting for a loving family, a forever home. Reputable centers will be very careful about matching the right people with the right dogs. Staff learns all they can about the dogs they take in, and will spend time getting to know you, your family and your lifestyle, before they match you with any of their dogs. They’ll also be happy to give you advice and answer any questions you might have before and after the adoption.

Finding a good breeder

If your heart is set on a pedigree puppy, then your best bet is to find a reputable breeder. Contact The Kennel Club or a breed-club secretary who may have a list of litters available, or should be able to put you in contact with breeders in your area. Try to choose a breeder who is part of the Kennel Club’s assured breeder scheme.Visit dog shows to meet breeders in person and inquire about availability of pups of your chosen breed.

Welcoming your dog home

Whether you’re bringing home a tiny puppy or rehoming an adult dog, this is a hugely exciting time for everyone. While you’re waiting for the big day you might need to distract yourself, so luckily there are a few things you need to sort out before you welcome your new arrival. Click here for more information