Breed History / Description

The breed was developed to keep down vermin on Belgian barges, and he was also adept as a watchdog. The word 'Schipperke' translates as 'little skipper' or 'little boatman' which credits his importance on the barges. In the 17th Century the Flemish held Sunday beauty contests for dogs and the Schipperkes competed in these wearing ornamental brass collars. Traditionally a working man's dog, the breed soared in popularity in 1885 after Queen Marie Henriette had a Schipperke as a pet and soon the breed became the most popular in Belgium. 

The first Schipperkes arrived in England in 1887 and the first breed club formed in 1890.


Intensely lively and alert. 


Amenable, intelligent and faithful.

Club, K., 2018. The Kennel Club's Breed Standards. 5th ed. London SW1V 2SA: Ebury Press.

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