The Schipperke Companion.
Schippeke at your home....
Schipperkes make wonderful companions. They are intelligent, loyal and entertaining, but Schipperkes do require guidance from all of their family members to ensure their social manners are acceptable. Obedience training will show the dog what is expected of him, and will help the owner learn how to show the dog what he must do. As well, it will increase the bond between the Schip and his human/s. In addition, appropriate exercise and durable toys along with reinforcement of positive behaviour will ensure the puppy becomes the adult family member desired by all. A canine good citizen will easily be accepted by society at large.
The Schipperke likes Agility.
The Schipperke is a high energy, agile little dog. Schips love having fun with their owners and the agility event has proven to be a great past time for them and a good way to channel their energy. And let's not forget the benefits for the human partner who not only can achieve a good physical work out, but can socialize with other dog owners and their canine companions in a friendly but competitive environment. This event need only be taken as seriously as people want it to be. Get involved just for fun or compete at the highest levels. Your Schip will love being with you and being active.
The Schipperke in training obedience.
We do highly recommends obedience training for all Schipperkes. The level of obedience an owner desires to accomplish is up to them, however each Schip should be taught at least the basic obedience commands of "sit", "stay", "come", "down", and "stand" in order to be socially acceptable in the home and public settings.
The Schipperke is very good at scent work.
Scent work (also known as scent detection or nosework) is a dog sport created to mimic professional detection dog tasks. One dog and one handler form a team. The dogs must find a hidden target odour, often ignoring distractions (such as food or toys), and alert the handler. After the dog finds the odour, they are rewarded with a food or a toy.
Schipperkes like to hunt,
Barn Hunt is an organized event that measures the natural ability of a dog to perform the task of hunting rats in a barnyard / farm setting as has been required of many dogs for years. While a fairly new sport in Canada it is gaining in popularity in leaps and bounds. Many Schipperkes have proven to be excellent ratters.
Rally with Schipperkes.
Rally is sometimes thought of as a combination of classic obedience and agility. It requires constant communication between dog and owner. Each rally course is designed differently, and this makes it a wonderfully stimulating exercise for both handler and dog. The owner may use voice commands, hand signals and body movements to communicate to their dog. Praise and petting is also allowed. It is a fast paced sport with a four minute time limit to complete the course.
Schipperkes in dog shows.
For centuries proud canine owners around the world have competed in dog shows to determine which dog was the best of its breed. This sport was originally started to determine the best breeding stock. For the most part, the participants were wealthy gentlemen and hunters. That has changed and by the late 1900's / early 2000's the sport became the much loved pastime of the everyday dog lover. Each country has an organization that tracks show wins and grants championship credentials to the dogs who earn the established number of wins or points for that country. For each breed a standard has been developed to which all judging must adhere. Standards may be slightly different in wording depending on the country or registry.
Now participants in many countries around the globe show off their much loved canines to knowledgeable, licensed judges. The judges examine the dogs entered in various categories called classes against the standard. By the process of elimination the finest is awarded the coveted Best of Breed. All the Best of Breed dogs are then eligible to compete against all the other Best of Breed winners at the Group level. Schipperkes compete in the Non-Sporting Group in Canada.
Several shows have become very well attended boasting thousands of entries and huge audiences. Audiences have grown even larger since popular shows have been televised and viewed globally. The largest is likely the Crufts All Breed Dog Show in the UK which often boasts over 25 thousand entries that takes many judges a week to judge to the final Best in Show. The Westminster Show in New York City is likely the second largest show in the world. Those dog enthusiasts living in North America should try to attend Westminster at least once as it is an experience that will never be forgotten.
Schipperkes are doing well in dog shows and many people have purchased a Schipperke to not only be their family companion, but to also enjoy participating in the show ring with them as a family pastime.
The beautifull Story about one Schipperke...
It was June 1998,
Breath had been our only home since I had built the vessel on St. John in the Virgin Islands in the early 1980s. Life afloat had knit close bonds. Everyone had responsibilities—the boys were standing watch when they were six. And for the past eight years, Santos, our loving, feisty, 11-pound schipperke, was at our side.
When we went to bed that night, Santos lay on the cabin top, which he vacated only in the worst weather. He touched his nose to Dorothy's face as she bent low to nuzzle him good night. His ardent eyes flared briefly—he worshipped her—then he returned to his duty.
Santos the mini guard dog
We slept easier with him aboard. It was his self-appointed mission to ensure that no one, friend or foe, approached within 100 yards of Breath without a warning. He'd sailed with us through the Caribbean, the Atlantic and the Mediterranean, keeping sharp watch and good company, and bringing us luck. In eight years we'd never suffered a mishap. But during the night of January 2, 1991, that would change.
We were asleep when, just past midnight, our dock lines began to creak. At first I thought a passing boat might have sent a wake, but Santos would have barked. The creaking grew louder. By the time I climbed on deck, the ropes groaned against the cleats that tethered our boat to another vessel.
On such a calm night there could be only one cause—current. My boat was tied stern to stream, and a glance over the side at water speeding past the hull alarmed me. The ebb had tripled its usual spring-tide rate. The cleats on the other boat looked ready to snap. If anything gave, both vessels could spin off bound together, helpless to avoid destruction. I had to cast off.
We were in a difficult spot. Just a few boat-lengths downstream, two high-tension power lines hung across the creek. About 100 feet behind them loomed Denton Bridge. If we couldn't turn in time, our metal mainmast might hit the wires. If the boat hit the bridge, both masts would be pinned by the roadway while the hull was sucked under.
I called everyone up on deck. Sensing something was wrong, Santos stood by, poised to react.
All hands on deck!
We cast off the lines and hung briefly to a stern anchor, but we had to let go as Breath was swung violently back and forth by the current's force. I gunned the engine and had almost turned the boat around when I realised that, dragged toward the bridge by the current, we were going to hit the power line. Dorothy clutched a quivering Santos, and we all held our breath.
We just tipped the wire. There was a meteor shower of sparks and we were through, but the second wire was coming up fast. I flung the wheel over hard, but we struck the wire anyway—a long, scraping skid, the top six inches of our mast pinned against the power line.
Electricity exploded down the rigging, and a hideous incandescence lit the sky. Flames leapt up inside the cabin; fuses shot from their sockets; smoke billowed out the hatches.
Then the fireworks stopped. The cable had rolled over the mast, but we were trapped between the second wire and the bridge. There was nowhere to go but back out—through the wire. Santos wriggled out of Dorothy's arms and dashed up to the foredeck to be in on the action.
Bracing for impact
The wheel hard over, we braced for impact. The mast top hit the cable, sending down a torrent of red sparks. Santos, eyes fixed ahead, stood his ground to defend the foredeck. He was growling for all he was worth when sparks landed in his fur. Uttering a high-pitched scream, he sprinted down the side deck, cinders glowing in his coat, and plunged into the water. When he surfaced, Santos was swimming for the boat, his eyes fastened on Dorothy. But the current swept him into the shadows under Denton Bridge and out of sight.
An instant later a blast like a small thunderbolt hit the mainstay. My son Raffy was flipped backward off the foredeck and into the water.
Then we were through. Diego seized a fire extinguisher and attacked the flames as I steered toward a trawler tied to a concrete slab on the muddy bank. Raffy, a college swimmer, managed to get to the bank.
Against all odds we were safe—except for Santos.
The heart wrenching loss of Santos
Raffy called along both shores, but there was no sign of him. We spent the rest of the night tied to the trawler. As I tried to sleep, I kept thinking of Santos. I felt a helpless sorrow over his fate.
The next day Dorothy walked for miles down the beach, making enquiries at every hotel, talking to beach attendants, tourists, vendors. Nobody had seen our little black dog.
She offered a reward over the ship's radio, notified the police and nailed up signs. It was touching, but it seemed futile to me. Just beyond the bridge were broad flats of sand pounded that night by row after row of massive breakers. The thought of Santos funneled helplessly into the surf made me wince.
Days later we'd repaired Breath, but Santos still hadn't turned up. “Honey,” I told Dorothy, “we've got to get on with our life—do the river, cross the Atlantic, get back to work.”
“But what if he survived?” she asked. “What if he finds his way back, and we're gone?”
“It's hard to believe he survived that surf,” I said flatly, “and then swam till dawn.”
She searched my face, looking for a reprieve from reality. Then her eyes flooded and her voice broke. “I just didn't want to abandon him.”
With heavy hearts the next morning, we hauled the anchor for our trip upriver.
One of a kind,
Our loss really hit home 50 miles upstream where we anchored. Suddenly a strange face peered in the porthole and enquired if we wanted to buy a fish. The fisherman had paddled up silently alongside. When Santos was alive, that could never have happened. Now we sorely missed the zealous barking we'd so often tried to hush.
Not a day went by without someone bringing up another Santos story. He might have been small, but he was absolutely fearless. Santos had a classic Napoleon complex. He had to have respect, and he got it by making bigger animals run from him. He was all bluff. But with a histrionically vicious growl and a headlong charge, he had put to flight Rottweilers, herds of goats, troops of wild donkeys, even a meter reader.
We'd never see another like him, I thought as I steered upriver.
A false alarm?
Two weeks passed as we made our way 150 miles up the Gambia River. One afternoon Dorothy and I were reinforcing the deck awning when I saw a catamaran with a man on board inspecting us with binoculars.
“Are you the Americans who lost the dog?” he called.
“Yes,” I said cautiously.
“I don't know if it is yours, but the police at Denton Bridge have a small black dog found on the beach.”
Everyone tumbled up on deck shouting, “Oh, my God! Yes! Yes!” But I cautioned, “Someone might have found a stray mutt and brought it in, hoping for the reward. Don't get your hopes too high.”
Dorothy and I took a series of bush taxis and old buses back to Banjul the next morning. With hope and trepidation we caught a taxi to Denton Bridge to see if Santos had truly survived.
“You've come for your dog!” the police officer on duty greeted us. He turned and called to a boy, “Go bring the dog.” Dorothy and I waited on tenterhooks.
Then, led on a ratty piece of string down the path, there was Santos. He walked with a limp, head down. But when Dorothy called “Santos,” his head shot up, his ears snapped forward, his whole body trembled as that beloved voice registered. He leapt into her arms and covered her face with licks. Dorothy hugged him, her eyes filled with tears.
The police officer told us that the morning after we'd hit the power lines, a Swedish tourist was walking the beach and found Santos—six miles from Oyster Creek. The Swede smuggled the wet, hungry animal into his hotel room and fed him. When the Swede had to fly home, he gave Santos to the police.
Next morning we made our way back upriver. We arrived just after sundown and shouted for the boys.
“Do you have him?” they called. Dorothy urged the dog to bark. His unmistakable voice rang across the river, to be answered by a cheer of wild exuberance.
Later that night we toasted Santos with lemonade. No need for champagne when euphoria spiced the air we breathed. Santos was back. Our family was intact.
Origin and Purpose:
The Schipperke is thought to have originated in the Flemish Province of Belgium from the native black sheep dogs now believed to be extinct, the Leauvennar from which the Groendael Belgian Sheep Dog has also probably evolved. The Schipperke may lay claim to being one of the oldest purebreds in Europe, for in 1690, a show for the Schipperkes of the Guild Workmen was held in the Grand Place of Brussels. The Schipperke is an excellent and faithful little watchdog; a hunter of moles and other vermin. He seeks the company of horses, can be used to hunt, and is a good rabbit dog.
The Schipperke should have a short, thick-set cobby body, with hindquarters slightly lighter than the foreparts. The head is fox-like, and the expression is questioning, sharp and lively. Not mean or wild. The distinctive black coat, ruff, and traditionally tailless rump give a unique silhouette to this small dog. A natural tail should not interfere with the prized silhouette.
The Schipperke is active, agile, indefatigable, and continually occupied with what is going on around him. He is careful of things that are given to him to guard, very kind with children, and suspicious of strangers. He knows the way of the household, is always curious of what is going on behind closed doors, or about any object that has been moved, betraying his impressions by his sharp bark and upstanding ruff.
12 - 18 LBS (5.5 - 8 KGS)
Coat and Color:
The coat must be black, abundant, and slightly harsh to the touch. Short on the ears, front of the legs, and on the hocks, fairly short on the body, but longer around the neck, beginning back of the ears, and forming a ruff and cape, which gives the appearance of the withers being higher than the hindquarters, and a jabot extending down between the front legs. The coat is longer on the rear, where it forms a culotte, with the points turning inwards. The undercoat is dense and short on the body, and very dense around the neck, making the ruff stand out. The culotte should be as long as the ruff.
Skull: Fairly wide, narrowing at the eyes. When the ears are up in the alert position, the correct skull in profile will appear flat.
Muzzle: Tapering, but not too much stop. The length of the muzzle from tip to stop is equal to the length of the skull from the stop to the occiput.
Nose: Small and black.
Mouth: Teeth strong and even. A level or scissors bite is acceptable.
Eyes: Very dark brown, small, oval rather than round, neither sunken nor prominent.
Ears: Very erect, small and triangular, placed high. Strong enough not to be capable of being lowered except in line with the body.
Neck: Strong and full, slightly arched.
Shoulders muscular and sloping. Legs straight and well under the body, with bone in proportion to the body. Pasterns straight.
Back strong, short, straight, and level. Chest broad and deep in the brisket, ribs well sprung, broad behind the shoulders. Loin muscular and well drawn up from the brisket, but not to such an extent as to cause a weak and leggy appearance of the hindquarters. Croup slightly sloping. Rump well rounded.
Lighter than the foreparts, but muscular and powerful. Thighs muscular and powerful. Hocks well defined. Metatarsus short. Feet small, round, and tight (not splayed). Nails straight, strong and short.
Docked to no more than 2.5 cm (1 inch) in length, or any type of natural tail.
Forequarters – dewclaws may be removed. Hindquarters – dewclaws should be removed.
Unrestricted, free and vigorous. The Schipperke is tireless and quick to move in any direction. In a correctly proportioned and angulated Schipperke at a trot, the feet and legs converge as seen from the front or the rear, and each hind foot falls on or ahead of the print of the forefoot.
Any deviation from the Standard is considered a fault.
Any color other than solid black, drop or semi-erect ears, overshot or undershot mouth.