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Iwona Paszyńska-Wesołowska
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FCI-Standard N° 83 / 14.12.2009 / EN

TRANSLATION: Dr. Robert Pollet. 

ORIGIN: Belgium. 


UTILIZATION: Small guardian and companion dog.


Group 1 Sheep and cattle dog (except Swiss cattle dogs).
Section 1 Sheepdog. Without working trial. 

BRIEF HISTORICAL SUMMARY: In the Flemish dialect, Schipperke means « little shepherd ». The common ancestor of the Belgian Shepherds and the Schipperke was probably a sheepdog called Leuvenaar, an early breed, usual1y rather small and black. The Schipperke's origins go back to the 17th century. About 1960, the Schipperke was the favourite dog of working people and cobblers from the St.Gery quarter of Brussels, who used to organise competitions to show off the intricately worked brass collars with which they adorned their dogs. Its tail was completely docked, a fashion which seems to have existed since the 15th century. It was renowned as a catcher of mice, rats, moles and other vermin. The Schipperke was shown for the first time in 1882 in the town of Spa. It became fashionable thanks to Queen Marie-Henriette of Belgium. It was introduced into Great Britain and the U.S.A. in 1887. The first standard was drawn up in 1888 by the breed club, founded that year, which is the oldest breed club in Belgium. Over the years great efforts have had to be made to unify the type. Indeed at that time there was discussion about the different varieties coming from Anvers, Louvain and Brussels.


Lupoid. The Schipperke is a sheepdog of small dimensions but very solidly built. 
Its head is wedge-shaped with a quite well-developed skull, and a relatively short muzzle. Its body is well-balanced, short, quite broad and stocky but its limbs are fine-boned. Its coat is very characteristic, well-furnished and with straight hair, forming a ruff, a mane, a frill and culottes which give it its truly unique outline. The difference between the sexes is evident. Its straightforward morphology, allied to its sheepdog characteristics and temperament, and added to its small size, explains its great popularity which extends well beyond the Belgian borders.

Height at withers equals length of body, hence this is a squarely built dog.Chest comes down level with elbows. Muzzle is definitely less long than half the length of the head. 

BEHAVIOUR/TEMPERAMENT: An excellent small guard dog, an exceptional alarm, bubbling with vitality, aloof with strangers. Active and busy, agile, tireless, perpetual1y interested in what is going on around it, inclined to snap if anyone approaches objects it has been given to guard, very gentle with children, always curious to know what is going on behind a closed door or behind an object which is being moved, showing its reaction by its high-pitched bark, its raised mane and hackles. It is an inquisitive dog which will hunt rats, moles and other vermin.

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