The Schipperke, Belgium’s “little captain,” is the traditional barge dog of the Low Countries. Curious, lively, and intense but mischievous, this small black dog is a robust, long-lived companion for whom there is never a dull moment.
Standing no higher than 13 inches, Schipperkes are little dogs built for hard work. Schips were created as ratters and watchdogs. Their powerful jaws, necks, and forequarters—coupled with a stealthy, catlike hunting style—make them ideal rat-catching machines. The black coat is profuse around the neck, shoulders, and legs, giving the breed a silhouette that accentuates a thick, substantial body. The foxy face completes the unique look of a unique breed. If you can’t tell a Schipperke from an ordinary dog, you simply haven’t been paying attention, according to AKC.