Schipperke dog food and health

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Schipperke description, food, diseases.


Descended from the Leauvenaar, the famous black sheepdog used for centuries to herd sheep in the Low Countries, the Schipperke existed in its present form at the end of the 17th century under the name Spitske. As it became popular with barge owners who needed a good guard dog which would be at home on the water, it became known by the pet name of Schipperke, or little skipper. This name stuck, and is the official breed name today.

Size Category Small

Weight Height Range The Schipperke stands 10-13in at the shoulder and weighs between 12 and 18lb.

on the neck, shoulders, chest and back of rear legs.

Black, but the undercoat can be slightly lighter.

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The Schipperke is quite a small dog, standing 10" to 13", but its distinctive thick ruff of fur around the neck and shoulders and its erect, pointed ears give it a larger and more impressive profile than its height would suggest. The muzzle is long and tapered, similar to a foxes muzzle, and the head is proportional to the body. Eyes are oval and dark colored, and ears are pointed and erect. As in most guard dogs, the front quarters are heavier and wider than the rear, which is also well muscled, and the back slopes gently towards the tail area. This breed is often born without a tail, but if it is present it is docked very close to the body, giving the impression that no tail at all exists. The coat is quite distinctive, and has several layers. The basic short coat becomes longer on the back and stomach, and forms the long thick ruff around the neck and shoulders. Another layer of hair forms a cape over the back, and a 'jabot' over the chest, and the rear legs are similarly covered with hair the same length as the ruff. The Shipperke is double coated, with a soft under layer and quite coarse outer coat, which should be completely black. These dogs do tend to shed quite a lot of hair, and unspayed bitches often lose all their hair in a few days, remaining bald for several months.


Schipperke health and diseases problems

The Schipperke has no particular health problems, and individuals often reach the old age of 17 or 18 years. Nonetheless, inactivity, lack of exercise and over-feeding are very harmful, and can lead to joint and skeletal problems and heart, lung or digestive conditions.

Major concerns: none
Minor concerns: Legg - Perthes
Occasionally seen: entropion, distichiasis, PRA
Suggested tests: none

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