Schipperke Care

The Schipperke (often called a "Schip" for short) is a small-sized breed that's sometimes called the LBD--short for "little black devil." These dogs are mischievous, stubborn, and feisty, and will try to rule any roost they're a part of--though they're also devoted and friendly to their human family members. Overall Schipperke care and maintenance will take a moderate amount of work, and will need to include daily exercise and a good bit of training and socialization.

Below you'll find details on caring for a Schipperke including puppy development, exercise needs, and shedding/drooling tendencies. Find answers to your questions about raising a Schipperke in the following sections!

Schipperke Breed Development

As a small-sized breed, Schipperke puppy development typically spans 15-17 months from birth to full maturity.

Physical Development: Puppies grow steadily in height and length for the first 7-8 months, then those growth rates slow while the adolescent "fills out" with muscle and fat. These dogs normally reach their full adult size (an average of 12 inches and 15 pounds) at 10-11 months of age.

Social Development: Pups reach adolescence at about five months, sexual maturity at about eight months, and full mental maturity by about 16 months.

For further details on Schipperke development, see the chart below.

(NOTE: Schipperkes are feisty, mischievous, and often stubborn--so they'll be better behaved as adults if owners begin obedience training and socialization as early in puppies' lives as possible.)

Schipperke Exercise Needs

These dogs are athletic and energetic--and while they're pretty small, Schipperke exercise needs are fairly high for a dog of this size. Schips are intelligent too, so they'll need a variety of activities that both condition them physically (walking, fetch) and stimulate them mentally (games, canine sports).

Adult Schipperkes, depending on their age and overall activity level, will need 45-60 minutes of proper exercise each day. You can start exercising your Schip puppy when it's three months old by taking it on short walks, then you can increase the walks' length as the pup grows.

Precautions with Schipperke exercise:

  • Don't exercise puppies too hard before they're nine months old
  • A leash is required when exercising in public; leash training during puppyhood is highly recommended
  • Schips are excellent escape artists, so yards should be securely fenced to keep the dog from running off
  • May overheat easily; don't exercise in sweltering temps

Exercising your Schip every day is a must. These dogs are feisty, active, and headstrong--and without consistent activity they'll simply become behavioral nightmares. Regular exercise will be great for both the dog's and your own peace of mind! A few exercise ideas:

  • Walking: Two 20-minute walks per day is a good target
  • Fetch/Frisbee: These dogs love chasing a ball, stick, or Frisbee
  • Hide-and-Seek: Great indoor activity; give the dog a treat when it finds you
  • Hiking: Excellent bonding activity
  • Canine Sports: If properly trained, Schips can excel at agility trials and other events
  • Laser Pointer: These dogs will go nuts chasing that "little red dot"

When indoors, it's good to give your Schip access to balls or toys that will allow the dog to burn excess energy. It's also recommended that you have a regular exercise schedule for the dog, such as walks after breakfast and dinner and playtime in the afternoon.

Schipperke Maintenance

These dogs don't need a ton of maintenance overall. Schipperke shedding is seasonal: pretty light for most of the year, but heavier during the twice-yearly shedding seasons.

Schips have medium-length, smooth, double-layered coats that don't shed a whole lot most of the time--but when they blow their undercoats in the spring (and often the fall as well), the shedding is heavier. Owners can brush their Schipperkes' coats twice a week or so with a pin brush to keep the shedding under control, and cleanup--vacuuming the floors, and lint rollers on clothes and furniture--will only be necessary from time to time. (Brushing and cleanup will obviously be required more often during shedding season.)

And a Schip almost never drools. If your Schipperke is drooling excessively, it might be a sign of a medical issue, in which case a veterinarian's care is needed.