Ebonorth Registered Kennels
Do Schipperkes Have Any Inherited Health Problems?
Thinking about Purchasing a Schipperke?
Here are some answers to questions you might have.
Generally no, although epilepsy, thyroid deficiency and Legge-Perthes occasionally occur. They are one of the hardiest of small dogs. Schipperkes are usually a long lived dog for a small breed, with dogs of 12-15 years not uncommon.
Do They Shed?
YES, YES, YES! They "blow" their coat at least twice a year (spring & fall), and you always wonder how such a small dog can lose so much hair (1-2 grocery bags +full). The shedding period is short (1-2 weeks), and regular brushing and bathing gets rid of much of the loose hair. When not shedding, Schipperkes do not lose much hair and require brushing only to keep them neat.
Are they Good with Kids?
Generally yes, as long as young children are properly instructed and supervised when playing with the dog. Schipperkes are excellent for kids interested in Junior Showmanship or 4-H. Prospective owners need to discuss Schips and kids on a case-by-case basis.
What is it like to Live with a Schipperke?
Have you ever heard of a Black Tornado? The Schipperke is busy, curious, very active and inquisitive. They are high energy, not hyperactive. Equipment such as fences, leashes, crates and baby gates are standard requirements for the Schipperke owner. Some Schipperkes will stand on their hind legs, wave their front legs and "pattycake" when they want something. They are stubborn but smart, eager to please but independent.
Are they "yappy" Little Dogs?
No, but they are watchdogs and will bark when something out of the ordinary happens. Some of them are vocal enough to "talk" to you when they want something, but they don't bark without good reason.
Should they be Obedience Trained?
Yes. Most Schipperkes enjoy obedience training, although they tend to invent their own versions of the different exercises. They are very independent, and obedience training teaches them their household limits. REMEMBER - a loose Schipperke is a gone Schipperke!!! A good basic obedience class will teach you how to prevent this.
Should we Spay or Neuter our Schipperke?
Not all Schipperkes are of breeding quality. Spaying and neutering will eliminate major reproductive diseases as the dog gets older. Ovarian, mammary, uterine and prostate cancers are the most common to all breeds. Spaying and neutering at a young age (6 mos.) will eliminate behavior problems associated with the teenager stage (10-18 mos.) that all dogs go through on the way to adulthood. Dogs with major faults, e.g., bad bites or undescended testicles, should NOT be bred. Males who are used as stud dogs DO NOT make the best house pets, as they will most likely urinate all over to mark territory. Bitches do not have to have a litter of pups to "feel complete". By the time puppies are 7 weeks old, the mother is ready to kick them out, never wanting to see them again.
Thanks to the Southern Michigan Schipperke Club for permission to reprint this list of questions