History of The Schipperke
The Schipperke is not derived from the Spitz or Pomeranian but is really a diminutive of the black sheepdog commonly called the Leauvenaar, which used to follow the wagons along the old highways in the provinces of Belgium. In the mid-19th century some of these 40-pound sheepdogs were still herding sheep in the neighborhood of Louvain, and from these both the Schipperke and the Groenendael have descended. The Schipperke was bred down to become that “excellent and faithful” little watchdog that we know.
In 1690, a show for Schipperkes of the Guild workmen was held in the Grand Palace of Brussels. The breed was called Spits or Spitske then; the name Schipperke was given it only after the forming of the specialty club in 1888. The name is Flemish for “little captain”. Though called a canal boat dog, the Schipperke was as popular with shoemakers and other workmen as it was on the canals. In World War II, the Belgian Resistance used the dogs to run messages between various resistance hideouts and cells, to which occupying Nazi Forces were none the wiser.
TopperLyn Dogs in Action!