Illustration of Schipperke

The breed was developed to keep down vermin on Belgian barges, and he was also adept as a watchdog. The word 'Schipperke' translates as 'little skipper' or 'little boatman' which credits his importance on the barges. In the 17th Century the Flemish held Sunday beauty contests for dogs and the Schipperkes competed in these wearing ornamental brass collars. Traditionally a working man's dog, the breed soared in popularity in 1885 after Queen Marie Henriette had a Schipperke as a pet and soon the breed became the most popular in Belgium.

The first Schipperkes arrived in England in 1887 and the first breed club formed in 1890.



  • Bobtail

The Utility Breed Group

This group consists of miscellaneous breeds of dog mainly of a non-sporting origin, including the Bulldog, Dalmatian, Akita and Poodle.

The name ‘Utility’ essentially means fitness for a purpose and this group consists of an extremely mixed and varied bunch, most breeds having been selectively bred to perform a specific function not included in the sporting and working categories. Some of the breeds listed in the group are the oldest documented breeds of dog in the world.

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