Schipperke Dog

Description:
This dog is always elegantly dressed with its black coat, ruffle, pants and collar. Its face sort of looks like a foxes, but its tail doesn't since; actually this dog doesn't have a tail. This little sailor's height is only around twenty-eight to thirty three centimeters, the females around one and a half centimeters less. The profile of this dog is square and compact, with a very unique silhouette that descends from the wichers towards its hindquarters. The skull is somewhat wide, is rounded and its eyes are more oval then they are circular; they should be dark brown. The ears of this dog are small, triangular, highly inserted and stand upwards, never downwards. The neck is strong, has a moderate length and is straight; the top line should be horizontal; the chest is wide and long and reaches down to the elbows; the ribs are oval shaped, the hindquarters is wide and well rounded. The shoulders should be well inclined back; its legs should be straight; the hind legs should be more lightweight than the front ones; the hocks should be low and the hind legs should be well angled, but not exaggeratedly. This dog coat is distinguished because of its collar around its neck, as well as the pants it has on the hind part of its legs and the decoration it has on its chest. The coat of this dog should be abundant, straight and slightly rough with a thick undercoat. The color of this dog is black, there are others that are crème and tawny but these cannot be used as show dogs.

Ideal owner:
This dog is an excellent housedog; it loves being around children and enjoys a family atmosphere. This dog is very protective with its family and trusts everyone in its family. It is also very independent, intelligent and it needs to have a family that will dedicate a lot of time to it. This dog is in general very affectionate, but it is a little reserved with strangers, with whom it will quickly become friends.

Growth:
Although normally the liter of this dog is small in size, sometimes it can have up to eight puppies. The average weight of the puppies at birth is around 140 grams. The tails are usually docked; however make sure to find out about the laws in the country you live in before attempting this procedure. The dewclaws are removed during the first week of life as well. At eight weeks a Schipperke should weigh around two and a half kilograms. The growth rhythm of this breed can vary, but normally it reaches its full height between six months and a year of age. Full maturity however is reached at three years of age, in some cases it takes up to five years. The mouth closure of this dog is usually subject to changes during the first year and this needs to be checked. Puppies should have a black coat and should have triangular ears that are highly inserted over the head. The soft puppy coat it has will change into a rougher coat when it is around five months old. The abundant collar of hair will not be evident until the dog is over a year old.

General health:
This dog has got to be one of the healthiest dogs and can outlive most dogs; it has been known that this dog can live up to twenty years. Hereditary defects are very rare in this breed as well as other typical problems of the breed. The most frequent problems that occur to this dog are allergy related, from asthma to dermatitis. Keeping its coat brushed is an easy way of avoiding those problems and will also help the owner to be able to detect them quickly if they do arise. This dog needs more dental attention then other dogs, which includes regular professional attention. Ectropion has occurred but it is not frequent in this breed. Two very serious problems that occasionally occur are epilepsy and Legg Perthes disease. This breed is very active and easy to train therefore the owner will need to take advantage of these qualities.

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