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History of breed
BRIEF HISTORICAL SUMMARY: In the Flemish dialect, Schipperke means « little shepherd ».
The common ancestor of the Belgian Shepherds and the Schipperke was probably a sheepdog called Leuvenaar, an early breed, usual1y rather small and black. The Schipperke's origins go back to the 17th century. About 1690, the Schipperke was the favourite dog of working people and cobblers from the St.Gery quarter of Brussels, who used to organise competitions to show off the intricately worked brass collars with which they adorned their dogs. (source: www.schipperke.be )
Its tail was completely docked, a fashion which seems to have existed since the 15th century. It was renowned as a catcher of mice, rats, moles and other vermin. The Schipperke was shown for the first time in1882 inthe town of Spa. It became fashionable thanks to Queen Marie-Henriette of Belgium. It was introduced into Great Britain and the U.S.A. in 1887. The first standard was drawn up in 1888 by the breed club, founded that year, which is the oldest breed club in Belgium. Over the years great efforts have had to be made to unify the type. Indeed at that time there was discussion about the different varieties coming from Anvers, Louvain and Brussels.
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