The Schipperke is a lithe, small utility dog with a face resembling a fox. They have cobby bodies, which means short and square, standing 25 to 33 centimetres and weighing 11 to 18 pounds. The Schipperke has a broad, flat skull and a moderately long and pointed muzzle. The nose is black, and the eyes are dark brown, oval-shaped wearing a bright expression. The ears are triangular and sit atop the head.
Most Schipperkes, if not all, are without tails since these are traditionally docked at birth. However, this practice is slowly becoming unpopular and being phased out by most breed clubs except for the American Kennel Club.
The Schipperkes have thick double coats that are rough, moderately short and form a thick ruff around the neck. In addition, they sport thick culottes or long and thick hair at the back of a dog’s thighs. The Schipperke wears a distinctive black coat that forms a sloping silhouette over its body. Since Schipperkes were bred to be river dogs, their coats are dense and water-resistant. In other words, the breed is low maintenance with respect to dog grooming. It will only require weekly brushing, except when they start shedding their undercoats.
During shedding season, which is two or three times a year, grooming can be labour-intensive and time-consuming. With that said, most owners will hire a professional groomer. However, the rest of the dog grooming routine is manageable (e.g. nail trimming, dental care and ear cleaning).