Schipperke Breed Magazine - Showsight

SCHIPPERKE

Let’s Talk Breed Education!

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Official Standard of the Schipperke General Appearance: The Schipperke is an agile, active watchdog and hunter of vermin. In appearance he is a small, thickset, cobby, black, tailless dog, with a fox-like face. The dog is square in profile and possesses a distinctive coat, which includes a stand-out ruff, cape and culottes. All of these create a unique silhouette, appearing to slope from shoulders to croup. Males are decidedly masculine without coarseness. Bitches are decidedly feminine without over- refinement. Any deviation from the ideal described in the standard should be penalized to the extent of the deviation. Faults common to all breeds are as undesirable in the Schipperke as in any other breed, even though such faults may not be specifically mentioned in the standard. Size, Proportion, Substance: Size - The suggested height at the highest point of the withers is 11 to 13 inches for males and 10 to 12 inches for bitches. Quality should always take precedence over size. Proportion - Square in profile. Substance - Thickset. Head: Expression - The expression is questioning, mischievous, impudent and alert, but never mean or wild. The well proportioned head, accompanied by the correct eyes and ears, will give the dog proper Schipperke expression. Skull - The skull is of medium width, narrowing toward the muzzle. Seen in profile with the ears laid back, the skull is slightly rounded. The upper jaw is moderately filled in under the eyes, so that, when viewed from above, the head forms a wedge tapering smoothly from the back of the skull to the tip of the nose. The stop is definite but not prominent. The length of the muzzle is slightly less than the length of the skull. Eyes The ideal eyes are small, oval rather than round, dark brown, and placed forward on the head. Ears - The ears are small, triangular, placed high on the head, and, when at attention, very erect. A drop ear or ears is a disqualification. Nose - The nose is small and black. Bite - The bite must be scissors or level. Any deviation is to be severely penalized. Neck, Topline, Body: Neck - The neck is of moderate length, slightly arched and in balance with the rest of the dog to give the correct silhouette. Topline - The topline is level or sloping slightly from the withers to the croup. The stand-out ruff adds to the slope, making the dog seem slightly higher at the shoulders than at the rump. Body - The chest is broad and deep, and reaches to the elbows. The well sprung ribs (modified oval) are wide behind the shoulders and taper to the sternum. The forechest extends in front of the shoulders between the front legs. The loin is short, muscular and moderately drawn up. The croup is broad and well-rounded with the tail docked. No tail is visually discernible. Forequarters : The shoulders are well laid back, with the legs extending straight down from the body when viewed from the front. From the side, legs are placed well under the body. Pasterns are short, thick and strong, but still flexible, showing a slight angle when viewed from the side. Dewclaws are generally removed. Feet are small, round and tight. Nails are short, strong and black. Hindquarters: The hindquarters appear slightly lighter than the forequarters, but are well muscled, and in balance with the front. The hocks are well let down and the stifles are well bent. Extreme angulation is to be penalized. From the rear, the legs extend straight down from the hip through the hock to the feet. Dewclaws must be removed. Coat : Pattern - The adult coat is highly characteristic and must include several distinct lengths growing naturally in a specific pattern. The coat is short on the face, ears, front of the forelegs and on the hocks; it is medium length on the body, and longer in the ruff, cape, jabot and culottes. The ruff begins in back of the ears and extends completely around the neck; the cape

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forms an additional distinct layer extending beyond the ruff; the jabot extends across the chest and down between the front legs. The hair down the middle of the back, starting just behind the cape and continuing over the rump, lies flat. It is slightly shorter than the cape but longer than the hair on the sides of the body and sides of the legs. The coat on the rear of the thighs forms culottes, which should be as long as the ruff. Lack of differentiation in coat lengths should be heavily penalized, as it is an essential breed characteristic. Texture - The coat is abundant, straight and slightly harsh to the touch. The softer undercoat is dense and short on the body and is very dense around the neck, making the ruff stand out. Silky coats, body coats over three inches in length or very short harsh coats are equally incorrect. Trimming - As the Schipperke is a natural breed, only trimming of the whiskers and the hair between the pads of the feet is optional. Any other trimming must not be done. Color : The outercoat must be black. Any color other than a natural black is a disqualification. The undercoat, however, may be slightly lighter. During the shedding period, the coat might take on a transitory reddish cast, which is to be penalized to the degree that it detracts from the overall black appearance of the dog. Graying due to age (seven years or older) or occasional white hairs should not be penalized. Gait : Proper Schipperke movement is a smooth, well coordinated and graceful trot (basically double tracking at a moderate speed), with a tendency to gradually converge toward the center of balance beneath the dog as speed increases. Front and rear must be in perfect balance with good reach in front and drive in the rear. The topline remains level or slightly sloping downward from the shoulders to the rump. Viewed from the front, the elbows remain close to the body. The legs form a straight line from the shoulders through the elbows to the toes, with the feet pointing straight ahead. From the rear, the legs form a straight line from the hip through the hocks to the pads, with the feet pointing straight ahead. Temperament : The Schipperke is curious, interested in everything around him, and is an excellent and faithful little watchdog. He is reserved with strangers and ready to protect his family and property if necessary. He displays a confident and independent personality, reflecting the breed's original purpose as watchdog and hunter of vermin. Disqualifications: A drop ear or ears. Any color other than a natural black.

Approved November 13, 1990 Effective January 1, 1991

THE OFFICIAL SCHIPPERKE STANDARD by JO PATRICK

B efore I begin my view on the AKC Schipperke standard, I find it important to inform you that my life prior to dogs was teaching young children with learning disabilities. All were bright and had a true willingness to learn. They just learned differently, thus, it was my duty as their teacher to present one sub- ject in 5 or 6 different ways. Anything that worked was a success. This was in the early 60s and the beginning of the change from standardized teach- ing to one that was more individualistic in nature. I began my odyssey with AKC registered dogs in 1972 with the pur- chase of two Shetland Sheepdogs. Fortunately, I purchased my Shelties from a reputable breeder which began my introduction to showing dogs. I viewed my first dog show in 1969 while living in Japan with my husband after his squadron’s tour in Vietnam was finished. While I loved the sweet tempera- ment and amenable behavior of the Shetland Sheepdogs, I found I was drawn to a temperament more indepen- dent in nature. So in 1980 I obtained my first Schipperke and a few years later my first Great Pyrenees, the two breeds that have held me captive for the past 37 years. While different in looks, both breeds are very much alike in their determination, independent nature and complete loyalty. I am a licensed breeder judge of 22 years along with the Herding group a couple of Sight Hounds and Pyrs. I am a SCA approved mentor, served on multiple Judges Education commit- tees as well as a presenter at a number Study Groups and at one of our Nation- als. I am the current Schipperke Club of America Delegate. I will be using various verbally visual references in this interpretation and hopefully a successful mentoring

above items come together perfectly you have that unique silhouette. With- out that silhouette you do not have a Schipperke. One of the last items mentioned in our General Appearance mentions, “appearing to slope from shoulders to croup”. This “appearing to slope” means just that. It can “appear to slope” due to the “ruff and cape”, not from an upright shoulder. Any deviation from the ideal described in the standard should be penalized to the extent of the devia- tion. Faults common to all breeds are as undesirable in the Schipperke as in any other breed, even though such faults may not be specifically mentioned in the standard. SIZE, PROPORTION & SUBSTANCE • Size—The suggested height at the highest point of the withers is 11-13 inches for males and 10-12 inches for bitches. Quality should always take precedence over size. • Proportion—Square in profile. • Substance—Thickset. Noteworthy is that “Quality should always take precedence over size.” It again mentions “square” in profile and then calling for the substance to be “thickset”. Next time you are in a mar- ket shopping, pick up a 10-pound sack of flour and add another 4-5 pound sack and think about that kind of weight on a 12-inch dog. I have to address what I just said: this does not imply that it is okay to pick up any dog at any time when judging this breed—ever! HEAD • Expression—The expression is ques- tioning, mischievous, impudent and alert, but never mean or wild. The well proportioned head, accompa- nied by the correct eyes and ears, will give the dog proper expression.

experience of the Schipperke. I am totally devoted to and smitten with the Schipperke. Now to the important part—my breed. GENERAL APPEARANCE The Schipperke is an agile, active watchdog and hunter of vermin. In appearance he is a small, thickset, cob- by, black and tailless dog, with a fox- like face. The dog is square in profile and possesses a distinctive coat, which includes a stand-out ruff, cape and culottes. All of these create a unique silhouette, appearing to slope from shoulders to croup. Males are decid- edly masculine without coarseness. Bitches are decidedly feminine without over refinement. There are some interesting words used in the beginning section of the Standard. Let’s look at some: The Schip- perke is described as “small thickset, cobby”; this does not mean tiny and dainty. The Schipperke is a dog of sub- stance. Later on in our standard it refer- ences the suggested height as 11-13 inch- es in the dog and 10-12 in our bitches. Since I began my showing and breeding experience in the Shetland Sheepdog, I automatically envision the Sheltie mini- mum height at 13. That might help you with a physical reference. They usually will be between 10 and 18 plus pounds. The next descriptive word used in our standard is “Tailless”, this is about as descriptive as you can get. The “fox- like face” means the opposite of square/ blocky; it is more wedged/triangular, just as exemplified by a fox. The Schipperke body is square, not rectangular. If you dropped a Schipper- ke in a cattle chute, let his head stick out and close in that back gate to his rear, you will have a Schipperke in a square box; a square box. Additionally, found in the General Appearance is our distinctive coat, including a “stand-out ruff, cape and culottes.” When these

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• Skull—The skull is of medium width, narrowing toward the muz- zle. Seen in profile with the ears laid back, the skull is slightly rounded. The upper jaw is moderately filled in under the eyes, so that, when viewed from above, the head forms a wedge tapering smoothly from the back of the skull to the tip of the nose. The stop is definite but not prominent. The length of the muzzle is slightly less than the length of the skull. • Eyes—The ideal eyes are small, oval rather than round, dark brown, and placed forward on the head. • Ears—The ears are small, triangular, placed high on the head, and, when at attention, very erect. A drop ear or ears is a disqualification. • Nose—The nose is small and black. • Bite—The bite must be scissors or level. Any deviation is to be severely penalized. Take a felt tip pen and highlight every adjective you see above. These tell you about their temperament as well as describing the head. They are active, very independent and decision makers. You should see a foxy style head; trian- gular and or wedged shaped. The above

Still have your felt tip marker? You should be marking moderate length, slightly arched, balance, correct silhou- ette, topline level or sloping slightly and stand-out ruff. This is followed by describing the chest as broad and deep reaching to the elbows. The Schipperke is broader in the front than the rear. The croup is broad and well-rounded with the tail docked. “No Tail is visually discernible.” Please think about this image. There is no leeway. FOREQUARTERS The shoulders are well laid back, with the legs extending straight down from the body when viewed from the front. From the side, legs are placed well under the body. Pasterns are short, thick and strong, but still flexible, show- ing a slight angle when viewed from the side. Dewclaws are generally removed. Feet are small, round and tight. Nails are short, strong and black. HINDQUARTERS The hindquarters appear slightly lighter than the forequarters, but are well muscled and in balance with the front. The hocks are well let down and the stifles are well bent. Extreme angu- lation is to be penalized. From the rear, the legs extend straight down from the hip through the hock to the feet. Dew- claws must be removed. Again, the standard is very specific with the visual qualities desired in our breed. Verbiage mentioned draws toward the desired visual image. Short, thick, strong, flexible, small round and tight. Nails strong and black. COAT • Pattern—The adult coat is highly characteristic and must include several distinct lengths growing naturally in a specific pattern. The coat is short on the face, ears, front of the forelegs and on the hocks; it is medium length on the body and longer in the ruff, cape, jabot and culottes. The ruff begins in back of the ears and extends completely around the neck; the cape forms an additional distinct layer extending beyond the ruff; the jabot extends across the chest and down between the front legs. The hair down the middle of the back, starting just behind the cape and continuing over the rump, lies flat. It is slightly

description is easy to visually search for when you initially view the head. You can easily see if you have a dark, small oval eye. You will see those small, trian- gular high-placed ears. Check for these desired traits on the floor. The bite must be scissors or level and should be shown by the handler on the table. NECK, TOPLINE & BODY • Neck—The neck is of moderate length, slightly arched and in bal- ance with the rest of the dog to give the correct silhouette. • Topline—The topline is level or sloping slightly from the withers to the croup. The stand-out ruff adds to the slope, making the dog seem slightly higher at the shoulders than at the rump. • Body—The chest is broad and deep, and reaches to the elbows. The well sprung ribs (modified oval) are wide behind the shoulders and taper to the sternum. The forechest extends in front of the shoulders between the front legs. The loin is short, muscular and moderately drawn up. The croup is broad and well-round- ed with the tail docked. No tail is visually discernible.

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of our breed that shares this distinction with no other dog. One should be able to see these areas while the dog is on the floor. A peak at that area of the standard describes, with those pesky adjectives, as a “curious, interested in everything around him, confident and indepen- dent” creature. When introducing potential owners I often tell them that the Schipperke is like a cross between a two year old and a raccoon. They are into everything and will tell you “No” a lot. • Trimming—As the Schipperke is a natural breed, only trimming of the whiskers and the hair between the pads of the feet is optional. Any other trimming must not be done. Occasionally a person will try to shorten the general appearance by scissoring some of the length of the culottes or along the undercarriage to assist in the appearance of a longer leg. This must never be done. I have been in the breed for 37 years and judging it for 22 and have never seen anyone that has cut in a coat pattern. It cannot be done, well, that isn’t correct; it can be tried, but will never be accomplished. Remember—a pelt, a specifically layered pelt. COLOR The outer coat must be black. Any color other than a natural black is a dis- qualification. The undercoat, however, may be slightly lighter. During the shed- ding period, the coat might take on a transitory reddish cast, which is to be penalized to the degree that it detracts from the overall black appearance of the dog. Graying due to age (seven years or older) or occasional white hairs should not be penalized. This is another very distinct area that is not gray. The color is to be black. The “transitory reddish cast” usually appears right before the dog totally drops its coat. Black is the only allowed color. Thus it is a DQ if not black. GAIT Proper Schipperke movement is a smooth, well coordinated and grace- ful trot (basically double tracking at a moderate speed), with a tendency to gradually converge toward the center of balance beneath the dog as speed increases. Front and rear must be in

“...THE STANDARD DESCRIBES, WITH THOSE PESKY ADJECTIVES, AS A ‘CURIOUS, INTERESTED IN EVERYTHING AROUND HIM, CONFIDENT AND INDEPENDENT’ CREATURE.”

shorter than the cape but longer than the hair on the sides of the body and sides of the legs. The coat on the rear of the thighs forms culottes, which should be as long as the ruff. Lack of differentiation in coat lengths should be heavily penalized, as it is an essential breed characteristic. • Texture—The coat is abundant, straight and slightly harsh to the touch. The softer undercoat is dense and short on the body and is very dense around the neck, making the ruff stand out. Silky coats, body coats over three inches in length or very short harsh coats are equally incorrect. • Pattern—Now we come to the all important coat pattern. Please think about the two words, Coat pattern. This is sometimes misunderstood. The pattern calls for specific lengths of coat. The various lengths create layers of hair. One layer does not blend into another layer. These layers are always specific and defini- tive, from beginning to end. The overall coat resembles an ani- mal pelt rather than dog hair. Think of how a pelt would feel as you run your hand through that coat. The layers addi- tionally are visually impressive as it is very much like seeing two different fab- rics sewn together. One fabric is shiny and sparkles like the sheen of satin. The second variety is like velvet. This velvet aspect of the coat possesses and implies density, not soft or silkiness. Velvet material additionally has a nap like cor- duroy. If you run your hand with the nap, the material shines, but run your hand in the opposite direction and you have a blunt denseness. The Schipperke had its begin- nings with tailors, shoe makers in the communities in and around Belgium.

The varieties of layered coat each pos- sess a specific name. The names initi- ate from the French language. “Ruff”, visualize the tight high ruffle found on the shirts of the aristocratic noblemen from the 1600s. This ruff is one spe- cific length. The next and longest layer is the cape. Imagine a black cape worn by noblemen and at the side of a man’s shoulders the cape’s ties drape down. This tiny distinctive length of hair is lon- ger than the hair length in front and the hair found on the dog’s side. This tiny strip stops at the elbow. This is how I choose to envision the unusual aspect of the cape. The jabot (pronounced zha-boh ) begins and extends across the chest and down between the front legs. Jabot is another French word and the exact definition is “a set of ruffles attached to the neckband and falling in tiers down the front of a man’s shirt”. The length of hair found running from the cape to over the rump lies flat. It can- not be brushed up. Think of it as a cow- lick. The culottes are found on the back of the rear legs. Culottes is yet another French word and refers to petticoats. Notice all of these terms refer to cloth- ing items. Visually, I see a rather vain person in his finest dress, with nothing out of place. This person’s demeanor is what is found in a Schipperkes tem- perament. All of these French terms describe the various areas of coat found in every dog. Think of the Collie. It has a ruff, cape, jabot and culottes, but the lengths are all blended together, not def- inite. The Schipperke coat textures are so totally different as well. It amazes me that man through careful breeding and selection created the very definite layers of coat that never blend from one to the other. Another way to visualize the pat- tern is to think of a freshly mowed lawn with the nap shown off by the direction of mowing. It is truly a treasured aspect

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THE SCHIPPERKE FCI STANDARD PROPOSAL TO REVISE

BY JOHAN FORNÄS AND AGNETA JOHANSSON

R ecently, an international judge wrote about facing some issues, saying, “Conformation judges are subject to Standards’ confusion every time they judge. Some- times this comes from poorly worded or poorly translated standards; sometimes it comes after standards are changed, in those cases, often for not so easily understood reasoning. However, in this international age of conformation judges adjudicating across multiple jurisdictions, we judges are now confronted with differences between standards for the one breed, and differences in where dogs are allocated in their groups, again sometimes without logic.” He goes on to say, “The AKC, KC (UK), NZKC, SAKC, ANKC and CKC all classify dogs into 7 groups. The FCI classify into 10. Between these classifica- tions there are major differences and even within jurisdictions there are differences of opinion about classification. Personally, I think the best existing Classification is the FCI and I think this could be tweaked and revised with input from the other jurisdictions. I have suggested this and many say there is no appetite for it. However, we have seen recently where the efforts of the Chair of the Whippet Breed Council of the UK and the President of the FCI agreed for the FCI to revert to the UK Standard as a Country of Origin of the breed. An Old English Sheepdog is an OES no matter where it is exhibited yet we have 4 versions of the breed Standard: UK, FCI, ANKC and Canada is proposing a change. Why? We also need to consider the entire clas- sification of Dogs.” This entire idea is of interest to the Schipperke breed, as the question of the origin and the Group to which they would best fit has often been in contention. In Belgium, they were originally classed as a Terrier, in the US they were placed in Non-Sporting, but in modern FCI, they are considered a herding dog. Others have noted that they best belong, by type, to a group entitled, “Northern Breeds.” Recently, some breeders in Europe wrote an article quoting the history of the breed and genetic discoveries, and how they feel it should impact the breed and the Group to which they belong. We would like to call your attention to the need to correct the FCI Standard for the Schipperke in accordance with recent sci- entific findings of genomic analyses, which matches the historical data recently published about the breed. Recent genomic research has revealed that the Schipperke is genetically related most closely to the Pug, Brussels Griffon, Papillon, and then to the Pomeranian and Schnauzer; but is only distantly related to the Belgian herding dogs. This supports historical observations, and makes it necessary to clarify the breed characteristics in order to correctly reflect and represent the true history and character of the Schipperke. With deep roots back to the 17th, and possibly even the 15th century, the Schipperke is a stable breed of its own merit, that has

An antique dog medal from the Belgium/France area, that shows three breeds: a Papillion, a Brussels Griffon, and a Schipperke, which are found close to the Schipperke on the Dog Genome wheel.

been genetically distinct for a long time. Yet, its relations with other breeds offer key clues to its inherent and contemporary char- acter. The currently most comprehensive study of genetic relations among dog breeds has been offered by Heidi G. Parker, Dayna L. Dreger, Maud Rimbault, Brian W. Davis, Alexandra B. Mullen, Gretchen Carpintero-Ramirez, and Elaine A. Ostrander (2017): Genomic Analyses Reveal the Influence of Geographic Origin, Migra- tion, and Hybridization on Modern Dog Breed Development , in Cell Reports 19, pp. 697-708. As shown in the diagram on page 698 in that article, the Schipperke is most closely related to the Papil- lon, Brussels Griffon, and Pug, and then the Pomeranian, Volpino, American Eskimo Dog, and Schnauzer. There is a great genetic distance to the French Briard or Belgian herding dogs like Bouvier des Flandres, Malinois, and Tervuren (found directly opposite in the diagram, indicating that they are not at all closely related to the Schipperke). The Schipperke has a history filled with many stories, some based on historical facts, others with mythical origins. An exam- ple is the breed’s name of Schipperke, which has been a matter of great debate. While there is a long-standing tradition that it means “little boatman” or perhaps “little captain,” in Belgium, the most popular view is that it is a corruption of the term “scheperke” and was always intended to mean “little shepherd.” This idea may have been fueled by temptations to construct a rather romantic heri- tage where Schipperkes traced their ancestry to rural herding dogs. However, there is little evidence that the Schipperke was ever used for guarding sheep on a large scale. Instead, historical sources indi- cate that early Schipperkes were linked to guarding canal boats and urban craft shops of shoemakers and butchers. The Schipperke

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PROPOSAL TO REVISE THE SCHIPPERKE FCI STANDARD

Dating to the 1870s, this Flemish painting depicted a horse fair. To the far right, a little Schipperke is walking on to the scene. Its little stub tail is very like the natural bob tails seen on many Schipperkes today. The original painting is in color, the dog’s tongue is out and he is wearing a collar.

Drawn and signed by Louis Vander Snickt, a leading early Schipperke fancier in Belgium, and dating to 1888, it shows Schipperkes hunting rats with other Terriers.

6. Chasse et Péche , March 9, 1890, “...the only way to judge dogs, especially schipperkes, because they step so lively ( “steppent” ). Our impression was that English amateurs do not remember enough that the Belgian dog is the boatman’s dog, living in the open air, coat hard and abundant, resistant, ears always raised, pointing in all directions, straight legs, a cat’s foot, tireless and leaping about. He must also be able to defend himself, and even kill a pole cat. We want the old dog of the boats...” 7. Chasse et Péche , February 7, 1892, “We made our first descrip- tion of the boatman’s dog after a model example born around 1842, on the farm of M. Remy DeVulder, of Marialierde, where the breed had existed for a long time.” 8. Chasse et Péche , January 29, 1893, “…fully agrees with the founders of the Belgian Club and all those who have been invited to provide information. The schipperke is above all an outdoor dog, his place is day and night on the deck of the boat of which he is the guardian; he must be strong enough and biting ( willing enough to bite ) to be respected; he must be able to resist the weather. He has the innate passion for hunting moles, which he approaches cautiously under the wind, then, at the right moment, after a leap, falls exactly with the two front paws into the gallery and cuts off any retreat of the mole.” Finally, in the Chasse et Péche , September 30, 1894, we read the first mention of the idea that Schipperkes may be connected in any way to shepherds, “…if the little dog had not always been and was not still currently the watchdog of the boats from which he gets his name of “schipperke” (little boatman), you could have written “scheperke” (little shepherd).” This is a drawing by a famous early Belgian artist of “Spitz,” a Schipperke which was said to show the proper early type of the breed. Shown on a barge in Belgium, the drawing dates to the mid-1880s and appeared in the leading Belgian dog magazine, Chasse et Pêche.

was, up until the 1880s, always described as a city-based “dog of the boatmen” or “small boat dog.” An article in Chasse et Péche (March 13, 1892) mentions that the name was invented in 1880 for an international dog exhibition in Brussels. There are many more historical articles that support this theory, as follows: 1. Chasse et Péche , May 24, 1885 was titled, Le petit chien de batelier ou Schipperke , and begins the article by saying, “A little black devil, but without forked feet and without a tail, such is the dog of the boatmen.” And it goes on to say, “They are found much on the boats of the canals and rivers of Flanders; they do not dirty the bridge and do not knock objects down by means of their tail, since they do not (have one).” 2. Chasse et Péche , June 28, 1885, begins by saying “Since the Brussels show, and also since we published a portrait of that lively little guardian called the boatman’s dog...” 3. Chasse et Péche , February 19 1888, states, “We had convened last Sunday in Brussels with all the experts who can give informa- tion on the Schipperkes or small dogs of boatmen.” (This was a meeting of 50 experts of the breed from this era, and no mention of Schipperkes being little shepherds was made.) 4. Chasse et Péche , November 5, 1888, “In his country he lives more in the open air than in the kitchen. He is the guardian of the boats and, as such, he stands on the bridge and the path where the boats are hauled in an atmosphere charged with humidity; in the street one sees him perched on the back of the horse or the trunk of the truck; everywhere, in the boat, around the boat, in the stable, the cellar or the attic, he makes war on mice, moles, rats and even pole cats.” 5. Chasse et Péche , March 24, 1889, “These little dogs had noth- ing to do with the trade of butcher or cobbler; but at one time they were the dog of a boatman, they rendered services on the boat, in a word, they were part of the crew.”

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PROPOSAL TO REVISE THE SCHIPPERKE FCI STANDARD

directly from the shepherd, miniaturized, made smaller […] as a result of long residence in the unhealthy towns” (a letter from Th. Delame, published in Chasse et Péche , September 30, 1894). What then started as a hypothetical and rather wishful idea (“if the little dog had not always been and was not still currently the watchdog of the boats from which he gets his name of ‘schipperke’ (little boat- man), you could have written ‘scheperke’ (little shepherd)”) soon became a dogma for some, though with meager empirical support. Inventing a pastoral origin was a highly ideological way to purify the breed, in line with the ideals of National Romanticism. 3. There was a wish to link the Schipperke more closely to other Belgian breeds, including the Belgian Shepherd dogs (BSD), in a nation-centered spirit, according to which all Belgian breeds should be closely interrelated. One can fully understand the national pride of identifying the Schipperke as a true Belgian breed, but that pride should not allow anyone to misrepresent the well-documented genetic and ethological character and the social and cultural history of this wonderful breed. Against such Romanticist temptations, we must consider the genetic and historical evidence; it is important to accept the mainly urban heritage of the Schipperke, as well as its close transnational interrelations with Dutch and German breeds like the Pomeranian and the Spitz, in accordance with the recently reconstructed genomic indicators. Today, DNA research offers a welcome way to finally decide which genealogical heritage should be given most credence. To conclude, these cultural and historical considerations are thus clearly supported by the scientific evidence from current genomic research. Today’s Schipperke dogs have generic traits that reflect this combined genomic basis and cultural history. These observations make necessary for the Belgian Kennel Club and the FCI to correct the Schipperke Standard, so as not to contradict undeniable genetic facts and correctly represent the true character- istics, history, and behavior of this wonderful Belgian dog breed. The current FCI Standard, formulated in 2009 by Dr. Robert Pollet et al. ( www.fci.be/Nomenclature/Standards/083g01-en.pdf ), should be revised to a standard that more closely resembles the 1988 FCI Standard, leaning on a tradition dating back to 1888 when the original points of the breed were recorded. Several 2009 formulations mistakenly link the Schipperke to Belgian Shepherds, and this should be corrected: General Charles Lee and his dog: This sketch dates back to 1770, and the dog in question was said to be from “Pomerania” but could easily have been purchased from people who traveled from the Belgium region. The sketch is a “caricature,” meaning certain characteristics were exaggerated. Yes, this dog contains many classic Schipperke breed traits: the ruff, the culottes, square body, head type, upright, prick ears, and body type. It shows a tail type found on the majority of undocked Schipperkes today.

Two important points can be read into this last comment. First, that the Schipperke was “still currently” a boat dog, which can be considered a personal testimony, and second, that the idea of the word “scheperke” was an invention, created in 1894, and it was distinguished from Schipperke—and Schipperke was still clearly defined as “little boatman.” The Chasse et Péche article that speaks of the origin of the name was published March 13, 1892, and says, “The honor to have given a name to the Schipperke and to have highlighted it belongs to Mr. Le compte of Beauffort, which alone in 1880 on the occasion of the great exhibition canine international de Bruxelles, created the class...” Before this time, the breed was known by many names (skupperke, Chasse et Péche , February 7, 1892; spits; Lysen, The American Journal , February 23, 1889; Old Flemish Spitz, Edwin H. Morris, Popular Monthly , 1890). After speculations of a shepherd lineage turned up in the 1890s, these competed with the boat dog theme. This theory was primarily supported by the linguistic similarity of the Flem- ish words for “little boatman” (schipperke) and “little shepherd” (scheperke). Different authors chose either interpretation, and in the FCI Standard of 2009, the latter won and eradicated all traces of the former. Even though this pastoral idea contradicts factual evidence—including the recently discovered genetic relations—it gained support for multiple reasons: 1. One input was the coincidental linguistic similarity between the Flemish words for skippers and shepherds, which made it pos- sible to construct an imaginary identification of the Schipperke as a herding breed, though, in fact, it never did, and still does not, possess the typical characteristics of such a breed. 2. There was evidently a misguided desire to create a rural origin of the breed, as this may, for some, have been seen as more noble than the practical urban contexts in which it actually had thrived. One of the first historical sources to suggest a shepherd lineage typically had a rather Romantic argument that the Schipperke “…descended

244 | SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, OCTOBER 2021

PROPOSAL TO REVISE THE SCHIPPERKE FCI STANDARD

Dog Genome Wheel created at the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) of the National Institutes of Health.

3. Further changes required (back to the pre-2009 stan- dards) concern the shape and look of the Schipperke. Let us just mention three examples: a.) The shape of the head, which is more fox- than wolf- like. The Standard from 1888 to 1988 correctly stated that the head “approaches in type that of the fox,” whereas the 2009 revision uses the term “lupoid.” b.) The croup should be no “Guinea pig rump,” as the 2009 Standard claims. c.) The tail is normally “high and proud” (an article in Chasse et Péche , June 10, 1894), curled over the back rath- er than “preferably hanging down,” as the 2009 Standard wrongly suggests. With such changes, the FCI Standard would again con- form with both the scientific facts and the unique history of the Schipperke. Thanks to Per Jensen, Professor of Ethology at Linköping Uni- versity, for providing the genetic information; and to Dawn Ban- nister, author of The Historical Schipperke , for priceless feedback and encouragement. Chasse et Péche articles can be found in the book, The His- torical Schipperke , by Craig and Dawn Bannister, Copyright 2017. Historical Schipperke pictures used with permission.

1. The etymological roots of the name should be changed to “little boatman” or left open, as “small skipper” or “small boat captain” are well in line with historical evidence, and hence, are more plausible than “little shepherd.” There can be no doubt from the earliest articles on the breed that the name was chosen to mean “little boat dog.” With its deep genetic roots, the Schipperke cannot be described as originating from sheep dogs, and the idea of the Leuvenaar as a shared ancestor is highly contested and must be deleted from the Standard. It may well be worth mentioning that the breed has deep genetic roots, possibly even back to the 15th century, and that it was exhibited not just in Spa in 1882, but also existed as a distinct breed in Brussels by 1880. 2. Concerning the basic identity of the Schipperke, it should not be stated that it is “a sheepdog” with “sheepdog characteristics and tem- perament” and related to Belgian Shepherds, as all such formulations blatantly contradict genomic findings. Instead, its historical connec- tions to boat life and urban workshops should be mentioned and not concealed. The original 1888 Standard correctly described this little dog as “a faithful guard, whom we meet with so often on our canal boats,” whereas the 2009 version repeatedly defines it as a sheepdog without even once mentioning the historically crucial role as boat guard. The character of the breed was defined many times in the origi- nal Chasse et Péche articles, and this is the temperament and character that breeders should still strive for.

2019-11-22 Johan Fornäs, PhD at Göteborg University, Professor Emeritus at Södertörn University; Schipperke owner, Sweden; johan.fornas@sh.se; +46-(0)703402242; johanfornas.se Agneta Johansson, BA and Teacher Diploma at Göteborg University, BA at Skövde University; Schipperke breeder since 1968 at Kennel Corinna in Skövde, Sweden; corinnas0500@hotmail.com; +46-(0)707528201;corinnas.se

SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, OCTOBER 2021 | 245

An Expanded Interpretation of THE AKC SCHIPPERKE BREED STANDARD Provided by the Schipperke Club of America Judges Education Committee and as interpreted by June Moore, AKC Licensed Breeder-Judge A lert and curious, the Schipperke has the heart of a terrier in the body of a spitz and may be related to neither. Schipperke means “Lit- Coat & Body Th e Schipperke is an agile, active watch- dog and hunter of vermin. In appearance he is a small, thickset, cobby, black, tailless dog, with a fox-like face. Th e Schipperke is often referred to as a “big” dog in a small package —especially in his own mind. When judg- ing the breed, the dog should “feel heavy” and have plenty of body under the coat. Th e terms “thickset and cobby” refer to the body and overall appearance of the dog.

tle Captain” in Flemish—or possibly the name comes from the Flemish word for shepherd. History is not clear as to the ori- gin. In either case, the breed developed in Belgium in the 1600s as ratters and guards on canal barges. At times, they rode the backs or nipped at the heels of horses that pulled the barges along the canals. On land, the dog kept rats out of shops. Although the Schipperke’s impudent character, foxy face, upright ears and thick coat denote a spitz-type heritage, breed his- torians claim the dog descended from the Leuvenaar, a Belgian herding dog that also produced today’s Belgian Sheepdog. Th e Belgian herding dog of those days weighed about 40 pounds, smaller than today’s ver- sion, and could well have been the ancestor of both breeds. It has been said that only the wealthy in those days could own the larger dogs, so the Schipperke was used as a “poor man’s herding dog”. Whatever its origin, the Schipperke has an interesting history. Initially owned by shopkeepers and tradesmen, the little dog had its own specialty show in 1690. Th at show and subsequent competitions fea- tured elaborate copper collars designed for the dogs. Th e breed didn’t catch the atten- tion of the upper classes until the mid- 1800’s when Queen Marie Henriette, wife of Leopold II of Belgium, saw a Schipperke at a Brussels show and bought the winner. For most of the rest of the century, the Schipperke was virtually the only house dog in Belgium. Th e English discovered the Schipperke about the same time and imported many dogs from Belgium. Th e “Little Captain” came to the US by the end of the century. Th e breed was recognized by the AKC in 1904.

Th e dog is square in profile and possesses a distinctive coat, which includes a standout ru ff , cape and culottes. All of these create a unique silhouette, appearing to slope from shoulders to croup. Th is is a silhouette breed! If the Schipperke does not have the proper coat and silhouette, it is NOT an ideal Schipperke! Th e unique silhouette and coat pattern are what makes the Schipperke dif- ferent from any other breed! Males are decidedly masculine with- out coarseness, while bitches are decidedly feminine without over refinement. Th e Schipperke should NEVER appear over- done or over refined! Th e Schipperke may have a sloping or level topline. Both are equally correct. Th e stand-out ru ff adds to the slope, making the dog seem slightly higher at the shoul- ders than at the rump. Because of the heavy coat, one must put hands on the dog in order to know if the topline is level or has a slope to it. Occasionally, there are faulty dips in the topline (usually at the shoulder) which can be hidden by the coat and skillful grooming, but this will usually show itself when the dog is moving. Schipperkes are slow to mature, and the “thickset” appearance becomes more obvi- ous with age. It is not uncommon to find the top-ranked specials dogs in our breed that are veterans. Pattern & Color Correct pattern is an essential breed charac- teristic! Th e adult coat is highly characteristic and must include several distinct lengths

Photo by Rusty Wells

growing naturally in a specific pattern. Th e texture is slightly harsh to the touch. Th e coat is short on the face, ears, front of the forelegs and hocks. It is medium length on the body, and longer in the jabot, ru ff , cape, and culottes. Th e ru ff begins in back of the ears and extends completely around the neck. Th e cape forms an additional distinct layer extending beyond the ru ff . Th e first distinct line you see is the ru ff , the second line is the cape. Th e jabot extends across the chest and down between the front legs. Th e coat on the rear of the thighs forms culottes which should be as long as the ru ff . Th e hair down the mid- dle of the back, starting just behind the cape and continuing over the rump, lies flat. It is slightly shorter than the cape but longer than the hair on the sides of the body and legs. Lack of di ff erentiation in coat lengths should be heavily penalized, as it is an essential breed characteristic! Coat pattern is obvious in all Schipperkes, even those out of coat or young puppies. Undercoat is necessary in the Schip- perke, as it is what makes the ru ff stand out. Th e undercoat should be dense on the body, and very dense on the ru ff . While the overall dog must be black, the under-coat can be black, or an “o ff color,” usu- ally grey or a slight reddish brown. Occasional stray white hairs are permissible (schipperkes tend to grow white hairs where they have been injured and scarred in the past—this typically shows on faces if a dog has been involved in rough puppy play or fights. Graying, due to

210 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , F EBRUARY 2014

age in the Veteran dog (7 years) is permissible, but should be faulted in younger specimens. Th e coat should be abundant and straight. Coats may take on a reddish cast during the shedding period, which usually occurs twice a year (spring and fall) or in many breeders’ experiences—about two weeks after they’ve been entered in a show! Pattern can still be seen even when the dog is out of coat. Silky coats, body coats over 3" or very short harsh coats are equally incorrect! Trimming of the Schipperke’s coat is not allowed! In recent years, there has been a fashion of trimming the underline of the dog (sometimes done to “neaten the underline” and sometimes done to create the illusion of longer leg on a short- legged dog), trimming or stripping out the coat on the rear to “create” a sloping topline and/or the illusion of a square dog out of a dog that is long in body, and stripping or trimming away the culottes. If a Schipperke adult is walking away from the judge and the coat appears to be grey, the judge may want to check to see if that coat has been trimmed. Th e outer coat or guard hair should always cover the undercoat—one would have to lift the guard hairs to see this undercoat. In a letter recently sent to all AKC Judges via the Standard it states, “ Th e Board of Directors of the Schipperke Club of Amer- ica is concerned by the current trend or ‘fashion’ toward trimming and/or stripping being seen in the show ring. Our standard’s section titled TRIMMING states: ‘As the Schipperke is a natural breed, only trimming of the whiskers and the hair between the pads of the feet is optional. ANY OTHER TRIMMING MUST NOT BE DONE.’ Th e Schipperke coat pattern and texture are intrinsic characteristics of our breed. Trim- ming and/or stripping will alter both. A cor- rect, quality coat should be bred, not ‘styled,’ in hopes of achieving the win. It is essential that the breed standard, in its entirety, be adhered to when judging the Schipperke.” Th ere is a misunderstanding among some judges and those who are wanting to apply to judge Schips as to what a “flu ff ” is. Th ere are some photos published on the SCA Website in our JEC presentation that are very helpful in illustrating this. A Note about the Tail While it is understood judges have a choice, the Schipperke Club of America

prefers that a Schipperke with a tail to be considered a serious deviation from the standard and prioritize and penalize it accordingly. Th e standard says, “ Th e Schipperke is an agile, active watchdog and hunter of vermin. In appearance he is a small, thickset, cobby, black, tailless dog, with a fox-like face. Th e croup is broad and well-rounded with a tail that is docked. No tail is visually discernible.” Any deviation from the ideal described in the standard should be penalized to the extent of the deviation. Th e docked tail is an essential breed characteristic. Head & Eyes When considering the Schipperke head and expression, the expression is question- ing, mischievous, impudent and alert, but never mean or wild. Th e well-proportioned head, accompanied by the correct eyes and ears will give the dog the proper Schipperke expression. Th e skull is of medium width, narrowing toward the muzzle. Seen in profile with the ears laid back, the skull is slightly rounded. Th e upper jaw is moder- ately filled in under the eyes, so that, when viewed from above, the head forms a wedge, tapering smoothly from the back of the skull to the tip of the nose. Th e stop is definite but not prominent. Th e length of the muzzle is slightly less than the length of the skull. Th e skull is slightly rounded when viewed from the side. Th e ideal eyes are small, oval rather than round, dark brown, and placed for- ward on the head. Th e eyes should never be prominent or bulging, but will sometimes take on a more rounded appearance when the Schipperke is excited or nervous. Th e ears are small, triangular, placed high on the head, and, when at attention, very erect. Th e following are less than ideal: Th e ear itself should not tip backwards or forward, the tips should not point inward or outward, belled ears, or long and thin ears. Th e bite must be scissors or level. Both the scissor or level bite are EQUALY acceptable! Any deviation is to be severely penalized. Body & Movement In evaluating the Schipperke’s structure when viewed from the front, the elbows remain close to the body. Th e legs form a straight line from the shoulders through the elbows to the toes, with the feet point- ing straight ahead. From the rear, the legs

should form a straight line from the hip to the hocks to the pads, with the feet point- ing straight ahead. Th e key to the rest of the dog and the overall appearance of the Schipperke is balance! Th e standard calls for the front to be placed well underneath the dog, the shoulders to be well laid back and a slight bend to the pasterns when viewed from the side. Th e rear should APPEAR slightly lighter than the front but is well muscled and in balance with the front. Extreme rear angulation to be penalized. Suggested height is 11-13 inches for dogs and 10-12 inches for bitches. Quality always takes precedence over size! Faults common to all breeds are just as undesirable in the Schip- perke, even though they are not mentioned in the standard! Proper Schipperke movement is a smooth, well-coordinated and graceful trot (basically double tracking at a mod- erate speed), with a tendency to gradu- ally converge toward the center of balance beneath the dog as speed increases. When viewed from the side, the front and rear must be in perfect balance with good reach in front and drive in the rear. With good reach in the front, the leg should extend to the front of the nose. When driving from the rear you should see the pad of the rear foot. In motion, the Schipperke’s topline remains level or slightly sloping downward from the shoulders to the rump. Structural faults with toplines will usually be revealed when the dog is moving. Th e Schipperke should “hold the silhouette” while gaiting. When judging the Schipperke, the down and back is just as important, if not more important than side gait since double tracking is such an important requirement in the breed standard. Do not necessarily reward speed—a Schip with correct reach and drive has it at a nice, easy trot. It is best to allow the handler to move his dog at the speed that is best for that particular dog. Disqualifications Our breed standard only has two dis- qualifications: Drop ear or ears, and any color other than a natural black. Schipperkes excel in many venues, whether it be obedience, agility, rally, tracking, search and rescue, therapy work. Th ey truly are very versatile little dogs! S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , F EBRUARY 2014 • 211

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