Showsight Presents the Schipperke

Our standard does an excellent job of explaining the different terms, such as the ruff, jabot, cape and culottes. This pattern is one of the items that make our breed so unique and it upsets me to see some breeders and exhibitors blowing the entire coat up backwards and trimming it. MK: Different lengths of coat. Example: undercoat in the ruff and on the sides help the coat stand up. Lack of undercoat on the back helps the topline lay flat. BL: Varying lengths of coat from the ruff to the cape and the way the hair lays down on the back, thereby creating the landing strip. This often causes the casual observer to ask if the coat is trimmed to look like that. KM: The distinct coat pattern is created by the varying lengths of coat on different aspects of the body. For example, the standout ruff is one of the longest areas of coat and leads into a cape over the shoulders that creates a distinct half moon shape where it rests. This leads to a slightly shorter length from the ruff and cape that lies flat over the back creating a visible almost “stripe” down the back leading to the culottes, which are the length of the ruff round the neck. The hair on the sides of the body is thick but shorter than any of the other lengths already described. Of course the hair on the legs is even shorter, but the backs of the front legs have slight “feathering” as that coat is slightly longer than the other leg coat. The standout ruff, cape and flat laying coat down the back help to create the unique silhouette by accentuating the breed’s attributes.

better dog person. I can see more details in all of my breeds because of the Schipperke. BL: This breed for the most part is a wash and wear breed other than a bit of trimming on the feet and whiskers for the show ring, they just require a bath and blow-out, nail trim and daily brushing when then are blowing/ shedding coat. KM: To own a Schipperke you really should have a sense of humor. They are an amazingly fun little breed, but they can at times make you look the fool and certainly humble you. They are very attentive, loving dogs and I think they actually enjoy seeing their people laugh. They are great snugglers and will typically follow their owners around the house as to not miss anything. They can be very good watchdogs because of their loud bark. 7. And, for a bit of humor: what’s the funniest thing you’ve ever experienced at a dog show? AmyG: Probably the funniest thing that’s happened to me personally was my wrap skirt coming loose and falling down during judging at our national specialty! AnnG: It wasn’t at a show, but our foundation bitch was barking relentlessly in our living room while we were playing cards in another room. When we went to investigate, we found that she was barking at a lit candle that was about to fall off a stereo speaker due to the sound vibrations. How alert is that? GGH: I don’t know if it’s the funniest, but I remember our old Schip special being “kidnapped” by friends who decided it would be a great joke to chalk a large white line down the middle of his back so that when we took him out to groom him for the group, he looked like a skunk! MK: Receiving the honor of Best in Show when I really didn’t feel like I had a chance to win it! BL: During one of our regional specialties, the steward snuck in a baby puppy and stood it on the exam table while the judge was watching the previous dog on the go ’round. When he turned around to go over the next dog, his reaction was priceless. The rest of the spectators and exhibitors cheered and laughed. He then picked up the puppy, tucked it in his coat and started to leave the ring with it. KM: I have to say that the Schip-a-Thons that used to be held at the Nationals were great fun. People would dress up and dress up their dogs to perform skits, dances or demonstrations. One of the best times was when a fellow Schipperke breeder actually dressed up as a Schipperke and trotted around the ring being shown by another Schipperke breeder. He was unruly. He jumped over the ring gates, jumped up on the exam table and even “urinated” on the judge (by hidden water bottle). The whole room was bursting with laughter.

6. Is there anything else you’d like to share about the breed?

AmyG: Our breed is quite unique in that you could seen one from across a field and know that it’s a Schipperke. The silhouette with the rounded, tailless rump is a dead give- away and they have a fantastic sense of humor! AnnG: They are ever alert and will always let you know when something is out of place, be it person or object. GGH: I wish that more breeders would take our standard seriously. Unfortunately, this is becoming true in a good number of other breeds as well. The overall quality of the Schipperke is deteriorating compared to what it was through the 60s, 70s and 80s. It seems that today, it is extremely easy to pick out the best Schip in a line-up because there isn’t as many quality dogs to choose from. Nor, do we see as many Schipperke “specials” being campaigned to be serious contenders with the rest of the Non-Sporting group, as they wouldn’t measure up in tough competition. As much as I love the breed and can’t imagine living without one (or two, or three), it is hard to find quality that fits the breed standard when buying a puppy or finding a stud dog. MK: Schipperkes can be a challenge to show. I love the breed. Being primarily black in color has made me a

232 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , A PRIL 2017

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