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The schipperke, a dog recognized in 1904 as a member of the non-sporting group by the AKC, is a dog originating from Belgium in the 16th century. They fare well in both large homes and small apartments making them very adaptable. They are sensitive to extreme climate and will fare better in a moderate one. When in a secure area, it is good to let them off their leash due to their heightened prey drive. Even though they can manage some alone time, they shouldn’t be left alone for long periods of time.
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Schipperkes are known to get along well with children due to their loving and lively nature. Their watchdog origin always keeps them alert and ready to signal you if there is any breach of your property. Their prey drive though makes them naturally wary of strangers so socializing them at an early age is important. They are generally a healthy dog but could suffer from a variety of health conditions such as eye defects, patellar luxation, thyroid issues, and Leg-Calves-Perthes Disease. they could also fall prey to MPS IIIB, a new and fatal disease that can be stopped by screening the parents to avoid passing it down.
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Their high intelligence coupled with their tendency to be stubborn and independent makes them moderately trainable and will not be advised for novice dog owners. Special emphasis should be put on subduing their excessive barking and their lack of response when being called. They will require the daily brushing of their fur coat and a bath should be given to them when necessary. Other essential hygienic practices such as dental care, nail trimming, and ear cleaning are also vital to keeping the dog in premium health.
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A daily walk and some additional playtime should be enough to satisfy this dog’s active nature keeping them both happy and healthy. They are also pretty robust for their and could enjoy more vigorous exercises such as swimming and hiking. They will also excel in dog exercises such as herding, agility, and obedience. Thus, they usually grow to about 10 to 13 inches tall and can weigh 10 to 16 pounds. They have a usual lifespan of 12 to 14 years.