- AKC recognized in 1990
- Life Expectancy: 13-15 years
- Size: small
- Energy: high
- Recommended Crate Size: 24” dog crate*
Return to main Dog Crate Size Breed Chart.
Ahoy! This daring dog is Belgium's "Little Captain", serving as the traditional barge dog of the Low Countries. He’s a smart, curious, lively, and somewhat intense soul and a twinge of mischief run through his sea-faring blood too. With this handsome and humorous character, there’s never a lack of entertainment.
He’s a hard-working little fellow, smaller in size than he is in power and might. Some consider him a Miniature Sheepdog and others say he’s a Spitz but no matter which class he falls into, he’s a dandy dog indeed.
If you are finding you are head over tails for this barking barge tender, read on to find out if he’s truly to wind in your sail...or not. You’ll want to learn all there is to know about Belgium's "Little Captain" before diving in.
Dating back to 16th century Belgium when barges could be used for trading rather than braving the dangerous seas, the Schipperke was created to lend a helping paw on the boats.
The breed was a dog of many names. They were referred to as a Schip, Spitzke, Spits, and Spitske - all words that descriptive of a small sized dog with pointed ears. Sometimes they were called “Moorke” which translates to mean “little black animal”.
When formally recognized as a breed in the 1880s, the pup with numerous names was officially deemed the Schipperke, which means “little boatman”. He is also endearingly called Belgium's "Little Captain".
While much of the Schip’s history remains a mystery, accounts of the breed can be found within the pages of the old French hunting and fishing magazine, Chasse et Pêche which frequently featured articles and pictures of the breed. These articles were gathered and translated and then published in an English magazine called The Stockkeeper.
Schipperkes were famous for their excellent barge duty abilities. The little watchdogs could be seen guarding the barges and boats that notoriously lined the busy canals between Antwerp and Brussels, a very vital job since it was not unusual for thieves to attempt to rob the barges in those days for their goods and any other valuables.
They were superb at hunting vermin on ships and was an active, alert, and agile watchdog too. As it would turn out though, the dogs became even more popular in Leuven and Brussels where they were kept as little shepherd dogs.
The dogs ran a bit larger back in those days. They are thought to be decedents of the Leuvenaar which roamed the area in the 16th century. They were medium-sized black shepherding dogs that weighed in around 40 pounds. The Leuvenaar is supposedly the breed behind the smaller and the modern Schipperke and the modern and the larger Black Belgian Shepherd Dog, also referred to as the Groenendael.
In 1690, the Schipperke was one of the first to appear in “specialty shows” which was the brainchild of the Shoemaker’s Guild. They wanted to show off their hammered brass collars which were quite popular and fashionable back then in the Grand Place of Brussels.
After a spectacular dog show in Brussels, Queen Marie Henriette became smitten with the Schipperke. She was responsible for their newfound popularity. The breed guild formed in 1888 in Belgium.
Once Schips made their way to America in 1888 after the breed guild formed and standards were set into place. The Schipperke dawned yet another name in the United States - Belgian Barge Dogs or Belgian Ship Dogs. They were frequently used as shepherds of flocks of sheep and herds of cattle.
The very first United States’ Schipperke specialty club was founded in 1905. It would be until 1929, however, until the Schipperke Club of America was formed.
During World War ll, Schipperkes played a very important role for the Belgium army. They ran messages back and forth between resistance cells and hideouts. The Nazi forces who were occupying the land had no clue the dogs were war heroes on the opposite side so they never really bothered them.
The tenacity of this breed led to yet another name for him - “The Little Black Devil”. Being fearless and devoted, proven by the stripes he earned in the war, this dog became a beloved breed, fit to guard and to protect. And, that he does. He’s definitely devoted to his flock and his family, even his country for that matter.
While not a super common dog, ranking 82 in the 155 breeds and varieties in the American Kennel Club, the sparky Schipperke has had a debut in show business. One was featured in the 2004 movie “Two Brothers” and in “A Borderline Case”, a short story by Daphne Du Maurier.
Known for their versatility, guardianship, and devotion, the Schip is perhaps most loved for his cleverness and sly sense of humor. Sharp as a whip, curious as a cat, and ornery as a mischievous child, the Schipperke is not only the Little Captain of Brussels, he’s the cutest Captain of Character too. He not only makes an awesome shepherd, vermin exterminator, and companion dog, he’s also superb at being a search and rescue volunteer, sniffing out drugs and bombs, and a hearing dog. Furthermore, if you don’t want squirrels in your backyard, he’ll help you out with that too. He’s a great helper as long as you make sure to give him what he needs and wants which is...a job to do!
Weighing in between 11 and 18 pounds and standing around 10 inches to a foot tall, just the sight of the Schipperke tells you that he is confident, curious, and courageous, completely oblivious to his small stature. Females traditionally run a bit smaller. The pups typically reach their full size within six to eight months of age.
Thickset and tailless, the Schip has a face that resembles a fox. He can be any solid color but is typically black. His build appears a bit square and he looks like he’s wearing a cape and culottes. His sloped back and shoulders give way to a distinctive outline and quite a unique silhouette that he is commonly known for.
With this breed, males tend to look masculine (without coarseness) and females have femininity without the need of pampering or refinement. His head is well-proportioned with his expression, questioning, curious, and alert yet very confident and on top of things. He has a medium sized skull that narrows towards the muzzle.
His ears sit high on his head. They are small, triangular and erect. They shouldn’t drop but should position forward. His skull is slightly rounded which gives his head a wedge tapering shape from the back of it up until the tip of his nose.
The Schipperke’s eyes are oval, not round, and somewhat small. They are always dark in color and are positioned forward on his head. His nose is slightly small and is black. As far as his bite goes, it is scissor-type or level.
The neck of a Schip is of average length and is arched slightly to balance with the rest of his silhouette. His chest is deep and broad and goes all the way to his elbows.
His feet are small, round, and absolutely adorable. His legs are well-muscled. Sometimes his tail is naturally docked in that most of them basically sport no tail. Those that are born with a tail generally have it cropped to the length of one inch but some don’t have their tails cropped at all.
The Schip sports a short, easy care, medium length coat. His ruff stands out which adds to his slope and makes it more noticeable. The appearance of it gives him a look of being taller at the shoulders rather than at his rump but that rarely is true. His coat is usually a little longer on the cape than on the sides of his body and the sides of his legs. It’s double coated. The layer closest to him is dense and soft which causes it to stick out a bit, giving him a fuller look.
The Schipperke’s gait is graceful and very well-coordinated - in perfect keeping with his royal abilities in guarding ships, tending the flock, watching over his family, and ridding the home front of small critters.
Pet Crates Size
Pet Crates Direct recommends 24” dog crate* for most adult Schipperkes.
Has it been mentioned that the Schipperke is a curious little fellow? He’s interested in darn near everything which makes him an excellent guard and a fabulous exterminator. But, it can make for him being a handful around the house when his skills are not being utilized. This pup can definitely get into his fair share of trouble when he’s not actively engaged in doing something constructive.
The Schip is as faithful as the day is long. He’s given to be a little suspicious (or, overly curious) about strange humans and animals. He is out to protect his family and/or flock at all cost. It is vital to train this breed who is a friend and who is a foe and to have him properly trained so you can be the judge of the presence of danger...or not.
This breed is independent in many ways. They can also be very stubborn. They had to rely on those traits in order to do their jobs in the days of old and the characteristics run through their blood. They do love to spend time with their humans, however. You might catch a snuggle or two every now and then but they are not couch potato dogs and that’s for sure. But if you are going somewhere, he certainly wants to tag along.
The Schipperkes is an active dog who is meant to be in a scenario where he can use his bounding energy up. He makes a horrible kenneled dog and doesn’t care much for being left alone. He’s very smart so he needs plenty of stimulation. If he’s not able to be kept occupied physically and mentally, he’ll entertain himself and you don’t want that. Excessive chewing, digging, and barking is usually signs he isn’t getting enough exercise and/or mental stimulation.
The Schippy is small so he can certainly fit in an apartment or small sized condo, but you’ll have to dedicate plenty of time for long walks and other physical and mental activities or he’ll be the cause of your eviction, no doubt. He does best in a place that has a yard or even in the big space of a ranch or farm. He does need to at least sleep indoors though for safety and because he would have it no other way. He’s only independent when he wants to be.
This breed tends to be an escape artist so if he’s to be contained in a backyard fence, be sure he can’t dig or squeeze his way out. He has a super high prey drive and if he catches a whiff or glimpse of an animal skirting by, he’s as good as gone if he can find a way to do so.
You’ll want to have a good handle on your Schip. He simply has to be socialized at an early age but still, he can be aggressive at times. He was, after all, a hunter of animals. Sure, they were small vermin, but the truth is, he is not aware of his small size nor does he care. He’s given to chasing cats, rats, and even kids on bicycles. Birds and reptiles aren’t safe either. He is, however, good with humans and children but children should be supervised around him. This breed despises being teased or any type of rough treatment. He is liable to snap if he feels disrespected or threatened. If he’s grown up with another dog, or possibly a cat, he should do fine but otherwise, he just doesn’t play well with others, dogs that is.
The Belgian Boat Dog is not the best dog for a novice dog owner. He requires a firm but loving hand. You will need to make sure he is well aware of your leadership role and that you are the alpha, leader of the pack. Once this fact is established, he’ll do much better but still may be a little rebellious like not coming when called.
Legend has it that the Little Black Devil is tailless because way back in the 17th century, he kept stealing a neighbor shoemaker’s food and the shoemaker cut off his tail. While the story about the tail is just a tall tale, it does sum up the personality of this mischievous little fellow.
The lack of maintenance needed for this dog makes them a winner in the eyes of many. They shed a bit the entire year round but mostly during the change of seasons like in the spring and fall.
Brushing your Schip once a week, at least, will keep his shedding at minimal and will make his coat shiny. It is also great for the circulation of his skin. You’ll want to bathe him about once per month to keep him clean and smelling fresh. Be sure to use a hypoallergenic dog-friendly shampoo and towel dry him to fluff his coat up after rinsing him well.
Because his ears stand erect, pay close attention to them and keep them clean and dry. If he paws at them or if they look inflamed, irritated, or red, have them checked out by his veterinarian right away. Untreated ear infections can easily lead to severe ear problems that can warrant surgery or even lead to deafness.
The toenails of a Schipperke may be worn down naturally if he’s outside a good bit of the time. Still, you’ll want to check them once a week for splits, cracks, and chips. If he has any, tend to them immediately to avoid further issues. Make sure to clean any dirt or mud off his paw pads and toenail area too.
This breed is prone to dental issues so be sure to brush his teeth at least once per week. Use a dog-friendly toothbrush and doggie flavored toothpaste and you should have no problems keeping his teeth, gums, and breathe in ship shape condition.
There’s no need to primp and pamper a Belgian Barge Dog. They are meant to look a little wild and wooly just make sure his “all natural” appearance doesn’t get out of control.
The Schipperke is a small dog with high energy so you will want to tailor his diet around those two facts. It’s a good idea to speak with his vet or breeder to determine the amount and frequency of his diet and to determine which type of food is best. It’s always optimal to feed a top quality dog food that is free of GMOs, pesticides, by-products, and other things that aren’t good for him.
Initially, you may need to give him small meals throughout the day as a puppy and then taper his quantity can be increased a bit and his frequency decreased. He’s a fairly small dog so he won’t be able to hold much in his tummy at first but his high energy will need to be fueled.
This little fellow can eat you under the table. Especially if his ability to get his energy out is limited, he can easily become overweight if you allow him to eat all he wants to and have treats and snacks in between. Obesity in dogs is very dangerous. It can lead to such medical problems as Diabetes, heart disease and heart failure, issues with his bones and joints due to too much pressure being placed on them, and a whole host of other woes. In the event that you cut back his eating and increase his exercise and he is still overweight, speak to his vet and see what is suggested. Most likely he’ll be put on a diet with lower calorie intake.
As with all animals, be careful to ensure that fresh, clean water is available at all times, inside the house and outdoors too if he goes out much. If he seems to not be drinking enough and you are worried about dehydration, give his skin a gentle poke. If it springs back, he should be fine but if not, encourage him to drink more. If that doesn’t work, contact his vet. Likewise, if he is drinking what you feel is too much water, you’ll want to look into the possibility of Diabetes or an underlying medical condition. A good rule of paw is one ounce per pound of your puppy or dog’s weight per day. Anything more or less should be looked into.
This dog needs oodles and gobs of exercise. He was born to be active, pursuing the myriad of rats and rodents on ships and keeping guard for human intruders at the same time. He also doubled as a shepherd dog which also required him to be very active, guarding the sheep against harm and keeping them in line. If he doesn’t get his adequate exercise on a daily basis, he’ll get into a lot of trouble. Plus, he’ll be miserable and will see to it that you (and the neighbors) are miserable too.
It is recommended that the Schipper get at least an hour of formal walking each day. You’ll want to have him under control and on a leash in order to do so. You’ll also need to reinforce your role as the pack leader to avoid him trying to give chase during the walk or attempting to lead the way. If he pulls, you may want to get a harness type leash for him. Invite your dog to join you on a walk and make sure he stays beside you or behind you but never in front of you or he will surely get the wrong idea about who is boss. Don’t let him go chasing critters or stop to pee on every flower. A dedicated walk is exactly that...a dedicated walk.
In between his walks, he’ll need to be active. Interactive games will promote bonding and will also help him obey you better. Fetch is one of his favorite game and he might be pro at Frisbee too. Some are and some are not too into it. Chase and herding balls are other fun pastimes for this breed.
When you are going for a hike, bike ride, or swim, might as well take your furry friend along. He will love being with you and needs to get his energy out. He’s a great companion but again, beware of his love to chase anything that moves and his stubbornness to come back when called.
Don’t forget that your little Captain needs ample brain exercise too. He’s very smart and isn’t content to just be without stimulation. Brain games are excellent for him so check them out online in eBooks and hardcover books as well. You can even find some on doggie websites.
Training can be a trite challenging with this self-starter. In the past, he just knew what job he was to attend and he made sure it was done to perfection. Independence and stubbornness were all part of the territory and were positive traits. Now...not so much, especially when it comes to training time.
Be sure your leadership role is intact. You’ll get nowhere if it’s not. To check it out before you are in a do or die situation, the next time he is curiously involved in something, which shouldn’t be difficult because, he’s always inquisitive about one thing or another, call his name for him to come to you. He should do so without hesitation. He’s incredibly intelligent so don’t let him fool you if he acts like he doesn’t know who you are talking to or what it is you want. In the event he is ignoring you, training him to come by name with a treat in your hand. Then, slowly diminish the size of the treat until there is none but substitute it for some robust loving pats and tons of praise.
Positive training measures are the only ones that will work with the Schip. He is certainly trainable but he’s not a cinch to train like some other dogs are. If you are a first-time dog owner, this is one area you may find to be a little too much. The breed isn’t really recommended for novice owners but, in the event that you have one, you’ll need to study up and learn how to train him or else hire a professional trainer. The Schipperke must be trained, at least in the basics. He’s too willful not to be.
Even before your pup really catches on to your role as his leader though, he’ll need to be housebroken. This breed isn’t finicky about the weather for he used to be outside all of the time. He is small so his bladder won’t be able to “hold it” too long. Show him where to do his business and he most likely will cooperate in no time. Be sure to reward him accordingly. If you are going to be gone long and he’s inside, offer an alternative potty solution such as laying down a doggie potty pad or showing him to a kitty litter box.
This breed demands to be socialized early in life or they will have a difficult time all of their years and you, as his pet parent, will too. Take him to a wide variety of places such as a concert or place that’s loud, busy, and full of humans. Expose him to different animals. Be sure he’s also around humans of different ages and temperaments. Mix in some quiet time too where he’s not allowed to bark. Proper socialization will help prepare him for the people, places, and situations that will come his way throughout his entire life. The earlier you can condition him, the better.
Obedience training is next on the list. This type of training is for his safety as well as for that of humans and animals around him. If a car is speeding around the corner and he’s nearing the street, it is imperative that he comes when you call him. If a cat is leaping out of a tree nearby, your command to sit must be heeded. Be sure he minds you without being bribed with a treat. You may not have one in hand the instant danger appears. Furthermore, if he requires you to have something for him in return for his obedience, it is you who is trained, not him. This pup is a super student when he gets the hang of it so don’t stop with the basic commands. Keep on going and practice them all often.
Agility training is perfect for the Schipperke. He’s agile and athletic and has super amounts of energy waiting to be burned so this fun training activity serves a multitude of purposes. You can take him to formal classes or build him an agility course all his own right in his backyard. You’ll be amazed at his abilities and he will be too.
Trick training can be tricky with the Schip but, it’s not impossible. If you stick with things that interest him, like herding his toys by name, doing a little dance or flip around when he fetches a ball and those type of tricks, he’ll have as much fun as you and will master them in no time. Chances are, he’ll make up a few up of his own to add to the show.
Brain training is a must with the Captain. He is much too smart to let his intelligence go to waste plus, he’s not happy when he doesn’t have some mental challenges. Think of what all his jobs in the olden days used to involve, brain-wise. He had to figure out how to keep sheep in line and predators at bay at the same time. He had to pursue rodents, rabbits, or whatever critters were trespassing and send them on their way which often involves a Schip-and-mouse strategy, no doubt. He also had to keep intruders off the ship which most likely meant he had to figure out a way to stay alive when doing so. His brain was used every day in those days and should be now as well. He is excellent at solving puzzles, working treat mazes, and doing fun brain game activities so be sure his brain gets trained regularly.
In general, the Schippeke is a fairly healthy dog. He’s active and athletic which helps keep him in shape as long as he is in a situation he’s able to thrive in. There are some medical woes he is prone to, genetically and others he is just more susceptible to for environmental or unknown reasons. Being aware of the potential to develop these problems can be priceless because you can get him right in if you notice signs and symptoms. With early diagnosis and treatment, he will have the best chance at overcoming the issue and living a long and healthy life.
The best measure is prevention, of course. The best place to start is at the very beginning. By making sure you get your Schip from a reputable breeder, your likelihood of getting a healthy dog will be increased by leaps and bounds. Don’t hesitate to ask for paperwork on tests and health conditions of both your prospective pup and the parents. This dog is one that is a huge temptation for irresponsible, greedy breeders to sell so...beware and play it safe. You don’t want your puppy to be sick and you also don’t want your hard earned money going to support such breeders.
Some of the medical conditions that Schipperkes can be apt to get are:
Hip Dysplasia is a problem with the hip where it doesn’t fit into the socket properly and therefore, the femur bone pops in and out of place. It can be caused by a hereditary problem or can be the result of environmental issues like constantly running on rocks and so forth. This condition, when present at birth, is caused by an abnormal formation of the hip socket and the problem keeps getting worse and the dog ages. Large dogs are more prone to Hip Dysplasia but smaller breeds, like the Schipperke, can be apt to get it as well. The first signs are limping, favoring other legs, and difficulty in getting up from a lying position. If left untreated, it can result in lameness or severe crippling. Painful arthritis is another outcome. If you suspect your dog has this problem, be sure to have him seen by his vet. Xrays can determine if he does or doesn’t have HD and if he does, his vet will discuss options with you which may include a surgical correction.
Legg-Cale-Perthes Disease, or Perthes Disease, is a problem that is seen in humans and dogs. It is caused by a disruption of the flow of blood to the femur, head, or head of the thigh bone. Because of the failure for blood to properly flow, the bone begins to die which is called avascular necrosis or osteonecrosis. It stops growing as well. As you can imagine, the condition can be quite painful and debilitating too. If your dog is showing signs of thigh and/or hip problems, be sure to have him tested for this issue. In the event that he does have it, his vet can discuss options for treatment with you. The earlier this issue is diagnosed, the better.
Schips are prone to eye problems. Progressive Retinal Atrophy is one such malady. This condition is hereditary in nature in that it is in a group of genetic eye diseases found in some breeds, like the Schipperke. It is a close cousin to Retinitis Pigementosa which affects humans. The problem includes the bilateral degeneration of the retina of the eye which causes a progression of vision loss that eventually ends in blindness. The acceleration rates vary so some dogs never live to actually go blind while others go blind soon after being diagnosed. If your dog is having trouble seeing, like bumping into furniture, trees, and even you, have his eyes checked as soon as you can.
Cataracts are another eye issue that plagues this breed. Cataracts are not uncommon in dogs, just as they are not uncommon in humans. The condition entails a lens opacity, a film that affects the eye’s lens. The area may just be a pinhead size spot or can cover the entire lens. You may notice the dull, filmy looking place on the lens or, you may not. Cataracts diminish eyesight and if left untreated, can lead to blindness. Most cases in canines don’t require surgery and can be easily remedied. Even if it does require surgery, the process is quick and simple and usually fairly inexpensive. If you note your dog has a filmy area or if he is having trouble seeing, be sure to get him into his vet to have the situation checked out.
Hypothyroidism involves the thyroid gland that is in your dog’s neck area where the hormone thyroxine, or T4, is secreted. The hormone helps maintain metabolism and is a thermostat of sorts for his body. When there is a lack of the hormone, metabolism is slowed, leaving him sluggish and just not up to par. There are several other hormones which are associated with the thyroid gland as well so a deficiency in these puts him at risk for other conditions too, like the development of Diabetes. If your pooch is acting tired, becoming irritated and agitated more than usual, or is sleeping more frequently and for longer periods of time, you might consider having his thyroid tested by his vet. In the event that he is diagnosed with Hypothyroidism, there is medication available that generally treats the condition effectively and quickly. The condition doesn’t just go away, usually. It will most likely require lifelong treatment.
Mucopolysaccharidosis Type lll is another issue Schips can face. It is a rare genetic condition that Schips and some other breeds, like Labs, are susceptible to. It is an autosomal recessive storage disorder that entails a deficiency in some very important chemicals. It is rooted in the degradation of heparan sulfate that is found within the urine. Severe central nervous system degeneration is common within the illness including corneal and/or skeletal change. The disease usually surfaces between 2 and 6 years of age and ultimately results in death between 6 to 10 years of age. When progressed, a vegetative state of being is reached and most succumb to aspiration due to pneumonia. The condition is generally marked by behavioral changes so if your dog is acting differently and you suspect he may have this problem, be sure to have him seen.
Dental disease is a real problem for the Ship Dog. Eighty percent of all dogs are affected by dental disease and this breed has an even higher rate of issues. Tartar build-up is the precursor and then cavities begin to form. The infection from the bacteria involved easily spreads to his gums and the roots of his teeth which then seep down into his system to affect his joints, bones, heart, liver, kidney, and practically every other part of his body. His length of life can be cut short from implications resulting from dental disease. Be sure to faithfully tend to his dental hygiene and take him to the vet for a dental cleaning and dental check-ups on a regular basis. Limit his snacking too.
Just because the Schip has a seemingly long list of medical conditions he may be prone to certainly doesn’t mean he will get any of them. Hopefully, your dog will live a very long and very healthy life. But, if he should show any of the symptoms or signs above, you’ll be able to recognize them quickly now that you are informed.
Is a Schipperke Right for Me?
The Black Devil Dog is not right for everyone. For some, he is exactly as the name implies, a little hellion that proves to be too much. Many a Schipperke has found his way to a shelter, rescue organization, or worse because prospective owners didn’t do some soul searching before taking the adorable little guy home. Don’t break another heart. The Schip is a very independent, willful creature who was born to do his job. He’s an avid hunter of small critters, an excellent guard of flock and family, and is a wonderful companion and athlete as well. He has requirements that you may or may not be willing and able to fulfill so if you are entertaining the idea of having this captain at the helm, you’ll want to make sure he’s a good fit by asking yourself some vital questions.
Busy, busy, busy. This little guy is a mound of bounding energy. Are you up to all that it will take to keep this guy well exercised so he will be healthy and happy? He requires a lot and if he doesn’t get it, if you thought he was mischievous before, just wait until he’s bored and ornery. There is no way around him getting ample exercise time every single day. And...that doesn’t mean sticking him in the backyard to chase his tail. No sirree bobtails. Even if he doesn’t have a tail, he’d go nuts being left alone to his own entertaining devices. It would not be fair.
If you live in an apartment or small space condo, this breed will do alright because he is small but only if you make sure he is well trained and well exercised. Otherwise, you can count on being promptly evicted or visited frequently by your neighbors. He already has a thing for barking and he’ll simply be out of control if he is not adequately handled and if he has bounding energy pent up.
Containing your furry Belgian Captain might be quite tricky too. He is given to dig and has been known to dig his way right under a fence or climb right over it. He is also all about chasing small creatures so if he will share the household with a cat, you might want to reconsider. If raised alongside one he may fare alright but you’ll want to check the compatibility out before making him a permanent fixture in the family. Definitely keep him far away from pocket pets like gerbils or hamsters, snakes, and all the slithery things.
Are you a first-time dog owner? If so, or if you have a difficult time standing up to a dog, you should probably pass on the Schip. He’s got a mind of his own and is certainly not afraid to use it. He’s smart. You must be smarter. He’s willful and stubborn at times and you must be able to match that with firm yet kind assertive leadership. This breed is not for wimps.
This dog will require training. He will need to learn to obey your commands and you will have to make sure he gets his socializing training in as well. He is much too leery of other dogs and strange humans to not have him well conditioned. He does, however, make an excellent watchdog but you’ll still need to train him or have him trained or he very well may pin the postman down, much to his (and your) chagrin.
Are you looking for a snuggle bug who will keep you warm, lying beside you on the couch on cold summer nights? This breed is very loving and loyal but he’s far from the lounging type. His idea of fun is accompanying you on a long hike up the mountain or a brisk walk through the meadow. If you’re an active soul, the Black Devil Dog might be just what you are needing in a companion but you’d better not count him in for couch potato time.
In the event that you are physically able and mentally prepared to bring this handsome Captain Dog onto your ship, you can count on happy sailing. He’s a fun and friendly fellow who will rock your boat and make life all that it should be - endless waves of joy.
* Links for crate sizes will bring you to the most appropriate Amazon page.