If you’re thinking about getting a Schipperke, you’re probably wondering if they’re big shedders.
The Belgian dog breed are easily identifiable thanks to their jet black coat that has led to Schipperke being dubbed “little black devils”.
Schipperke owners will need to familiarise themselves with the grooming requirements of their dogs before bringing one of the breed home.
Speaking to other Schipperke owners can help to educate potential owners on how often these dogs need to be brushed and bathed.
So we reached out to Okami (@okami.the.dog), Pickle (@pickletheschipperke) and Roe (@schipalong) to learn more about the Schipperke grooming and shedding as well as share some of their photos (with their permission).
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Are Schipperke Hypoallergenic?
There is no such thing as a completely hypoallergenic dog breed. Having said that, there are some dogs that have more hypoallergenic qualities than other breeds.
Hypoallergenic dog breeds are less likely to trigger an owner’s allergies usually due to a low-shedding coat or producing less dander. But even hypoallergenic dog breeds can cause an allergic reaction through their salvia or urine – plus they could carry potential allergens on their coat such as pollen.
Here’s what the American Kennel Club write on their website where hypoallergenic dogs are concerned.
While there are no 100% hypoallergenic dogs, there are many breeds that do well with allergy sufferers. Dander, which is attached to pet hair, is what causes most pet allergies in humans and these dogs have a non-shedding coat that produces less dander.
Schipperke aren’t one of the hypoallergenic dog breeds listed by the American Kennel Club or the Kennel Club in the UK. So if you struggle with allergies to dogs, you should consult with your doctor or a medical professional before getting a Schipperke.
Do Schipperke Shed?
Schipperke are moderate shedders so you should expect these little black dogs to leave some hair on your clothes, furniture and the floor. However, these Belgian dogs aren’t as big shedders as you might think considering their fluffy black coat.
The Schipperke Club of America have the following to say on the Schipperke’s coat in the breed standard.
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.
They’ll usually blow out their outer coat twice a year at the changing of the seasons. This tends to occur more frequently with females than males.
Hilary described owning a Schipperke as “lots of shedding, little grooming”. She went on to explain:
Schipperkes have a very natural or “wild-type” coat, with a woolly undercoat and very sleek outercoat/guard hairs, so they’re very low maintenance. Due to the smoothness of their outercoat their undercoat doesn’t get caught in the guard hairs, so they don’t tend to get matted or impacted undercoat.
While Schipperke may not be big shedders, owners will still need to brush their coat once or twice a week to remove dead hair and debris.
It’s a good idea to purchase a brush that is able to reach a Schipperke’s undercoat to remove dead hair from the undercoat.
The AKC recommend more frequent brushing when a Schipperke is blowing out its undercoats so pet parents can stay on top of the extra hair.
Hilary, who is the owner of a Schipperke called Roe, offered some tips on Schipperke grooming.
They shed their undercoat twice a year. A bath will help loosen the coat, and frequent brushing during that time will help save your vacuum. I recommend a double row undercoat rake. Don’t try to brush right to the skin, it will pull on their live hair. Start out lightly brushing through, working down to the skin as the loose hair comes out.
Anna provided an insight into her grooming routine with her Schipperke Okami.
The coat is very easy to maintain. I brush Okami one a week, a little more when she sheds (about 2 or 3 times a year).
Camille added that she was pleasantly surprised to learn her Schip had moderate grooming needs.
Not as much as we imagined. They shed their hair coat at least twice a year and I brush it once a week.
How Often Should You Bathe A Schipperke?
Schipperke don’t omit a doggie odor unlike some other breeds. Apart from a warm bath to help the shedding process during shedding season, Schipperkes won’t need more than a couple of baths a year unless they’ve rolled in something unpleasant.
Hilary explained why Schipperke don’t have a wet dog smell or doggie odor in comparison to other canines.
Their outercoat sheds water, dirt, sand, those velcro-like plant seeds, etc. and they don’t have a strong doggie odor, so they hardly need any bathing at all to stay looking and smelling good (I would recommend every 3-6 months at most).
If you get a Schipperke, it’s a good idea to invest in a nail trimmer to keep their nails at an appropriate length. You can consult with your vet to learn more and get guidance on how to keep your dog calm during the trimming process.
It’s a good idea to also check inside their ears to make sure everything looks normal. Schipperke teeth should also be brushed regularly to keep their teeth and gums healthy. By following a regular brushing routine, you can prevent the build up of tartar.
Anything Else To Consider
If you’re thinking about getting a Schipperke but you suffer with allergies to dogs, we strongly advise you to speak to your doctor or medical professional to learn more.
For dog lovers interested in this breed, we find speaking to current owners can provide a great insight into what life is like owning a Schipperke.
Wrapping Up – Our Final Thoughts
We’ve reached the end of our article on Schipperke shedding.
These Belgian dogs aren’t hypoallergenic because they do shed at least twice a year.
While Schipperke are moderate shedders throughout the calendar year, these little black devils will blow out their coats at least twice a year.
During shedding season, Schipperke owners will need to step up their grooming routine from once a week to frequent brushing to keep a handle on all that black hair.
Otherwise, Schipperke don’t have a doggie smell so they don’t require more than a few baths a year, although the AKC recommend a warm bath during shedding season to help these shepherd dogs along with blowing out their coats.