The Schipperke’s roots trace back to the 1600s, to the Flemish provinces which later became Belgium. It is thought the Schipperke was bred down from a larger, black sheepdog, the Leuvenaar, which is now extinct. A versatile, active breed, the Schipperke served as a mascot to tradesmen in the city, a watchdog and companion on the canal barges, a hunter of vermin, and a herder of livestock in the countryside. Though small and compact, the Schipperke is not short on intelligence or courage. He is devoted to his family and demands to take part in their daily life.