Country/Date of Origin: Belgium/1500s
Bred as watchdogs and ratters in their native Belgium, the Schipperkes found plenty of work on the barges. When people saw these little tailless tikes strutting on the decks with a vast show of self importance, they said they looked like Schipperkes, or little captains.
The Schipperke really was important on the barges. These four footed first mates stood watch, guarded both boat and cargo, killed rats and hustled the tow horses. The breed has an unusual affinity for horses to this day.
The first of the breed brought to America landed in the 1880's but it was not until 1929 that they were popular enough to gain admittance to the American Kennel Club.