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Schipperke Dog Breed

Aliases: Spitzkes, Spitskes, Spits

Life Span: About 15 years, though if kept active, many live to be 18 years old.
Litter Size: 2-3 puppies
Group: Northern, non-sporting group in the American Kennel Club\'s categorization.
Color: The only acceptable color for Schipperkes is all black.
Hair Length: Medium
Size: Toy/Small
Shedding: Lite Shed
Male Height: 11-13 inches high at the highest point of the withers
Male Weight: 12-18 lbs
Female Height: 10-12 inches high at the highest point of the withers
Female Weight: 12-18 lbs
General info courtesy of Additional information about this breed can be found on their website.

Thyroid Disease - Medium Risk

The Shipperke ranks #34 among all breeds for autoimmune thyroiditis prevalence. While this is not a high risk breed, there is still a good chance of disease transmission through breeding. Therefore, all dogs intended for breeding should be tested first. 

 Rank Among Breeds  Number of Dogs Tested  Percent of Dogs With Disease
 #34  562  10%

You can download the full report (on all breeds) by the Michigan State University Diagnostic Center for Population and Animal Health. Here

Other Health Problems

Schipperkes are fairly healthy dogs. However the breed is prone to hypothyroidism, epilepsy, hip dysplasia and hip sockets that tend to slip. They are also prone to cataracts, Legg Calve Perthes, Progressive Retinal Atrophy and MPS 111B. MPS 111B is a fairly newly discovered disease, which affects about 15% of the Schipperke population. There is a genetic test is available for this disease, but only through the University of Pennsylvania. If you're considering a Schipperke puppy, ensure that the breeder has had the dog tested.

Due to the tendency for hip problems, it is important not to let your Schipperke become overweight, as carrying around excess weight only aggravates the problem. However, because this breed is so energetic, and loves to run, if you give them the appropriate opportunity to exercise, they're unlikely to become overweight. Once past the puppy stage, one good meal each day of a nutritionally sound dog food will be all he needs. Avoiding table scraps will reduce the likelihood that he'll become overweight.