The Schipperke is quite a small dog, standing 10" to 13",
but its distinctive thick ruff of fur around the neck and shoulders
and its erect, pointed ears give it a larger and more impressive
profile than its height would suggest. The muzzle is long and tapered,
similar to a foxes muzzle, and the head is proportional to the body.
Eyes are oval and dark colored, and ears are pointed and erect.
As in most guard dogs, the front quarters are heavier and wider
than the rear, which is also well muscled, and the back slopes gently
towards the tail area. This breed is often born without a tail,
but if it is present it is docked very close to the body, giving
the impression that no tail at all exists. The coat is quite distinctive,
and has several layers. The basic short coat becomes longer on the
back and stomach, and forms the long thick ruff around the neck
and shoulders. Another layer of hair forms a cape over the back,
and a 'jabot' over the chest, and the rear legs are similarly covered
with hair the same length as the ruff. The Shipperke is double coated,
with a soft under layer and quite coarse outer coat, which should
be completely black. These dogs do tend to shed quite a lot of hair,
and unspayed bitches often lose all their hair in a few days, remaining
bald for several months.