Schipperkes are distinctive dogs, both in name and by their appearance. For a breed that is classified as being small, they can have a longer coat; especially around the neck which gives them their signature characteristic. But does this breed shed – and if so, by how much? What is this breed like to be around for those with allergies? Here is what you will want to know.
So, do Schipperkes shed? Schipperkes do shed, as do all dogs to some extent. While they are not considered to be high shedders, they can shed more heavily twice a year. This is known as seasonal shedding and occurs during the Spring and again in the Fall. This shedding is an instinctual natural process for a dog to prepare its coat for the upcoming change of weather.
Though Schipperkes are not high shedders, they are not considered a hypoallergenic breed.
The process of seasonal shedding usually lasts a month each time, so you’re looking at a Schipperke shedding for a total of two months out of the year.
The remaining time throughout the year, thankfully, you should not expect to see much hair being deposited around your home.
However, in the two months that they do shed, they have been known to shed quite heavily at times. This will of course, require a bit of extra work – both grooming your dog and also collecting hair through the likes of cleaning, washing and hoovering.
One interesting thing to note, is that there have been reports of Schipperkes only shedding heavily during the Spring shedding season without much shedding during the Fall shedding season, at all.
So as you can see, there is some individual variance between dogs of this breed. Nevertheless, its best to plan for the worst, and expect a the maximum amount of shedding which aligns with the breed average.
Let us now take a closer look at the coat of the Schipperke and take a closer look at the amount they shed.
We will also be covering the other important and related questions, such as whether this breed is classified as hypoallergenic and if they are suitable for those with more severe allergies.
Finally we will go over some best practices for owners of this breed when it comes to taking care of their dogs coat.
Thus, be sure to read the full article to ensure you get all the information you need if you do own to take on this breed.
The Schipperke Coat
The Schipperke has a dense double coat; a fleecy undercoat that is covered by a coarser outercoat. As such, the coat differs in length throughout the body.
Their fur is shortest around the face, ears, and front legs. The Schipperke body has medium length fur while the neck, shoulders, and rump have the longest fur.
Lastly, they also have longer fur on their back lacks, which are sometimes referred to as culottes.
Most often you will find the colour of the Schipperke coat to be black, and this is the only colour that the American Kennel Club (AKC) allows for their show competitions.
However, on rare occasions you can also find Schipperkes in different shades of cream, brown, and blue furred.
Schipperkes are relatively clean dogs with little odor and their fur doesn’t require regular bathing, unless they get into some dirty trouble.
Weekly brushing is all the regular grooming that the Schipperke’s coat needs. This is one dog breed that doesn’t even need to get haircuts at all!
Do Schipperkes Shed A Lot?
Schipperkes are generally not considered heavy shedders, though they do shed heavily when they do shed.
Luckily, they do not shed all year round; instead shedding during two specific periods. Sometimes it might only be once a year.
Schipperkes are going to shed the most at the beginning of Spring, as they lose their heavier Winter coats. Not only will they shed the most, but the fur with be the heaviest as well.
To help with shedding, giving your Schipperke a bath can help remove the dead fur without it flying through the air ands being deposited around your home.
The other time of year in which your Schipperke will most likely shed is when Fall turns to Winter, as they grow in their heavier coats to prepare for the colder weather.
This shedding will not be as heavy as the Spring shedding and in some cases, you might not even notice the Fall shedding as much. As you can imagine, they are not attempting to lose much of their coat during this time (they need it). Instead, they are enabling new growth and a coat that is going to be in better condition for this new environment.
During shedding season, you can expect to see fur on your clothes and most of the surfaces in your house.
Don’t be surprised if you spend the next few months, until the next shedding season, vacuuming and sweeping up fur.
My dog has been away at a training to be a Service Dog for almost two months now and I’m still cleaning up fur everywhere I turn!
If you’re new to dogs, or to dogs who are not hypoallergenic, then the month of shedding may seem to last quite a while, but it really isn’t that bad.
With the tips that are shared throughout this article, you will be able to make those two months fly by relatively pain free.
And in the end, it’s totally worth it as every dog owner knows, we love those furry little friends and would put up with just about anything for them.
Is A Schipperke Hypoallergenic?
Schipperkes are not considered to be hypoallergenic dogs. There are some dogs that are marketed as hypoallergenic, and for them to be considered hypoallergenic they have to shed little to no hair or fur.
Schipperkes shed heavy enough during their month-long shedding seasons that they are not considered to qualify as hypoallergenic.
This is not out of the ordinary as hypoallergenic dog breeds are in the minority as the majority of breeds are not hypoallergenic.
Some experts don’t believe in hypoallergenic dogs as all dogs have hair or fur, which is what the dander sticks to. It is this dander, saliva, and urine that causes allergies and irritations, and not the actual hair or fur.
Either way, it is not surprising for a dog breed that has a double coat to not be hypoallergenic.
Schipperkes have fur and not hair, and while some people believe that dogs who have fur have a higher chance of not being hypoallergenic, this is not the case.
Dogs are not the only ones who have dander; humans and all animals with fur, hair, and feathers produce dander. This is why people have ‘pet allergies’, or who may be allergic to different animals at different times. Its all about being allergic to a specific protein found in the dander.
The problem mostly occurs when microscopic pieces of skin attach to the dead hair, fur, and feathers are being spread when airborne, landing on furniture, floors, and other surfaces. This is the cause of allergies and irritations.
Even human dander can cause allergic reactions. Most people know human dander as dandruff, which is just an excessive amount of dander. Everyone has dander but not everyone has dandruff!
So as you can imagine, supporting someone with allergies around this breed is all about keeping your home clean and quickly cleaning up and deposited fur.
Tips For Maintaining And Grooming The Schipperke Coat
There are a few ways in which you can help keep your Schipperke’s shedding under control, or at least a little more manageable. Some of these tips are great all year long and not just during the shedding seasons.
Weekly brushing will definitely help keep their fur from getting all over your house, furniture, and other surfaces.
This is a good practice to keep up all year long as not only will you help keep shedding down, but it is also a good way to get your Schipperke’s natural oils massaged through their skin, helping to keep their coats healthy and shining.
While Schipperkes don’t need regular baths, and actually it is recommended that you don’t bathe them regularly, bathing them during high shedding periods is a good idea.
A warm bath will help the dead hair fall out and make brushing easier. This will also help the dead hair from becoming airborne, possibly causing irritation and the need for extra clean up.
Schipperkes are not known to have any skin conditions, so using just a regular dog shampoo for when you bathe them will do just fine. This is the one to get from Amazon, which is a best-seller and I personally swear by. Its great for use on any breed.
Since they have varying lengths of fur, you may want to invest in a few different styles of brushes to make the grooming experience easier and more comfortable for both you and your Schipperke:
- A slicker brush is great to prevent matting and tangles in your dog’s hair and fur and can be used all year long as your main brush.
- Bristle brushes will be good to use for your Schipperke during their shedding seasons as it will help remove their loose fur and to stimulate the skin.
- Flea comb is another good addition to remove any fleas that may have landed on your dog.
Schipperkes are not the calmest dogs and are not often recommended for first time dog owners. In fact, they are sometimes referred to as LBD, or Little Black Devil, due to their destructive tendencies and high energy.
Because of their personalities grooming Schipperkes might be a difficult task and the earlier you can start and get them used to it the better it will be.
Brushing is a really great way to bond with your Schipperke, or any dog breed, and can help make future shedding controls easier.
As a breed, Schipperkes are really sensitive about anyone working on their feet. So if you plan on grooming them, you may want to take them to your veterinarian or a professional groomer. This will just to make the experience better for you both.
Schipperkes are a unique breed of dog, both when it comes to looks and their coats. With a dense double coat, and three different lengths of fur, it’s not surprising that Schipperkes are shedders.
With the amount of fur that they shed during their two shedding seasons, it’s a good thing that they don’t shed all year long.
Each of their two shedding seasons last about a month long, with the Spring shedding season being much heavier than the Fall shedding season.
While they are not considered to be heavy shedders, due to the amount of shedding that Schipperkes do in their shedding seasons, they are not a hypoallergenic dog breed. With a double coat, it’s no surprise that Schipperkes are not hypoallergenic.
Brushing your Schipperke at least once a week, all year long, will help with their shedding, as well as keeping their coats healthy and shiny.
Schipperkes shouldn’t be bathed very often, unless necessary, but a warm bath when they are shedding will help to loosen the dead fur and make it easier to brush.
Many people incorrectly believe that it is the hair or fur that cause allergies and irritations. The dander, which is microscopic pieces of skin attached to dead hairs, is actually what you want to watch out for.
Thankfully, you can proactively improve the environment and make it less allergenic. Frequent brushing, hoovering and keeping your dog in a separate a and designated rooms are useful approaches.
Ultimately, if you can handle two shedding seasons and are looking for a unique dog breed with lots of energy and personality, the Schipperke might just be for you!
I am a practiced pet owner with decades of experience owning a number of different pets. I am also the main writer and chief editor here at Pet Educate; a site I created to share everything I’ve learned about pet ownership over the years and my extensive research along the way.