Schipperke Training Guide
The Schipperke is not as widely known as other popular family pet to include the Collie or Poodle. However, this small, compact dog can be an excellent companion in the right home.
Schipperkes can be strong-willed and they are certainly quite intelligent, so early obedience training is highly recommended.
How to Train Schipperke
The breed has always been a working dog, guarding and herding in the home, the shop or on a boat. In fact, the Schipperke is well known as a boat dog in its native Belgium and other areas of northwestern Europe.
The dog is generally very loyal to the owner and to family members, while being slow to warm up to strangers. Some owners report that their Schipperke acts like a large dog in a small dog’s body. Some use terms such as fearless and courageous to describe their companion.
A well-behaved Schipperke will begin its life with a reputable breeder that spends time socializing the young dogs. This time and effort in the first 8 to 10 weeks of life will go a long way toward making sure that a pet will be comfortable in its new home. If a new owner purchases his dog from a good breeder and then continues with firm and consistent obedience training, the dog/owner relationship can be a great one.
Perhaps the best way to give new owners an idea about the challenges of owning and training a Schipperke is to tell the story of one such dog. An owner reports that his impish little pet is usually connected with certain missing items such as a slipper or other small item.
When caught in the act, the Schipperke looks as innocent as possible and stays still, as if say “not guilty.” Beyond that, the Schipperke is a very quick, compact dog that can seemingly disappear when trouble arises.
With this picture in mind, new owners may want to be prepared for some basic obedience training. Enlisting the help of a professional may be necessary, though it is recommended that the owner remain involved. This will help when the move is made from training to the home. Consistency is a key in training the Schipperke.
New owners may want to consider possible problem actions with any purebred dog. The Schipperke can be strong-willed and even stubborn at times. It may be best to be prepared for such things as the dog staying just out of reach when it’s time to go somewhere or when the dog is in trouble.
Your Schipperke may stubbornly hang onto objects it is not supposed to have. After all, this breed sometimes acts like a terrier, though the breeds may not be related.
Perhaps you will find that your Schipperke gets back at you after being scolded or disciplined. This may involve tearing up something in the house or even going to the bathroom inside, when the pet is already housetrained.
Keep in mind that some of these behaviors result when the dog gets the idea it is higher in the “pack” order than the owner is. That is why it is so important to establish who is boss. This “pack” order must be put in place when the dog is still a puppy. The breeder can contribute greatly to this process by spending time with the dogs in the first weeks of life.
The learning process does not require the owner to be mean or even harsh. Firmness and consistency are the keys to basic obedience with any new dog. In fact, many canine experts emphasize that dogs are pack animals and get their security from knowing exactly where they stand in the order.
A better pet/owner relationship will result from paying careful attention to this need.
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