The stature of the petite sized Schipperke often belies the vast intelligence contained inside the little dog. Many owners do not realize the extent of their dog's tenacity until they are being given a run for their money. Unbeknownst to many, the Schipperke ranks in the top twenty of the world's smartest dogs. They are extremely versatile and love to put their intelligence to the test in any way they can. They are daring, brave and bold and rarely hesitate to move on even the most precarious of situations. Owners who put their Schipperke off for too long or too often will experience the perils of not keeping the dog breed busy. The Schipperke is one that does not wait for others and it certainly won't hesitate to entertain itself.
One would assume that a good sized yard would be more than enough for the Schipperke to create his or her own personal empire. However, the Schipperke often does things simply because it can. If it can burrow under a fence, it will. If it can hop up on its dog house and jump over a fence, it will. It would almost seem they are only happy when they are being challenged. This can make for a variety of perilous situations as dogs that leave their yards unattended are open to any number of consequences. The same can be said for owners as well. Even though they are only following their nature, dogs risk getting hurt and owners can risk getting fined for having a loose dog.
For the most part, the Schipperke spends its life close to the ground. When kept in a yard or other space, owners must be sure that there are no loose boards, gaps or other types of openings for their Schipperke to squeeze through. Their terrier background that stems from the early days of chasing vermin to their burrows often has them squeezing through any breach they find. Their fluffy coat often hides their actual size, making owners wonder just how their dog could get through such a small space. Reinforcing the bottom half of a fence may be a necessary move, especially for repeat escape artists. Owners should also refrain from keeping the dog house to close to fences. Setting plants or other items on deck railings can keep the Schipperke from jumping across voids to ill gained freedom.
Owners should also be especially careful when opening and closing doors as it is not uncommon for the breed to zip out of an entry that is partially open. Pet doors are only recommended if they lead to an area that is secure with no opportunity for escape. As they will run off after scurrying animals and do not hesitate to take on situations much larger than themselves, the Schipperke is one that should be left on the leash when out in public.