My parents own one and love him to pieces. He is more like a nosey roommate than a dog. He will run and tell mom and dad when I come over. He is very smart. Not a real high-maintenance dog although because of their double coat they do shed a fair amount. Your friend would have to brush the coat often to cut back on the shedding. They are soooo cute as puppies.
Our neighbour's had company and they brought two Schipperke dogs. My kids thought they looked like black pigs, very unattractive looking little dogs, and very aggressive behavior. The one actually came into our yard, charged my husband, who luckily had a stick in his hand and showed the dog who was boss.
I raise them and while they are territorial towards other dogs, they are very protective of their owners. They were originally bred to protect French (I think) ships. Schipperke means little skipper. They do shed some but are very loyal. They have a deep throated bark. We have one that "smiles" every time we talk to her!