"The Little Skipper "-His Origin-points and Appearance-character-treatment-cost

The use of a nickname among dogs, as among humans, often betokens an affectionate, but not contemptuous, familiarity. The lively subject of this article has more than one such-" the Bargee," "the Manx dog," "the Little Skipper."

The first is derived from the fact that in his native country he is the valued guardian of the canal boats; the second is due to the popular idea that he is born tailless; and the third is the literal translation of his Flemish name, now formally recognised as the name of his breed. By the way, the "sch" should be pronounced as it is in " school." He has yet another designation, and a most apt one, bestowed upon him by one of his earliest friends and breeders in this country, Mr. E. B. Joachim, which is "the Paul Pry of canine society." As Mr. Kipling would say, he is devoured by a "most 'satiable curtiosity." Nobody and nothing can escape his notice.

The history of the Schipperke is of most respectable antiquity, for in Flanders pedigrees can be traced of pure-bred dogs for more than a century. In this country he dates from about 1888. Champions Fritz of Spa, Shtoots, and Dreiske were some of the heroes of old time-dog generations, alas, are even shorter than human. A specialist club, the Schipperke Club (England), was formed in 1890 to guard his interests, and in 1894 there arose also the St. Hubert Schipperke Club, named after Mr. Krehl's imported dog, St. Hubert, from whom great things were hoped, though without entire success. Brussels also started a club in 1888, and the points adopted by it and the St. Hubert Club are practically identical with those of the Schipperke Club (England). In 1905, a third, the Northern Schipperke Club, was founded.

Points

The general appearance of a good Schipperke

20l6 should be that of a lively, intelligent, and exceedingly alert little dog, sharp in expression, and agile and nimble in movement. In spite of applications to the contrary, the only colour recognised by the club standard is black, though cream, blue, red, fawn, sable, and chocolate are not unusual. The black should be pure in colour, though when the dog is changing his coat he has a rusty or brown tinge. The coat, a most important point, should be abundant, dense, and hard, though not of the pin-wire or

Mrs. Crosfield s Schipperke Champion Esme of Greta, a famous prize'winner, and an excellent specimen of the breed

Mrs. Crosfield s Schipperke Champion Esme of Greta, a famous prize'winner, and an excellent specimen of the breed

Photos, Sport and General cocoanut-fibre texture of the Scottie. On cars, legs, and head it is smooth, lies close on the back and sides, and forms a typical mane round the neck and a feathering on the back of the thighs called the " culotte" or "breeching."

Many specimens are born tailless, the rest should be docked, and much depends upon a careful dock. The cruel " carving or gouging out" of tails is now forbidden, and would disqualify if practised. A good dock leaves the quarters properly rounded.

The head is broad rather than round, foxy in type, with a fine but not weak muzzle, little stop, and nicely filled in under the eyes. The nose is small and black; the eye dark, small, somewhat oval in shape, and full of keenness.

The ears should be stiffly erect, small, and strong.

The teeth should be strong and quite level.

The neck should be full and powerful, somewhat short and slightly arched, the shoulders sloping and muscular, and the chest deep and broad. The body should be short, with powerful loins and thighs, straight legs of fine, not coarse, bone, and small, catlike feet, well knuckled up, so that the dog stands on his toes.

A good specimen should weigh about 12 lb., though the Belgian standard allows for heavier animals. A typical "Schip" is better for being small.

Character

The Schipperke is an excellent watchdog, a faithful guard, who does not easily make friends with total strangers. He is not a fighter, though he will fight if what he guards is attacked, and he is absolutely trustworthy with children. He also possesses good points as a vermin dog, being especially a keen ratter. Taken all round, he is a most quaint and engaging companion, and, though affectionate, one who attaches himself to a particular person. To a genuine dog-lover, his leading characteristic is one that renders him specially attractive - I mean, of course, his in-quisitiveness. He is never dull or bored, and sees to it, as a rule, that his human friends are not so, either.

Treatment

Schipperkes are hardy little dogs, and need no special diet or care. They are not toys, and are quite ruined if so treated. They require regular and sensible feeding, meat being always part of their dietary; and a certain amount of exercise, though the Schipperke remains to be born who does not take a vast deal of this last on his own account! Their coats need no other care than a daily brushing and combing with the usual dog appliances-a hound-glove will give a fine finishing touch, if desired. Bathing will seldom be necessary, if the daily toilet is attended to, for they are clean little dogs. Under any reasonable conditions, and in most climates, the breed flourishes, and is but little trouble.

Price

The price of a good puppy is about that of any other well-bred small terrier. The little ones are not difficult to rear, and are teachable. Show specimens cost, of course, sums varying according to their successes,

A typical Schipperke. showing the chief points of head and body formation desired by the breeder probable or assured, in the ring, and should be sought in accredited kennels

A typical Schipperke. showing the chief points of head and body formation desired by the breeder probable or assured, in the ring, and should be sought in accredited kennels. Some owners of well-known kennels are Mrs. Deane Willis, Mrs. Applebee, Mrs Crosfield, Mrs. Grace, and Mrs. Preston Gardner, to mention but a few lovers of the breed.

The following is a good firm for supplying foods, etc., mentioned this Section: Messrs. Spratt's Patents, Ltd. (Dog Biscuits, etc.).

Price 300512

Price 300512

In the centre is pictured an example of the pretty fashion of serving fruit salads in hollowed-out fruits, such as a pineapple. At the top left-hand corner is a game salad served in a custard marrow, while on the right is shown the contrasting effect of slices of tomato and hard-boiled egg. The chicken salad, arranged in a deep glass dish, is prettily decorated with hard-boiled egg and endive, with a tuft of celery heads. The grape-fruit, as will be seen, offers a charming contrast in colour to the varied fruits served in its shell.